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Into the Walled Garden


2004
Get Thee Behind Me, Puritan Work Ethic
Most morn ings I rise fro m one sma ll slice
of heaven, the rapture on a biscuit that is waking,
warm and snug, slow and darkly satisfied,
and then realise after a few short mo ments,
lurching upwards on the smallness of some
God forsaken hour, that another day
is starting; a scrubbed clean day, perfumed,
arranged, a day of dressing smartly, of
coordinating hideously e xpensive childcare
for little ba mbino and driving the older proto -me
across choked road townscapes to a good school,
before I have to smog my way to this wonder,
this world of work, spending the best part
of my life doing what?
And so to the question, to the motivational seminar,
where we corporate children are groo med for success
via internet therapy and ema ils fro m older e xecutives,
who pretend to be something that they are not.
“What is it that makes you come to work?”
I fidgeted on my plush velour seat and lied,
“I come to work because of the challenge,
for the interest and the commit ment that it g ives me.
I fee l really motivated to be here, to play my part,
to deliver, to be successful. Frankly, I can?t think
of anything I?d rather do, I love my work.”
And so this child of the Thatcher revolution,
the hour watcher, the speaker of strange tongues,
a lingua commercialis, the adopter of corporate
New Speak, assumed the position and the style
of fearless certainty under the equally certain
gaze of h is peers, all desperately cla mbering
over their notes and slides to go one better.
A mo ment of silence, of nodding manageria l
smugness followed, which I fe lt suddenly
compelled to fill,
“Actually, er, well, what I, er, really mean
 
 
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