Tag Archives: They Will Never Tell You

They Will Never Tell You – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: found at businessfirstmagazine.com.au

“Balance in work is not better time management, but better boundary management.” Betsy Jacobson

They Will Never Tell You

Really,
is that what they told you?
That if you worked hard, 
came in early, had lunch at your desk, 
stayed back, you would be rewarded, 
if you worked sick you'd be respected, 
if you answered your phone out of 
hours you'd be feted, and if you put 
your family last you'd make manager, 
partner, senior, sometime.

That if you did all this and more
and never complained,
you would be part of the vast,
ecstatic experience of making
the anonymous shareholders
so very happy and at the very 
least keep your job.

They never said a word because
they knew you had no boundaries,
you were the workaholic they were
looking for to keep the place afloat,
and to be exactly like them,
they will never tell you,
but they will keep working you
until you don't.


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®️ 


Note: Trying to find a quote as epigram to fit the poem was more challenging than usual. So few quotes were critical of workaholism and overwork. Most contemporary quotes about work were about how workaholism is not necessarily bad, or that there is this thing - the work-life balance, a kind of denial culture. Older quotes were either gendered, racist, or colonial. I think it shows how we are incapable of setting work aside for health, leisure, play, pleasure etc.

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Filed under awareness, Free Verse, life, poem, quote, Work