Death of the Company Man
The company man closed up the file
And laid it on the desk before him
He had played his part the deal was done
The company he served was no more.
He lifted his head and looked about
The office was empty and quiet
How many times he had sat like this
Writing memos that furthered the cause.
But the cause he had furthered was gone
His own hand had written the memo
His own hand had sealed the agreement
These hands, he thought, held out before him
My own hands, tonight, have done this thing.
Now someone else will write the memos
Someone else will fight the endless fight
Will keep the ambitious wolves at bay
And maintain the values that matter.
Softly then, it seemed to him, a voice
Spoke clearly and distinctly in the dark
No one will write the memos, said the voice
No one will care, there will be no time.
The company man did not lift his head
He knew the quiet voice he heard was his
And also knew the chiding voice was right
Perhaps he should have spoken louder.
Tomorrow, he thought, the cubes will fill
The factories will fill with people
The sales reps in their company cars
Will call on still more people.
The press release will praise the change
The shareholders will be happy
The board will take its golden gain
No one will notice the companys death
The work will go on as always.
The company man closed his eyes
Remembered how it all had started
Remembered how the presidents son
Had played beneath his battered desk
And made a chain of paper clips.
And now, he thought and sighed, and now
Still, a good deal, good all around
No question about it, a good deal
Lots of synergy, lots of potential.
Too bad, of course, about the Gary plant
Too bad about the redundant folks in Accounting
Rationalizing they call it, he thought,
More like rationalization.
Theyll be all right, his thought a prayer,
Im just being sentimental
He snapped the cap on his Montblanc pen
And stood and picked up the file
Tomorrow, he said to the empty office,
The work must still go on.
Then he picked up the thirty pieces of silver
That lay on his desk and went home.
--Jim Boring, 2001
© COPYRIGHT 2001 JAMES BORING. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.