They Come and They Go

I was a young, green technician.  Leonard was a battle-scarred veteran, that hired on in the middle fifties.

Leonard had been around for a long time. Long enough to see many managers come and go.  Just a few years away from a full pension, he didn’t scare easily.

It seemed his workplace was the proving ground for new managers. New managers introduced ceremoniously by parades of other managers. “I love a parade,” Leo muttered under his breath.

In the military, newly commissioned officers were called “jet jobs.”  Would this newbie adhere to the script? Probably. Crack down at first, to show who was in charge, then slack off a bit.

New managers started by riding along with specially selected employees. The purpose was to get acquainted, also, to suggest more efficient ways to work.

Leonard was wise to such tactics. He’d listen to suggestions, then explain pros and cons, why these new methods wouldn’t work in the real world.

Wait long enough, this manager would be gone–just like the rest of them. Kicked upstairs, transferred, or sent wherever. Because managers came and went–you could count on it.

Pits and Pendulums

Packing peanuts
Pits and pendulums
Sweat rivulets flowed
Droplets from nose to chin
Fifteen-minute fame increments
Expired somewhere, sometime in 1987
Nobody cared much, to remember when
Hat, raked just right, topped his balding head
Cotton twill shirts with sharp, starched creases
Five-point star, company logo, on each upper sleeve
Pointless, to pump up fading careers
John, preferred to stay in the background
Let others think he was hopelessly mired in the past
What he really wanted to convey
More had been done with less
And still could be

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CAPTAIN

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.  –George Bernard Shaw–

The “Captain” stood
On the front porch
Stretched and yawned
Probed the surroundings
For weaknesses–found none
He was back in control
Stronger than ever
Nobody paid attention
To bouts of cynicism

Everybody got one chance
If they didn’t know wrongs
From rights by this time
It was too late, anyway
Losers couldn’t be winners
Because, that went against
The natural order of things
It had been a lifetime coming
He’d seen and heard enough
Lies disguised as truth
The illusions of youth
What was for dinner?

BALANCE

riding into sunsetHe rode into sunset
Glad to still be alive
Drifted with prevailing winds
Reluctantly, gave way
To Johnny-come-latelies
Even though, he felt
They didn’t deserve it

Discretely, knew how far
To carry rebellion
“I Hate Myself for Hurting You”
Blared over the jukebox
Drowned out mental pictures
Of the dead–some because
Their tickers couldn’t take it

Found it difficult to relate
To rocking horse cowboys
Without senses of direction
What good was knowledge
Wasted on the unappreciative?
Another fizzled-out shooting star
Maybe it was time to let go?
He thought, saddled up, and
Rode off into darkness