Employment

Anonymous

 


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Synopsis: During the hours that a working man is not at work, he has an identity. He is the patriarch of a family, the care taker, the provider, the head. He is the father to his children who depend on him, seek his attention, ask of him things they want for themselves, he's an uxorious husband to his wife, and a son to his parents.

He is respected and heard. Children, youngsters in the family, young cousins, relatives seeks his counsel on matters of career and finance and important matters of their world.

The wage earner goes to the market with his chest bloated. He woos the suppliers with his spending money. Store keepers seek his attention and favor. Charitable causes appeal to his compassion and stature. Salesmen smother him with compliments and their propositions.

With contemporaries in age, he wrangles amicably about the affairs of the world with an air of authority.

But as soon as he enters the place he works at, he becomes one among the so many others alike. Over here, he is a timid, coloreless, worker in a uniform. He's an employee, his identity grayed, his pride lost in the numbers alike him.

Are these men and women
Workers of the world?
or is it an overgrown nursery
with children -- goosing, slapping, boys
giggling, snotty girls?

What is it about that entrance way,
those gates to the plant? Is it the
guards, the showing of your badge -- the smell?
Is there some invisible eye
that pierces you through and
transforms your being? Some aura
or ether, that brain and spirit washes you
and commands, "For eight hours
you shall be different."
What is it that instantaneously makes
a child out of a man?
Moments before he was a father, a husband,
an owner of property,
a voter, a lover, an adult.
When he spoke at least some listened.
Salesman courted his favor.
Insurance men appealed to his family responsibility
and by chance the church sought his help...

But that was before he shuffled past the guard,
climbed the steps,
hung up his coat and
took his place along the line.