You say ‘I’m sick, I cannot work,’

I say ‘Go take a nap.’

Your illness makes you howl and weep,

My fingers itch to slap

Your ravaged, ruined, stricken face.

I don’t have any time for this,

I’ve far too much to do,

How can I help you manage what your sickness makes you do?

My inbox is exploding,

Our clients are no fun,

I’ve been threatened with a firing if this project doesn’t go to plan!


So I ignore your calls for help,

I ignore them easily,

Till a note comes through from Management saying you’re off provisionally…


You’re signed off sick for three whole months,

It then turns into seven

and everyone around me pretends that this is heaven.

But this is what I notice, as soon as you are gone,

There’s no-one here to clap or cheer for the small things that are done:

No promotion flowers, no office chat,

No smiles for one and all.

You were the one that did all that,

You did it for us all.

You made our workplace fun to be,

A place where we felt seen

A place we were supported

A place we could come clean

about our sorrows big and small, you always had an ear,

To listen, offer good advice and make us feel so dear.

And when you asked us for some help,

Some kindness in return,

We turned our backs,

Ignored your pleas,

Till you had nowhere left to run.

We made you sick and mad and sad,

Then blamed you for our shame.

We are complicit, one and all

We played a waiting game,

We watched you struggle day by day

and never thought to ask:

‘How are you?’ ‘Can I help somehow?’

It just seems really daft

That now work sucks!

There’s never chat,

And people leave in droves,

I guess we reaped and reaped it well the harvest that we sowed.

2 thoughts on “Complicit

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