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Self published thoughts and poems about work.

Written by Paul Frost

People from many backgrounds, roles and sectors are self publishing what work is like for them. It's not only writers and poets who are telling us what they think about the work they do. The latest publications are from call centre staff, an education administrator, a civil servant, a project director and more. They are all expressing their thoughts and feelings about their work in notes, prose and poems.

Some are writing about 'elf and safety', pressure to ignore the rules, joblessness, anxiety in the night and the role of their managers. Others are emphasising their connections to nature and the power of social relationships.

Here's a collection of some.

No Work, No Play

Over the last 4 years, the unceasing terror and unhappiness over America's adoption of a despot has frozen my work. I begin my writing day, as I always have, by reading, then picking up the pen and notebook, I think and wait for magic. All that has been there is my fear, and my confusion as to what in the world happened to this country. The relief of the election should have helped more than it has. This worries me.

Martina, Writer, USA

Same old same old

Got up at half past six Swigged cup of tea and pushed down piece to toast with butter and marmalade Ran down road for bus, just made it Sat on bus soaking wet, it was raining, and I forgot my overcoat Jumped off bus outside tube station Ran in, slapped oyster card on turnstile and rushed through Stood up all way to my stop, tube heaving Had a spare minute to walk to office and rain had stopped Said hello to Jose on the door as I went in Walked though office and said hello to everyone Put packed lunch in desk drawer Went to toilet to try and dry off with hand drier Made calls to people who did not want to talk to me Read more here

John Sales executive, call centre, UK

I like working from home

I hear what the gal says whose not a working from working homer but I love it!. ( take a look: ) Normally I have a 90 minute drive to get to the office and the same to get home. If I leave late I can get back in a bit less, but the route is so tortuous that I can’t shave much of it. I’m often wound up when I get to work in the morning and sure, the drive home can be a place to unwind but I can think of better places – like my garden with a glass of wine.

Read more here

Jonathan, Civil Servant, UK

In the middle of the night

In the middle of the night,

I’m awake in bed,

Loads of things spinning round my head.

In the middle of the night,

I toss and turn,

Too many things I still need to learn.

In the middle of the night,

It’s becoming hell,

My new job is great but I need to do well.

In the middle of the night

I’m awake in my bed,

And tomorrow’s first meeting fills me with dread.

pef, consultant

'elf and safety

Despite the best laid plans, Of mice, of men, We never do know when, A careless act today, Will take our mate away. Louise

Where’s the harness?

We’ve left the harness in the other van. It’s in the back under can. We’ve come too far and running late. We can’t go back now mate. If you phone him now he’ll say come back. And we all risk being given the sack. You can do it, you know you can. Get up there, oh go on man. It’ll be fine, just don’t look down. You won’t end up in a hospital gown. Just hold on tight. You’ll be alright. Look what you’ve done, broken your back. Now for sure, we’ll all get the sack.


In The wind

The beach at dawn, a sun shadowed by grey skies. Stagnant clouds that resemble mounds of cotton. An unsettled sea; waves that crash the shore like angry titans. The wind dampens chilled skin with droplets of salt water. You were there. An afternoon walk in the park, overcast skies have diminished. Shimmers of sunshine glisten upon a still lake. Men and women walking their dogs; children run after bouncy balls; others ride their bikes along the waters edge. Ducks float across water that resembles a sheet of glass, babies in tow. The wind creates an image of leaves dancing upon aged branches. In the wind, a gentle breeze tickles the nape of an exposed neck, your finger tips saying hello. You were there. Read more here Kimberly


Image credit: 'Printing Press', Ian Armstrong, 1996

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