Hot Desking (poem)

The keyboard’s covered in crumbs,
On the desk, a coffee mug ring.
In this age of flexible working,
Hot desking isn’t my thing.

Everything’s open plan
Even the bosses sit among us.
The effect of this on morale
Is obviously humongous…

The back of the chair is broken,
It’s fixed in an uncomfortable place.
The keyboard is sporadically working
Flip-flopping into UPPER CASE.

We can’t so much as open a window
In this air-conditioned box.
And it’s impossible not to hear
When anybody talks.

The phone handset’s covered in germs
From a hundred different lips.
The Enter key is still sticky
From Friday’s fish and chips.

The double-click only works
If you’ve the reactions of Superman.
And I always end the day sweating,
Regardless of how I began.

E-mail’s impossible to send,
The network grinds to a halt.
Now I’ve lost all my shared drives…
Yet I.T. is never at fault.

The guy at the next desk –
Never met him before.
Surprised I hadn’t heard him though
With that frequent, awful guffaw.

(The clear desk policy prohibits
Putting up pictures of loved ones.
All must be cleared and hidden away
Before 5 o’clock comes.)

It doesn’t seem that long ago
That we’d work in our own little team
With a little, personal space:
Now, it just seems like a dream.

You’d think it was pretty basic
That if somebody valued your work,
They’d give you the means to do it,
And not treat you like a jerk.

Creative Commons/Phil Whitehouse