Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Poetry at Work: The Poetry of Unemployment

At the end of 1999, I found myself the recipient of “the package” – the severance package that goes along with the legal document you need to sign if you accept the package. The document includes a commitment not to sue. One of the Human Resources people, forgetting that I was “on the list” and that I could translate the jargon, wandered around chirping how the package “met the test.” The test was not some government standard of non-discrimination; the test was actually whether or not the company got sued.

I waited until 55 minutes before the 45-day deadline to sign and deliver. The chirrupy HR person was nearly prostrate with anxiety. And with good reason: my attorney looked at the people on the list and said, “One female, 94 males, all between the ages of 40 and 50. This is so discriminatory it reeks. You could win this case, and easily. But you’d have to tie up your life for the next three to four years. And they know that.”
There was poetry in there, somewhere.

To continue reading, please see my Poetry at Work post today at TweetSpeak Poetry.

Photograph by Julie Gentry via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.

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