After the apparent gravity displayed toward mentors last week, poets seemed more than ready this week to let loose. Your targets were the hapless interns and trainees who populate your offices. Nearly all of you found this situation laden with humor, not to say opportunity. These are the poems that seemed to me to offer the greatest amusement and empathy.
A plentiful source of mirth for many arose from the poet putting him or herself in the place of the poor trainee
trainee architect sees the boring grey building it's not lego now [Kate Stallard] the trainee pilot all the instruments go blank he's not in the sim [Kate Stallard]
or else imagining potential pitfalls
penistone scunthorpe for trainee crossword setters could be interesting [Kate Stallard]
and yes, this works on this side of the pond as well.
A few offered sage advice
trainee editor perhaps you were born instead to be a barber [Kate Stallard] cub reporters push harder, progress slower than press release pile [Sarah Leavesley]
The occasional poem explored the process of the trainee’s adventure
just enough mistakes trainer and trainee reflect — to make it worthwhile [David Dayson]
or its culmination
well pruned — a budding trainee flourishes [David Dayson]
But in the end what really matters to the trainee is the attainment of the kinds of skills s/he will need for a productive career. Surely that’s what has been realized in my top choice
accounting intern learns lists, numbers and sums, ordering coffees [Sarah Leavesley]
I wish you inspiration . . . and kindness.
mispronouncing the new boss’ name nettle soup — Kimberly Esser * over and over . . . again the fledgling goes right back out of the nest — Ernesto P. Santiago * my office, an adventure between right and wrong — Antonio Mangiameli * golf with the boss . . . my intern overshadows me — Charlotte Digregorio * work experience mother shows him how to iron a shirt — Rachel Sutcliffe * the intern coffee is all she'll ever get — Michael Henry Lee * shadowing me the intern picks up bad habits — Mark Gilbert * out of his depth the apprentice talks of perfection — Robert Kingston * student teaching — mistaken for thirteen at twenty-two — Valentina Ranaldi-Adams * a red apple — mother’s note in the new boy’s lunchbox — Brendon Kent * technical support someone left the machine running — Willie Bongcaron * intern for life — it all starts at birth — Paul Geiger * new intern weighing my words for the first time — Shloka Shankar * one-on-one he cancels his date night — Poornima Laxmeshwar * intern putting the CEO on hold — Jan Benson * name on a tag still, the Head of Department calls me something else — Sonam Chhoki * trainee . . . thrown at the deep end I learn to swim — Madhuri Pillai * revolving door — the intern comes in my time goes out — Jennifer Hambrick * surgical intern — he stitches back my secrets — Tanmoy Das Lala * first day of work a flight of butterflies in my belly — Eufemia Griffo * internship season — a sigh of relief for the accounting department — Maria Laura Valente * tiger cub — the joy of playing with deer — Pravat Kumar Padhy * first day of training: briefcase and tailleur to appear older — Elisa Allo * hard nuts — a chick watches the hen cracking grains — Srinivasa Rao Sambangi * grasping the last wrung on the corporate ladder — new intern — Terri L. French * staff meeting . . . on the windowsill a sparrow with a twig in its beak — Olivier Schopfer, Presence 56 * first steps in the study of the “devil’s advocate” — Angiola Inglese * Orientation: 1. I have my doubts 2. TBD — Judt Shrode * teaching her how to play chess but not how to win — Christina Sng * first day smiles over cubicle walls along the parade route — Gail Oare * her first day I show her she shows me — Elizabeth Moura * mosquitoes — too many trainees without rules — Maria Teresa Sisti * all-day drizzle the constant buzz of an intern’s phone — Debbi Antebi * patient late in each origami fold training patience — Lucia Fontana * orientamento — il mondo del lavoro in uno stage orientation — the world of work is one big internship — Angela Giordano * Stage su stage S’allunga il curriculum senza lavoro longer and longer putting off work — the interns — Lucia Cardillo *
Next Week’s Theme: Lost in Translation
Send your poem using “workplace haiku” as the subject by Sunday midnight to our Contact Form. Good luck!
From October 2014 through April 2016 Haiku Foundation president Jim Kacian offered a column on haiku for the London Financial Times centered on the theme of work. Each week we share these columns with the haiku community at large, along with an invitation to join in the fun. Submit a poem by Sunday midnight on the theme of the week, from the classical Japanese tradition, or contemporary practice, or perhaps one of your own, which you might even write for the occasion. The best of these will be appended to the column. First published 16 January 2015.