People Services

Thank you for your call today

(Oh, won’t you please just go away?)

Your colleagues, we are serving now

(So please applaud while we all bow!)

Important your call really is

(Or some such other silly fizz!)

Just go ahead and join the queue

(We’ve more exciting things to do).


You may think there are people here

(But that is a mistake, I fear)

Our name implies there’s service too

(Perhaps there is, but not for you!)

So please complete our online form

(Well, hasn’t that become the norm?)

To speed your query straight on through

(The options will be wrong for you!)


Surely you must know we care?

(As long as quickly you despair)

We’ll contact who you really need

(Our task is really to impede)

So just sit back and do relax

(Make contact by email or fax)

You could be waiting quite a while

(Efficiency is not our style!)


Stephen Tomkins
19 January 2019


Okay! You’ve Made Your (Power)Point!


The import of this meeting overrated cannot be.
I am a little nervous but that’s just ‘tween you and me!
For suitable attire, my whole wardrobe I have scoured.
My new bowtie analysis has left me quite empowered!

I stride into the meeting room, exuding style and poise,
My large piccolo latte shows I’m not one of the boys!
I open up my MacBook, shine the Apple in their eyes,
Confident they’ll all be fooled by my complete disguise!

I funnel feedback down the line, cascading here and there,
The conversation’s now offline – they haven’t got a prayer!
My (Power)Point is made so well they dare not ask a question –
But if they did, I’d beat them down with my raw condescension!

They show their slides, I smile and nod and grant them my approval –
But all the while, I’m plotting my new Boss’ sad removal!
Today, the Emperor’s brand new clothes are still the height of fashion –
It’s great to see them worn so well, with pride and so much passion!

Stephen Tomkins
23 March 2016

Office life

Photo credits;

Let’s Be Friends


I say one thing and mean another,
Treat you like my long-lost brother.
And all the while, within my mind,
I hope, in you, that I will find
Someone to use for my own ends.
Or what’s the use of being friends?

I play the game so very well
That all the while you’d never tell;
Though one fine day you might just twig
And see that I’m a selfish pig.
Around the world, the people using,
With my tactics quite bemusing.

Gaining wealth by lies and stealth,
I fail to see I’ve sold my self.
Now in luxury’s lap I’m sitting
While a life I’m counterfeiting.
Alone I am and unfulfilled.
For company, by hour I’m billed.

Stephen Tomkins
2 March 2015

The Hive

Alarm clock beeps and we awake
Shower, dress and coffee take.
By bus or train or maybe drive,
The worker bees attend the Hive.

We swear allegiance at the gate
By swiping cards with face and date.
The Hive accepts and lets us in,
The working day can now begin.

We settle on our usual flower
Evenly spaced throughout the tower.
Collecting pollen is the task
The Queen of worker bees does ask.

But digital collection now does mean
The flower itself is rarely seen.
Cocooned inside our comfy Hive
The world outside can be denied.

A button press, the screen awakes
By which our Queen communicates.
With mousey clicks and chairy squeaks,
This is the way to us she speaks.

Beemail, buzzphones, meeting cells;
The honey from our Hive excels
But honey-making is so tough,
Those other hives keep playing rough.

The Queen bee tells us we must change
And, even though this seems quite strange,
She says to us she has a plan
To split the Hive throughout the land.

“A strategy is what we need,”
And to her buzzing all pay heed.
“A different one from what we had.
The worker bees have been so bad.”

The Queen herself is far too busy,
Buzzing around, she makes us dizzy.
Her generals gather us in groups
And pass her message to the troops.

“We need less workers”, they will say,
“Or get less honey if allowed to stay.”
The buzzing soon becomes intense
And troubled workers wander hence.

We feel we’ve heard all this before,
Throwing workers out the door.
We can’t recall that this then worked
But duties still cannot be shirked.

The Queen herself is sometimes seen
To speak to workers on the scene,
And while this is anticipated,
Little is communicated.

And so the workers clean their wings,
And into boxes, pack their things.
We say goodbye to friends we loved,
Some wish to leave and some get shoved.

They buzz away to another hive
And make more honey, 9 to 5.
The Queen, of course, will get to stay,
It seems she has an MBA.

Stephen Tomkins
27 March 2014

Oh! It’s Great To Have A Job!


Oh! It’s great to have a job!
Glad I’m not some lazy slob
Who sits around to whinge and sob!
It’s great to have a job!

Leap from bed to heavy clock rock!
Air guitar, my darling wife’s shocked!
Verbally, at me she throws rocks!
Great to have a job!

Pirouette around the room!
Rip curtains open! Banish gloom!
If looks could kill, I’d be entombed!
It’s great to have a job!

At the bus stop, spread my cheer!
Finally, did my bus appear!
Sadly watch it disappear:
Clearly, it was full!

On the bus, they cough and sneeze,
Blithely spreading their disease!
Make-up, Facebook and PC’s!
Great to have a job!

At last, I make it late to work!
My new boss can be a jerk:
Attacks me like it’s his one perk!
Great to have a job!

Catch my breath, get PC going!
Email inbox overflowing!
It’s clear to lunch I won’t be going!
Great to have a job!

Payday’s here! I’ve cash in hand!
Taxman comes with his demand!
Super, health fund, mortgage. Grand!
Great to have a job!

At the meeting, I am chilled!
Half the workforce will be spilled!
Vacancies will not be filled!
It’s great to have a job!

Years to go yet on my pay freeze!
Working hours now set to increase!
Boss’s bonuses: Oh yes please!
Great to have a job!

Client wants delivery Monday!
Guess where I’ll be going Sunday!
So much for the family funday!
Hope I’ll keep my job!

Now, my replacement I am training!
While outside it’s surely raining!
They tell me to stop complaining!
Once I had a job!

Now at Vinnie’s volunteering!
And at Maccas tables clearing!
My life’s savings disappearing!
Wish I had a job!

Stephen Tomkins
11 November 2014

Mighty Otis!


Mighty Otis! God of Lifts!
By your power, we skywards shift.
To office workers, you’re a gift!
Daily we give thanks!

Inside your halls, we press your numbers,
Lighting up, we still can slumber.
Without you, up the stairs we’d lumber,
Puffing, sweating ranks!

Once inside, we face your altar.
Auto-doors will never falter.
If they did, stay calm we oughta!
‘Long as we stay up!

Safe at work, we do ignore you.
Secretly, we do adore you.
Come knock-off time, we do implore you:
Please to hurry up!

Down the shaft, we start to plummet,
Falling quickly from the summit,
Trying hard now not to vomit!
Where’d my stomach go?

Ensconced inside your cage we fall.
At every floor we seem to call.
There’s no room left here for you all!
A-waiting you must go!

Safe at ground, there’s disbelief:
Once more, we’ve avoided grief.
Thank you, Otis! Sweet relief!
Homeward we can go!

Mighty Otis! You’re the best!
Way ahead of all the rest!
Schindler’s lift can’t pass your test!
Daily we give thanks!

Stephen Tomkins
2 April 2014

(Note: To avoid confusion, Otis and Schindler are two manufacturers of elevators or lifts.)