English: The RedBalloon office - an example of...
English: The RedBalloon office – an example of an open plan ‘Bullpen’-style office. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

World poetry day was yesterday, and it prompted me to write some poetry on the train home. This first draft is provisionally titled “Hell no! I won’t go!”. The inspiration for this poetry is a proposed series of office moves to bring our teams into fewer buildings. Many colleagues have been grumbling about moving office. This is intended to be a comic take on it and bears no relation to any real reason people may have cited. All this is purely imaginary, and I hope it brings a wry smile.

Hell No! I won’t go!

The bosses have decided. We will be
better together, in a new office.

The new office is where everyone will be.
Enjoying their coffee, except for me,
I commute on Southern Rail,
and their trains often fail.

Graduation photo (photo credit: James Kemp)

The new office is lovely and bright,
it’s got shiny desks and actual sunlight.
But I need to be with my children.
They can’t be left alone,
they’ll eat me out of house and home.
Aren’t they adorable?
(Her youngest has a PhD).

The new office is closer to the station
but I’m out of mobility because I drive
in from the other way. I’m not saying no
but south of the river, I won’t go.
It’s not safe after it gets dark.
(It’s five minutes walk from the car park)

The new office is my old one, but I left
for some very good reasons. I won’t go
into the details. I’m not going back.
Look, Occupational Health said I mustn’t go.
(in 2009 until your broken leg healed).

The new office depresses me.
It’s open plan and there’s no privacy,
I can’t hear myself think, my dragon
can’t hear me speak. My work is super
sensitive and everyone will hear.
(This skiver is cornered and in fear.)

The new office is a fab idea!
I just can’t wait. How soon can I move?
It’s eight grand in excess fares. I need
a few reasonable adjustments. A special chair,
custom desk, a quiet corner and bespoke​ software
on non-standard hardware. I won’t go for long
days because of the three hour commute
each way.
(Well played, we’ll find you a job nearer home.)

English: Stornoway Post Office The Post Office...
English: Stornoway Post Office The Post Office (Oifis a’phuist) is on Francis Street. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The new office sucks.
I’m productive, highly skilled, and loyal
for twenty years. I want to keep working
from Stornoway. We’ve got phones, email,
video conferencing, chat and a shared wiki.
Travel is so 20th century. You can’t make me go.
(It’s contractual, you can either go or resign.)

The new office is great
for you guys, but I’d like a little
package. How much will you give me
to leave? Would it help if I just said
‘Hell no! I won’t go!’


This is a very early draft and needs more polishing before I’d consider it finished. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Poetry is a Process, not a one off. Poetry needs time to settle and to be crafted before it can be really good. So please consider ‘Hell no! I won’t go!‘ as an early wine that needs time to age. However, a little comment on it might help it get polished, so feel free to critique it in the comments. I’ll come back to it another time and do some more work on it.