My Objective


That's that thing at the top of your résumé -

Before your Experience,

After your name.


It's what defines what we want to Do,

Who we want to Be –

It defines




Are defined by a set of goals,

By a sea of intentions,

Both short term and long. 


We chase that shiny object

Hoping that it elevates us to the next rung

Until we smash our heads on that glass ceiling

Which is now pushing back down on us.


Drowned in coffee,

Chasing an endless paper trail

Only to see it shredded,

Laying there, dead on the ground.


Like your efforts

Your spirit

Your heart.

And in the end, what has been accomplished? 


Staring out vacantly,

Beyond the bird stained glass

Envied by those

Confronted by dingy cubicle walls.


In truth, that window simply reminds me that I am confined -

A prisoner.  

Captive to my calendar, my duties,

My paycheck.


I sit here, helplessly as I watch my life pass by.  

And then a moment arrives.  

A singular moment

When all comes crashing down.



All together - all at once.  

Waves bury me,

Flames engulf me,

Life redefines me. 


More than five years inside the machine.

Of churning and turning

My innards turned outside in.  


Five years of uncertainty and dread.

Five years of different managers

Revising that which i had first set out to do

To achieve - my Objective.


If i have

No voice,

Then why

Why was I here to begin with?


Managers number 4 and 5

Had become numbers to me

As i had to them –

They set out on a different course


One that would steer me in a different direction.

One that no longer involved


Existing in their world.  


I had a number too,

But mine was much longer than theirs –

More like that of a prisoner

Or a holocaust victim.


With the vindication of Javert,

I sing it out proudly




And the phone rings.

Another set of numbers

All too familiar

All too foreboding.






A set that has never led to a pleasant conversation

Or a happy ending.

I glare at the screen

And it glares back at me, defiantly.


So this is how it ends.

I consider escape.

Grab what you can

Head for the Exit.


Run down the stairs,

Fly down the corridor,

Race home



Hide from what?

I've done nothing wrong.

I've excelled in the past few weeks,’

Haven't I been the model prisoner?


After all,

I am




I should have run. 

As I walked in and saw the gathering of grim faces

My heart dropped into the soles

Of my shoes.


This was it.

No time to plan,

No place to run,

The ambush was here and now.


The end, my friend,

The end.

I jump to my own defenses,

But am faced with the futility.


Nothing I say,

Nothing I can prove matters.

They just want me gone and I - well,

I don't really want to be here either.  



Number 5 sat there


As Number 4

Rattled off my crimes.


They didn't say it,

So I said it for them. 


It's such a harsh word.


It screams out 'failure'.  

Not an iota of pride surges up

When you hear that word uttered –



At least it came from my lips

Not theirs.

As I stand up to storm away,

I see it neatly arranged on the desk’s corner.


A Red Swingline stapler.

That color stapler never existed before a certain movie,

But there it was,

Mocking me. 


The jaws snapped violently

Clenching its fangs into my flesh,

Leaving me infuriated

At being wronged - worse yet – being duped.


Duped into this matrix

Matrix of lies

That the resume I built

Tells me that all my goals will be reached


If only I work hard enough,

If only I do the right things,

Stick to my guns.



Carefully loaded,

Crosshairs marked

Marked with sniper precision.

Pushing back the humiliation.



Humiliated by playing the fool on the hill,

Believing that corporate vow

Work hard and far you’ll go

They just don't tell you how far.


How far they will bend you

Until you snap. 

And snap I did.

They played the hell out of this broken down instrument.


Out of the ashes the Phoenix arose and so too shall I.

Releasing the stress,

Abandoning the games

Rejecting the politics


Returning to the promise –

The only one that matters -

The promise of Me.  

And my Objective.