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Monday, 29 August 2016


I’ve had bad days but not as bad as John J. Macreedy’s in Black Rock,
A day for him that began as he stepped off a train and into a world
Of secrets and lies, an isolated place of menace led by Reno Smith
And his heavies, Hector David and Coley Trimble.  Spencer Tracy,
Robert Ryan, Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine got on with their day
And I went to work in a period of bad day after bad day after bad day.
We were a ‘respect for the individual’ company, modern guru claptrap,
Mouthed by old-school bosses who couldn’t give a toss about changing,
After all, the old bark and bite ways worked. “Just bloody well do your job,
Or else!”  Big bully boss-boys and, sometimes, girls dressed themselves
In the morning with a sneer, a grimace, ready to belittle, begrudge, be a bastard 
Or bitch because that was their fun, that was ego in top gear. “JFDI” –
“Just fuckin’ do it” – a mantra behind the wafer-thin curtain of culture,
A workplace on paper that looked like Disney cartoons, wholesome,
Encouraging, celebratory and proud. Away from the bullshit, smeared
On wall posters, on pocket-size leaflets, on badges and message pads,
Stone-faced business tyrants, Renos, Hectors, Coleys, underestimating 
Us Macreedys. “JFDI,” they’d bawl. “JFDI.”  Until one of our number, hit back, 
Just like John J. - “You're not only wrong. You're wrong at the top of your voice.”

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