The Poetry of Brian Langley

This poem demonstrates my cynicism, for which I was well known back in a different life when I was working as a technical trainer. It requires a little explanation. SMGs were "Self Managed Groups" a management concept which, unfortunately did not succeed very well in our establishment. Following a change of management, we were inflicted with "Self Directed Work Teams"
For those not familiar with "chook", this is Oz talk for what some other countries call chicken, not the little ones that go "cheep cheep" but the ones that (hopefully) lay eggs. Having been bought up in rural Australia in the 1940s, I was quite familiar with just what happens to chooks a day or two prior to them appearing on the dining table.

Words

We used to have a "Training Cell".
You could call it a T C.
One bloke in charge, directing work
Whatever it might be.

But changes come, with whole new terms.
One was an S M G.
In place of the old two worded name
We now had one with three.

'Twas said that SMGs were like
Chooks without a head
Running round in circles
Until they fell down dead.

An edict came the other day
Which said that S M G s
Were obsolete and now are called
S D W T's

It listed names and who's in what
And what they all should do
To keep the Service Cycle
From sinking in the poo

Does this now mean, with the added word
The chook has come alive.
Or is it simply just a step
To a name of letters five.

And after that still further names
With six, or even seven
I see the future's rosy glow
As leading us to heaven

A heaven where each simple word
Whose meaning was quite clear
Replaced with ten word acronyms
Upgraded every year

Eventually, I see this place
Where angels used to sing
Full of people gabbling
Not saying anything

For what was once a simple phrase
Like "How are you today"
Requires but ten thousand words
And takes all day to say

B.Langley May 1991

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