The retirement medal never arrived
A small non-descript piece of metal
Symbolising a career long spent.
He asked why?
His boss said she’d inquire
Thought he should have long received it.
He waited weeks, months, no word.
He made his own request to the employer
Received what he never expected
A short note on Department letterhead.
“Your last determination: Inefficient.”
He felt devastated
Why was he never told?
The embarrassment tenfold
Had he known
He would not have asked
Saved himself the indignity.
It explained why his colleagues
In the workplace kept a distance
Not wishing to sully their hands.
He’d loved his job, forty years
With successes and failures
Like everyone else, so he thought.
I’ve been so pretentious he thought
My own inflated ego has brought me down.
Just what you deserve said his unworthy demon
Celebrating the fact.
He pulled up his bed covers
Thinking he’d stay a little longer.