the quiet one

Written by: andrew delapruch

always did what they were
told at work,
always gave 120%,
always was there early &
stayed late if needed,
always came in on his/her
day off
when called upon to do so,
never complained about the
preferential treatment
that s/he saw happening 
around him/her,
which made the work
environment easier for some
& so much harder for others---
the “some”
who got to do less & not get 
hassled, walked hand in hand
with the authority figures,
not standing with their fellow
workers anymore (worse than 
scabs, acting as the ears & 
eyes of the boss, when the boss
wasn’t around).

the quiet one kept his/her head down,
nose to the proverbial grind &
the difference between her/him &
others was that s/he actually liked to
come to work,
far be it for this writer to say,
quite possibly it was the job itself &
the people around him/her at the job
that gave light to this person’s life,
that made his/her existence 
worthwhile.

to this day, we don’t know what 
brought the “management” to
single him/her out---
maybe it was because s/he was
just quiet enough, just peaceful
enough, just compromising enough,
to be the kind of person that
none of his/her coworkers would
ever think of doing the “wrong”
of which s/he soon became the
target of all blame at the
workplace---
s/he was the perfect “example” to
be made.

like clockwork, other workers saw
the heat that was being let down on
the quiet one & when the first
suspension occurred, they simply 
didn’t want the same to happen to
them---
rather than be compassionate &
try to find out the truth of what
was happening,
the quiet one’s coworkers went 
about their day, worrying about
themselves only &
suddenly the divide between
“us & them,” “workers &
bosses,” these got blurred---
no one would stick up for each
other,
no one would refuse to testify 
against the quiet one, to sell out
each other, to stand & fight against
the pressure that was crushing
what had been a healthy work
environment.

when the quiet one looked for
friends to confide in, no one
listened, so when the quiet one
got a hold of his/her assault 
weapons of choice, no one paid
attention, so on the day they
spoke loudly at work,
no one saw it coming &
the people up top could blame it
all on one
person &
the news reporters kept asking
“why” &
the american people continue to
run on their little hamster wheels,
not making a peep,
not thinking it will happen at their
workplace,
putting their hopes & dreams in
this capitalist reality,
while countries outside our borders
want to be like us---
so will the plague
spread,
one worker at a time.