Jonathan ROBIN

(22 September / London)

A L’assistante De L’Indirection After Rudyard Kipling If


Si tu peux supporter de voir tes dossiers
démolis sans souffler mot et puis reclasser,
si tu sais appuyer partout ton PDG
sans sceptique rester quant à ses qualités:

Si tu souris, beauté, sans être emmerdante,
si vive mais jamais surprise, impatiente,
le soutenant quand des contresens fous l’enchantent,
ses lubies supporter sans paroles tranchantes:

Si tu sais sans délai t’adapter au progrès,
les autres anticiper, sans jamais hésiter,
bien le préparer avec de bons conseils,
des envieux protéger ton patron hébété:

Très expérimentée, mais sans prendre de l’age,
compréhensive aider avec ses rattrapages
sans pourtant mériter accéder aux voyages
'd’étude' et aux congrès, - ces minables volages!

Si tu sais lui montrer se servir du clavier,
aux réseaux si primés vite se connecter,
d’Internet basculer vite au WiFi branché,
son PC débugger sans jamais se broncher:

Si sa peur du souris, du clic-clic, du mulot
tu peux sans interdits dépasser au boulot,
à ses flagrants délits trouver tout ce qu’il faut,
si tu ses buts poursuis en soufflant le bon mot:

Si tu sais compenser l’orthographe qu’il perd,
scanner, penser, twitter, téléphoner, tout faire,
son planning programmer, sans être trop mémère,
le soutenir, si gaie, quand son coeur désespère:

Si tu peux accoucher à l’heure du dîner,
tes enfants élever tous en bonne santé,
ton patron remplacer - ronronnant au soleil -
sans pour autant rêver qu’on t’accorde sa paye.

Si tu sors d’H.E.C. sans prétendre à la gloire,
Sciences Po c’est fait sans en faire une histoire,
Enarque diplômée, faisant dans ton pouvoir
le tout pour manier les re[i]nes du Pouvoir.

Lors mieux qu’homme d’affaires, ou chef de cabinet
mieux que tous ces experts si souvent égarés,
tu seras à tout faire une bonne rêvée,
mieux que mère, sacrée ASSISTANTE tu es!

If: Advice to a Job Applicant
If you can back your boss and keep on smiling,
while toning down his brash absurdities,
if, having watched the man manhandle filing,
you rearrange the folders pretty please,
if coy and charming, beautiful, beguiling,
anticipating all contingencies,
you manage new accounts, contacts redialling,
correct crass spelling, cover vagaries:

If you can keep your head while he’s resiling,
evolve successful counter-strategies,
if ‘mum’s the word', discrete, ignoring tyling,
from busy-bodies safe when he agrees.
If you can spend your time in reconciling
his intellectual inanities,
don't dare upset his fragile ego, heiling
whene’er he feels the need, or profits sneeze:

If Windows easy comes, while modem dialing
to DSL migration’s not a tease,
if firewall free from viruses hostiling
you clean can keep, recalling password keys,
if the above you show him recompiling
the data lost when he lacks expertise,
yet know your place as cypher, never riling,
remembering to bow before ‘big cheese'

If you can stand him publicly reviling
your good ideas, then claim them his with ease,
can watch while rival’s ruin he’s compiling
so coldly that a lizard’s blood would freeze.
If when betrayed by his ambitious wiling
you triumph through innate abilities,
ignoring basic scheming, baser guiling,
you seize the precious point he never sees!

If you won’t blush when, rash, he’ll rush, exiling
your intuitions as freak fantasies,
but confidently while free-time he’s whiling,
circumvent his incapacities.
Surpassing him in brains, tact, versatiling,
you never strive to swap your salaries,
but both feet on the ground, still patient, smiling,
can counteract his incoherencies:

If you are sure his image needs restyling,
select the suits that suit down to the tees,
if you are ever ready camomiling,
or sprinkling sugar, creaming, coffee, teas,
if you can trick his wayward infantiling
and censure not his immaturities,
ignore his clumsy tries at fond defiling,
yet fondled, tactful, rise from off his knees:
If you take three degrees while reconciling
your private life to further Ph.D.’s,
if you can children bear without work piling
and keep them free from trouble and disease,
if you can spring his quick promotion, vile thing,
and play the game of happy families:
Your’s is the job, the rest’s cosmetic styling,
Oh prized princess and pride of secret’ries!

Submitted: Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, July 09, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

(21 February 1990 revised 28 July 2008)

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