Tony Jolley

Rookie (17th June 1958 / England)

That's Life - Poem by Tony Jolley

Esther had a word for them in the 70s:
‘Jobsworths’..
As in: “More than my job’s worth.”: -
Petty-minded, embittered ‘desk-jockeys’
Poorly positioned, overpromoted and empowered
Way beyond their deserving or discerning,
Determined only to wreak as much gratuitous pain and grief
Upon others as is possible;
All in aid of washing water under the keels
Of their own unsinkable, Titanic egos.

Bears of very little brain
And even less inclination to use it
For anything remotely helpful, positive and sensible,
They brag and bluster up their own fundamental orifices,
Trumpeting the discordant brass of their own self-importance
Like some ‘C-List’ sometime starlet
Lately to be seen hawking her tawdry wares at the darker end of Downtown,
Or one of Wharhol’s deluded, ‘fifteen-minuters’
Whom Fame conspicuously eluded.

One such picked on our lad today,
Sought to put him down and lay him out
By inventing spurious rules and specious regulations on the spot
To deny him what is rightly his and honestly earned.
This Jobsworth crowed his supposed victory from the rooftops,
Preened his feathers and clucked like a barnyard Turkey
Who doesn’t know it’s Christmas Eve;
But he couldn’t look us in the eye today:
He knows we know he knows he can’t win,
Yet still the Jobsworth won’t give in:
More fool him.

_____________________________________ ____________________
In the 1970s the BBC had a programme called ‘That’s Life’ fronted by Esther Rantzen that had a long-running slot on ‘Jobsworths’ and gave a 'Jobsworth Award' every week for the most stunningly ridiculous piece of unjustifiable action by officials from parking wardens to bank managers. They ought to introduce it here in France….


Comments about That's Life by Tony Jolley

  • (4/4/2008 12:51:00 PM)


    Yep...I see them all the time in the social/working men's clubs. Usually in the form of 'the committee man', who wears his little badge with pride, sups his 'duty' pint and likes to think the place will fall apart without his weekly contribution - which is usually selling draw tickets or calling bingo numbers. I can empathise. Jobswoth's drive me mad, too. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 4, 2008



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