On the Job
We spend a third of our lives on the job,
the center of existence we give away in trade,
sleep and home shouldered aside by employment.
Sometimes trained, sometimes random occupations
with dictated rules and goals of profession,
with satisfactions clutched from within function.
For without work we do not feel we function
and will take on all the trials of Job.
in order to better ply our trade
and achieve the rewards of employment,
not resisting under the onus of occupation,
glorified by competence in profession.
We dare not utter heretic professions
against the beliefs of our function
until the schism of taking another job
and assuming different ethics in trade
for the excitement of new employment,
giving ourselves novel ways of occupation.
Most people change their occupation
several times in the same profession,
frequently changing their function.
Others must live inside loyalty to a job
or worse to their mandatory trade
to keep themselves in employment
The skills we put to employment
often die with the occupation,
interred in the graveyard of professions,
without obituary to the function,
forcing a scramble for a new job,
any job, in almost any trade.
We give up ourselves in trade
for the fulfillments of employment,
for the dignity of occupation,
for the prestige of profession,
for self-definition by function,
for the chance to be on the job
We trade self-development for profession,
and self-occupation for employment,
and function in service to the job.
Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He’s had over two hundred fifty stories and poems published so far, and six books. Ed works the other side of writing at Bewildering Stories, where he sits on the review board and manages a posse of six review editors.