Who Do You Work For

Think about these words, who do you work for? Many times when we have a boss we think we work for them, but do we? Read the poem and you may find a completely different answer than you expected.

Edgar A. Guest has a way of writing poems that make us stop and think. His words are ones that we should reflect on. So after reading his poem answer the question who do you work for?

Famous Poems    /   Who Do You Work For

Who Is Your Boss?
 Poet: Edgar A. Guest

I work for someone else, he said;
"I have no chance to get ahead.
At night I leave the job behind;
At morn I face the same old grind.
And everything I do by day
Just brings to me the same old pay.
While I am here I cannot see
The semblance of a chance for me."

I asked another how he viewed
The occupation he pursued.
It's dull and dreary toil, said he,
"And brings but small reward to me.
My boss gets all the profits fine
That I believe are rightly mine.
My life's monotonously grim
Because I'm forced to work for him."

I stopped a third young man to ask
His attitude towards his task.
A cheerful smile lit up his face;
I shan't be always in this place,
He said, "because some distant day
A better job will come my way."
Your boss? I asked, and answered he:
"I'm going to make him notice me.

He pays me wages and in turn"
That money I am here to earn,
But I don't work for him alone;
Allegiance to myself I own.
I do not do my best because
It gets me favors or applause--
I work for him, but I can see
That actually I work for me.

"It looks like business good to me
The best clerk on the staff to be.
If customers approve my style
And like my manner and my smile
I help the firm to get the pelf,
But what is more I help myself.
From one big thought I'm never free:
That every day I work for me."

Oh, youth, thought I, you're bound to climb
The ladder of success in time.
Too many self-impose the cross
Of daily working for a boss,
Forgetting that in failing him
It is their own stars that they dim.
And when real service they refuse
They are the ones who really lose.

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Another poem about work by Edgar A. Guest:

 The Vote of Thanks
Poet: Edgar A. Guest

For every man who works there are
A dozen who will let him;
They'll smiling bask within the shade
The while his duties fret him.
And when his arduous tasks are done,
From out the idle ranks
There promptly steps a grateful one
To move a vote of thanks.

Where more than three foregathered are
In meeting, club or lodge,
Some cheerful soul must do the work
That all the others dodge.
Some one for all must toil and plan.
Some one the money banks.
For which the shirkers to a man
Will move a vote of thanks.

The many spend their hours in ease,
While busy are the few;
The glory of the game they want
But not its work to do.
Untroubled here on earth they live.
The strength that's in their shanks
They save, to those who toil, to give
A rising vote of thanks.

Some day when all the work is done
And rest has settled down.
Perhaps the weary toiler then
Will wear a golden crown.
Upon his breast may medals flash.
And at the Heavenly banks
Perhaps they'll even let him cash
Those rising votes of thanks.

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