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FWD: Apology for Poem

By Nate Odenkirk | Staff Writer

Dear work associates,

Over the last few days, I’ve had a chance to reflect on my actions at the staff party last week. On Thursday, I read my poetry out loud to the entire workforce. I now know that what I did was wholly inappropriate, unpleasant, and rude. Craig had recited a hilarious and endearing poem about working at the office. Really good stuff, Craig. We were all having a great time, and I just stood up and asked for your silence. I then ambushed you with my limericks, a short story about a boy who loves vegetables, and even some of my experimental slam poetry. None of this is acceptable behavior, at any time, especially the slam poetry.

Please know I did not mean to disturb anyone with how bad my poetry was. I knew I was just starting out, but there are reports some of you became violently ill upon hearing me rhyme “yesterday” with “Jester’s day.” While this does not, and should not, excuse my behavior in any way, I hope you can understand that I simply enjoy writing poetry in my free time. I did not, as was believed by some, to have some depraved plan to sabotage the fun, congenial atmosphere in the way that I did.

Poetry should be something you keep to yourself.

Poetry should be something you keep to yourself. No one has any desire—not a spouse, not a pastor, not a coworker, NO ONE—to ever hear more than a few lines of amateur poetry. Just because someone reads good poetry does not mean you can then read bad poetry to the whole office. I should not have waxed about “spinach boy.” There was no need for me to bombard you with such insulting rhyme schemes as “toilet trick” and “soiled stick.” And there is absolutely, positively no patience for my “salad bar diss.” But what’s done is done.

I have spent the time since the incident listening. To good poetry. Craig, you have hilarious poems. You are undeniably the “poem king” of the office, and I the lowly vassal. It is for those reasons that I submit my voluntary resignation effective immediately. I understand that my actions were not in line with company values. I am proud to have been associated with a place that fosters such a nurturing environment for good poetry, and an understandable disdain for bad poems.

I had a wonderful 16 years getting to know each and every one of you. Working for this great company has been the highlight of my professional career. Thank you so much for this opportunity.


Nate Odenkirk, CFO, British Petroleum ♦

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