Thomas O. Davenport, 1/21/2019

Current Occupation: Independent consultant and writer
Former Occupation: Consultant
Contact Information: Tom is a poet and independent business advisor living in San Francisco. He spent 32 years as a human resource consultant for a global consulting organization. He has written three business books and many serious articles and now writes sardonic verse, much of it commenting on business practices he observed (and helped create) and on social phenomena that amuse and bemuse him. You can read his writings (verse and other) at




Robots and Fossils
Our robots are a boon, this we believe
They willingly do tasks we can’t abide
From drudgery and toil they give relief
By taking on what tarnishes our pride
They do just what they’re told – they’re businesslike
We’ve come to count on them, production-wise
They never file complaints or go on strike
No robot ever thought to unionize
With AI brains their talents are profuse
From building boats to authoring essays
The latest kitchen models reproduce
Chef Paolo’s pesto, chef Bertrand’s béarnaise
Will robots render humans obsolete
Removing all work’s value from our lives
Then leaving us outmoded and effete
Mere fossils who don’t know we’re fossilized?
We’ve been seduced by all that they perform
Machine ubiquity we can’t avoid
They’ll work and leisure will become our norm
Another word we’ll use is “unemployed”
I work in a menagerie, a big safari park
We’re just a bunch of animals, a modern Noah’s ark
The CEO’s a pachyderm – he’s an imposing sight
The CFO, a small gray squirrel, hides nuts just out of sight
The HR guy’s a teddy bear, the warm and fuzzy type
A peacock heads our marketing, a specialist in hype
Our sales VP is like a hawk – intense, a bit high strung
Our legal head’s a sneaky snake – you’ll see his forkéd tongue
And me, I’m just a rodent, just a furry little ball
A racing rat, a hamster wheel’d, a mazed mouse brown and small
My plans, it’s true, go oft astray – I’m trivial, it seems
But though I am diminutive, don’t think I have no dreams
For while my role is minor – I just gather bits of cheese –
If I should fail, the others fall, they crumble to their knees
A circled life is what we live within this corporate herd
Each one depends up on the other – mammal, reptile, bird
And mice are great at one more thing – forgive my arrogance
Despite our size (perhaps because?), we frighten elephants
One comment on “Thomas O. Davenport, 1/21/2019
  1. M. F. McAuliffe says:

    Clever & funny & to the point!

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