A consultant from Palo Alto
came in to study ergonomics,
marked budget constraints
at the top-right corner of a graph pad.
Working in this manner
he drank beef bouillon from a coffee mug,
a stack of napkins to blot his mouth
before and after meetings.
On the last day of his contract
he recommended the company purchase
an orange carpet, a hot chili mixture
beneath everyone’s feet.
For each work-space he proposed
a philodendron, suggested
pictures, posters, macramé wall hangings,
encouragements for increased productivity.
The following year, HR proclaimed
a building makeover, a blue ceiling,
and a new green ladder at the end of the building.
A slippery slope.