How do you react when you are offered a promotion or receive a well-deserved bonus. That was this week’s task: express your feelings of gratitude – or otherwise.

Jim Kacian, our judge, picked the winner because the “archness of the observation is telling and yet not overblown: the poem does not detail downfall, or incipient violence, it merely suggests the circumstances for such. The poet leaves it to our imaginations to fill in the (gory?) details. It feels like a perfect revenge in its own unassuming way.”


little snail –

you climb so high

birds can see you

David Dayon of Romsey, England


Our runner-up was Marion Clarke of Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland. Mr Kacian praised its “sense of self-abasement: not too self-important to recognise that our activities are no grander than that of invertebrates scuttling the beds of oceans”.


new office space

the hermit crab checks out

a larger shell


A close third was Alan Summers of Wiltshire, England, who won over our judge for assessing the “scale of his achievement . . . with tongue firmly in cheek”.

wage bonus

I go for a larger bag

of chips with fish



Please send entries to on next week’s topic of workplace accidents.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2023. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this article