Fifteen minutes of annhilation each morning
One way transmission bombarding our minds
whilst strategically choosing the next one
to manage out.

Micro…Micro…Micro Manage
Not happy unless inflicting
intense pressure and critical poison on the staff
with the aim to destroy and drive out.

Time is an assassin
Health issues pandemic
Insomnia, Anxiety and Depression
Rising blood pressure
Pending heart attack
as they turn the knife of abuse.

Emergency of the soul as it starts to collapse
Red light as the character continues to corrode
Squash down, destroy staff
Sell and con up to upper management.

Distant management that does not show face
as the manager is given carte blanche to kill their underlings
by severe pressure.
Staff poised ready for the onslaught
Who will they slaughter next?

Narcissism at its most impure
the manager looks only at their own reflection
I am a good manager and if
you don’t like it you can leave?

They remain unchecked as they manipulate
the upper management to believe
the staff are corrupt and have turned against them…
as staff march out the door each month?

Staff leave quickly just to escape the environment
Unemployment rises
Recession intensifies
We are urged to empower clients
but at the same time staff
are being abused by management.

Given more than is humanly possible to do
they set us up for high anxiety and
emotional breakdown
that leads to mental failure.

Decay of character in
the new work place
Post Modern dilemma
as rashes form on our faces
calluses form on our hearts.

Autocratic…dogmatic rule
Who gave them permission to
destroy peoples lives as
the hammer falls and falters on our heads?

Blood yellow Face black
Conquer and divide the staff
by favouring one staff over the others
Not giving credit to those who are deserving
Rewarding the favourites
Creating internal competition
Making the staff feel uneasy and
insecure trying to devastate inner peace.
The manager’s actions alone trigger all kinds of
passive resistance.

High attrition and absenteeism is not a sign of bad staff
but is instead an indication of the
ineptitude of management.
Still the reasons for leaving remain uninvestigated.

Their hostile actions make
hypocrites of what they preach
As they do not practice
a win win win mentality
instead they destroy destroy destroy
No compassion is demonstrated.
Insensitivity is rampant.

Makes our blood boil
blood pressure rise
we are a time bomb ticking
and only financial vulnerability
keeps us soldiering on.

Time is thief
Life is a betrayer
Passive resistance is the only protection
as the staff must put on the armour of war
before each day they enter the door.

Only the need for survival keeps us there
As the hostile environment demands
that to survive we must disengage
Rather then submit to the murder
of our hearts and souls.

They the chosen ones
ride on the success of the hard work
of the victims they hammer
and yet no recognition is given to those
who should receive it.
The manager micro manages all because
they do not trust their staff
to get the work done.

The manager moves with reckless abandon
hammering, white anting, conquering and dividing,
the beast the corporate psychopath.
A power path destroying the fabric of business
and hence society.
Is it really true that 1 in 10 managers have
the profile of a criminal psychopath?

The cult of the criminal mind
the insidious undermining
the blatant favouritism
the shocking destruction of others
where they target and abuse
until either the person leaves
from high anxiety or complete breakdown.

Staff struggle to breathe
Trying not to drown as
they tread water in the muck of this abuse
So exhausted by the energy used to survive
they are too drained to look for work
Self esteem is eroded
beyond recognition.

Who told them it was ok to make the workplace
a War Zone?
Each word is a bullet of soul destruction where
the knife cuts the core out of our hearts.
Where they set one individual up against another.
Where muted mind try to unravel brilliant minds
Where words always have a motive and
Where nothing is what it seems
Where walking in the office the vital energy is sucked dry.

We pray to escape
We long to break free
We hope to survive and
reveal this so others do not have to be
subject to this utter abuse of the soul
Because this manager is TOXIC and this should
never have been allowed to happen.

Enough already.
Out out out dammed spot.
The destroyer needs to be destroyed
and Toxic transformed to healthy
environment where collaboration,
voice and professionalism reign supreme.
Oh yes this is my cry and this
is my dream.

By Anthea Slade Written 6 January 2010

© Anthea Slade 2010

Currently unavailable for purchase

Toxic featured in Self Expression 3 Jan 11
Toxic featured in Anger Management 9 Feb 10
Toxic featured in Touched by Fire 9 Feb 10
Toxic featured in Freedom to Shine on 8 Feb 10

Where Angels Fear to Tread and TOXIC is a collaboration between Reynaldo and Anthea that is separate to our Tribute to Womanhood Series.

Reynaldo’s beautiful painting Where Angels Fear to Tread was inspired by my poem TOXIC.

Thank you Rey for your beautiful interpretation and vision of my words. Your painting is magnificent and breathtakingly beautiful in its emotion and message.


collaboration, toxic, anthea, reynaldo, where angels fear to tread

Creating art and writing is like breathing to me, it keeps me alive. If I stop creating my world shrinks and contracts. When I start to create again it expands and is filled with colour. I feel whole. To create is to be completely, unabashedly alive.

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  • Anthea  Slade
    Anthea Sladeover 4 years ago

    Where Angels Fear to Tread by Reynaldo

    Reynaldo’s beautiful painting Where Angels Fear to Tread was inspired by my poem TOXIC.

  • msdebbie
    msdebbieover 4 years ago

    Very powerful – as always, an excellent collab between you and Rey xoxo
    I hope you escape the toxicity very soon Anth; take care darling!

  • Me too…dear Deb I am working on a strategy. Thank you for the beautiful response to Rey and my collaboration. Truly appreciate your support.

    – Anthea Slade

  • Marilyns
    Marilynsover 4 years ago

    let me take a breath great writer ! your words are tough , "rightly tough " and their power is intensified with your rhythm ! i join you in your cry and dream dear friend !i hope yoursunday will be happy and creative anyway :) xoxo :):):)

  • Yes this one was a tough write my dear friend. It came out from my psyche almost fully formed with little editing. Thank you so much for joining me in my cry and dream my lovely sister Marilyn. Your support means a lot to me. xx

    – Anthea Slade

  • wigs
    wigsover 4 years ago

    such a gritty write…… i felt the momentum increase with each verse…. great write

  • Wigs thank you for feeling to the momentum as it increased through my poem. Yes this one is gritty and raw.

    – Anthea Slade

  • choodie
    choodieover 4 years ago

    Wow do you work for the same corporates as me. THis is so powerful and an anthem to those of us crying to be heard from under the weight of the management hierarchy. Great writing

  • Choodie thank you for your empathy and unfortunately the situation of which I write is far to common and yes we do cry for a voice to be heard and respected under the weight of misplaced power and injustice. Thank you for your beautiful comment.

    – Anthea Slade

  • autumnwind
    autumnwindover 4 years ago

    must write it again – WOW! extremely powerful voice here, for many no doubt. So well done!!! xoxoxo

  • Oh Shar thank you for hearing my voice dear friend and yes I do feel it is a voice for many who suffer in a toxic work environment. xx

    – Anthea Slade

  • Fuego1
    Fuego1over 4 years ago

    Absolutely brilliant!

  • Thank you so very much my friend.

    – Anthea Slade

  • Arcadia Tempest
    Arcadia Tempestover 4 years ago

    Geezzz can you write the pants of a corporate ape or what! I am fortunate enough to have not had this kinda of disease in my working career but know of what you speak..
    Well when I say not had that….it was there in different forms but I was able to keep under the radar….so the fact I had to that speaks for itself I guess.
    The whole blood letting is the product in my mind about GREED. The eternal profit margin must be given all sacrifices ….working late, getting led astray, getting too big for one’s boots and becoming a clone of the apes.
    So I think I may from now all refer to those who are in power with a megalomania gene ‘The Ape Corps’ for they don’t see their primitive ways and think they are so pristine!
    Excellent verse…xx

  • Yeh I love your phrase the corporate ape or The Ape Corps. You are so right their ways are so primitive and destructive and I am always horrified that it is so embedded in many corporate environments and that we haven’t evolved enough in the corporate world to realise the basics that people are what make a company succeed or fail and if you treat your greatest asset with respect and decency and maturity they are going to be far more productive then if they are shaking under the abuse, politics of a toxic leader supported by a toxic culture. To me it is common sense and should be the norm rather than the exception. So glad dear friend that you could always stay under the radar. A much better place to be. Thank you so much for your considerate, sensitive and empathetic response to my Toxic poem. Your response is always a great pleasure to read. xx

    – Anthea Slade

  • Obadiah-Qi
    Obadiah-Qiover 4 years ago

    And yet the only thing that has changed apart from such pandemic are the sources where man has intervened, i.e., lack of real foods hence lack of nutrition, pharmacological intercession, backlash due to wars, chemical, preservatives, pollution, etc.
    Best health advice on earth -
    get back to basics, raw organic foods, get OFF medications unless absolutely need be, educate yourselves and in the name of Jesus Christ himself stay AWAY from ALL governmental outreaches unless aftermath from natural disaster!

    Wonderful writing my friend.


  • Amen Steve. Thank you for your fine response to my poem. You have certainly summed up with eloquence the state of play. Your thoughts are always thought provoking and wise. A joy to read.

    – Anthea Slade

  • Renate  Dartois
    Renate Dartoisover 4 years ago

    Wowwwwwwww-Anthea you hit the hammer on the nail this is exactly what is going on there is no more humanity weather at the workplace, health care,homelessness is growing jobs are being outsourced god help us all the world is in a mess and our governments are just playing party politics. fabulous thought-provoking writing my dear friend.

  • Yes this had to be written my friend. I have been thinking about this topic for some time and it aches my heart. It poured out of my heart and soul at 2 am one morning and it was almost as you read it here with little editing. I feel very passionately and intensely about this topic. What you say is so true. I just love your responses my dear friend Renate. Thank you so much for understanding the heart of what I have written and why I have written this poem.

    – Anthea Slade

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