Wednesday, July 13, 2011

No indispensable man

When I left Vodafone's employment last month, this verse by Saxon N White Kissinger came to mind even though I was far from the most qualified person in the room and that my leaving would leave a hole that would easily be filled....and it was. 

It was also a great reminder of how much I would be missed.

Sometime when you're feeling important;
Sometime when your ego's in bloom
Sometime when you take it for granted
You're the best qualified in the room,
Sometime when you feel that your going
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions
And see how they humble your soul;
Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that's remaining
Is a measure of how you will be missed.
You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop and you'll find that in no time
It looks quite the same as before.
The moral of this quaint example
Is do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself but remember,
There's no indispensable man.

I'm off to France tomorrow for ten days to work on the house...I wonder if, in my absence, Bev agrees with this blog post title:)


  1. Hope you enjoy your trip to France, Ken, and I am sure that to many people you are an indespensible fellow!

  2. That poem does say it without frills. Enjoy France; working on the house...I think we could be indespensible to certain people in certain relationships...:)

  3. "Be proud of yourself but remember, There's no indispensable man" captures a lot Ken - Many thanks. At a certain level, it's also reassuring !

  4. Great poem. All of us could learn from the wisdom within it.

    Hope you have a wonderful trip with Bev!

  5. Hi Vera
    It was a tiring trip...overdone the work bit as usual. I don't know about indispensable but I feel as if I'm about to expire:)

    Khushi, I think many are indispensable...until they are no longer there. They are then appreciated more perhaps, and greatly missed.

    Hi Raj
    Yes, the poem captures a lot and really makes you think.

    Hi Tess
    Indeed it is, and advice I need to take on board regularly in order to keep my feet on the ground.

    Hi Septembermum
    I'm not sure if I learn as much as I should, but it's a great reminder to me that I should. BTW, Bev didn't come with me. It was a work till you drop break. I'm glad to be back home.

  6. Hi Ken - hope it was a successful trip if not a holiday.

    I disagree with the gist of the poem, though. My experience of good people leaving a company and being replaced by less competent if less costly employees is often disastrous and a false economy. No-one is indespensible - so long as you get an adequate replacement. In a service industry, customers vote with their feet (or computer mouse) if they get poor service - there is no such thing as loyalty these days. Employers need to keep customers happy, especially when there are plenty of offers around to pinch them from you, and nothing can replace experience and the ability of a good person to think on their feet and resolve problems - you can't learn that in a hurry.

    End of rant !!!!!

  7. Hi Jean
    I agree that employers are often exercising false economy when they think they are replacing a good employee with one who is less costly or experienced, but that is the apparent trend and we'd do well to remind ourselves that inadequate replacements are queuing up and waiting for us to be shown the door.

    I'm more tired than usual after this visit...must be my age:)