The Office Bitch

He called her The Office Bitch,

to her face.

Drops the comment like a hot coal

before she climbs into a taxi home

and I turn my car keys over in my hand,

heels sharp on the concrete,

the elastic in my shoulders twisting tighter

as the words sink in.


I can’t help but repeat it,

turn the words over in my mouth

the needles of the teeth still there,

as I wonder if he’d of said the same

were she a man.

Would she have had to swallow it,

if she were a man.

Because at worst he would have been



Not The Office One.



I wanted to add another stanza to this but nothing seemed to work so I’m going to sleep on it any maybe come back to this piece another day. In the meantime I’m relatively happy with how it works at the moment. I’d love to hear your feedback though.


  1. This is different, Carol, an insight into office politics and a kind of flash fiction poem. I like the way you start with ‘He called her The Office Bitch’ and end with ‘bastard / Not The Office One – like bookends! I really like the tension in the lines:
    ‘and I turn my car keys over in my hand,
    heels sharp on the concrete,
    the elastic in my shoulders twisting tighter
    as the words sink in’
    ‘turn the words over in my mouth
    the needles of the teeth still there’,


  2. I really dig this. And I for one would be honored to be called the office bitch, especially if I were surrounded by men. It’d mean I was using my heels (and teeth) right. 😉


  3. and I agree with Kim, the words are particularly chosen, the tension building, and wow, I was like expecting to have the guy’s car “keyed” …..
    so the dilemma, standing there, thinking on the words spit – just makes this all the more intense ….
    this is a tight write ….


  4. Oh this hits home… I’m glad that I’m not the guy, but there is an alternative for men who don’t keep up the macho talk… “The office fag” maybe… Not that I would need a key in my hand but the bullies and the predators have their ways-


  5. You touch on a subject close to my heart and activism.
    ”…as I wonder if he’d of said the same//were she a man.”
    It’s true!

    Pull out all the stops in the next stanza.


  6. lovely sharp writing that personifies the theme and tensions – and the way the poet identifies/empathises with the insult: ‘turn the words over in my mouth/Would she have had to swallow it’


  7. Strong and sharp write, Carol! I can relate to the picture you have painted here. Some men in offices are of the mentality that if they humiliate women then they can be termed as macho or real men. It’s a disgusting way of seeing things and I abhor them.


  8. Oh, it is a worthy point to be raised in this insensitive and discriminatory environment. How easy it is for the gender wielding the power to be this cruel, and in more ways than one revel in their bigotry.
    This is a strong verse.


    1. Thank you. I also don’t just think it’s that, it’s the idea that women have to be so careful what they say else they can be classed ‘The Office Bitch’. It sets impossible standards.


  9. I hate that guy. And the double standards of this world. And how powerless so many women still are. And how much farther we have to go. This being said, women are learning how to use their voices, how to stand up for themselves, how to speak against inequality. Poems like yours are being written. We’re on the right path, I think. I hope.


Comments below, but please leave your bots at the door.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.