Tapping At My Cubicle (With Apologies to Poe)

Several years ago, I collected several e-learning horror stories for a now-inactive group blog.  I took a bit of artistic license with this, but this is based on a true story shared by Jeff Goldman.  Jeff’s was by far the best (or worst!) story people shared with me, and I’m grateful that he inspired me to this creativity. As we approach Halloween, I thought this was an excellent time to share this poem again.

With deepest apologies to Edgar Allen Poe

A sign with the word Nevermore. Branches with no leaves grow out of the letters, and a silhouette of a raven sits on top of the word.

Tapping At My Cubicle

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious module of forgotten lore,
While I designed, my objectives mapping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my cubicle door.
“Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my cubicle door —
Only this, and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember, seven years ago December,
And each separate service center spread out upon the map
Eagerly I wished to prove, and vainly I had sought to move
Our onsite courses to online — online would be a snap
We’d learn across the distances, converting would be a snap.
We’d fill our knowledge gap.

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
Confidently I marketed this superb online course.
Who should take the online course, what to learn in an online course,
Such convenience as a benefit of the online course,
Why not take this online course?

Back in my Baltimore cubicle, I prepared for this pinnacle
Of online learning. But there, the tapping, louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is someone from my local office.”
But I see, then, who is there, and confused I do implore,
“Why is a colleague from Virginia here at my door,
Traveling to tap on my cubicle door?”

Thus I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the woman whose voice now started somewhat hoarse.
This and more I sat divining, with my head confused reclining
Her answer I was pining: “I’m here for my online course.
I’m here for my ONLINE COURSE.”

Photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash

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