The Pay Envelope By Edgar Albert Guest

The Pay Envelope

Is it all in the envelope holding your pay?
Is that all you’re working for day after day?
Are you getting no more from your toil than the gold
That little enclosure of paper will hold?
Is that all you’re after; is that all you seek?
Does that close the deal at the end of the week?

Is it all in the envelope holding his pay?
Is that all you offer him day after day?
Is that all he wins by his labor from you?
Is that the reward for the best he can do?
Would you say of your men, when the week has been turned,
That all they’ve received is the money they’ve earned?

Is it all in the envelope, workman and chief?
Then loyalty’s days must be fleeting and brief;
If you measure your work by its value in gold
The sum of your worth by your pay shall be told;
And if something of friendship your men do not find
Outside of their envelopes, you’re the wrong kind.

If all that you offer is silver and gold,
You haven’t a man in your plant you can hold.
If all that you’re after each week is your pay,
You are doing your work in a short-sighted way;
For the bigger rewards it is useless to hope
If you never can see past the pay envelope.


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