Poems of the Week


by Nora Jay

“A French company has been found liable for the death of an employee who had a cardiac arrest while having sex with a stranger on a business trip. … The man, named as Xavier X, was working as an engineer for TSO, a railway services company based near Paris.
He died at a hotel during a trip to central France in 2013, as a result of what the employer called ‘an extramarital relationship with a perfect stranger’.
The company challenged a decision by the state health insurance provider to regard the death as a workplace accident.
The provider defended its position by insisting that sexual activity was normal, ‘like taking a shower or a meal’.
In its ruling, the Paris appeals court upheld this view.”

An engineer named Xavier (known widely as XX)
Was finished by a heart-attack, confounding top execs;
He died upon a business trip, while busy (one might say);
And so his health insurers thought his company should pay.

The company objected (with regrets about his heart)
That in that piece of business his employers had no part;
“’Twas normal!” the insurers urged, “so compensation’s due;”
And France’s top judiciary upheld this point of view:

It was a workplace accident that claimed your employee:
He accidentally succumbed to life’s normality,
And workplace liability applies to normal dangers,
Like taking showers and eating meals and having sex with strangers.