At work we used to report problems,

But now we’re asked to escalate them

To the person tasked with the repair.

During my childhood I learned the word

From the Evening News and,

According to Walter Cronkite,

Escalate always meant

More napalm, bombs,

And caskets coming home,

All of which seem a bit extreme

For the fixing of a link

On our company website.

Tony Gruenewald is production director of the Princeton recording studio for Learning Ally and author of “The Secret History of New Jersey.” For more visit

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