Onward's Goodbye


Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Jul 1, 2009
No, I'm not going anywhere.

I ran across the resignation letter I wrote on leaving my penultimate j*b. I was afraid it was lost, but it turned up today in an old "sent mail" folder, and I would like to share my joy with you.

On the day I resigned I sent this email to the company owner and other key managers and colleagues.


As some of you may already know, I resigned from ****** today. I consider all of you friends of mine, and I don't want to leave you in the dark as to why I left. More importantly, I don't want my reasons misrepresented.

It has been two full years since I've had a review, raise, bonus, or even a pat on the back. In January I requested a long-overdue review from my manager, Steve *****. Three months later I am still waiting for some kind of reply. I believe this is known as the mushroom theory of management: keep 'em in the dark, feed 'em ****, and hope they grow.

I'm tired of Steve's disregard for my technical perspectives, which he often treats as an irritation to him, even though I have more years of professional software experience than any member of our team, including him. In late 2004, for example, I advised him against trying to synchronize our products with Microsoft Authorization Manager (AzMan), an unproven product that I felt was not designed to be "synced" with. Steve overruled me yet again, and the result is the mess we have at ********* and other customers today.

In June of 2005 I took a much-needed, unpaid sabbatical. A week before my trip Steve informed me that I would be required to pay my own health insurance premiums while I was gone. After almost three years of hard work, no bonus or reward in recent memory, and with my annual review already months overdue, he did not have the class to cover a few months' worth of health insurance. This is the Apache theory of management: ride your horse hard until he dies, then eat him.

Since I've returned from the trip, Steve has been especially gruff and impatient, even less open to my technical ideas, and more prone to temper tantrums and verbal intimidation. He seems to resent that I ever took a sabbatical at all. At least twice he has flown off the handle and addressed me in a tone normally reserved for naughty pets. In one case it was during a conference call with a third party. Needless to say, I was shocked and embarrassed. When I spoke to Steve afterwards and insisted he speak to me more professionally, he reluctantly said, "I'll try." A bold pronouncement if ever there was one.

I've reserved the last jab for myself. Lately I haven't lived up to my normal level of productivity, and I apologize to each of you for it. I hope you'll understand that it has been extremely hard to be motivated or productive under the current conditions.

If you're reading this, you're someone I've enjoyed dealing with over the past three years, and I want to thank you for your friendship and wish you well in the future. I hope you'll take this email not as sour grapes from an ex-employee, but as an honest report from someone who at last can speak the truth without fear of losing a paycheck.

Thanks for sharing...a most insightful letter. How long ago was this?

I suspect it felt great to send it out, and if you knew you were planning on retiring, there would be no repercussions to worry about. It certainly suggests some tension between you and your boss (Steve). If you were to look back in retrospect, was the failure of the relationship 100% Steve's fault, or did you do anything to contribute to its demise?
Onward, I'm curious... is Steve still there?

If so, has he been (gak!) promoted? :yuk:
If you were to look back in retrospect, was the failure of the relationship 100% Steve's fault, or did you do anything to contribute to its demise?

Well, if I am completely objective, I would say it was absolutely 100% his fault because he is an ignorant, sick, predatory bastard.

Onward, I'm curious... is Steve still there?

He was head of sw then, and is head of sw now, despite my best literary efforts. His foolishness is overridden by his part-ownership of the company.
Hi Onward!
I've had "take this job and shove it" jobs, and think that it must have felt pretty good to let go of that company - as long as you are doing OK financially in retirement.
oh, I was wondering how Stevie got a "get out of jail free card", He's one of the jailers! Probably keeps that small, spare key in his shorts, eh?

I've worked for clowns just like that before, as well. They are the absolute worst. Certainly, if I was working there and figured out they had some portion of ownership, I'd "bail" so fast, the door wouldn't have hit me in the ass.

it's what I call in a workplace, "a lose, lose situation" and I've done it before, more than once (I hate to admit).

Basically, no possible upside, at least in three separate employment situations I was in, it didn't work out at all. Only in one other, where the ownership was almost never there except for quarterly reviews, was it manageable. Maybe today, I might call it survivable, since every three months or so, it was absolute hell. Time does heal all; even though it was 20 years ago, several days are etched indelibly into my memory, forever.

Onward, you're a remarkable person for "lasting" so long..............nice letter, btw. Someday, I'll post mine. And not to upstage you, it's a bridge burning, nuclear winter, take no prisoners resignation letter. Plus, (if I do say so myself), it's funny, as hell. :LOL:
Thank for posting!

I've only written one "bridge burning" kind of letter in the past, but it wasn't a resignation letter, it was something I wrote in response to another company employee (during an out-of-state project that lasted a few weeks) getting drunk and verbally abusive when I needed to call him in the middle of the night for help. I basically wrote a note saying I expected an apology, and if it happened again, I'd be on the first flight back to home base and/or resign, and taped it to my manager's monitor. I got my apology.

It's sad that circumstances force people to write missives like this. But at least you were in a position to call the shots, so props to you for that. I bet it felt good.

I've got my own resignation letter prepared, although I won't be turning it in for another 18 months or so. I doubt anything will arise that would make me turn it into a bridge-burner, but with corporate America, you never know...
That was quite a masterpiece you wrote there, Onward. While I did not write anything rivaling that when I left my old company, I did have a marathon exit interview the week I left. While I did not blast any individual at the company, I was highly critical of some corporate policies which, along with commute worsened by their relocation to New Jersey, contributed to my resignation. Will you be having an exit interview after than resignation letter you wrote, or will the bigwigs be afraid to hear more from you??
There was no exit interview. I'm hoping it's because everyone was so taken aback. I did get an email from one manager who said, "I wish you had let us know about this situation sooner." So at least someone took it seriously.

I think this forum should keep a running library of members' resignation letters. They would serve as trophies for the already-FIREd, and a resource for the almost-FIREd, when that great day comes.
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