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The Art of The Farewell Email

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the so-long-suckers dept.

Businesses 703

With so many people losing their jobs, the farewell email, letting colleagues and contacts know where you are moving and how you can be reached, has become common. Writing a really good one, whether it be funny, sad or just plain mad is an art form. Chris Kula, a receptionist at a New York engineering firm, wrote: "For nearly as long as I've worked here, I've hoped that I might one day leave this company. And now that this dream has become a reality, please know that I could not have reached this goal without your unending lack of support." In May, lawyer Shinyung Oh was let go from the San Francisco branch of the Paul Hastings law firm six days after losing a baby. "If this response seems particularly emotional," she wrote to the partners, "perhaps an associate's emotional vulnerability after a recent miscarriage is a factor you should consider the next time you fire or lay someone off. It shows startlingly poor judgment and management skills — and cowardice — on your parts." Let's hear the best and worst goodbye emails you've seen.

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Sometimes the simplest statement is the best (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26958815)

I worked in a company once with a guy who was known for sending out long, rambling emails and overwriting everything he got his hands on. I was constantly trying to get him to edit himself better on fact sheets and the like. Well, he gets laid off and his final email (sent to everyone in the office) read simply "Fuck all of you! I'm outta here." I was so proud he had finally learned the power of brevity.

Re:Sometimes the simplest statement is the best (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26958955)

"Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, you're cool, fuck you, I'm out."

Re:Sometimes the simplest statement is the best (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26958967)

he gets laid off and his final email (sent to everyone in the office) read simply "Fuck all of you! I'm outta here.

Bridge burning can be a bad thing.

My last farewell email involved me making a list of everyone I would or would not engage in sexual acts with. Little did I know that I would be crossing my old coworkers as a contractor only a few months later. Talk about embarrassing.

Re:Sometimes the simplest statement is the best (3, Informative)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959173)

Talk about comeuppance.

Fixed that for you.

You acted like a douche, and then had to deal with the results. OMG!

Re:Sometimes the simplest statement is the best (4, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959309)

Yeah, if he'd killed them he wouldn't have had this problem.

Re:Sometimes the simplest statement is the best (0)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959267)

That depends. If the co-workers involved were of suitable age, gender and looks, and in need of an office fling, sending such an e-mail might have very worthwhile results.

Re:Sometimes the simplest statement is the best (-1)

tritonman (998572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959063)

how about, "Screw you guys! I'm going home."

Re:Sometimes the simplest statement is the best (5, Funny)

muffen (321442) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959197)

I was in a company where a person who was leaving attached a 9Meg video file to the email and sent it to everyone!

Guess DOS'ing the mail server is a good way to go :)

Re:Sometimes the simplest statement is the best (5, Insightful)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959329)

When I quit my job, I was being passed over for promotions by morons, I wrote a nice letter. Thanking those who worked with me and letting people know where to get me. I actually quit two weeks after I got promoted, but because I was passed over three times (one of the guy recently got fired for incompetence) I didn't care.

I would rather not burn bridges - you never know if you may want to work at a company where a previous co-worker is employed at. Leaving with grace is always better then leaving with attitude.

Re:Sometimes the simplest statement is the best (5, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959423)

At one company I worked for, upper management booted out a PR guy out but forgot to order IT to deny him access. He sent a series of company-wide emails that seem like they were being exchanged between members of upper management about their sex life with animals. Hilarious! Took about 20 emails before upper management decided that they had enough.

Re:Sometimes the simplest statement is the best (3, Funny)

ewilts (121990) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959445)

For brevity, a book I once read had this nice farewell "letter": "Upshove job asswards".

It doesn't need to say any more after that...

well... (2, Interesting)

Zashi (992673) | more than 5 years ago | (#26958825)

"You should've taken away my database access before telling my I was being laid off."

Yeah.. vengeful geeks. Nothing new there.

Re:well... (4, Interesting)

Intron (870560) | more than 5 years ago | (#26958901)

I was at a company that had to cut either the IT manager or tech and chose wrong. They kept the clueless manager, while the tech changed the passwords on the way out the door AND sent the insulting email to "allusers". Once it became clear that the manager had failed to disable access to the guy he was firing and did not know how to reset the passwords, they fired him and rehired the tech.

Re:well... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26958965)

Firing the tech was a mistake. Rehiring him knowing his vengefulness was a bigger one.

Re:well... (1)

Jonah Bomber (535788) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959087)

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Re:well... (4, Insightful)

quanticle (843097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959379)

Well now the tech knows that he can always threaten to pull another "tantrum" whenever management decides against him. Keeping your friends close and your enemies closer is only a good idea when you're not beholden to your enemies.

It's good to give advice (1)

rnaiguy (1304181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26958851)

In one e-mail I received, the departing employee included the URLs for applying for unemployment compensation and other government programs, for our future benefit, as well as the addresses of low-cost international grocery stores in the area (not really sure why).

Re:It's good to give advice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959333)

In one e-mail I received, the departing employee included the URLs for applying for unemployment compensation and other government programs, for our future benefit, as well as the addresses of low-cost international grocery stores in the area (not really sure why).

Not sure if by "international" grocery stores you mean "ethnic" grocery stores like for example a Chinese or Mexican grocers, but I'm told that often prices there can be cheaper than large chain grocery stores. If you get laid off stretching your food dollars by getting your food for less sure won't hurt.

I love the smell of burning bridges in the morning (5, Insightful)

arkham6 (24514) | more than 5 years ago | (#26958855)

It smells like...hollow victory

Not to mention possibly career ending. Someone about 10 years ago was leaving a company I worked at, and wrote a blistering goodbye email. A few years later at another company, a fellow ex employee of the first and I were on the interview team. And guess who walked in!

Needless to say, he got a very short interview and absolutely no consideration. When asked why, both myself and my coworker said 'Unprofessionalism'

Re:I love the smell of burning bridges in the morn (5, Funny)

jhoger (519683) | more than 5 years ago | (#26958921)

Which is why we should all endeavor to display a complete lack of 'unprofessionalism.'

Re:I love the smell of burning bridges in the morn (-1, Offtopic)

brainproxy (654715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959237)

After years of seeing people say "I wish I had mod points", I now understand, as I wish I had mod points.

Re:I love the smell of burning bridges in the morn (5, Insightful)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959069)

It's sad but true. When an employee does something wrong it's unprofessional. When an employer does something wrong it's business.

Re:I love the smell of burning bridges in the morn (4, Insightful)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959157)

The employee is the supplier. The employer is the customer. In most cases, customers can abuse the relationship a lot more than suppliers.

Having said that, I'm sure that employers who abuse their employees pay for it when times are good and good people find better places to work. Usually the people who leave are those who can find other jobs - which are precisely those you want to keep.

Re:I love the smell of burning bridges in the morn (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959227)

When employers rake in 9 or 10 digits, there's no such consolation. People can find other jobs, but it hardly affects the business and there's a huge pool to replace them. Times have to be really good before there's nobody applying to be a replacement.

Re:I love the smell of burning bridges in the morn (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959387)

Unfortunately employers have the power. Even with internet sites out there where you can rate your employer 1) most people don't use them and 2) when someone is offering you a better paying job you really don't care what those forums say.

So yes, employers can be jackasses, but as those with the power they can get away with almost anything that is not illegal.

Re:I love the smell of burning bridges in the morn (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959399)

The employee is the supplier. The employer is the customer.

That's a good point, but I don't think it's the only issue at play. There's also the issue of power, and big companies have much more power than individual people. When I buy something from Best Buy, I'm forced to agree to their terms, take it or leave it. If I work for Best Buy, then I'm pretty much forced to agree to their terms, take it or leave it. It's not a negotiation between equals.

And also businesses can hide behind an organization. When a company acts, it's not always entirely clear whether it's the decision of "the company" or the individual within the company. If I'm a manager and I want to make someone's life miserable, I can do that while justifying it as "policy" or "good for business". I can say, "Sorry, it's out of my hands. It's just policy." If the employee turns around and tries to make my life miserable, he can't hide behind his actions as easily.

That's not to say there's nothing you can do. There are strategies for managing relationships where you're the weaker party. But let's not pretend that power doesn't come into play.

Re:I love the smell of burning bridges in the morn (1)

Phoenixhawk (1188721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959413)

Tell that to a friend of mine, at his job the director has said, Could you replace the power supply on the domain server, fix my computer, and the toilet in the women's restroom is backed up again.

Re:I love the smell of burning bridges in the morn (0, Troll)

catxk (1086945) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959247)

His farewell letter ten years ago says nothing of his personality today, nor of his capability for doing the job, so at the end of the day it was you who lost out on thatone... Further, someone seeking a job does so for the oppertunity to supply the employer with a service, since it is the employer who is the one with an advertised need. Employers who fail to recognise this are generally assholes so, added to the fact that you lost out, I guess he was better off.

Re:I love the smell of burning bridges in the morn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959323)

"and wrote a blistering goodbye email."

So? You leave out something rather important here--Was he right in what he wrote? Did he right the truth you didn't want to hear, or just mouthed off?

It seems to me that you left that part out deliberately, but I of course don't know what the content of his email was or the workplace environment he was in. That said, what I do know is what you wrote here, and it sounds to me like you and your friend operate more like a frat, than the role you were supposed to play as fair interviewers. If you were professional yourselves, you were made note of why and recused yourself from the process.

But that's if you truly were fair and honorable people. Unfortunately. Which is why we lay off people in the manner that we do in western cultures...and could explain well the economic predicament we are in. What you do you see as striking back. What I see are a couple of assholes that contribute to the cycle of disrespect.

It's amazing the amount of bs politics that have little to do with getting and keeping good hires that people WANT to go through. People not hiring people who are better at the job than they are, then wondering why their company is tanking or whinign about getting their butts handed to them by overseas companies. Reading your post is like a snapshot of the crap the American workplace is (not sure you are American or not, but it's what I observe readily when I consult)--maybe the individual you rejected changed, or maybe you realized he was right and could whoop your ass at the job he was supposed to do, but being in a position of power (however patheticly small), you took the role of tyrant over judge most favorably.

Then again, maybe there is a reason you and your buddy teamed up. Most people who make these moves tend to play the political role well, to the overall failure of the system. Good job!

One thing you may want to do (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26958883)

is to forward emails to a private email address if there is even a chance of this happening.

You don't always have access to the keyboard when laid off. That is likely to increase after a couple farewell emails viewed as "bad for morale".

We had a couple- that were deleted by the administrators (even if you read them- but I'd forwarded it on to my private address).

I hope companies will switch to pay cuts over lay offs like HP did and like some companies in Germany are doing (nice there, you get a pay cut but you also get hours cut so you have more life to enjoy at least).

Re:One thing you may want to do (4, Insightful)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959019)

You might prefer pay cuts to layoffs. Me, I'd prefer the layoffs—either I'm unaffected, or I now know I wasn't valued and can start over somewhere that I will be.

Re:One thing you may want to do (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959133)

You always have the option of starting the job hunt as soon as you're hit by a pay cut - and as a bonus you get to keep some salary during that hunt, AND have a less crowded job market as undoubtedly some people will take the cuts rather than look for a new job. If you're rather start over anew then you don't have to wait for them to forcibly boot you out the door before you start.

Our HR department is kinda slick (or at least they think they are). Last year we didn't receive annual merit raises, but they PROMISED that they'd give them this year. Well, they did, but decided to implement 3 unpaid holidays this year that end up adding up to almost exactly what the increase in pay was. So net change in ACTUAL yearly pay was zero. Strange when as a salaried worker my stated salary is one thing but I'm getting less than that per year. :S

Re:One thing you may want to do (3, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959199)

People who can get rehired want layoffs, even if they are among them. Severance turns into a payed vacation and then you pick something else up.

People who are overemployed want pay cuts because they can't.

Re:One thing you may want to do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959361)

I disagree, at least sometimes. Maybe the person searched for a long time to find a job they liked, and simply wanted to stay. Some people actually like their job.

Re:One thing you may want to do (1)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959085)

Many Corporations disable external forwarding, due to obvious security risks.

Re:One thing you may want to do (1)

PIBM (588930) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959175)

copy / paste is your friend.

Re:One thing you may want to do (3, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959357)

I hope companies will switch to pay cuts over lay offs like HP did and like some companies in Germany are doing (nice there, you get a pay cut but you also get hours cut so you have more life to enjoy at least).

I'd argue that that is actually necessary to future economic development. As technology advances, it's natural that fewer people can get more done in less time. At some point that means that there's less than 8 hours of work per potential worker to be accomplished. The current scheme of firing some and keeping the rest working 8 hours is obviously not workable unless we want a permanent underclass with more guns than food.

Consider, if everyone in the U.S. took half a day off on Friday (or took every other Friday off), we could go from 10% unemployment to zero in short order.

Re:One thing you may want to do (1)

tritonman (998572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959431)

pay cuts over layoffs? no thanks! All that would do is create a bunch of pissed off employees. Ok so my pay goes down so you can keep these 4 worthless guys. I'm going to only do half the work I did before. Also, you'll have a bunch of people spending more time on dice and monster than doing their work. That's probably the worst thing you can do.

Awww (0)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 5 years ago | (#26958899)

That's one of the most disheartening pictures of Ron Paul in last year's presidential run, but it was just the look on his face at the moment the picture was taken. He was simply waiting for an interview to begin and doing some pondering.

As far as the miscarriage one goes. . . (4, Insightful)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 5 years ago | (#26958909)

. . . Good for the managers. Personal problems shouldn't affect their decisions. What, the managers should instead lay off a better employee because they're feeling sorry for this woman?

Re:As far as the miscarriage one goes. . . (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959035)

It may be the way it was handled. Some managers and HR people are very good about these kinds of things, and some are not so good. There's a point where it's appropriate to be professional, which may require some curtness, and there are times when professionalism needs to soften a little. The good ones know when to soften and when to be curt. I don't know if I was when I was a manager of a small retail store many years ago, but I felt no need to soften things when firing someone for falsifying time cards. OTOH, when forced to let someone go in a decision that I thought was unwarranted (the store owner made the call), I did soften things somewhat, and provided my personal information as a reference as I thought the guy was, aside from what I thought was a forgivable mistake, a good worker.

Re:As far as the miscarriage one goes. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959137)

They should have given the person information about FMLA before trying to lay her off. You don't just look at recent performance, you look at past performance and expected future performance, as well as all potential consequences of managerial decisions and the consequences of the particular timing of any decisions.

Also, most companies have a zero-penalty grieving policy. She could arguably sue... not very smart from a management standpoint. "Yeah, I fired her after she lost a pregnancy. What, you mean we have a no-penalty grieving policy, and an attorney in HR would like to have a few words with me? Oh... crap."

Re:As far as the miscarriage one goes. . . (1)

Poruchik (1004331) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959117)

What, an extra couple of months for her would put them out of business? People need to get lost in their work at bad times in their life, and need a little time to heal....

Re:As far as the miscarriage one goes. . . (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959129)

. . . Good for the managers. Personal problems shouldn't affect their decisions. What, the managers should instead lay off a better employee because they're feeling sorry for this woman?

Also keep in mind that Law Firms are KNOWN for letting go female associates after miscarriages, or if they know that they are trying to get pregnant. They don't want maternity leave and dealing with moms and kids, but they can't fire a pregnant woman. Having a miscarriage can be a career ending event at some firms, because they know you want to have children, but you're no longer pregnant.

Re:As far as the miscarriage one goes. . . (2, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959151)

Yes, they should. If you treat people like robots, that's what you'll get: soulless lifeless automotrons that will work just hard enough to not get fired.

Re:As far as the miscarriage one goes. . . (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959311)

will work just hard enough to not get fired

I never understood this statement. If you're doing your job well enough that they want you on their payroll, there's nothing wrong. If the company wants you to work harder then they increase their expectations.

Re:As far as the miscarriage one goes. . . (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959339)

mod parent up!! Isn't that almost directly from Office Space?

I simply stopped working for corporations when I realized that if I went into a casino and was told that for every 5 dollars I put on the table, if I won I would get 2 dollars in return, I'd be fucking pissed. That's what you do every week when you spend your 5 days of work time to get 2 days of relaxation.

Re:As far as the miscarriage one goes. . . (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959383)

Hey, this department is pod people. The soulless lifeless automatons are in the next corridor.

Re:As far as the miscarriage one goes. . . (1)

swb (14022) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959169)

Maybe delay her layoff a week or a month or something?

Sure, capitalism is at its
"best" when its impartial and impersonal, but ultimately working is a human endeavor and we show our grace and humanity when we respect other people's lives.

Had her dog died or her stepmom's uncle from Timbuktu, then maybe it's not a big deal. But a miscarriage is a big deal and it just shows how crass and insensitive they are to can her like that.

If you don't get that, then seek some personal help.

Re:As far as the miscarriage one goes. . . (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959301)

capitalism is at its "best" when its impartial and impersonal

That is categorically untrue. In fact, that is capitalism's main fault.

Re:As far as the miscarriage one goes. . . (2, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959437)

The thing is, the original poster is correct insofar as "best" was put into scare-quotes. Pure captialist thinking defines "best" as in producing the most profit (or, collectively, the highest GDP, or "the best value for shareholders.") Not the most happiness, the most ecologically sustainable outcomes, the lowest infant mortality rates, the lowest suicide rates, the highest measures of contentment and satisfaction, the longest lifespans, or anything else.

The circularity produced by that understanding of "best" is the problem. I recognize the value of wealth-production in creating a better society; it is not, however, the same as creating a better society.

Re:As far as the miscarriage one goes. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959179)

There are two ways I can go with the response:

(a) Semi-jerk

"I'm surprised that they actually did layoff this person. This is San Francisco we are talking about. I believe they recently changed their city motto to 'From each according to his ability, to each according to his need'."

(b) Complete jerk

"Maybe they did take personal situations into account and decided that she now had one less mouth to feed."

Re:As far as the miscarriage one goes. . . (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959257)

No, they should've waited an appropriate amount of time before laying her off. Humans are not machines. Employment is not about money only.

Re:As far as the miscarriage one goes. . . (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959411)

I dunno. If you read the limited context provided...

"If this response seems particularly emotional, perhaps an associate 's emotional vulnerability after a recent miscarriage is a factor you should consider the next time you fire or lay someone off..."

I personally interpreted it as her addressing her emotional state as though it had been an issue before. In my little (admittedly completely made up bullshit) interpretation, she had been emotional in the office, her supervisors told her to stop it, but she couldn't. Then she told everyone why she had been such a biatch lately in a final 'f' you gesture to management who didn't have the empathy to deal with her recent troubles.

Her response could be due to a lot of things, really, not just "I've had this terrible event and now I get laid off in a completely unrelated event type of thing"

Re:As far as the miscarriage one goes. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959433)

Agreed. Rather a sexist plea as well, but I'd wager that fact will fuel opinions here rather heavily. Seems to me management didn't know about her situation, which while horrible and tragic, also means she probably didn't do what she claims management should have done for her--letting them know what was going on with her.

I was sent simply (4, Funny)

Crockerboy (611431) | more than 5 years ago | (#26958911)

"So long and thanks for all the fish!"

Re:I was sent simply (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959067)

damn, I was gonna do that one....

Re:I was sent simply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959113)

All I got was a surprisingly sophisticated attempt to do a double-backward somersault while whistling "The Star Spangled Banner"... oh wait...

Re:I was sent simply (1)

zeldor (180716) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959147)

it wasnt an email but I did leave this saying on my whiteboard when I left one job. it was however in klingon.

An unintentional goodbye email... (5, Funny)

nycguy (892403) | more than 5 years ago | (#26958939)

The funniest "goodbye" email I saw occurred about 10 years ago. A guy down the hall from me was responding to a personal ad--probably in a "casual encounters" section. He gave, shall we say, a very elaborate physical description of himself. He also went into details about his various fetishes and sexual proclivities, as well as some choice moments from his sexual history. He also described exactly what he hoped to do with the person he was writing to, complete with various sexual acts and positions.

Unfortunately, when he clicked send, the mailer garbled the "to" line in such a way that it went to the company-wide email list. (The company-wide email alias was "world"--the email address he was sending to had "world" in it, and I assume he had accidentally put a space the middle of the email address, causing it to be mis-parsed.)

When the email hit everyone's inbox, there was a moment of silence on the whole floor, followed by phrases like "holy shit" and laughter. The last anyone saw of him was him ducking and half-running down the hallway with his backpack. He apparently thought he'd never be able to live it down, called HR later in the day to resign, and never showed up at the office again.

Re:An unintentional goodbye email... (1)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959061)

This has to be the funniest thing I have read on Slashdot in quite some time. I laughed out loud...real world style. Thanks!

Re:An unintentional goodbye email... (4, Funny)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959409)

Well, did you reply back with a yes or no?

Bought some books... (1, Redundant)

RabidMoose (746680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26958949)

About two years ago, somebody got fired from my company. He happened to be in training for managment at the time, and was reading a book he'd bought for himself. Upon learning he was about to lose his job, he sent out an email containing the first chapter of the book, grabbed the home addresses of all the managers in the building, and shipped copies of the book to each.
The email also contained commentary on how the managment might benefit from a little reading.

Be Careful! (5, Insightful)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 5 years ago | (#26958977)

I'm an IT consultant - my contract was terminated early, and I wrote a tasteful goodbye email ("was great working with you all" etc. which happened to be true). Good thing I did - 3 days later more funding came through and I was called back!

Re:Be Careful! (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959245)

I'm an IT consultant

Which basicly means you're on and off regularly, and personal relationships matter for future contract possibilities. If you haven't got the good sense to be professional then, you're in the wrong job in the first place :)

Re:Be Careful! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959335)

Congratulations

The TechTV legend... (2, Funny)

Legion_SB (1300215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26958981)

Russ Pitts tells TechTV that he "couldn't care less if the building spontaneously filled with eagle semen [falsegravity.com] "...

Re:The TechTV legend... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959221)

31 pages? Are you serious?!?! I would rather drink a building full of eagle semen than read 31 pages.

Poor Ron Paul (-1, Troll)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#26958985)

Oh the ignominy! He was the shining star of libertarianism, now he's the poster boy for getting sacked? Sure, it is an iconic photo, but he is still employed. This is sure to prompt some angry replies from disgruntled libertarians. Is 'disgruntled libertarian' redundant? I mean, I've never met one that was gruntled.

Re:Poor Ron Paul (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959305)

What is the context of this picture? I've never seen it before. Is it after he pulled out of the primaries?

p.s. This is a pretty awesome idle article IMHO. !idleispants

Unprofessional? (5, Insightful)

areusche (1297613) | more than 5 years ago | (#26958989)

In response to the article summary, I don't think Shinyung Oh's upper management knew that she had a miscarriage. It's not like they were waiting for the worst opportunity to lay someone off. It sounds more like she had a basically really terrible week. On a side note I think her response was wholly unprofessional. Let your contacts know you are no longer working for said firm and be done with it. Don't make it a personal vendetta. Junk like that only kills your chances later on in the career path.

Re:Unprofessional? (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959355)

On a side note I think her response was wholly unprofessional.

And your lack of compassion and understanding is wholly unhuman.

Obligatory Office Space quote... (3, Funny)

Deathdonut (604275) | more than 5 years ago | (#26958995)

When I was given the news, I was able to tell the head of the department:

"Good luck with your layoffs, alright, I hope your firings go really, really well."

Others weren't so glib, but then others hadn't already planned to quit and secured a 40% raise elsewhere. For me, the severence was a bonus.

How about no message at all (1)

mhollis (727905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26958997)

I know a guy who was laid off and actually heard that he was laid off from the press.

He is a many-storied journalist and the bureau he was running was closed down in the annual "cost-cutting" routine performed by a nameless broadcasting company. Since they closed the bureau he was heading up, he retained no access to the company's mail system and could not send anything.

He found out about his layoff from a competitor. I think he's working for them, now.

I find it interesting how this broadcasting company timed these bureau closings: Inevitably it was right before they needed the resources. They closed down their Denver bureau just before the Columbine school shootings. Other bureaus' closings were immediately followed by a major event.

Re:How about no message at all (2, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959177)

I know a guy who was laid off and actually heard that he was laid off from the press.

I'll see your "laid off from the press" and raise you a "new Chairman of the Board at the meeting".

The government agency I work in has a Board composed of 3 appointed members. The year after I started, the then Chairman of the Board was at the first meeting of the year and, from what I heard, the opening discussions went something like this:

We'd like to welcome the new Chairman of the Board, ...

Not an auspicious, or professional, way to introduce the new Chairman.

my last farewell letter (1)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959021)

My last farewell letter was to a university lab. We tested all sorts of internet gear. Every summer we hired about 20% of our workforce again, to replace those of us that graduated. Each year, the new kids seemed dumber and dumber. Eventually, I realized that they were just as dumb each year, and that I was actually getting smarter. (Didn't feel like it when I realized that). My farewell letter was a bunch of "cheat codes" basically. I tried to tell people what to avoid, like office politics and committees, which run rampant. I'm sure no one will take it to heart, but it felt really great getting it off my chest. I think that's what a farewell letter should be. Something that can't find you a year later saying "I wish I had said..."

Re:my last farewell letter (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959321)

I did something similar when I quit a job. I left what I called "The Gotcha File" for my successor, outlining what you talked about, in addition to tech info he'd need to know.

The best revenge.... (1)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959031)

...is hearing about how poorly the three people that were hired to replace you are doing.

Petty e-mails and parting shots aren't worth it. When they bring me my empty box and escort, I'll be the one smiling.

Re:The best revenge.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959187)

I was a receptionist, I quit because they were underpaying for the duties they asked of me and they broke several verbal promises for fringe benefits and other such. They replaced me with someone making 50% more but she could not handle the job and had most of my old duties cut. A few weeks later, I heard it took them almost a month and an army of staff to assemble the quarterly newsletter for mailing which I pretty much did by myself in under two days while still doing my regular duties. That made my year.

Re:The best revenge.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959281)

I used to work as a computer tech, I was replaced by 6 people because of politics. Each were making more than double what I had made. The computer system went from about 200 active systems to about 60 in less than 2 years because of their lack of ability or knowledge on how to maintain computers. I visited my old boss sometime later and helped her get about 40 of them back up one afternoon. I could have done more but they needlessly junked the rest of computers to hide their incompetence.

it doesn't get better than this: (2, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959039)

http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/good-bye-from-a-hedge-fund-manager/ [nytimes.com]

October 17, 2008
Today I write not to gloat. Given the pain that nearly everyone is experiencing, that would be entirely inappropriate. Nor am I writing to make further predictions, as most of my forecasts in previous letters have unfolded or are in the process of unfolding. Instead, I am writing to say good-bye.

Recently, on the front page of Section C of the Wall Street Journal, a hedge fund manager who was also closing up shop (a $300 million fund), was quoted as saying, "What I have learned about the hedge fund business is that I hate it." I could not agree more with that statement. I was in this game for the money. The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of
the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America.

There are far too many people for me to sincerely thank for my success. However, I do not want to sound like a Hollywood actor accepting an award. The money was reward enough. Furthermore, the endless list of those deserving thanks know who they are.

I will no longer manage money for other people or institutions. I have enough of my own wealth to manage. Some people, who think they have arrived at a reasonable estimate of my net worth, might be surprised that I would call it quits with such a small war chest. That is fine; I am content with my rewards. Moreover, I will let others try to amass nine, ten or eleven figure net worths. Meanwhile, their lives suck. Appointments back to back, booked solid for the next three months, they look
forward to their two week vacation in January during which they will likely be glued to their Blackberries or other such devices. What is the point? They will all be forgotten in fifty years anyway. Steve Balmer, Steven Cohen, and Larry Ellison will all be forgotten. I do not understand the legacy thing. Nearly everyone will be forgotten. Give up on leaving your mark. Throw the Blackberry away and enjoy life.

So this is it. With all due respect, I am dropping out. Please do not expect any type of reply to emails or voicemails within normal time frames or at all. Andy Springer and his company will be handling the dissolution of the fund. And don't worry about my employees, they were always employed by Mr. Springer's company and only one (who has been well-rewarded) will lose his job.

I have no interest in any deals in which anyone would like me to participate. I truly do not have a strong opinion about any market right now, other than to say that things will continue to get worse for some time, probably years. I am content sitting on the sidelines and waiting. After all, sitting and waiting is how we made money from the subprime debacle. I now have time to repair my health, which was destroyed by the stress I layered onto myself over the past two years, as well as my
entire life - where I had to compete for spaces in universities and graduate schools, jobs and assets under management - with those who had all the advantages (rich parents) that I did not. May meritocracy be part of a new form of government, which needs to be established.

On the issue of the U.S. Government, I would like to make a modest proposal. First, I point out the obvious flaws, whereby legislation was repeatedly brought forth to Congress over the past eight years, which would have reigned in the predatory lending practices of now mostly defunct institutions. These institutions regularly filled the coffers of both parties in return for voting down all of this legislation designed to protect the common citizen. This is an outrage, yet no one seems to know or
care about it. Since Thomas Jefferson and Adam Smith passed, I would argue that there has been a dearth of worthy philosophers in this country, at least ones focused on improving government. Capitalism worked for two hundred years, but times change, and systems become corrupt. George Soros, a man of staggering wealth, has stated that he would like to be remembered as a philosopher. My suggestion is that this great man start and sponsor a forum for great minds to come together to create a new system of government that truly represents the common man's interest, while at the same time creating rewards great enough to attract the best and brightest minds to serve in government roles without having to rely on corruption to further their interests or lifestyles. This forum could be similar to the one used to create the operating system, Linux, which competes with Microsoft's near monopoly. I believe there is an answer, but for now the system is clearly broken.

Lastly, while I still have an audience, I would like to bring attention to an alternative food and energy source. You won't see it included in BP's, "Feel good. We are working on sustainable solutions," television commercials, nor is it mentioned in ADM's similar commercials. But hemp has been used for at least 5,000 years for cloth and food, as well as just about everything that is produced from petroleum products. Hemp is not marijuana and vice versa. Hemp is the male plant and it grows like a weed, hence the slang term. The original American flag was made of hemp fiber and our Constitution was printed on paper made of hemp. It was used as recently as World War II by the U.S. Government, and then promptly made illegal after the war was won. At a time when rhetoric is flying about becoming more self-sufficient in terms of energy, why is it illegal to grow this plant in this country? Ah, the female. The evil female plant - marijuana. It gets you high, it makes you laugh, it does not produce a hangover. Unlike alcohol, it does not result in bar fights or wife beating. So, why is this innocuous plant illegal? Is it a gateway drug? No, that would be alcohol, which is so heavily advertised in this country. My only conclusion as to why it is illegal, is that Corporate America, which owns Congress, would rather sell you Paxil, Zoloft, Xanax and other addictive drugs,
than allow you to grow a plant in your home without some of the profits going into their coffers. This policy is ludicrous. It has surely contributed to our dependency on foreign energy sources. Our policies have other countries literally laughing at our stupidity, most notably Canada, as well as several European nations (both Eastern and Western). You would not know this by paying attention to U.S. media sources though, as they tend not to elaborate on who is laughing at the United States
this week. Please people, let's stop the rhetoric and start thinking about how we can truly become self-sufficient.

With that I say good-bye and good luck.

All the best,
Andrew Lahde

Re:it doesn't get better than this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959111)

TLDR

Another one (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959057)

My personal fav was years ago when a student working for us was returning back and forwaded on his thesis. It basically was "why we suck as an organization." He sent it to the ENTIRE 20,000+ person organization.

Gold.

Farewell, oops (2, Funny)

inthedump (1484859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959059)

There was this guy Andy H. who was laid off. He got his pink slip and sent out a looong 2-page email about who he hated and who he hated more... An hour later, his manager (who had not read his goodbye mail) came running out of his room saying, "Hey so sorry for the mistake, the OTHER Andy H. is the one getting the boot, you're still staying with us". Moral of the story - don't blow your mouth, be professional and courteous. Unless you're absolutely sure you're kicked out the door, and then you can say "fsck y'all, I'm outta here!!"

upon being 2nd to give notice in a few days... (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959155)

I copied my former coworker's farewell email, switched it to HTML (first time I ever sent an HTML-formatted email), and simply marked out any words that didn't apply to me, added my own next to them, and sent that.

It wasn't a mail (5, Funny)

Teun (17872) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959181)

It was well before E-mail became available when we were called into a conference room to hear about the "Reorganisation".

When the manager entered one of our guys came forward and asked him for a kiss.

Upon the managers indignant reply "Why would I kiss you?" our Hero explained he liked to kiss while being screwed.

Best of the best (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959183)

The Company was moving the data center and getting rid of all but one admin "me". I had been offered a position with a new company on Friday. I decided I would give my notice on Monday. That weekend we were all in on our monthly maintenance Sunday working the entire day. Monday morning the security guards came around and escorted all the admins out of the office "except me, I was being retained". Monday afternoon the company called me in to tell me not to worry that they would be hiring some temp help. I handed them my resignation and told them they better make it quick! You have two weeks. Best Quit ever!!! Screw the man!

Disjointed ISP (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959203)

I had gotten work at one of several small ISPs that had yet to fail in the area. I had actually applied at a computer shop, who passed my resume to the ISP, who then called me and hired me without an interview or giving me any training.

The ISP was an adventure in itself, with the owners, a married couple, going through a nasty divorce. The husband was running the tech half and the wife was running the business half. The daughter (the receptionist) warned me that "things in this office stay in this office, and vice versa."

I quit six hours into the job. It was that bad. I don't remember the e-mail I sent out (because no one on the business half picked up a phone after 3:30) but I do recall criticizing their internal communication: "Such a level of synergy has yet to be reached at many a Fortune 500 company."

Part notification (4, Funny)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959213)

We had a guy who worked in the inventory department send out a part notification. The part number was his employee ID, the description was his name, and the status was "Out of stock - Discontinued". He sent it out in the same format as the usual notification.

I thought that was pretty clever for a farewell done in good humor.

Miscarriage? (-1, Troll)

feepness (543479) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959215)

In May, lawyer Shinyung Oh was let go from the San Francisco branch of the Paul Hastings law firm six days after losing a baby. "If this response seems particularly emotional," she wrote to the partners, "perhaps an associate 's emotional vulnerability after a recent miscarriage

It's a fetus, not a baby.

Re:Miscarriage? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959447)

Yes and your a prototypical lifeform until you have evolved to not consume anything and produce waste and retain the need to have to wipe your smelly ass.

Until then YOUR a FETASS

Why bother (2, Insightful)

bihoy (100694) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959219)

It seems to me to be more of an exercise in massaging one's own ego. I, personally, find it more productive to use a site like spoke or linkedin to keep connected to my former coworkers. No long winded e-mail necessary.

Don't call me! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959251)

Personally, I've tried to keep my farewell messages civil and polite, but I'll never forget this one (paraphrased from memory) from one of the senior devs at one of my first jobs, when I was a junior programmer... He started off by giving a nice farewell to everyone, then put down his personal cell phone number to call in case of emergency... Then he put some helpful guidelines of when to call or not to call...

1) If there's an urgent problem with the system and you need help fixing it, call me.
2) If you're in the [location] area and want to go out for a beer, call me.
3) If you've come to the sad realization that business logic is embedded in every layer of the application, and you need a shoulder to cry on, DON'T CALL ME.

He was so right...

Good bye huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959259)

The best Good bye I ever heard was not via e-mail. I worked for a company back when night computer operators we still a real necessity. We did boring things like change out tapes and hit enter to acknowledge messages, for 12 hours straight. The guy who had the job before me, was sitting there one night and looked that the boss. I am going to go get some sweat paints. He never came back.

As for the miscarriage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959269)

Yeah, it was in very poor taste to let her go immediately after a miscarriage. It looks bad, it's bad for morale, and on and on.

But I don't like the sense of entitlement she had, either. We all have known people in our careers who needed to be shit-canned but managed to duck it due to pregnancy or medical leave or some crap.

A Short, Colorful Resignation (1)

IsaacD (1376213) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959271)

My undergrad is in education, and immediately after graduation I took a job at a government school a few miles south of Atlanta. It took only two weeks to determine that I'd spent the last four years earning a degree that I absolutely had no use for. I had to put my idealism aside and become a glorified baby-sitter. When contract-renewal time came around, I was called and asked where my signed contract was. I responded, "I'm not coming back." The response was, "Oh, but we need something in writing." So, I found an obnoxiously pink post-it note and simply wrote "I won't be back.", signed my name, and stuck it to the principal's door. The best part is that my original contract was valid through the summer, so I was continued at the same salary for almost three full months for doing absolutely nothing.I'm much happier in the private tech world.

Important to keep emotions under control (4, Insightful)

dcavanaugh (248349) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959283)

This is NOT the time to explain who you hate and why. It is imperative to be professional about the process (no matter how bizarre the situation might be). Your co-workers already KNOW to the self-promoting a$$holes are, who is sleeping with whom, the golfers, the entrenched dead wood, etc. There is a time and place to orchestrate a response, but it can wait for more favorable circumstances. If you're really pissed off, help find a new job for everyone who is competent and useful. But help yourself first. It starts with being viewed as a resource within your industry, and you can't do that if you have spent your time bad-mouthing anyone. Besides, you never know who you might be working with in the future.

It takes time, but bad things happen to bad people. Always.

"Out of Office" (5, Funny)

EEBaum (520514) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959303)

We're a close group at work, and all get along pretty well and like working there, but people do move on from time to time. About a year ago, a friend sent a company-wide email with the topic "Out of Office", which is usually used if someone's emailing in sick or going on vacation. Took about an hour before someone actually read the email and saw that he would be out... permanently.

Now everyone reads all the vacation emails carefully, just in case.

The email has become tradition, with every subsequent departure using the same message, verbatim, changing only one thing... the first email said that he hoped the people at his new job would be half as cool; the next said one fourth, then one eighth, etc.

Executive Summary (4, Informative)

Mana Mana (16072) | more than 5 years ago | (#26959307)

Executive Summary:

Mrs. Oh was excoriating the law firm's (more precisely the elite senior partners) campaign to blame law associates with a record of _excellent_ reviews for the associates' firing.

Why? She alleged the law firm was not bringing in sufficient business to grow (a partner's raison d'etre), that the firm did not want to publicly admit the fact, BUT, it wanted to maintain an illusion of grandeur so as to entice new elite-law school graduates to continue to apply as new associates.

The miscarriage, her exemplary reviews, one partner's unsolicited glowing! praise days earlier, his about face, her firing, her presentation of an NDA type document for severance pay at the last minute firing, her emotional rawness, her refusal to be stampeded at such a vulnerable moment, her outrage and refusal to submit to the law firm's fig leaf for its own hiring duplicity, her email to "the" partner, et al all make up the rest of the story.

Last heard, months ago when this broke, she had committed major corporation career suicide but she apparently did not let that stand in her way. She's of Korean ancestry and cute though married.

goodbye.xml (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26959443)

I worked at a place that was obsessed with XML....I wrote the following.......

As today is my last day with Company XXX, I thought I would say my goodbyes as well. If there is one thing I have learned, it is the power of XML. Unfortunately the translations were sent out late, so you'll have to wait until next week to find out how I really feel!!

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE mass-email-template PUBLIC
        "-//Bridges DTD 2.0//EN"
        "http://realultimatepower.net">

<goodbye date="${today}">
    <message>
        <p>Dear ${peer.name},</p>
        <p>Ive worked here for ${months.of.service} months
              and I can honestly say that this is the most ${approp.adjective1} place I have had the ${approp.adjective2} of working for. I have learned ${quantitative.amount} about successful IT development at this ${descriptive.location}.</p>
        <p>I wish you and everyone at ${place.of.employment} a hearty ${quirky.idiom}. I am confidant that ${place.of.employment} will enjoy much ${descriptive.noun} in the future!</p>
        <p>Sincerly, ${name.of.person.leaving}</p>
    </message>
</goodbye>

In all seriousness, I've had an enjoyable 22 months at Company XXX. Good luck to all!

Keep in touch!

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