Dear Executive Team:
I tender my resignation, effective immediately. To be sure, this is a very painful decision. I’ve always been this company’s biggest advocate and I strive to inspire others. I won the poster contest last year with my dramatic portrait of our COO fighting a sorcerer. Some thought it a bit gruesome, but you can’t defeat a sorcerer without cutting out his heart and eating it. I did the research.
I always tried to lead my team as best I could, even if, to be honest, they were not the brightest bunch. Scott Felkins once came to work stuck in a football helmet. Many never accepted me as their Team Lead. Perhaps they were jealous that I had risen from their lowly ranks. Perhaps they thought me highbrow, because I had never come to work stuck in a football helmet. But I digress. Please see the important details below:
1. I sent a mass email to inform clients that I am no longer with the company. I recommend that they contact Scott Felkins in my stead. Someone should mention to Scott that his voicemail greeting should be updated daily. Also, he should refrain from saying he is out of the office, due to “a bad itch.”
2. I removed all personal belongings from my half-office. I even vacuumed — I didn’t expect Facilities to do it, as they didn’t bother cleaning up after the cat hoarder who left last month. People are still finding sparkly balls in the copier.
3. You should know that I am resigning because Pam Spellman chose to promote Jenn Brightman instead of me. When I started out in the call center years ago, I swore an oath of loyalty to the company. I had faith that it would eventually yield dividends. By sheer will, I clawed my way up to become Team Lead. And when someone ran over the District Manager in the parking garage, my promotion seemed inevitable.
- a. Pam appeared to agree: One night after work at Bumpers’ Happy Hour, she said I was “invaluable.” True, she was drinking a second BOGO pitcher by herself. But a Managing Director’s word is a Managing Director’s word. Imagine my shock when she announced that Jenn Brightman had been promoted.
4. A District Manager should be someone with a fierce devotion to the company’s long-term success:
- a. Someone who only started a month ago because we pay slightly more than a competitor (Jenn Brightman) is not the kind of person who should attain the position.
- b. Someone who wears see-through tunics with no tank top underneath (Jenn Brightman) is not a person with a keen moral compass.
5. Even though I was heartbroken, I refused to give in to bitterness:
- a. It is not my business as to whether it’s a proper use of company funds for Pam to buy Jenn dinner at Morton’s to celebrate her promotion (gag).
- b. I won’t comment on the time I walked into the training room and found Pam and Jenn streaming old episodes of Buffy on a company iPad.
- c. However, I cannot keep silent when Pam presented Jenn with a dwarf jade bonsai tree as a birthday gift. It destroys morale when only certain people are singled out to receive a gift.
- d. It is common knowledge that potted plants were the cause of the rodent infestation on the second floor.
- e. Pam also had everyone in the call center sing to Jenn. Surely I need not remind you of the company’s mission statement: That we are dedicated to our clients above all. Interrupting work to make everyone sing “Happy Birthday” is a crime past forgiveness.
- f. It is policy that birthdays are celebrated on a quarterly basis: That employees whose birthdays fall within that quarter are presented with a half-chocolate, half-vanilla sheet cake (sprinkles optional).
- g. We should not allow a Managing Director to make a mockery of these tenets. Pam bringing out a cake decorated like a dwarf jade bonsai tree is nothing short of treason.
- h. I worked at this company for eight years, and not once did anyone ever sing “Happy Birthday” to me.
6. In spite of everything, I consistently defended Pam against her many detractors:
- a. I covered for her pointless ramblings in meetings by saying she may have experienced a traumatic brain injury.
- b. I completed her monthly spreadsheets when she was exhausted; her iron depleted (or so she claimed) from clinically diagnosed PMDD.
7. But given her recent actions, I believe that Pam is evil. She betrayed me. Even worse, she plundered the company’s integrity.
And so it is. I will leave, perhaps with nothing but my honor. I will not work for people who joust with the dark side.
In closing, I kneel in gratitude to my former staff (the ones who gave me higher than 0 out of 10 on the manager survey), who still toil on the front lines. The years I spent in the call center were simpler, happier times. Despite the horrible hours and an even worse hourly wage, we took things in stride. We were young and strong. The life force was in us.
8. This is not farewell:
- a. Don’t be surprised if you pick up a delicious cream cheese brownie at a team building potluck and wonder who brought it.
- b. One morning, you notice that the plastic ficus in the lobby has been replaced by a dwarf jade bonsai tree.
- c. While passing the broom closet, you think you hear the strains of a lute playing, faintly.
I wish you well in your future endeavors.
Debbie Graber’s debut story collection, Kevin Kramer Starts on Monday, was published in May 2016 by The Unnamed Press. Her stories have appeared in Harper’s, Zyzzyva, Electric Literature and Hobart, among other journals. She received an MFA from the University of California, Riverside.