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a story, attempted

i just realized my last post may have given the wrong impression. THIS was sent to my boss on the thursday morning before he quit. he just beat me to the punch, and i don't even know if he turned in my letter to the proper authorities before he took off. the other email was meant to be something he could share with others--this letter was for him.

i am at a loss now. his departure means previously unthinkable things, and i have no idea how this will shake out. part of me is ready to accelerate my own departure. another part of me is sobbing that part of my own acceptance of enough being enough was based on the fact that he would still be there for the department. i don't know.

i am grieving. i don't know what to do. my mentor shakes off my comments about leaving, and we scarcely acknowledge that my boss is gone. my work-bff airily says he wasn't really surprised. I WAS SURPRISED. if that means i was just tremendously unobservant, so be it. it's little bit difficult to be all that close when exchanges are limited to email and the occasional call because his boss is too much of a control/budget freak to let him travel for any other reason than to see him.

but i am happy for him. it's a brilliant move and i wish him every success.

I regret to inform you that I will be leaving [firm] once [project] goes live and I am comfortable that the current remaining staff can handle the basic demands of the system.

I would not be entirely truthful if I said that I've enjoyed the past 16 years. It hasn't been all bad--some of it has actually been rather stellar--but the fact remains that I've spent a goodly part of the last several years thinking:

  • I can stick it out for one more year

  • I can't let the team down

  • what will become of my team, my work-children, if I leave?

  • when is it my turn to be protected?

  • my family won't mind if I'm absent/distracted/cranky

  • my family won't mind that we never go on vacations

  • my children won't mind if I miss another event/party/movie/meal

  • I'm a failure because delegation is not my strong suit, and maybe if I give up sleep in order to meet deadlines no one will notice that I'm doing all the work myself

  • I'm an ungrateful bastard because I don't understand that all of this work I'm doing is allegedly for MY benefit

  • I'm a terrible person because personal loyalty to beloved colleagues just isn't enough

The last few years have turned me into a whiner and I don't like what I see. The last few years have shown me that a reputation for being "nice" and "efficient" means I get left on my own to hold off the angry mobs while people of higher rank either scatter or passive-aggressively fight amongst themselves. The last few years have proved to me that I must be a pathetic dinosaur with no sense of what it takes to survive here with wits and sanity intact.

Years ago we joked that when I don't end an email with "thanks!" something is wrong--that I don't complain often, but when I do, people should take notice! I've spent the last year(s) complaining about [project] and the unreasonable demands on my time, and the response I've received has been sighs, superficial expressions of sorrow that I have to work so hard, pressure to make on-the-spot wide-ranging decisions during large-group conference calls, and tighter deadlines. I've complained about the way other departments push work to me, the way higher ranked people in other departments have completely lost any sense of boundary where I am concerned. I have done my damnedest to get to know these products, understand these processes, put aside my resentment, embrace change--and I'm tired, and my family is tired.

Because it's typical of [firm], I expect the overall reaction to this announcement to be "if only she knew how to delegate," and after all of these years there is really nothing more I can say about that. But I do wish you every success in locating a replacement with that very valuable skill.

Thank you.



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