Originally Published on PostHaven
I never knew what drove people to write blog posts like, "Why I left Google" or "Why I left Apple" and in so doing put out one’s dirty laundry for all the world to see. If we've learned anything from this era of over-sharing it's that once it is out in the ether, it's there for perpetuity. Those embarrassing pictures, those innuendoes, those out of context unPC statements embedded in the cloud for all eternity.
Then I unearthed this personal gem from the end of the first dot.com boom (see below). It was sent out via company email since this predated Facebook, twitter and even google. (Yes I’m dating myself). After rereading the e-mail I was happy to discover I did not act rashly and, unlike the individuals, I didn't name by name in regards to the "Why I Left Google" blog posts, did not blame others for my departure.
I’m not saying I’m any better than those individuals who disparaged their employers on the way out — I’m just saying isn’t it better to be remembered for the good work you did than the vitriol you spewed on the way out?
KEEP LOOKING SHOCKED, MOVE SLOWLY TOWARDS THE CAKE
It is with a melancholy heart but an undaunted spirit that I must say farewell to my friends and family at [redacted] on such short notice. Had I more time, I would have told you all individually what a great pleasure and privilege it has been to work with you. Time is not a luxury for me at this point (my last day will be Monday), so I must do my best with this letter.
At the early age of five, I was able to peer through the portal that was my future and know exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be an artist, to create something from my imagination that in its physical form would bring others great joy. As I got older, I learned that it’s real hard to make a living as a painter or sculptor...so I refocused that portal. (gotta eat don’t I?) That’s how I ended up in Communications Arts & Design. Different focus, same passion. There were times when I was perhaps overly harsh in my display of that passion. If you were on the receiving end of that verbal intensity (you know who you are) and took it personally, I apologize. It wasn't meant to be personal, I just believed there was so much more potential inside of each and every one of you. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Heed your critics, for they identify your weaknesses.”
Weighing both the good with the bad, I would say my tenure at [redacted] has been a most wonderful and interesting ride. Most of this is due to relationships I have made and experiences I have had with all of you. I have learned much from the people of [redacted], some by example, some in spite of it. But, I have learned none-the-less. And to you all, I owe a great thanks for this knowledge. Especially to my design team who always gave more than they received. Some people deserve to be further singled out for their contributions in making me the person I have become over these last five years. Those persons have been itemized at the end of this letter.
LOOK BOSS, DE BLAME, DE BLAME!
Some of you may have a predisposed opinion about the cause of my departure from [Redacted}. The rumor mill has been running in overdrive on this one. So let me set the record straight once and for all. Despite all the innuendo, all the allegations, no one really is to blame; it's just difficult financial times.
Up to a point, a man’s life is shaped by environment, heredity, and movements and changes in the world about him. Then there comes a time when it lies within his grasp to shape the clay of his life into the sort of thing he wishes to be. Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune, or the quirks of fate. Everyone has it within his power to say, "This I am today; that I will be tomorrow."
~ louis l’amour, famed author of cowboy fiction
DON'T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA
Many of you know my anal-retentive qualities. I tend to over-plan, over-pack, and over-organize. So one could assume that in spite of my situation, I will remain resilient. For in my over-planning, I have planned a contingency for this occasion as well. In the past I’ve always landed on my feet, this time should no exception. I have, in fact, been offered and accepted a job at [Redacted] on Capitol Hill.
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
~ albert camus
MY SPECIAL THANKS GOES OUT TO
(names truncated to protect the innocent)
- zev r.: who taught me that it’s possible to win with integrity... and quality of life is more important than money, especially with a certain mr. [removed to protect me from lawsuits].
- paul d. and jim m.: who always believed in me and listened to what I had to say.
- larry o. and his crew (raf, kyle et. all): who always gave me flawless prints, flawless service.
- marvin i.: who taught me that it’s possible to get almost anything done on rush if you ask nicely.
- scott k.: who taught me that single malt scotch will almost always fix everything.
- bob m.: who showed me it’s possible to believe in god and not evangelize.
- kim a.: who showed me that the fastest way to move up in business is to wear big toe-busting wedge heels and to smile when you deliver bad news.
- kimberly r. who showed me that it’s possible to love a job and the people so much, that it hurts you to the point of tears when it’s time to leave.
- cori c.: my right hand "man" who has always functioned in a state of grace.
- roberto r.: who showed me that true love between two people is still possible, even after they’ve been dating like...forever. [they are now married]
- rumen b.: who made me appreciate aluminum chlorhydroxide and who didn't let the designer's dinner magnum of Kendall Jackson go to waste.
- shannon d. who has never complained about any job I’ve ever assigned her, no matter how mindnumbing.
- fred k.: who made me believe that scanning is one of the Zen arts.
- mark g.: who always thought I was better at it than the average Joe (T).
- steve d.: who made me learn how to deliver my creative/design direction in vulcan logic.
- anne m.: who showed me that people who love the production process and have no desire tobecome Paul Rand actually exist.
- kevin t.: who taught me that it’s possible to disagree with someone at work and still remain friendswith them away from work.
- pamela p.: who showed me it’s possible to cook a six course meal for 20 people when everyone but [name deleted as a courtesy] donates only $3.00.
- jim m. & jane p.: who took the most mundane info and made it into slick ad copy almost too good for pharmaceutical usage. (especially the concepts the client rejected.)
- grace o.: who taught me that most everything sounds quite distinguished when spoken with an english accent. (ask her to say “veetamins” or “preeve - acy”)
- roland v.: who has elevated wine drinking to an art, or at least a website. (dcwinos.com)
- mary h.: who showed me that it’s possible to do an exemplary job day-in and day-out—even if the only time anyone notices is when you screw up.
- marc f. who accepted me as a mentor, even though I worked for “management.”
- krysta h. who could always manage to MacGyver anything into a dimensional mailer.
- heidy a. & michele c.: who always knew when it was a good time to screen my calls—and for always making it to movie night.
- cat c.: who helped me figure what type of asian I am...
- john g.: who is just as stubborn as I am...
- chris s. for his delusional faith that the Bo’Sox can actually pull it off. [so they finally won the World Series, who woulda thunk?]
- suzanne b.: for her undying faith in my organization skills.
- charles w.: for renewing my faith in the art director/copywriter model of concept development.
- sondra a: who showed me that a little personal attention goes a long way. (By the way...can I cash in my promarket jewels now?
- heather c.: the smile that always makes my day go by just a wee bit faster.
- julie j.: for her patience with the Road Runner account.
- marybeth r.: who allowed her self to sin against the church by staying married to me and her current husband...at the same time. [inside joke]
- tanja b.: for being so damn tall. (I already returned the CDs I borrowed.)
- norman m.: for always falling for the “hey... my computer just locked up” gag.
- brandon m.: for never turning me in for the “hey... my computer just locked up” gag.
- sara d.: for standing up to the Ford Motor Company laywers.
- tom m.: for championing our concepts and returning my hammer (time!) on the NEW project.
- erin c.: who allowed me to violate the graphic standards when she wasn’t looking.
- randy g.: who accepted me as a fellow peer, despite the voices and accents.
- david f.: who actually mellows out with a beer in one hand and cigar in the other.
- jae w.: for her inner “margaret cho” that's dying to get out.
- melissa y.: who has the only other last name people repeatedly butcher besides mine or Supons. (lefebure doesn’t count, different sister company)
- tom k.: who showed me when it’s OK to use the phrase “F*CK’em, F*CK’em All!”
- eamonn g. and the entire IT crew: (Heidy A, KC C, Kevin S, Thomas A and William C) for indulging me by allowing the implementation of my server organization hierarchy.
Your Former Design Director and Still the Designated Eye of the Storm