Ted Spurgis to his Boss, August 1988

Dear Mr. Tenderill,

As you may have heard, I hit the Mega Millions jackpot drawing on Friday. After taking a weekend to consider my options, please consider this letter, along with the puddle of urine on your carpet, as my resignation letter.

It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed working here. Lord knows that Sandra and Katie are more attractive than most of the women in the hundreds of magazines I bought Friday night. Plus, Steve seems like a cool guy, even if he’s a little weird (seriously, how long is he going to keep talking about this Nintendo fad?). Sometimes, the work was interesting. Well, once. When we got to go to that Mets game.

But you are a turd. Instead of hiring a replacement for me, you should hire someone to follow you around and kick you in the shins when you say something mean or stupid. Maybe then you’ll learn how to not be a terrible human being, and somehow even a worse team manager. Seriously, you’re the worst leader I’ve ever followed, and my unit commander in Vietnam was convicted of atrocities against peasant children. Even he was less of a shit than you. I wish you all the best in your attempt to be the worst human being since Dick Hitler’s kid.

Up yours jerkwad,

Ted Spurgis

Analysis:

Using letters to tell of one’s immediate superiors was very uncommon throughout the history of the letter. This is not entirely unsurprising, as the penalty for telling off one’s bosses in most ancient culture was either death or a firm smack on the head with a bunch of carrots or other root vegetables. Until democratic ideas began to flow, the most a worker could hope for was to pray really hard for something bad to happen to a terrible boss, or to stab them to death. For leading a nation to tyranny, this seemed an alright plan, but it was a bit of an overkill when a serf killed his boss for not restocking paper clips.

Americans, of course, tell off their bosses all the time. Jefferson’s first draft of the Declaration of Independence had an entire section detailing how King George’s expansion strategy was growth-neutral and ignored emerging synergistic opportunities. Luckily, here in the United States, the corporate plutocrats at the top of our major corporations are always smart and forward-thinking, and the people we put into minor positions of power never let it get to their heads or turn into minor despots, which makes these types of letter very uncommon indeed.

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