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Dear Mr. Feinberg,
It is with great pleasure that I announce that I am giving you my resignation from this inner circle of hell you call a workplace, effective immediately. After getting hired here a year ago following my graduation from a top ranked university, where I busted my butt in class, and spent countless hours at the unpaid internships now required of all people between the ages of 18-22, I thought that I was the luckiest person in the world. I had beaten the odds. I had accomplished something that The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Forbes Magazine had all told me was unattainable: I had gotten a job. I was so happy at first. My mom took me to J.Crew and Ann Taylor and we bought the shit out of some blazers and pencil skirts and “statement” necklaces I was told I so desperately needed. I chopped off my long hair and got a more sensible cut with side bangs and lowlights. I watched YouTube tutorials about sock buns and low chignons and proper bobby pin placement. I switched from the smoky eye to a neutral palette and forgot all about liquid eyeliner. I threw out my red lipstick. I bought pantyhose and kitten heels. I wore tweed for the first time in my life and broke out in hives. Then I bought Benadryl and powered through it.
I came into work early and I stayed late. I wrote reports and made copies and got coffee and planned meetings. I picked up dry cleaning and edited drafts. I spoke to clients and handled their affairs. I sent thank you notes and gift baskets and purchased your wife’s birthday present. I looked after your calendar, scheduled dentist appointments, ran errands, and picked your children up from school. I looked after the interns and wrote their recommendation letters. I ordered lunch and memorized your coffee order and sat in on meetings when you didn’t feel like going. I cried at in the bathroom and didn’t tell HR about the leering or the comments or the grabbing. I taught you how to use Excel and didn’t laugh when you asked me how to add an attachment to an email. I dealt with your indecisiveness, incompetence, and complete inability to do your job. I scheduled your marriage counseling and made sure to purchase the jewelry for Stacy, your mistress, on the secret credit card your wife doesn’t know about. I was careful. I was dedicated. And now I’m done.
After all of the countless hours spent in lectures, the papers, the exams, the office hours, and the career fairs, no one ever told me about this. No one ever sat me down and said that my diploma would be nothing more than a decoration and that my self-respect would be dwindled down to nothing. I wasn’t warned about the awfulness and bitterness and unhappiness. I wasn’t prepared for 15-hour workdays and a salary of $24,000 a year. I didn’t realize that I would have to stay on my parents’ health insurance policy because I couldn’t afford to pay for my own. No one told me that I’d be living with four other people in a row house located in a questionable part of town. No one told me that my portion of the rent in said shitty house would cost me nearly half my yearly salary. Someone must have forgotten to mention that you have to rob Peter to pay Paul when it comes to student loans and that it’s only a matter of time before you’ll succumb to credit cards. I wasn’t warned about the shitty people in the workspace or, really, shitty people in general.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not entirely your fault, Mr. Feinberg. In fact, most of it is not. You’re just a middle-aged guy, working a middle-grade job, living in a middle-class suburb of a middle-sized city. You’re not quite at the bottom, but you will never, ever be at the top. You drink away your sad life and try to make sense of your sad marriage and hope to God that your children don’t end up with the same sad fate. You’re not happy, but you’re not unhappy, either, because that would require feeling anything at all. Truth be told, it’s been a long time since you’ve experienced an emotion other than defeat. So forgive me, Mr. Feinberg, for not wanting to be like you.
I hate this job, I hate this office, and I hate how miserable everyone is. I hate how Linda in HR is on her third divorce and has her NutriSystem sent directly to her cubicle. I hate how Bob in Accounting types with his pointer fingers and refuses to use Excel spreadsheets. I hate that we play “easy listening” radio stations at too high of a volume and that this office hasn’t been renovated since before I was born. I hate how no one seems to really work and every day is a countdown to retirement. No one has passion. No one has drive. No one has ambition. Everyone here exists; nothing more, nothing less. And I want no part of it.
I want to feel excitement. I want to love my job. Hell, I’ll even settle for just liking it. This whole “suck it up, everyone hates their life” mentality is ruining this country. We’re creating settlers and middle managers and complete complacency, and I will not be a part of it. I’m going to set out on a mission to find myself and to find a career that I truly enjoy. I might fail, and I’m sure that you and everyone like you would like to see that happen. But if I do, at least I’ll know that I tried. At least I tried to be better than existing. At least I tried to be better than a cubicle at the dead end office of a dead end company. I want to learn and I want to experience things and I want to feel some sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
You say that Millennials are lazy, but we’re not, sir. We just don’t want to settle. We want to work hard, but we want to work hard at something that matters. We want to be innovative and we want to be creative and we want to test our limits. We want to invent things and save lives and be funny and, yeah, some of us really do want to wear jeans to work. We’re not bad people, we’re just different. We may crash and burn in our endeavors, but at least we’ll know we tried. And so I’m going to go try. I’m going to go try to find myself and find my calling and find my passion. I’m going to eat Ramen noodles and pound the pavement and maybe I’ll even backpack across Europe, because I can. I’m going to live. I’m going to thrive. I’m going to try to make it.
It’s been real, Mr. Feinberg. I appreciate the experience, I really do. I’m not selfish and I’m not ungrateful, I’m just not happy. And I deserve to be happy, Mr. Feinberg. And so I quit. I’m done. I’m out. You do you, Mr. Feinberg. I’m going to go do me.