a farewell e-mail to my boss:

Hello Rebecca,

I want to tell you that I no longer can work for you for the following reasons:
  • The degree to which you are disorganized has resulted in consistent and unreasonable demands that were impossible to meet.
  • Due to your disorganization and the volume of work you committed yourself to without a proper support system, you hardly ever provided me with sufficient time to complete projects or jobs.
  • This would then result in a 30 minute meeting with you where you would tell me how I am not performing well enough, fast enough or competently enough. This time spent both reduced my time to work on what needed to be done (and thereby continuing the cycle and pressuring me to stay late) and increased my anxiety to work as quickly as possible (lest I get fired).
  • The sheer amount of demands that piled on top of each other every moment we interacted. I dreaded every time we were going to see each other because I knew you were going to express how your whole life is in disarray and I must be your support by doing 20 things at the same time.
  • The varying tasks I was asked to do- I am your office manager, your housekeeper, your project manager, your personal assistant and your therapist. I am not paid enough to do this nor was this what we agreed upon as my job criteria.
  • I was never trained as an office/ project manager and yet, somehow- perhaps, magically- I needed to know everything about the dozens of projects you were doing. This would not have been wildly ridiculous if
  1. you gave me resources or even some information so that I knew how to research these projects.
  2. you gave me time to research this.
  3. the time allotted to researching your projects was paid because let’s be honest, I should not work for no pay and you, as a social justice advocate, should not expect me to work for no pay.
  • You’re skillfully manipulative with myself and everyone else you work with. With your knowledge as a psychologist and nonviolent communicator, you are able to have people do what you need them to do, regardless of how this may negatively affect them. Just because you tell someone, “I honor you” or “I hear you” does not mean that you are actually doing any of that. If you can’t respect people’s boundaries and their decisions, then how are you hearing or honoring them? Examples:
  1. Falling asleep during our boundary conversation. Yes, I noticed that you nodded off. And when you have done it elsewhere, other people have noticed too.
  2. Calling at 5 AM, 7 AM, 11 PM, weekends; e-mailing my personal e-mail (sometimes with the heading “please baby please baby…”- what?!)
  3. Silence. Often you would grow silent when you wanted someone to do something for you and they were refusing. The silence would last for a minute or two and in that time, the other person would scramble for words, questions, anything to fill that awkward and pressured feeling most people feel around such behavior. This would then result in them caving. People I have seen you use this on: Myself, Larry, Patrick, Derrick and Jason. This is a highly manipulative tool.
  • You are inappropriate for the following reasons:
  1. Yelling and cursing matches with your partner, Larry, in front of your employees
  2. Projecting your own problems like always being late or disorganized onto others like myself and Larry. Do you not see that every appointment you make with others you are either late to, you cancel or you forget about. EVERY. Do you not hear that everyone communicates their needs to you- for their time to be respected, for their voices to be heard- but instead, you hoard time.
  3. I don’t need to know that you need to pee every time you need to go. Why would I need to know that?
  4. “I don’t care if you get to eat or take lunch. All I care about is that I get what I need done.” Um, under federal law, me taking a break is required and under social advocacy, starving your employees is frowned upon.
  5. Again, “please baby please baby please” should never be a subject heading to an e-mail sent to an employee.
  6. Again, calling employees for non-emergencies like to talk about your day after my work shift is over- not OK.
I’m writing all of this to you because one, it feels good to communicate and two, your privilege needs to be checked. As someone who is white, as someone who has gone to the most elite educational institutions, as someone that has money, as someone who is able to move through the world with greater ease and most shockingly, as someone who claims to be an advocate of and for communicates of color, your privilege runs amuck. You take up way too much space, you disrespect people’s time, you patronize people instead of actually valuing and listening to them and you tokenize people of color. And you know how I can make these very harsh but real claims? I am able to see this unchecked privilege not only because I learned and studied this in academia but because I have witnessed and been affected by it all my life from people that are privileged.
You can take from what I’ve said or leave it. I hope you gain greater empathy and suffer less.
I will send my invoice to Paula come the 25th of April with the address of where it needs to be sent. I expect to be paid on time.
Thank you,
*italicized words are pseudonyms so to ensure anonymity.*

2 thoughts on “a farewell e-mail to my boss:

  1. this sounds almost identical to an email i sent my old old boss when i held about the same position and encountered just about the same problems you so eloquently described here. more power to you sista! from my similar experience, communicating exactly what i had been keeping within for so long to my boss released so much built up anxiety and stress. it was freeing. i imagine you feel the same. congratulations! you’re amazing! much love and respect. XX!

    • beautiful minds ;)

      i’m happy that you were able to release your voice to who was exploiting you- it is so important. i think a lot of times it’s so hard to get the courage to speak up when you’ve been wronged because we are wronged so often in this system of oppression, division and exploitation. we get used to it and that, on so many levels, is understandable. but those moments, whether many or few, when we denormalize our suffering by speaking truth to power, it’s exactly what you said-it’s freeing.

      so much love for your words, power and sweetness!

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