Thursday, November 17, 2005

On Beginnings and Endings

First Things First
Yesterday was a sick day. Sick. Day. All day. ::bleah::

No writing of any kind occured. I didn't even access my e-mail until nearly 5 o'clock. When I did, it was to unleash a flurry of perfectly valid questions from the editor working on Geoff's book. Geoff, of course, is currently out of the country. And I was temporarily out of commission. I called, but it was too late. Perhaps it's for the best. Today is almost certain to be better.

The one "up" that happened, however, was the arrival of the contracts for the new book. It's tentatively titled "The Rider's Back Book," and will be written for / with Dr. James Warson. Dr. Warson was a neurosurgeon for years who specialized in getting people back in the saddle again. He's funny, informative, articulate, and personable. As one of the target audience (someone with a less-than-perfect spine who refuses to quit riding), I'm hoping that maybe the book will be rewarding on a multitude of levels...

I signed the contracts, had them witnessed, and sent them on to Dr. Warson. Ah, the excitment that such a simple thing as dropping a package in the mail can bring!

How To Say "Good-Bye"

And now, a word to my friend P. who sent an e-mail asking how best to write a letter of resignation:

The short answer would involve following these three simple steps:

1.) Write "I Quit!" on a piece of paper.

2.) Hand the paper to your boss.

3.) Walk away.

...But that's too flip.

If you want to write a letter of resignation -- perhaps to vent, to cite a specific shortcoming in the workplace, or to leave a paper trail for the lawsuit that will shortly follow, feel free. I don't believe there are any hard and fast rules for such inter-office communiques.

Any letter of resignation should include an effective date ("effective immediately") and an unmistakable notice of quitting ("I will no longer work as an employee of Gigantico, Inc.").

Reasons, if you feel compelled to give them, should follow. A caveat: whatever reasons you cite as a reason for quitting will probably not be addressed. Corporate America is Just Too Big. It's sad, but it's true. (Yes, I am bitter. I have my reasons. It's still true.)

If you want to rail against all the ineptitudes that have led to your quitting, go ahead. Tell it like it is. Get it all out. Name names. Cite dates. Point fingers. Lay your cards out on the table. Write until your fingers hurt.

Then TEAR THE LETTER UP. Refer back to the paragraph that begins "Any letter of resignation should include..." Write a very professional letter to your immediate supervisor. Include your name and title. State the date of your resignation. And end it at that.

A word to the wise -- in today's increasingly uncertain job market, it's best not to walk away from a paycheck until you have another one lined up. It's a scary world out there.

Still, sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Good luck!