I did this as an exercise a month before resigning to clarify my own thoughts for resigning & to anger myself, in a way, to keep myself motivated. 

Ironically I ended up getting fired the day before handing it in.

 

I’ll close the door on the way out

 

Dear team,

I have really valued the experience with you all & wanted to clarify that you are not the problem here. I think in another context it would be a joy to work with you. Unfortunately, however, there are a number of factors that have contributed to my resignation, an outcome I have seen as inevitable since the first few weeks, which I will outline below:

 

1) I can’t follow a dictator

Within my first week I was aware that I was working for a dictator. Assuming that you are always right in business is completely wrong & puts the entire business at risk. To be arrogant enough to assume that you are confidently able to predict social trends, markets & human behaviour – as well as be more intelligent than the collective intelligence of an entire team – is something I can’t quite fathom.

Not only is it a risk to the company, it has also alienated those in the company. If people are condescended to, talked down to, trumped in their own area of expertise, then the outcome will only be that you piss them off. And justifiably so.

Furthermore, I have seen clearly narcissistic behaviour in this obsession over projecting a certain image to the world that does not reflect reality.

You use the word ‘family’ when its usage is completely antithetical to the definition of the word &, quite frankly, an affront to our collective intelligence.

You push people to work long hours (let’s not even go into the mass of behavioural psychology studies that show this is unproductive), you encouraged people to come in ill before we lost half the office to illness & you sell us the ‘mission’ when you don’t even seem to believe in it yourself.

The entire ‘mission’ & purpose of the company is – & seemingly always was – an ego project in the pursuit of wealth & social status. The glories of our ‘family’ would be borne by you, our benevolent, omniscient leader.

 

2) The Mission Fallacy

It really seems to me that this whole enterprise simply exists to gain contracts from E-On. The mission is not, as you purport, to ‘revolutionise your home’. It’s simply ‘let’s get a few contracts from E-On over the next 2 years’.

No-one really cares about reducing electricity consumption or making people’s lives easier. It’s a game of how much money can we spend before it runs out.

I’m just surprised to think that you didn’t think people wouldn’t realise they had been deceived.

 

3) Work Culture

I refuse to work in an office environment that shows no genuine empathy for others & works on archaic working traditions.

Firstly, we have a culture of staying late. This to me shows immaturity & a failure to organise yourself properly. If you are unable to focus during the day, busy yourself with emails & Slack & don’t get your work done during normal hours, then there’s a problem there.

It is not only counter-productive to stay late, it has come to represent hard work & dedication to the company. Are we really that immature? Do we need to act like children? I used to get my work done by lunchtime, yet what’s the point? I’m dis-incentivised to be productive, as I have to stay until an arbitrary hour anyway, so what’s the point?

Secondly, we try to paste over the lack of culture & empathy with gin & tonics. Are you serious? If you’re aiming to dominate a market then you need world-class culture. Throwing a few limes at it isn’t going to work.

Not only is there a clear lack of any sense of team, there is also a clear lack of empathy. HR seems to be purely focused on getting people through the door & signing a contract. Once their in that’s that. Just leave them at their desk to produce.

We have people moving here with no apartment & no friends. Who else has made an effort to help these people? Apart from Jonathan I have seen no attempt at genuinely helping out or showing true empathy for others.

The only reason I think the company is still going is because of the quality & friendliness of people that work here. What a shame that is betrayed by the failure of management to instil any authentic attempt at community-building.

 

4) Violating my contract

A final confirmation of the lack of empathy & giving-a-shit in this company was two months ago.

In my contract, it stated that I would have 30 days holiday per year. When I queried the fact that I had only been allocated 25, I was told that this was ‘an old contract’.

I think HR misunderstands the purpose of a contract. There is only ‘the contract’ & the whole purpose of ‘the contract’ is that it may not be violated under German law.

I find the fact that this situation even ever came about a sign of gross incompetence & a sign that the rights of employees are, simply, an inconvenience.

This situation has still not been resolved – or even addressed since I raised it – so I will be taking legal action if it is not resolved by the end of the week.

 

So I found myself: deeply unhappy with my work, feeling like a cog in a wheel that is going nowhere & entirely lacking purpose. For me that realisation means that leaving was inevitable & imminent. It is unacceptable for me to look myself in the mirror & continue working on something I don’t believe in.

I urge you to not fall victim to the sunk-cost bias, continuing to put your lives into something you have already invested time & energy into.

Please consider the fact that life is short. You should not be wasting it on making money & ego-stroking.

You are all such talented, interesting & caring people capable of making a real impact in the world with whatever you set out to achieve. Please set out to make that impact.

 

I challenge you to do the same. Write out why you’re unhappy in your current job & face the truth. Hopefully the clarity it provides you will motivate you to take action.

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