Jack Shafer at Slate has collected some prime examples of written or spoken messages from journalists who have resigned or been fired from their jobs.
“My ill-starred tenure at New York magazine was, among other things, a crash course in the staggering unselfawareness of Manhattan class privilege. … [T]here was the sashaying mood of preppy smugness that permeated nearly every interaction among the magazine’s editorial directorate—as when one majordomo tried to make awkward small talk with me by asking what it was like attending an urban public high school, or when another scion of the power elite would blithely take the credit for other people’s work and comically strategize to be seated prominently at the National Magazine Awards luncheon.”
“Go ahead and talk amongst yourselves, masters of the universe—and let your therapists-manqué at New York transcribe your every mawkishly aggrieved word. Every phony social revolution needs its Joe the Plumber, after all—and Messrs. Moss, Sherman et al fit the bill nicely. Watch the decibel level, though—it turns out that a lot of people went to public high school, and they’re pretty fucking sick of the sound of your voices.”
—Chris Lehmann, four years after leaving New York magazine, April 2009.
“After extensive study of history, I believe ‘Latino’—as used in the Los Angeles Times—is the most recent attempt at genocide perpetrated against the native people of the Americas. I also posit this new genocide is far more dangerous than the old fashioned murder and relocation efforts.”
—Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, in her 3,400-word letter of resignation to her editors at the Los Angeles Times, early 2001
I’ve always clung to the conventional and boring advice that one should leave a job on the best terms possible (references for future employers and all that). Does anyone have a good tale of telling a boss (in so many words) to take this job and shove it?
(Hat tip: Jeffrey Goldberg)