Ed. note: Have a question for next week? Send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will soon leave my biglaw job for greener pastures. My time at the firm has been awful — soul-crushing work, very low morale among associates, distrust of management, and stealth layoffs (luckily I’m not one of those). Recently a lot of those given “forced attrition” have been leaving, and they all say goodbye with falsely upbeat, suck-up emails, full of “I have been grateful for world-class colleagues,” and “I have grown into a well-trained attorney,” and even “I’ll miss my time here.”
I would like nothing better than to send a real, honest email — calling management out for their greed and mismanagement of the firm, stealth layoffs that decimate careers and reputations, and the low morale fostered by bad leadership. Is that career suicide?
Dear Blazing Saddles,
Messages of rage, despair and other unseemly emotions clog the draft sent box of nearly every person’s email account. Most people have the self-restraint to “save as draft” the please die/FYI you were horrible in bed anyway emails. Others have learned from their accidental send mistakes and now draft all break-up and rot in hell emails in MS Word. And still others — the Jerry Maguires among us — press send, and set into motion a parade of horribles.
Let’s say you send a firm-wide email, informing the firm that they’ve robbed you of 5 years of your life and that you’ll see them all in hell. For about 3 seconds, you’ll feel liberated. You sure showed them! Unfortunately, the flipside of liberation is exile. You won’t be seen as a folk hero, carried out on the shoulders of paralegals because even your co-workers who share your FU sentiments will perceive the mere act of sending the email as 100% insane. They’ll immediately forward it on to everyone they know with captions like “HAHA – OMG,” and “Bellevue.” ATL will procure a copy, we’ll do an entire post on it, and then your law career will really be over. The minute you send the email, you’ll be liberated, alright — from your next prospective job, and the one after that, and the one after that, and so on and so forth until a thousand years have passed.
You don’t have to be a complete nerd and send one of those ludicrous “I feel privileged to have worked here/I hope our paths will cross again/please keep in touch” eulogy emails. Don’t send anything at all and proceed immediately to a pub where you turn your rage inwards and abuse your body with alcohol and onion rings.
If you do send the email, pls bcc email@example.com.
I reprise the role of Elie, who’s on vacation, after the jump.