I often wonder, while walking with puppy Shadow in the mornings, how many “employees” I see through office windows staring at computer screens are actually emailing their friends, or on Facebook, instead of “working.” Their way of getting back at their “employers”? Their way of staying sane/insane? Their way of “killing time”? So much wasted human energy! So many creative souls who have yet to ignite their own fire!
It may be that the first step you have to take in order to begin to fulfill what your conscience demands is to quit your soulless job. If so, here’s a great resignation letter to inspire you and make you laugh.
July 25, 2013
by Maria Popova
brainpickings.org via Rhonda
“He is a nice fellow. We will let him down easy but let’s can him.”
Like a number of celebrated creators — including Dr. Seuss, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Wendy MacNaughton — Sherwood Andersonstarted out in advertising to make ends meet, first as an advertising solicitor, then as an ad salesman and copywriter for farming equipment, and eventually as a copywriter in Chicago-based advertising agency Taylor Critchfield Co. until he became a successful novelist at the age of 41. Though he was man oftimeless, profound insight on the creative lifeand the originator of some of history’s finest fatherly advice, he was also a man of masterful humor and remarkable wit. In 1918, when the time came to free himself from the shackles of the corporate world and plunge wholeheartedly into his craft, Anderson wrote what’s possibly the best letter of resignation ever penned, found in the altogether delightful Funny Letters from Famous People (public library):
You have a man in your employ that I have thought for a long time should be fired. I refer to Sherwood Anderson. He is a fellow of a good deal of ability, but for a long time I have been convinced that his heart is not in his work.
There is no question but that this man Anderson has in some ways been an ornament to our organization. His hair, for one thing, being long and messy gives an artistic carelessness to his personal appearance that somewhat impresses such men as Frank Lloyd Wright and Mr. Curtiniez of Kalamazoo when they come into the office.
But Anderson is not really productive. As I have said his heart is not in his work. I think he should be fired and if you will not do the job I should like permission to fire him myself. I therefore suggest that Anderson be asked to sever his connections with the company on [the first of next week]. He is a nice fellow. We will let him down easy but let’s can him.