There is one working day that every Deserter looks forward to; the culmination of all your dreams and plans. You’ve seen the lucky ones go before you and now, finally, it’s your time to shine – you are about to resign.
Conventional wisdom tells you not to burn your bridges, but don’t let conventional wisdom spoil your big day. When has conventional wisdom ever bought you a pint, or slipped you an E? We advise you to douse those bridges with petrol and strap dynamite to them, before lighting a spliff the size of a lightsabre on the pyre of your career. Going back is bad. Like driving in reverse, in a mad sort of way.
There are three main options to consider:
Some consider this a cowardly option, but then they’d probably regard cowardice perjoratively, rather than the noblest of human virtues. If faced with insurmountable odds, fuck off and have a pint, isn’t it? Don’t stand there and fight like some sort of idiot.
And so, if you have to face an intimidating boss with the news that you’re not only leaving, but that the work you were supposed to have done is in such a shitstate that it will take a miracle to unravel, do the decent thing: Leave a note and bugger off. This does have the disadvantage of you not being present to see your boss going purple with rage, but it also means no working your notice period. Go immediately to your sofa for a well-earned rest and a noodle on Netflix.
You can say things in writing that you’d never muster in person. You can be insulting, rude, angry, gleeful, or even French. You can tell the truth – ‘Somehow I lost the burning passion for logistics that I mentioned at the interview stage.’ Plus, if you mention your boss’ sexual proclivities in a resignation letter, you can be sure it will never reach HR and your departure will be accepted without question.
The graceful exit
Maybe you’re just too nice to insult people and feel the need to restrain yourself from a wholehearted celebration of your good fortune. In this instance, just gradually rub it in on a daily basis that you are going on to a better place. Follow a dignified resignation by doing less work each day until all you’re using work for is the Internet and toilet paper. Start wearing sandals. Then shorts. Then swimwear.
Avoid any further proper work by making a big song and dance about your ‘Handover Document’. Spend an inordinate amount of time on it, including such attention to detail as best local, finest all-day breakfast and nearest place for a lie down.
Conventional wisdom tells you not to focus on the negative points of your time in your job while composing your resignation letter. Obviously, do focus on them. List them. Make a pie chart and present it at your exit interview.
Come into work every day singing a happy song at the top of your voice. Have the biggest leaving drinks in the world and snog everybody. After all, no matter what you say about staying in touch, you will never see them again and only fancied them because they sat near you, and every day got more beautiful, like a cell mate.
The nuclear option
As exciting as it is waiting in your boss’ office with your naked arse in the air ready to offer an unmistakeable resignation with your fundament, unless you’re a contortionist you’re again likely to miss out on seeing the look on their face.
Handing in a simple resignation letter along with an expletive-filled verbal rant detailing your boss’ shortcomings is generally the way to go and is wonderfully cathartic, as long as you don’t have to return to say: ‘By that, I meant, pig-eyed fucknugget who writes generous references.’
But sometimes an awful job or manager deserves the deliciously-timed resignation, with an audience or flourish. For instance, when you’re in a meeting with a bunch of senior twunts you loathe and you’re expected to deliver a presentation you haven’t written. Thank everyone for coming before revealing a PowerPoint slide of your raised middle finger. ‘Extrapolate that, motherfuckers!’
Then say goodbye to your desk by doing a large line of cocaine off it.
Your email will stay active for ages after you leave so use your out of office to leave a personal message about the company (eg, ‘I have now left the company. Please email Simon if you would like a simple enquiry turned into a catastrophuck, Marianne if you’re happy to wait until next year for an answer, or Tobias if you enjoy condescension from a chinless, red-trousered oxygen-thief.’)
Never hold your leaving drinks before your last day. There is nothing to be gained from coming back into work the day after you let off the fire extinguishers and carved your initials into the boss’s door.
My favourite leaving drinks were from quite a conservative media company. One of my colleagues was a part-time burlesque dancer and after a few drinks taught all the other girls how to remove a bra from their person with just two fingers. They were all at it until an entire bra-swap had ensued, leaving one woman in a bra two sizes too small for her, at least according to conventional wisdom.
We then left the pub and went to a bar to snort ketamine off a library card and swim in the carpet. I had such a good time I went back to work for them six months later so I could have another leaving bash.
The goodbye email
Get your message across under cover of apparent manners: ‘My two years at Slog & Perish have taught me a great deal, not least about benefits of booking meeting rooms in advance. I would rather have been here with you guys than with the finest minds in business. It’s the little things I’ll miss, like having to swipe in and out of everywhere, safe as an inmate.’
When the Dulwich Raider left one post, he photographed his favourite toilet, where he had spent so many happy hours. He keeps it on his mantelpiece.
It’s good to know there’s room for sentiment in desertion.
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