The Art of Writing a Farewell Letter

Here’s a little something for all of you who at one time or another were tempted to leave your job in a blaze of glory. I’m not sure as to the validity of the farewell letter, but I can tell you that the email I received was at one point forwarded by a program manager at JPMorgan Chase.

The Closet Entrepreneur

Jay Rodriguez/JPMCHASE
06/22/2007 01:16 PM
Subject Farewell

Dear Co-Workers and Managers,

As many of you probably know, today is my last day. But before I leave, I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what a great and distinct pleasure it has been to type “Today is my last day.”

For nearly as long as I’ve worked here, I’ve hoped that I might one day leave this company. And now that this dream has become a reality, please know that I could not have reached this goal without your unending lack of support. Words cannot express my gratitude for the words of gratitude you did not express.

I would especially like to thank all of my managers both past and present but with the exception of the wonderful Saroj Hariprashad: in an age where miscommunication is all too common, you consistently impressed and inspired me with the sheer magnitude of your misinformation, ignorance and intolerance for true talent. It takes a strong man to admit his mistake – it takes a stronger man to attribute his mistake to me.

Over the past seven years, you have taught me more than I could ever ask for and, in most cases, ever did ask for. I have been fortunate enough to work with some absolutely interchangeable supervisors on a wide variety of seemingly identical projects – an invaluable lesson in overcoming daily tedium in overcoming daily tedium in overcoming daily tedium.

Your demands were high and your patience short, but I take great solace knowing that my work was, as stated on my annual review, “meets expectation.” That is the type of praise that sends a man home happy after a 10 hour day, smiling his way through half a bottle of meets expectation scotch with a meets expectation cigar. Thanks Trish!

And to most of my peers: even though we barely acknowledged each other within these office walls, I hope that in the future, should we pass on the street, you will regard me the same way as I regard you: sans eye contact.

But to those few souls with whom I’ve actually interacted, here are my personalized notes of farewell:

To Philip Cress, I will not miss hearing you cry over absolutely nothing while laying blame on me and my coworkers. Your racial comments about Joe Cobbinah were truly offensive and I hope that one day you might gain the strength to apologize to him.

To Brenda Ashby whom is long gone, I hope you find a manager that treats you as poorly as you have treated us. I worked harder for you then any manager in my career and I regret every ounce of it. Watching you take credit for my work was truly demoralizing.

To Sylvia Keenan, you should learn how to keep your mouth shut sweet heart. Bad mouthing the innocent is a negative thing, especially when your talking about someone who knows your disgusting secrets. ; )

To Bob Malvin (Mr. Cronyism Jr), well, I wish you had more of a back bone. You threw me to the wolves with that witch Brenda and I learned all too much from it. I still can’t believe that after following your instructions, I ended up getting written up, wow. Thanks for the experience buddy, lesson learned.

Don Merritt (Mr. Cronyism Sr), I’m happy that you were let go in the same manner that you have handed down to my dedicated coworkers. Hearing you on the phone last year brag about how great bonuses were going to be for you fellas in upper management because all of the lay offs made me nearly vomit. I never expected to see management benefit financially from the suffering of scores of people but then again, with this company’s rooted history in the slave trade it only makes sense.

To all of the executives of this company, Jamie Dimon and such. Despite working through countless managers that practiced unethical behavior, racism, sexism, jealousy and cronyism, I have benefited tremendously by working here and I truly thank you for that. There was once a time where hard work was rewarded and acknowledged, it’s a pity that all of our positive output now falls on deaf ears and passes blind eyes. My advice for you is to place yourself closer to the pulse of this company and enjoy the effort and dedication of us “faceless little people” more. There are many great people that are being over worked and mistreated but yet are still loyal not to those who abuse them but to the greater mission of providing excellent customer support. Find them and embrace them as they will help battle the cancerous plague that is ravishing the moral of this company.

So, in parting, if I could pass on any word of advice to the lower salary recipient (“because it’s good for the company”) in India or Tampa who will soon be filling my position, it would be to cherish this experience because a job opportunity like this comes along only once in a lifetime.

Meaning: if I had to work here again in this lifetime, I would sooner kill myself.

To those who I have held a great relationship with, I will miss being your co-worker and will cherish our history together. Please don’t bother responding as at this very moment I am most likely in my car doing 85 with the windows down listening to Biggie.



*Post Scriptum: I do not advocate burning bridges in this manner, this is simply a viral email that I wanted to share. 😉

» This entry was filed under Humor


  1. Ben Cooper

    From the way he wrote this was one bridge he never intends to cross again which is why he burned it totally. Dismissing this as a viral email means you don’t get it.

  2. TOMAS

    Hi Ben, just to clarify, I stated “viral email” because it was sent to me on a distribution list and CC’d from a previous email so 1) it’s making its way around the internet thus it’s “viral” and 2) I have no way of verifying that this is the exact & original email that was sent out to everyone (just covering my arse in case there are differences or errors from the original).

    I definitely do understand that he didn’t care about keeping any bridges intact. 🙂

  3. Katie

    I think this is brilliant. The author not only left with no way of returning, but he stood on the other side of the river giving a big middle finger to all who remain lost in the grind.
    We should all hope to be so witty.

  4. A.G.

    Leaving Chase was the one of the single best decisions I’ve ever made. Bravo. Witnessing so much squandered potential and wasted money truly is demoralizing. The culture of squashing any opportunity to effect change leaves one awestruck when finally bathed in the light of an intelligent, creativity promoting organization. I can only imagine that Chase’s current profitability is entirely funded by the exploitation of previously generated and stored potential, an oil well of cash buried below the surface that surely must peak and crash..

  5. roman

    Heh, all GTI folks. No surprise there.

  6. After investing five years at Chase, toiled and suffered for the team upon the repeatedly broken promises of a bonus and metrics driven management, I dream of writing a letter such as this.

    While moving up through the organizational tiers, from Tier I support to Tier III, and yet watching my functional and officer titles slide in the opposite direction via continual reorganization and retitling efforts, my time with Chase draws to a close, and for many of the same reasons as sited in the above.

    Chase is the epitome of the story of the three letters…

    A manager starts a new job, and while getting settled in at his new desk, discovers a note and three envelopes, marked “1”, “2”, “3” in the top drawer. THe note tells him that when he fases his first crises, open the first letter, when faced with his second major crises the second, etc.

    So, filled with confidence in his new role, he pushes them into the back of the drawer, forgets about ’em, and gets started..

    Things go great for six months, and then the sky caves in. With a major crises, and management demanding answers, in a panic he remembers the three letters…

    Ah ha!

    So he pulls out the letter marked “1” and tears it open and reads:

    “Blame it on your predecessor.”


    And so he does, and weathers the storm.

    So then three months later, the sky falls in again and once again, in desperation he rips open the second letter to see:


    That’ll work he muses, and so it does…

    So nine months later, it hits the fan again, and smiling to himself, he opens the third letter, and the smile drops off his face:

    “Write three letters.”

    This is Chase, and with eleven managers in five and a half years, and watching more than one eject with a golden parachute, I can attest to this.

    Yes, I dream of writing a letter like this.

  7. JP Morgan Chase Sucks Big Time!

  8. Dee

    Jay was a great guy, I too feel the same about the old JPMCHASE..after 13 years it was a letter to you saying goodbye…Thanks to BANKOne! Kudos to Jay for expressing how he really felt..Take care Jay!!


  9. We live in a democracy and we should be able to speak freely about corporations that are morally bankrupt. Look at Enron, had someone spoke up sooner maybe all those employees would not have lost their jobs and their pensions.

    Read my real life horror story about JP Morgan Chase:


    Here’s another last day email from another satisfied Chase employee..

    To All:

    I would like to apologize to everyone on the QA staff and the Development staff for my involvement with the entire off-shoring effort.
    I have decided to terminate my employment with JPMC effective immediately because I can no longer work for a company that demonstrates such cold-hearted indifference to loyal employees that have given 25, 30, 38 years of exemplary service to the company.
    But most of all I want to apologize for being so naive as to actually believe the two stated reasons for hiring me in the first place:

    1). To increase the level of technical expertise of members in the QA group.

    2). To assist an outside group (TCS) in the development of automated regression tests to be used by the existing QA staff to more adequately test releases before placing them into production.

    In reality, I now know that main purpose for hiring me was to help the TCS group convince upper management that all QA and Development activities could be moved offshore to Bangalore, India. The other secondary purpose for hiring me was to give training classes to the QA staff and then test the staff using unreasonably difficult questions as a means of dismissing staff members as “needing improvement”. Please forgive me for my involvement in this whole process. I didn’t wake-up and see the real agenda until about 2 months ago and realize that something was terribly wrong. Still I chose a few more paychecks rather than doing the right thing. Please forgive me for this. When Paula was dismissed based on a test I was asked to compose, I could no longer deny my complicity in this underhanded affair. Since then I have been more observant and I now realize that the off-shoring effort intends to migrate all TSS Clearing positions in QA and Development to India. So please be on the alert and watch what information you share.

    It has been a pleasure working with all of you over the past year, I am sorry that it could not have been under better circumstances. God bless you all and good luck in the future.


  11. Jan Brady

    JPM practices a managerial style know as Malcom X. A dictatorship style where mangement feels the average person is an idiot and can’t function without their personal guidance. A linear approach – with little or no flexibility in practice.

    Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    As for the outsourcing practice, while I believe a global industry runs 24×7, and given the time differences between India and US, it makes good business sense.

    However, to replace US employees with TCS employees is a whole different issue. TCS now has control over most of the JPM IT framework.

    Guess with that in mind, we are working for an Indian bank. They should probably rename it Bank of Baroda Chase – Or just shorten it to BOB – close to the original Bank One name. Customers would be less confused.

    My personal admiration for Jay Rodriguez and spamboxformatt. You spoke the truth, did the morally right thing and I believe you are very honest and decent people.

    Also, to all the TCS personnel I have worked with – I have found your work ethic and talent to be outstanding. Congratulations on taking over a major corporation even though it is yet to be recognized or acknowledged.

    My condolences to JPM senior management for forfeiting their profitable business to overseas competitors – guised as IT consultants.

  12. BOB

    It’s going to be great watching companies like this try to recruit in the U.S again someday.

  13. Syn0nym0us

    I too wish I had the bravery to write an email like Jay. He said everything that I only think of; dare not speak it. It’s sad that the company has come to this level of sheer incompetence.

    It will be a while before the company can recover from this “culture” shock. The people with loyalty and commitment are the ones being forced out.

    I have no complaints about Jamie Dimon though; it’s only a matter of time before he figures out that upper management is blowing smoke his way.

    Recently, I had a review with my manager. He gave me the normal “schpeil”. Listed my so-called “strengths, and weaknesses”, and then gave me the usual “Meets expectations”.

    At the time of my review, I was also looking at employment outside of the company. Eventually the employer offered me a job the following week after my review. When I went to resign, my manager asked “what can we do to make you happy speech”. Then he comments:

    “I didn’t tell you this on your review, but you need to work on “A”, “B”, and “C” if you want to get to the next level”.

    I was stunned and surprised; my manager was only completely forthcoming with what I needed to work on after I threatened to leave the company. I am now convinced that some upper management willingly withholds guidance and grooming to secure their jobs.

    You aren’t allowed to grow at JPMorgan. You are to do as you are told, Period.

  14. Tim

    My opinion of ‘The Firm’,

    To the (upper) management, Yes, some people do have the audacity to speak out against you. Deal with it. Not everyone is a mindless ‘unit of labor’ or puppet.

    It is ironic how an email like this could even make it outside the firm when so many managers are on top of everything…surely there is no disconnect between management and staff? or perhaps things like this would not occur with managements current ethics? or lack thereof…