Dear John Pty Ltd
Well, this is awkward. I’m not sure how to say this. But things haven’t been right for a while between us. We’ve had some stupid rows over cleaning up the mugs in the staff kitchen and where we should go for the Christmas party, little things like that. We just carry on as if nothing’s the matter because these are trivial things, right?
It goes deeper than that. The magic’s gone out of our relationship. I think we’ve been growing apart for some time now. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but there have been things you’ve been doing for a while, now, that really irritate me. You always want to know where I am and what I’m doing – you come right up behind me, look over my shoulder at what I’m writing! Do you know how irritating that is?
You make me share my diary with you. You criticise me if I go on Facebook. You make me tell you who I’ve been talking to and what I said about you and the stuff you’ve been doing. Sometimes you even take all the credit for the good work I do and forget to thank me. You expect me to hang around at all hours without anything in it for me. You ring me at weird times – in the evenings, on the weekends – when I just want to be alone with my friends and relax.
But when you’re not micro-managing me, you ignore me during the times when I could do with some attention. You take other people to the staff conferences, you give other people the fun stuff to do, you let other people talk over me in meetings.
Maybe you’ve always been like this but when we first met, I was too excited and happy to notice. The world seemed so full of opportunity and I was so happy that you had chosen me ahead of everyone else to join in with what you were doing. But now you treat me like I’m just part of the furniture. Sometime you even put me down in front of other people but then try to explain it away as ‘challenging me’ or ‘giving honest feedback’.
I need to be with someone else. I need someone who will appreciate me, who will help me develop my talents, who will take me to places I thought I would never go. I used to think that would be you, but now I feel like you were stringing me along with all of your excuses, fancy talk, mindfulness sessions, and wellbeing strategies (whatever the hell that is). Leaving a chocolate on my desk after I cancel everything to come to give you time on a weekend might seem cute, but it’s no replacement for genuine appreciation, fair appraisal, and promotion.
I’m leaving. And I really mean it. In the past, when I’ve thought about leaving or complained about something, you’ve wanted to “talk things through”, make plans for “things to be better”, and for a while they would be – I’d get some chance to do some interesting stuff, get a bit of praise. But then you’d slip back into your old habits.
I don’t want to make this hard on either of us, so I’m not looking to spend time trying to fix this. In four weeks I’m going to pack up my things and go.
I’d like us to part as friends. In one way or the other I’ve learnt a lot from my time with you and now I’m ready for a fresh challenge and, because of my time with you, I’m going to be a lot clearer about what I need. And, honestly, wouldn’t you be better off starting afresh with someone new? I really think this is best for both of us.
Wishing you all the best for the future,
Written by Helen Palmer, Founder and Creator of Self unLimited; and Meredith Lewis, Friend of Self unLimited