"My soul is elsewhere, I'm sure of that. And I intend to end up there." -- Rumi

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Today is the six-month anniversary of my last day at the old DC job.  I know I've talked a fair bit about how awful said job was, but on this particular topic, my powers of description fall short.  It wasn't always so beyond-words horrific, but in early 2009 there was a Change in Management, and my ex-boss ascended to the throne -- the boss which for the purposes of this blog is creatively and aptly known as Ursula.

In what was part not-burning-bridges and part pure chickenshit, I departed the Old Job without saying any of the things I wanted so badly to say.  Without saying things I felt -- and still feel -- should have been said.  I left... on "good terms."

All that aside, I've had some free time recently to reflect, and yeah.  Six months later, I'm still pissed.  So I did something my Mom has always suggested as a means of catharsis and closure -- I wrote a letter that I will never send.  As usual, Mom was right.  Writing it did make me feel better.  But although I will never send this letter, I thought that, in honor of my Day of Liberation, I'd post a segment of it here.  After all, who knows?  Maybe Ursula one day will find her way onto the internets without assistance, and stumble somehow upon this humble blog.  And even though names have been changed and details removed, she'll know it's for her.


To Ursula:

I want to tell you, without malice or exaggeration, that you are the single worst person I have ever met.  I find it truly lamentable that your life is so utterly devoid of joy that you remain consistently incapable of imparting the least amount of human decency towards those you so clearly -- and incorrectly -- consider your inferiors.  One only needs to look at your sad situation to believe the truth of every cliche asserting that money will not, in fact, buy you happiness.  And it goes without saying that neither will power, especially your kind -- the tenuous, crumbling, autocratic power you cling to with pathetic, transparent, ever-increasing desperation.

I would like to believe that someday you will realize that it is simply not acceptable to treat people -- to treat any person -- as if they were shit on your shoes.  As if they were your servant.  As if they had no rights, and were not worthy of respect.  As if you were somehow inherently better than them, and that this natural hierarchy of human worth was something so clear and obvious -- and correct -- that the world should accept it without question or pause -- including and especially the unfortunate focus of your abuse.  I would like to believe that someday you'd see that making other people's lives a living hell does not in fact alter or ease the reality of your own unhappy life that you have so painstakingly crafted for yourself.

But in reality, I know that the chances are far greater that you will never realize anything of the kind.  I know that -- in your own very unique perception of the world -- what you do and how you treat people is not even wrong

And even against everything you have said and done to me during the course of our remarkable years together, it is this last fact that I find to be the most astonishingly incomprehensible.

It would be nice to be able to say something fitting and dramatic, something like: 'I erase you now from my mind and memory, and will waste not another thought on you.'  But the fact is I will continue to think of you often.  I think of you every time I want to remember how much I have to be grateful for -- how incredibly fortunate I am to be living my current amazing life, half a world away from you.  I also, perversely, owe you thanks.  If not for you and your daily ordeals, I don't know that I would have had the courage to leave my old life behind.  But most importantly, I will remember you as a hard-learned cautionary tale, illustrating to perfection the person I never, ever, at any cost, want to become.

Yours Most Sincerely,

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