The Art of the Farewell Email

By Deane Barker on March 6, 2009

For laid off workers, so hard to e-mail goodbye: Sad that this has become a big enough thing to write an article about.

There’s an art to the goodbye e-mails flooding inboxes as a result of massive layoffs. A few, like Neill’s, are laugh-out-loud funny. Some are bitter flameouts. Some read like brief memos or mysteries with no explanation of the move; others are like lengthy Oscar speeches thanking co-workers.

They discuss a now-infamous goodbye email written by a lawyer who was let go right after suffering a miscarriage. You can read that email here. It’s brutal.

I do not understand is the attempt to blame the associate for not bringing in the business that should have been brought in by each of you and to hide your personal failures by attempting to tarnish my excellent performance record and looking to undermine my sense of self esteem.

[…] As for your request for a release, non-disclosure, and non-disparagement agreement in return for three months’ pay, I reject it. Unlike you, I am not just a paid mouthpiece with no independent judgment. I will decide how and to whom to communicate how you have treated me