My Darling Boss,
I wasn’t trying to be cruel, in fact just the opposite. I had wanted to wait until my boss returned from vacation to break the news to him. Having never been in a relationship, I’ve never had to break up with anyone – I won’t venture to say it’s the same thing, but to all the heartbreakers out there, the dread you feel, especially when you know the other party, despite their constant nagging and eye-rolling, is on some level quite fond of you – the dread is similar, no?
Then there is break-up etiquette. We’ve all been schooled by our media girlfriend’s horror stories of some asshole breaking up with them over text message or email (though nowadays email is seen more and more as “well, at least he emailed you”) and who can forget Carol Bartz’s firing from Yahoo? No one was firing me, but leaving a workplace – especially a cherished one, where you treasure the relationships you have with your coworkers (my darling boss included), is something to be handled with care.
I wanted to walk into my boss’s office, he unsuspecting (or least I hope so – dread smells different from fear), and say as steadily as possible:
“Boss, I need to talk to you about something.”
I might have lost it and started crying and apologized profusely while saying all the wrong things, but at least my boss would have seen my expressions and known that the decision had not been easy. I had struggled. After all, I had accepted the position thinking that I would stay for at least a year and a half, and as time wore on, slowly whittled it down to a year and three months and finally to a year, though in truth I will barely make it. (My first day was August 8th of last year).
Even though my heart would have immediately been ten thousand times lighter as soon as he knew, it still hurt because between us on the table – a gorgeous black leather desk I had been so impressed by when we met for the first time as boss and future assistant – on the table was a good relationship.