I just got canned. Sent this to my boss. Smart? Maybe not, but it sure as hell FELT good.

Just so I understand...

...what you're saying is that, while sometimes it's perfectly acceptable to show up at 6 for a 5:30 every day of the week, and while sometimes, and with some people, it's okay to not show up at all and to shrug it off later, and while nobody (and I mean NOBODY) gives a damn about Owen, views him as a single-minded control freak with zero respect for anybody and an attitude that'll eventually get him sued or worse, a man to be tolerated and dealt with not worked with, a man as bipolar, mean and nasty as as a rabid dog, while all of that is perfectly fine to deal with on the shit pay you guys offer (did you know the guy who salvages aluminum cans from the GARBAGE makes more than us?), it's NOT okay for me to call in and let you all know that I had dropped my girlfriend off at the airport on a final return flight to Switzerland, that I'll probably never see her again and that, due to that conflict, I'm going to be about a half hour late?

That's somehow not okay, apparently.

It's also okay, apparently, to be told to come into work and, once I get there, to be told I'm being sent home when I had just talked to the manager. That was all sorts of wonderful.

Did you know Owen once told me (apart from calling me an idiot within 48 hours of me working for you guys - remember THAT conversation I had with you?) that it's okay for him to be a nasty piece of work because we should be thankful to have any job at all?

Look. I like you guys. I like (almost all of) the people, I love the product and, even, the customers. But I truly don't understand how your company has stayed in business this long without a revolt. At least Barnes and Noble pays well, offers benefits and tries to keep their employees' heads above water. Y'all don't care one bit, do you? Kate lives at home. Pat lives with his Grandmother in the projects. Ian's sleeping on couches and HE'S been with you for...how many years now? And as for me? I made JUST enough money to eat mac 'n cheese, go out a bit and pay rent.

Every fucking time I think I understand you guys, you throw me one hell of a curveball.

So what I REALLY want to know, Keith, what's been bothering me since I got that message, was...WHY? Why, after the money the company makes in textbook sales and with the time and effort some of us, like me, have put into knowing books the way we do, do you insist on treating us like this? Give me one good reason.

- - -

I'll be coming in tomorrow to talk with you, not to vent, not to yell, but because I find it absolutely insane (not to mention immoral) to fire somebody over a goddamn answering machine, particularly where Owen's concerned. I find it reprehensible for you to not even pretend to care about my side of things, and to not even give me a chance to defend myself.

See you then,


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