Anyone who has been unhappy in a job and then resigned has probably wondered just how candid one should be in that final parting communication. Usually one decides to hold back on being too honest about the frustrations encountered while working at a company if for no other reason than not burning one’s bridges. After all, one might need a reference in a future job and so discretion is the better part of valor when it comes to that final missive!

At the same time one can understand the frustration of Cian Kelliher, who worked at the Dublin office of the Ernst & Young and felt the need to unload before he finally left. He never realized that his email sent to his colleagues outlining his grievances about his supervisors and colleagues would become known throughout the world thanks to the internet. It was so widespread that under pressure from E&Y, Kelliher did a mea culpa of sorts though it appears less than convincing. His original communication, however, clearly smacks of a certain level of genuine frustration during his tenure with his employer.

So what did Kelliher’s email contain that would cause such consternation? Well, here is it is verbatim:

My leaving letter:
Dear Co-Workers,

As many of you probably know, tomorrow is my last day. But before I leave, I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what a great and distinct pleasure it has been to type “Tomorrow is my last day.”

For nearly as long as I’ve worked here, I’ve hoped that I might one day leave this company. And now that this dream has become a reality, please know that I could not have reached this goal without your unending lack of support. Words cannot express my gratitude for the words of gratitude you did not express.

I would especially like to thank all of my managers: in an age where miscommunication is all too common, you consistently impressed and inspired me with the sheer magnitude of your misinformation. It takes a strong man to admit his mistake — it takes a stronger man to attribute his mistake to me.

Over the year and a half, you have taught me more than I could ever ask for and, in most cases, ever did ask for. I have been fortunate enough to work with some absolutely interchangeable supervisors on a wide variety of seemingly identical projects — an invaluable lesson in overcoming daily tedium in overcoming daily tedium in overcoming daily tedium.

Your demands were high and your patience short, but I take great solace knowing that my work was, as stated on my annual review, “mostly satisfactory.” That is the type of praise that sends a man home happy after even a 10 hour day, smiling his way through half a bottle of mostly satisfactory scotch.

And to most of my peers: even though we barely acknowledged each other within these office walls, I hope that in the future, should we pass on the street, you will regard me the same way as I regard you: sans eye contact.

But to those few souls with whom I’ve actually interacted, here are my personalized notes of farewell:

To Caulfield: I will always remember sharing lunch with you, despite having clearly labeled it with my name.

To Mairead: I will miss detecting your flatulence as much as you will clearly miss walking past my cubicle to deliver it.

To Linda: Best wishes on your ongoing campaign to popularize these “email forwards.” I sincerely hope you receive that weekend full of good luck, that hug from an old friend, and that baby for your dusty womb.

And finally, to Kat: you were right — I tested positive. We’ll talk later.

So, in parting, if I could pass on any word of advice to the individual who will soon be filling my position, it would be to cherish this experience like a sponge and soak it up like a good woman, because a job opportunity like this comes along only once in a lifetime.

Meaning: if I had to work here again in this lifetime, I would sooner kill myself.

Very truly yours,

Cian Kelliher

PS: I will be throwing myself a happy hour farewell party at the Oden 5.30 tommorow evening if anybody is interested in drinks!

As can be imagined, E&Y was less than amused by Kelliher’s broadside and must have made it clear to him as to how they felt. Kelliher claimed that his email was an attempt at humor and sent the following communication as “damage control”. You can judge for yourself which email represents his true feelings.

“Hi Guys

Last Thursday I sent out a going away email. It was meant to be a joke email but I now realise that it has caused offence / upset and has been passed on to a wider audience than the intended recipients. The text was something I pulled off the Internet.

I apologise for any offence that I have caused. I regret that the email could adversely impact on the reputation / good name of Ernst & Young and my former colleagues. I wish to emphasis that none of the comments were meant to be taken seriously. I hold Ernst & Young and my former colleagues in the highest regard.

If you have passed on the original email or shown it to anyone outside of the recipient list can you please also pass on this apology and refrain from futher forwarding of the mail.


Cian Kelliher

As for E&Y, they issued a statement that “Ernst & Young considers the matter to be closed.”

3 Responses to “How not to resign from a job in the internet age”

  1. Vivek says:


  2. saira says:

    never leave a paper trail…

  3. gaurav says:

    Great tips…

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