I was called into my boss’ office Thursday and told to sit down. They had found a producer to fill another position that had opened up in our office, so I could now start to tell people at my office that I’m leaving. You see, they didn’t want to have two positions open in the same department, so I was asked to be discrete with my news.
This was a problem because once I told my boss about a month ago that I would be leaving, random people who I had not told started asking where I was going, and why I was leaving. In fact, the press person for Congressman Cantor sent me a random email one day with one line: “BTW…are you moving to Haiti?!”
After investigating, it turns out that she had heard from an ABC producer, who had heard from an NBC producer at a live shot, who had heard from another NBC producer that I had told last month. It was actually kinda creepy to know that word was spreading like that.
So the fact that I was able to tell my co-workers was a relief considering they should not be hearing through the grapevine that their most favorite producer in the world was leaving. But as I’m walking out of my boss’ office she says, “Oh, and just get me a letter of resignation whenever you get the chance.” The finality of that statement hit me like a ton of bricks.
I had to resign? I had no idea how to write a letter of resignation. Why can’t I just leave it open ended and then come back whenever I want? I googled “resignation letter” and the examples were just horrible:
Dear Mr./Ms. Manager:
I regret to inform you that I’m leaving (company name). I have enjoyed working with everyone and have learned a great deal. Please be informed that I am resigning as of (last day of work). I will do my best to finish my current projects before my last day.
I went ahead and bolded all the areas of this letter (which is practically all of it) that seem completely ridiculous to me. I’m sorry…”Please be informed that I am resigning”? Does anyone really submit a letter of resignation written like this? But not only did I have to worry about the letter, I had also not prepared myself for the onslaught of questions that came when I started to tell co-workers. “Wow, what are you going to do down there?” is probably the most common, second only to a simple “Why?”
But what all these questions from co-workers and my letter or resignation gave me was an opportunity to reflect on the true reason for leaving. What is my response for what I am going to do? What is the true reason for leaving this job for a third world country? I would respond to these questions floundering for a reason that seemed, at the time, legitimate. “I don’t know…maybe work for the embassy, maybe for USAID,” I would say. This would go on for about 30 seconds until eyes would glaze over and I could tell they had lost interest. It may seem obvious to you, but I JUST realized the real answer:
It’s to be with Jillian. There is no other reason why I am going to Haiti other than to be with her. Everything else will work itself out.
So because of this, when I sat down to write my letter of resignation I started to get romantic ideas. I could make my resignation a statement of my love for Jillian that would remain in my employee record forever! It could be an opus or it could be artfully simple.
For instance, I thought about writing: “I am resigning for one reason, because I love my wife and I cannot live without her. Sincerely, Frank.” I also thought about mentioning how amazing I think she is, or how I’m just really bored when we’re not together. After floating these ideas to my Dad and Stepmom, we decided instead to be professional. In the end, I feel I did her justice:
“I regret to say that I will be resigning from my position as Associate Producer at _______ on December 23, 2009. My wife, Jillian, has taken a job as Assistant Director of Haitian Ministries in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and I will be joining her there. Living abroad together has been a dream of ours since we met, and Haiti has been a passion of hers since she was a teenager. When the opportunity presented itself, it was impossible not to take.”
Now that I have written this, and said it out loud to some people, it makes it all so exciting. I cannot wait to go on this adventure with her, the anticipation now drives me through our days apart. While it’s still so hard to be away from each other, I just think about how awesome it’s going to be to bug her all the time when we live together in Haiti, and it makes it worth it.
So I will submit this letter tomorrow morning which will officially put me on track to being unemployed. And while it’s scary, it’s comforting that the questions being asked to me are finally not being asked by myself as well. There are no questions anymore, only this path, and it’s so amazing to finally know where it’s leading me.