A Letter to my Former Boss

Subject: A Letter to my Former Boss
Date: 9 Aug 2017
Middle finger up

Dear Sophie,

I didn't want to make things awkward before I left, so I saved this letter until now.

Firstly, I wish to start by saying thank you for your employment and your generosity throughout my time at your company. The lunches and early finishes were greatly appreciated and your understanding about my travel situation was well received.

However, I cannot let myself be walked all over and say nothing, hence this letter. Whilst you always tried to treat us and be generous, unfortunately you have got it completely wrong. The way you treat your staff and the environment I had to suffer through was disgusting and no amount of lunches and early finishes could ever have made up for it. I am going to outline the main reasons I left your employment. I'm not sure where you got 'traffic' as my reason for leaving from because I never once said it had anything to do with the traffic; I can only assume you decided that was the case to make yourself feel better. Anyway, you will read below that traffic is not listed.

Point one: Backstabbing, bitching, passive aggressive emails and behaviour, playing us off each other, lack of transparency... Working for you was like sitting in a room full of gunpowder with a lit match in your hand hoping and praying the room won't blow up. Awful, uncomfortable, doom impending; to name a few. Never once did you come to me with an issue you had over something I was doing and/or had said. Never. You did, however, mention everything to my colleagues who subsequently told me what had been said. Towards the end of my time with you I started to call you up on the odd thing, and you twisted it - in the screwed up way you twist everything - to make me out to be the bad guy, or sent passive aggressive emails, when all I was doing was asking you to explain what the issue with me was. Terrible management. Not to mention the awkward and unfair position you put said colleagues in. And I know how that feels because you put me in said position many a time. And yes, before you decide for yourself without clear information, I did tell my colleagues when you had a problem with them because I prefer to be transparent, upfront, and honest. Try it sometime.

Point two: Lights, Camera, Action. Or rather Camera, Microphone, Privacy obliterated. Security cameras are to be used as their name suggests; for SECURITY. They are not a tool to spy on your staff when you can't be bothered to come in and manage us properly. To sit on your phone and listen to the conversations happening in the shop is - quite frankly - disgusting. Plus, despite what you may think, to install said microphones into the work premises WITHOUT telling your staff it was happening, is - in fact - illegal. Did you tell us, Sophie? No, I don't believe you did. What's worse is eventually you told me, not my colleagues, and I had to spend a whole day of you listening to said colleagues, ringing me and telling me what they said, whilst I was unable to tell them what was going on. Disgusting. Private conversations were no longer private, were they? Remember that time when during our lunch break my colleague and I were discussing whether she would like another child and you rang the shop and said 'no employee of mine is having maternity leave'? Or has that slipped your mind? How about the time you got drunk and told us you know everything that has been said in the shop because you listen ALL. THE. TIME? Or has that slipped your mind as well? But, perhaps we could let this slide if you used the microphones properly, e.g. When we have a dispute about a client claiming something was said on the shop floor which wasn't. Well I suppose in that scenario you would get a copy of the recordings from that day to settle the matter and prove to the client that your staff were - in fact - in the right. Because, well, that was the purpose of the microphones, right? To protect us when we needed protecting? Security? Or, I suppose, you could refuse to get a copy of the recordings, suck up to the client, and send her apology flowers. But then, what would be the point in the microphones? Oh, I forgot, to spy on your staff. Of course! Silly me. I have a vastly long list of scenarios relating to the issue of the microphones, however I have other points to add and my fingers are starting to ache. Oh and, by the way, I've known that the 'microphones' upstairs are fake for quite some time. Installing fake microphones to scare your staff into thinking they were real and subsequently having nowhere 'safe' to communicate: Nice touch. Really great management skills.

Point three: Foxy Boobie-Traps. You spent all of your time and energy on trying to catch us all out, in various different ways. Being ridiculously sly and purposely manipulative, and thinking you were oh-so-clever for doing so. Not quite so clever seeing as every time you did it I could see straight through it. Never quite managed to catch me out, did you Sophie? Oh, you tried, you really really tried, but you just couldn't catch this slippery fish, could you? Shame. Setting traps is a really great way to keep your staff though, it REALLY makes them want to stay.

Point Four: Holiday. When you started your business I can only presume no-one told you that you would have to grant your staff paid holiday, and a fair bit of it too. I say this because whenever any of us tried to take holiday it always ended in a massive issue with many passive aggressive emails and backstabbing comments. In the end, you'd always have to give the holiday because it is our legal right, and this pissed you off even more. You dealt with it by treating said member of staff like shit the week or two following their return from holiday, and whilst they were on holiday you'd do nothing but bitch and bitch and bitch and bitch and... (you get the picture) about said person. Need I point out what GREAT management that is, or shall I leave that one for you to work out?

Point Five: You really just don't have a clue. The worst part of all of this, Sophie, is that you absolutely cannot run your business without your staff. Not because you depend on our individual skills or merits, or even because you need the numbers. Plainly and simply you don't have a bloody clue how to run a business, certainly not one in such an elite industry. You might foot the bills and say 'yes' or 'no' to suggestions (mainly no), but you're not running your business. You don't know which dress is a Vera Wang and which is a Maggie Sottero, nor do you know which fabric is satin and which is crepe. And your bullshit to the clients knows no bounds. You once sat there and told a bride who was standing in Ritva Westenius 'Levezza' that it was the exact same dress that Pippa Middleton wore as her bridesmaid dress to the Duchess' wedding, right down to the outright lie that Ritva Westenius had designed it. Just so you're aware, Sarah Burton from Alexander McQueen designed the dress, the same person who designed Kate's wedding dress (just in case you decide to tell another client that Alan Hannah Vienna is the exact same dress as Kate's). It just takes a google simple google search, which is probably why we never saw that bride again. Your business is a hobby, not a vocation, and you have seriously got to love what you do to stay afloat in this industry. To make it work you have got to invest all of your heart and soul into it, and give all of your time and energy. You can keep throwing money at it until there's none left but it won't make the darnedest bit of difference, and deep down you know that. You also know that you aren't going to put your heart, soul, time, and energy into the business, so you may as well cut your losses and stop now because, really, what is the point in carrying on?

I am going to conclude with what happened two weeks into my 4 week notice period. I had a Saturday off, one which I booked off back in October, and when I came back to work the following week you had indisputably moved me out of my workspace two weeks early. You had not once EVER mentioned to me that you were unhappy with the workspace upstairs, nor did you ever mention you had plans to change it. However, you proceeded to go on an absolutely rampage and pull apart everything that I had put in place. Displays I had made were dismantled, rails I had erected for organisational purposes had been removed, files which were specifically organised had been changed around and relocated, piles of my paperwork had been thrown away; piles of paperwork which were months and months of work. The list goes on. Essentially my workspace was unrecognisable, a very clear indication that you were just waiting for me to go. Well, if it weren't for the fact I have a mortgage to pay I would've turned and walked straight back out of that door. I didn't want to be there. I hadn't wanted to be there since the summer. Do you want to know what I think happened, based on witnessing many of your childish and irrational outbursts? I think it had finally hit you that I was moving on, and you were pissed off. You were also pissed off that, despite me being entitled to my holiday and getting cover for said holiday, I had booked a Saturday off. You decided to make a grand - absolutely disgustingly pathetic - gesture, which was essentially holding a big 'FUCK YOU' up in front of my face. It was petty, and it was stupid, because all you did is made so incomprehensibly happy that I only had 9 working days remaining under your employment. Plus, I laughed and I laughed and I laughed at your expense. And so did all my friends and family. How anyone could be that dramatically petulant really is a hugely comical matter.

So, to conclude, good luck with the ticking time bomb that is your business. Good luck with keeping hold of your staff members. And good luck with your unhappy, isolated little life. I am finally breaking out of the chains which have been pulling me further and further into the depths of hell and I have never felt so free and ecstatic in all of my life. Thank you for making my life so deeply miserable because now I can see the true beauty of what surrounds me and the true poison that is otherwise known as you.