This post was originally published on April 26, 2010, but it's some timeless advice for anyone who deals with employees who quit.


In my 52 years I’ve been on either side of emotional partings many times. Nevertheless, I’m not very good at them. If it were true as they say that your paycheck varies proportionally with your ability to stomach conflict, then my paycheck would definitely put me below minimum wage.

In a sick way it’s nice to know that there are others even worse at it, and often they’re the eccentric CEOs of high-flying tech companies. Take Jason Calacanis of Mahalo, for example, who had this to say to a resigning employee:

  • Don’t come back to the office, do not email the team list.
  • Elliot will send you paperwork tomorrow. Today was your last day.
  • Good luck being employee 4,367 at a dying company.
  • Horribly disappointed in you.

You can read more about this trending story which is making it to the top of all the tech boards here. Don’t just read the article – read the comments. Great writing happens when an injustice or perceived injustice occurs, and this is no exception.

With so many out-of-work HR consultants writing boring stuff about employment culture, it’s great to come across a single post with so many great things to say about morale. Like this comment:

"Morale is terrible at Mahalo. No one will admit it to Jason’s face for fear of being fired, but nobody is happy there. Sure, Jason has a cook making breakfast and lunch, but that is more about keeping employees at their desks during lunch hour than actually doing anything nice for them. If he cared about his employees and wanted to keep them, he’d pay market wage for their work, Mahalo is sitting on millions in VC."

And this one that sums up my take on it:

"I’m a freelancer, so I should probably keep my mouth shut, but I think there’s a rule that applies for everyone in almost every industry: When you go separate ways, there is a good chance you’ll meet again. And depending on your level of professionalism, the person leaving the company could become an ambassador, or a trash-talking PITB. Both sides should act accordingly."

Easy advice to give.  Hard to follow.

Tags: Advice, Emotional partings, Employment culture, HR consultants, Jason Calacanis, Mahalo