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Dear John, Thanks for the Layoff

Dear John, Thanks for the Layoff

BusinessWeek

Seattle-based Jessica Ward writes an open letter to her former boss about the good things that have happened since she got laid off.

Dear John,

While this could easily be a private letter between you and me, current economics are hinting to me that perhaps my condition is wider-spread than just my house. As a result, I’ve elected to make this a public letter. I hope you don’t mind.

I’m writing today to thank you for my layoff. When you hired me to work in your firm two years ago, we both knew we were taking a chance on each other. Thank you for treating me well. Thanks for the raises, the benefits and the annual company picnic. I thank you and my family thanks you. I will cherish the knowledge and friendships that built during my time with the company, but most of all, I’m thankful for my layoff.

In these days of extreme economic hardship, you should know that I haven’t gone crazy since we last spoke. In fact, I think I may have gone sane. All joking aside, this layoff may be one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Let me explain.

I did what every good pink-slip recipient should do. I spruced up my resume and filed for unemployment. I even bought a paper to search jobs in the classifieds. However, it seems that unless you’re looking for a used dishwasher or a ‘93 Civic, there isn’t much in the ads these days. Still, required by the local unemployment office, I had to try to get three jobs a week. I found myself scouring for jobs that I knew I would hate. I gave up. After one week, I stopped claiming unemployment. (And if the state of Washington wants its $453 back, they can have it).

You see, the pre-Christmas layoff timing was perfect. It saved me a fortune on child care and the kids will forever remember it as the year we spent three days building the best gingerbread house ever. (It looked just like Snoopy’s doghouse.)

We thought this layoff would be a crushing financial blow and opted to hand-make all of our Christmas gifts. They were a huge hit with our family and friends and we spent several wonderful days together as a family creating them. We didn’t at all miss the experience of circling the mall for hours looking for a parking spot. The kids didn’t sit on Santa’s lap at Macy’s but we did run into him at a neighborhood ice hockey game and snapped a photo. I’ll mail you one.


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