Business publisher Daniel Jackson left his job yesterday with a farewell card that set a new record for thinly-veiled hatred from former work colleagues.
From the extra ‘o’ on the ‘We’re soo sorry you’re leaving’ to the unashamedly joyful sign-off ‘Bye then!’, the blatant sarcasm in Jackson’s leaving card exposed the suppressed loathing with which he was clearly regarded.
‘Who’ll put the world to rights now?’ wrote Jill Sanders, long-standing colleague of Jackson, referring to his vaguely racist but freely-shared standpoint on illegal immigrants. Also alluded to was Jackson’s lack of support for his team members, despite maintaining that he was the most conscientious person in the office. ‘Congratulations on having zero lates on your record – how will we cope without your tireless efforts?’ wrote one colleague. Nor did the little smiley emoticons after supposedly ironic rudeness disguise the sincerity of the words. ‘Thank God – I thought you’d never leave ; )’ ‘joked’ his long-suffering assistant.
Psychologist Emily Sole, who has made a study of office politics, says leaving cards permit a common venting of ‘latent anger’ felt against particularly disliked members of staff. ‘Often, colleagues feel bound by manners to maintain a façade of politeness in the leaving card. But in extreme cases you can see the cracks beginning to appear. Look how many impersonal ‘Good lucks’ there are. He must have been a total shit.’
However Jackson appeared to be completely unaware of the barely concealed contempt in his card. ‘I always brought out the best in my workmates and my leaving party was exactly the same.’ he boasted. ‘It was quite funny actually, once they’d had a few drinks a couple of the guys started singing ‘Fuck off Jackson…’ to the tune of the Hallelujah chorus. It is only because I have such an excellent sense of humour that they knew I’d appreciate the irony.’