bella came to me while i was working at my desk, and asked me if i'd read something for her. she handed me a piece of paper that said, "Please accept this as my two-week notice and December 15th, 2017 will be my last day. Thanks! Bella."
i asked what i was looking at. bella said it was her resignation notice. i asked how she intended to deliver it. by hand? over the phone? bella said she was going to text it to her boss.
this is one of those moments as a parent where you have to catch yourself. you do this by first taking a deep breath and then, following the resultant exhalation, by saying nothing. those first things that roll across your mind's conveyer belt aren't the winners you think they are. no matter how smart or appropriate or necessary they may sound in your head. what you're looking and waiting for during this quiet breath is the realization that the only reason your child doesn't know any better or different is because you, her parent, have not yet taught them the difference. i have found in the past that i have often fumbled these moments because they come (1) frequently and (2) at inopportune times, though if you asked me when an opportune time was, it would probably take me longer to find a time to i'd call convenient than it would to just show you what i need to show you.
so here i told bella there are better ways to do this. to this she said, "but mom said it was ok". to which i said, "you showed this to mom? and she said it was good?" yep and yep. breath and silence. when dealing with spousal disconnects, there's a whole other decision tree which i will simply describe as a higher level of math and leave it at that (for now). after my breath and silence (and spousal calculus) i said "mom and i are going to have to different approaches here. while yes, you could technically send this brief message AND you could technically send it as a text and no one may bat an eye in today's white-knuckled, fast-finger society there is a better way to leave a job and this is an opportune time to practice that better way."
i talked way longer than i needed to (but this is my way and my children may worry for me if i were ever brief, so i in part do it for them). but i talked at length about the value of not burning bridges and making an impression on people, even as you are parting ways, but in short it is always about conducting yourself with class and being respectful (even when there might be angst, which was not the case here). way back when i left the bank and posted my resignation, a few people commented on it to me. so i found it (here) and shared it with bella. using that as a template she produced the following:
my girl, as she so often does, did me proud. and she has already been offered on open-invitation in the summer when she will have more time and they will have more need.
Please accept this letter as my official notice of resignation from Doughocracy, effective Saturday, December 16. Working at Doughocracy for the past nine months has been an honor and has brought me great joy. I am thankful that this served as my first, official job. I have learned so much about proper work etiquette, dealing with customers, and the food industry as a whole through my work at Doughocracy. Sadly, I have stumbled across a professional opportunity elsewhere that better aligns with my priorities and busy schedule.
I appreciate the opportunity and the growth that has come from this experience. I will remember Doughocracy with nothing but fond memories. I hope for the best for Doughocracy itself, as well as you. I fully plan on stopping by now and again to enjoy the best pizza in, not only The Delmar Loop, but in Saint Louis.
one thing my mom definitely worked hard to teach me was just because lots of people in a society may deem something ok and acceptable does not mean it is ok and acceptable. texting a one-line resignation to your boss to quit your first long-term job squarely lands in that bucket for me. bella and i both thank you mom.