A Pulitzer Winner's Departure Email: 6 Techniques You Can Use

Want to write a memorable, masterful, departure email?  

No, couldn't give a f*ck?  

Okay, that's fair, I get ya.  You want to get out of this maddening enclave for mild Asperger's as soon as possible.  Plus, what did these people ever do for you?  But it's 5 PM on a Friday and the poor schmucks are waiting around for the last word on whether they'll have to work over the weekend.  Meanwhile you're trying to stop yourself from whistling with pleasure as you force feed your old files to an industrial-sized paper shredder.  Don't you think the poor schmucks deserve something more than a crappy template?

If you're feeling charitably inclined towards your soon-to-be ex-colleagues as you sit down to draft your departure email, take a look at how the pros do it.

Dan Neil won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for his writing about cars.  Earlier this year he left The Los Angeles Times for The Wall Street Journal and wrote the following departure email, which was then posted online.  I will identify 6 techniques in Dan Neil's email that can be incorporated into any departure letter and compare and contrast his execution of those techniques with that of a law firm partner.  In other words, let's take a look and see what you can copy.


From: Neil, Dan 
Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2010 2:54 PM 
To: yyeditall
Subject: Dan Neil on the bounce

Friends, colleagues, brothers and sisters,

Whether used as a salutation or placed somewhere in the middle, a list of types of people at the workplace is a Last Day Email mainstay.  The order in which workplace demographics are listed usually reveals the writer's thought process and value system.  Here's the opening salvo from our law firm partner: 

To My Partners, Colleagues and Friends,

You can see just what he was thinking.  The readers at the forefront of his mind, the people that he was primarily writing to, were the other partners.  So that came first on the list.  Then he thought about the more junior lawyers at the firm, and imagined them reading his words with admiration and wonder, so he wrote "colleagues" next.  Finally, he realized that he wanted to send his email to everyone in the office, not just the lawyers, but what... what are those non-lawyer people called?  The ones that know where to get more of those pens with the padded, the padded barrels and who can, as if by magic, convert two-dimensional pieces of cardboard into magnificent document holding structures?  After some thought, he shrugs and decides on "friends."

That's not bad.  But a Pulitzer winner goes one step further and thinks about the effect of his words on his readers.  Starting out with "Friends" as Dan Neil does is classy --it is all inclusive.  No one reads it and thinks, "Oh that is not me, I guess I'm somewhere further down the list."  Instead, everyone from management to mailroom reads it and finds that it feels nice to be addressed as a friend.


Our Pulitzer winner begins his Last Day Email with a strong defense of the LA Times:
In the past week or so people have come up to me and said words to the effect: “The Journal, huh? Sinking ship and all that?”  And I just want to slam their heads in a car door.
I absolutely love this newspaper and I am immensely proud of my association with it.  People who talk shit about the LA Times to me are going to find me in their grille in a major way.
This morale boost isn't too touchy-feely because the writer employs curse words, puns relating to his automotive writing, and violent imagery.  The effect is that he makes you, the reader, feel good for being you.  He's saying, "I'm leaving you, but you f*cking rule."  You can do this too, but drop the automotive puns or it will look like you have anger issues.  Perhaps something like this would work for a law firm:

In the past week or so people have come up to me and said words to the effect: "XXXX LLP, huh?  Sinking ship and all that?"  And I just want to paper cut them with thick manila file folders on that soft webbed part between their fingers.
Do you know what everyone loves?  A story.  And what's more humbling and dramatic than a story of redemption by the workplace?

Maybe you don’t know this story. In November 2002 I had just come through an awful divorce (we pronounce that DEE-vorce in North Carolina).  I was sitting heartbroken and alone in a villa in the south of France, on some godforsaken travel assignment, contemplating the taste of gunpowder.  Nobody knew where I was.  The phone rang.  It was former editor John Carroll, who had somehow tracked me down.  He wanted me to come to Los Angeles and be the paper’s car critic.
Well, I said to him, as it happens my schedule has just opened up.
It was the beginning of the most wonderful professional experience of my life, the most fun, the most satisfying, the most intellectually challenging.  This placed saved me. It made me.
As Dan Neil's email demonstrates, the formula for the Personal Story for a departure email is:

  1. Reveal that you were not always the man/woman you are pretending to be now.
  2. Describe an intervention by your company.
  3. State that the intervention made you the resplendid creature you are today.
Let's go back to that law firm partner email we were looking at earlier:

When XXXX and XXXX called me to invite a conversation in late 19XX, I was thankful for the opportunity, as I was at a low point in my career, and they 'vouched" for me (notwithstanding my sordid college history with XXXX and my days as an associate with XXXX).  But for their friendship and confidence, I would not have had the chance to join this fine firm and become a part of the XXXX family.  Literally speaking, they picked me up out of a most difficult situation, and I vowed to pay them back by proving myself to them and to XXXX.  I hope I have.

Ok, so it's not as eloquent as Dan Neil's and it leaves me with homoerotic images of a bunch of male lawyers who had a "sordid college history" together "literally" picking each other up from "a most difficult situation."  But it totally makes me sit-up and pay attention.

Dan Neil was an outspoken critic of Sam Zell when he purchased the LA Times in 2007, and he unabashedly expresses his sentiments in his departure email:

It’s been a rough few years here, mainly because of the jackasses in Chicago who own us.  To them I say, with as much gusto as I can muster in an email, fuck you.
You too, can use the Common Enemy technique.

It really doesn't matter whom you vow eternal vengence on, or whether your company even has a common enemy, as long as you use the term "jackasses."  No one likes jackasses.  Everyone just wants them to be f*cked.  I think it's something about the word itself.  When you think of a jackass, don't you envision someone with arrogant hair and an annoying face, kind of like Pepe Le Pew in a suit?  Don't you just want him to get f*cked up?  

To employ the Common Enemy technique in your departure letter, simply copy Dan Neil's eloquent phrasing, but replace "Chicago" with "Washington."  That's it!  It's okay, you don't have to have a particular person in mind, or even a particular party.  Maybe the people at your office won't agree on exactly who the jackasses in Washington are, but it's not alienating because everyone vehemently agrees, without a doubt, that there are jackasses in Washington.


Dan Neil's Happy Ending takes the form of a one-two punch:  
On a happier note, there’s not a person in this building I do not like, if not love. The paper has more greatness ahead of it, and I’ll be watching from the east coast and rooting you on.
If you are able and inclined, there’s a beer call at Redwood tomorrow, around 5 pm. Hope to see you there.
One statement about the company's rosy future and another statement about beer.  Keep it simple and never forget the beer.  Let's see how our law firm partner did with his happy ending:

For those with whom I worked most closely, my congratulations, for this surely is emancipation day - no more 4 AM emails or urgent weekend messages. 
No more 4 AM emails or urgent weekend messages would be pretty great, of course.  But here is one instance where remaining vague actually rings less hollow than being specific.  Dan Neil wrote that the LA Times "has more greatness ahead of it."  No one at the LA Times is going to be sorely disappointed in 12 hours when they wake up on Saturday morning, rub their eyes, and realize that greatness has not yet come.  But those poor lawyers who worked closely with the departing law partner will totally continue to receive 4 AM emails and urgent weekend messages, just from a different master.  This is when you should be like a good lawyer or a bad boyfriend, and keep your promises vague and fuzzy.


This is how a Pulitzer winner signs off his departure email:
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I don't know about you guys, but I got a little bit choked up by the third "thank you."  Now, I know three thank-you's --heck, even one thank-you-- is probably way too emotional for most office workers.  I remember a law firm partner reprimanding "another" first-year associate for signing a letter with "sincerely" because "lawyers are never sincere!"  She was told to use "yours truly" instead --probably because it doesn't mean anything.  

But even if you are signing off with something bland and meaningless, at least consider repeating it a few times.  Sure, it's sentimental, and horribly inefficient use of your delicate fingertips, but it's your last day at the office, and maybe, just maybe, you could indulge in a little bit of digital feeling.

Happy Halloween!

Stay safe, stay Puft!  I hope you're not at the office right now!

XO Sauce,

Last Day at the Office Emails

The Male Beta Associate: Soft Hands, Hard Life

How to Identify a Male Beta Associate (MBA):

1. Soft hands.  Have you ever reached out to shake hands with a man, and got caught off guard by how soft his hand was?  Kind of like how you would imagine Pop 'n Fresh, the Pillsbury Doughboy's hand to be?  That man is an MBA.

2.  Did not go to a great law school.  Because if he did, he would use his prestigious law school to redeem his entire self-worth, which would make him an as*hole, and MBAs are not as*holes.

3.  Is always wearing that buttery soft leather bomber jacket that makes him look like a sofa.  It's too big, it looks literally like a poop, and it smells like a taxi.

4.  Wilts in social situations.  Such as seeing someone walking towards him from the other end of a long hallway, and not knowing where to put his eyes/hands/mind/tongue for the duration of that long walk towards this other living being.  After the two pass by each other the MBA feels relief/shame/exhilaration/movement.

5.  Asian flush.  He's not even asian (because really how many male asian lawyers are there) but he still has their disease.  When he drinks, his face takes on a tender pink hue, like the inside of a magnificent conch.  Press his face up to your ear, and you will hear what sounds like the beckoning of a trio of sea sirens, but really it's just him drunkenly murmuring, "Closer, closer, oh closer still."

6.  Pear shaped.  He doesn't start out this way, of course.  During orientation, he was uniformly oblong, with soft sloping shoulders.  But by his third year of sitting at his desk, his lower body, given the freedom to roam in the dark wilderness under his desk, expands.  Timidly reaching, reaching just a little bit further, an inch at a time, building soft little outposts of tissue around his hips until one fine wintery day, as he is making his way through Times Square to his Hell's Kitchen studio, a wannabe stand-up comedian shouts to him from behind, "Hey lady, ya like comedy?"

7.  And here is his departure email (I'll point out the MBA behavior in paren):

From: XXXX
Sent: Friday, XXXX, 2005 3:56 PM
To: All NY
Subject: My Departure

Today is my last day at XXXX.  As at least some of you know (Everyone knows the departure email template is "As most of you know," but the MBA is so unsure of himself that he needs to tinker with precedent, to reduce its strength so that there is no way he could accidentally perjure himself with too much self-assurance... this is also why your legal research never excites the partners, MBA!), I'm going to be practicing plaintiff's side personal injury law at XXXX, a ten lawyer firm (MBAs never know which details are impressive, which ones make you sound like a lame young brother tagging along) started by my grandfather.  (MBAs are not very professionally mobile because they are horrible at interviews; working for the family business solves that problem.)  I've been privileged during my time here to work with a number of really outstanding lawyers and paralegals, and to make some terrific friends.  Thank you all for a great experience.

Please feel free to contact me at (He doesn't say "keep in touch" because he's never been.):

(646) XXX-XXXX

I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Can You Tell That This Email is a Thinly Veiled F*ck-You?

Congratulations, you're jaded!

Only those who have suffered the indignity of shivering on the empty late-night streets of midtown, a redwell full of fresh-from-the-printer documents held close to the chest as the only source of heat, brought along more to assuage the anxiety of leaving the office "earlier than usual" than to be completed at home, waiting for a Town Car for so long that the car number has been forgotten, and when three show up all at once, opening the door of each car and being greeted by strong wafts of aftershave, street food, or worse, and timidly, almost tenderly, stating your last name with a hopeful upwards intonation --only this echelon of fine wasted potential will be able to read between the lines of a placid, prosaic farewell email such as the one below, and see the fiery five-hour-energy-red rage beneath the text, lurking in arial's curves and hiding behind those fine times new roman serifs.

HERE is the real email with only the parts that were typed aloud:

From: XXXX
Sent: Friday, XXXX, 2005 1:28 PM
To: All NY
Subject: My Departure

Today is my last day at XXXX. As of January 2, I will be an associate in the XXXX practice at XXXX.  My time here has been brief but memorable. I have learned so much and feel privileged to have worked beside so many wonderful and intelligent people.  The friends I have made and the colleagues I have learned from have made my experience here both meaningful and enjoyable.

Best wishes for a safe and happy new year,


Please keep in touch.



HERE is the email with the parts that were typed in our writer's head added in blue:

From: XXXX
Sent: Friday, XXXX, 2005 1:28 PM
To: All NY
Subject: My Departure, Y'All!

Today is my last f*cking day at XXXX.  As of January 2 (You know what this means, right?  It means I get to have a real holiday, the kind that the poor people on the subway have... without Blackberrys.  God, I'm jealous of my immediate-future-self just thinking about it!), I will be an associate in the XXXX practice at XXXX.  That's right, I left this associateship for another associateship.  I hope you feel as betrayed and confused as that time my boyfriend dumped me for a girl that looked and sounded and behaved exactly like me.  That is a special kind of hurt that screws with your head a lot more than if he had left me for a lingerie model, and today, I bestow this special type of hurt unto you.  Good-bye --remember, you'll always be my first and no one can take that away from us.  

My time here has been brief but memorable.  The cause of the brevity of that time also happens to be the cause of its memorableness.  I have learned so much (about Seamless Web) and feel privileged to have worked beside so many wonderful and intelligent people.  I'm talking about the architecture firm next door.  The friends I have made (are not even half as fun as that night I had to manually velobind thirty sets of shareholder agreements because the velobinding machine broke down and the nightshift paralegal intimidated me too much to ask for his help) and the colleagues I have learned (about bi-polar disorder at the workplace) from have made my experience here both meaningful and enjoyable.  I've always wanted my first child to be a boy, and my last word to you as*holes to be a lie.  

Best wishes for a safe (see rider for exceptions) and happy new year (id.).


Please keep in touch.

XXXX@hotmail.com  (I don't have a Hotmail account.)

The Unsentimental Litigator Who Gets Sh*t Done

From: XXXX
Sent: Wednesday, XXXX, 2005 11:21 AM
To: All NY
Subject: My Departure

As many of you know, after more than five years, today is my last day at XXXX.  I would like to pay a special thank you to my mentors who have served as a model of excellence for me to follow and have nurtured my development from a summer associate to a senior associate:  XXXX, XXXX, and XXXX.  It has been a privilege to work with my intelligent and passionate colleagues in the litigation department at the firm, and to enjoy the support of [the firm]'s excellent and dedicated paralegals and support staff, particularly my former secretary XXXX, and my current secretary, XXXX, both of whom have enriched each day with their enthusiasm, their smiles, and their outstanding work.

I hope that you will all keep in touch as I assume my new role of an in-house litigator at the XXXX company XXXX.  As of XXXX, I can be reached at:


Please keep in touch and happy XXXX!


The only thing I know about the identity of the writer of this farewell email is that she is a woman.  But her departure message tells me the following additional information about her:

  • Unsentimental.  Despite the use of words like "nurtured," "enriched," and "smiles," which makes me feel like I'm reading a Gerber label, the matter-of-fact and faintly morbid subject header completely overrides those word choices and establishes that our writer has the emotional sensitivity of a fire hydrant.  While she waxes nostalgic about her development from a summer associate to a "senior" associate (remember back when being a fifth year meant that you were senior?), I don't detect any real pangs of feeling and the requisite "keep in touch/cross paths" line is given short shrift in the closing.  I'm willing to bet that our writer writes curt emails that make her sound pissed even when she's not pissed, frightening all the first-year associates and new paralegals.
  • Gets Sh*t Done.  Our writer wrote her Last Day Email at 11:21 AM.  Do you know what I was doing at 11:21 AM on my last day?  Frantically packing up boxes full of clothes and shoes that I had somehow accumulated and stashed in various drawers in my office, typing up a departure memo for the poor saps who were taking-over my cases, making farewell calls to business contacts outside of the firm (god knows why), and uh, doing billable work that I had left to the last-minute.  I'm pretty sure I didn't write my departure memo until well past 11:21 AM.  In contrast, our writer is the associate that calls you on speakerphone just five minutes after you two receive a document review assignment, to say, in that fast, efficient, monotone of people who get sh*t done, "I'm done my batch.  What's your status?"
  • Not particularly smart.  Because our writer gets sh*t done, I think that she also had the time to put some thought and effort into her Last Day Email.  Unfortunately, as efficient as she certainly is in her lawyerly duties, our writer's last writing assignment gets bogged down in the first paragraph with unnecessary words ("models of excellence for me to follow") and the overall piece has no flow, no rhythm.  Christ, I think I'm going to even go ahead and say that I don't think she's very good at dancing and all... of the implications that come with that inability.  This is the lawyer that went to an okay law school (though not as good as her undergraduate college) but studied really hard and got smart-people grades and interviewed well.  I'm also going to say that she didn't do so hot on her practice LSATs and Princeton Review's step-by-step approach really helped.
  • Sense of Propriety.  Our writer thanks both attorneys and support staff, and even remembers to thank her former secretary.  Again, even though most of this email is composed of statements of gratitude, I don't really feel anything truly sentimental going on here.  Therefore, what drives her to write the statements of gratitude is a sense of propriety, of doing what is expected, what the occasion calls for.  I would imagine that she is also quite neat in appearance, wears feminine, unadventurous designer office clothes and very high heels, colored carefully within the lines as a child, sends thank-you cards promptly, and would never write a status update on Facebook for all to see... that is, if she's even on Facebook (too gauche).  Also, going in-house usually requires at least a smidgeon of socializing ability, since you might have to talk to non-lawyers who earn more than you (i.e., they won't put up with your shit the way the copy center had to).  Our writer's sense of propriety covers up for her inability to empathize, and enables her to be, relatively speaking for her profession, a good socializer.

Um, so... what do you think?  Agree/disagree?  Also, I really hope the writer of this email never sees this and tries to contact me.

Attorney Says Adieu to "Gossips, Backstabbers and Napoleonic Personalities"

From:  XXXX
Sent:  Thursday, May 27, 2004 1:11 PM
Subject:  Goodbye...

As many of you are aware, today is my last day at the firm.  It is time for me to move on and I want you to know that I have accepted a position as "Trophy Husband".  This decision was quite easy and took little consideration.  However, I am confident this new role represents a welcome change in my life and a step up from my current situation.

While I have a high degree of personal respect for XXXX as a law firm, and I have made wonderful friendships during my time here, I am no longer comfortable working for a group largely populated by gossips, backstabbers and Napoleonic personalities.  In fact, I dare say that I would rather be dressed up like a piñata and beaten than remain with this group any longer.  I wish you continued success in your goals to turn vibrant, productive, dedicated associates into an aimless, shambling group of dry, lifeless husks.

May the smoke from any bridges I burn today be seen far and wide.

 P.S. "Achilles absent, was Achilles still." Homer

The "+":

  • The email starts off disarmingly and playfully, throws in a couple of obligatory platitudes, then somehow, just when our attention begins to wander and our eyes glaze over, we are bombarded with not one, not two, but three mind-blowing missiles of barbed truthiness that resonate so profoundly that we find ourselves exclaiming, "Yes, yes, yes!  I would sooooo rather have been dressed up like a piñata and been beaten than have to come to the office this morning!"  Masterful, just masterful.

The "-":

  • If this was sent off at 1:11 PM, didn't it make the rest of the workday kind of awkward?
  • Sure, you don't need to socialize and fraternize with working stiffs anymore, Achilles, but the "aimless, shambling group of dry, lifeless husks" still want to meet up at the Irish bar down the street later, grab a couple of farewell drinks, and get their Agamemnon.

Ad Man Reflects on Alcoholism, Thanks "All the Hot Women"

So this is how it ends?  I always thought my Canadian ad career would end in a bloody street fight over the misuse of the word "impactful", not with a transfer to the Chicago office.  
I came to XXXX as a 170-pound account guy who thought he pretty much knew everything there was to know about advertising. I leave as a portly planner who knows he doesn't. Yet somehow, I'm better for the experience. 
The biggest cliché in advertising good bye speeches is "what I'll miss most about the place is the people." Well no shit. What else would you miss?  The elevator rides?  The bountiful supply of foam core?  The hospital-like interior decor?  Of course it's the people!  And I've had the good fortune of working with some of the best in the business. 
It's always dangerous to do shout outs because you inevitably miss somebody important then feel bad about it. But what the hell. 
So here's to XXXX, a man who hired me twice. 
To XXXX for helping me sharpen my time management skills and driving me to raise my game. 
To continued success for XXXX and XXXX with whom I've worked for nearly half of my career (an aside, I was the AE on XXXX' first ad; had it not been for the skillful junior client mgmt needed to sell that XXXX, who knows what would have happened).  
To XXXX who taught me what a planner was at XXXX, then had the courage to move me into his department four years ago.  
To XXXX for her invaluable mentorship and ongoing ear.  
To XXXX for his friendship. 
To XXXX for her idealism.  
To XXXX for her work ethic. 
To XXXX and XXXX for helping me think differently. 
To XXXX for reminding me that nice people can succeed in this biz. 
To XXXX whose indomitable spirit in the face of ridiculous challenge serves as a lesson to all. 
To XXXX for being even whiter -- and smarter -- than me. 
To the XXXX account team with whom, some weeks, I spent more time than my wife. 
To XXXX for calling out client horseshit so the planner doesn't have to. 
To XXXX for rocking the shades. 
To XXXX for rocking the shoes. 
To XXXX who helped teach you 20-somethings a thing or two about being productive while hungover. 
To XXXX who served as my Bizzaro Jiminy Cricket, my evil conscience -- don't let the "sweet" persona fool you; debauchery seems to follow her. 
To XXXX, or, how he's known in my house, Santa.  
To XXXX, for embodying the fun-spirit of American Midwesterners.
To XXXX who kept me out with a client until 3am on my first month on the job, thereby refueling my love of booze after nearly a year on the wagon.
To XXXX for his drolly eloquent political incorrectness. (Though if anything he said actually offended you, get out of this business and work for the NDP where you can better harness your moral indignation.)
To all the creative teams who made the most of the few good briefs that I was able to help craft.  
To my fellow imbibers with whom I've shared a laugh or a debate over a pint.
To all the hot women who make coming to work a visual treat. 
To all the ugly dudes who provided weak competition thereby giving fat old guys like me a sense of (false) hope that he could seduce one of those aforementioned hotties were it not for my moral opposition to adultery (and fear of the XXXX harassment policy).  
To the teams who came out for the yearly ball tournaments and made me feel less dorky about loving baseball so much (at least for one day). 
And to whoever had a hand in canning XXXX. 
Chicago is but a 90 minute flight away. And I have Notre Dame season tickets. So feel free to look me up after my last day on Friday -- my e-mail doesn't even change.
Finally, many people have asked me about how I feel moving to the US -- often with a bit of an anti-American tone.  Regardless of your views, one thing you can’t deny is that America is home to the world's best storytellers.  Which seems appropriate for our business.  In an age of search marketing optimization, channel management planning, zero-based budgeting and consumer research norms, it’s often easy to forget why we got into this business in the first place. At the end of the day, great ad people – creative, planning, account management -- are, above everything else, great story tellers.  Dream in color. Tell great stories.
The "+":

  • I salute this man for being truly comfortable in his own old, fat, alcoholic, skin.

The "-":

  • Likable as he is, he pretty much ended the email by declaring that his Canadian colleagues are second-rate storytellers compared to Americans.

Mini-Golf vs. Running for Congress, the Age-long Debate

From: XXXX
Sent: 04/09/2010 03:54 PM ADT
Subject: Leaving XXXX today to run for U.S. House of Representatives

Dear all

Today is my last at the great institution XXXX. The journey over the past three years from associate to engagement manager has truly been a fantastic one. Not only because of the opportunity for senior client interaction, the real impact drive each study, or even the difficult problems we relish solving. No. The real strength of XXXX, what I will miss most, is you. No other organization contains individuals with the depth of knowledge, breadth of experience, and genuine concern for the world as XXXX.

Only at XXXX can we merge two business schools in the morning, discuss black hole information theory over lunch, save a bank $200 million in the afternoon, debate the geopolitics of the middle east at dinner, and still have time for glow in the dark mini-golf in the evening.

But as I have watched events unfold on the national stage, I began to worry. In just the past few weeks we've seen the chance for smart and targeted banking regulation evaporate, watched bond markets decide Berkshire Hathaway is less risky than US Treasuries, and witnessed democrats and republicans squander an opportunity for real reform in the health care industry.

Given congress's unwillingness to effect the necessary change, I have decided that I can no longer remain on the sidelines as our government spirals toward bankruptcy. The economic and fiscal state of the government is too precarious for allow ideology to drive policy. Washington needs to start using a fact based approach, a XXXX approach, to solve the problems facing our nation. We need smarter government. Thinking through the options, I have come to believe my greatest opportunity for impact lays inside the legislature itself.

To drive smart change, I have decided to run for US Congress from New York's 14th congressional district on the Republican ticket and am resigning from XXXX effective today.

Finally, I want to thank those who have helped mentor me along my journey at XXXX. In particular, I want to thank XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, XXXX, and XXXX for their invaluable help over the years—and of course XXXX and the visual production team in New York without whose help I would have never made “client ready” decks.

If you know anyone who might want to join or assist in anyway, please have them contact me.  My permanent email is XXXX.  I can also be contacted on my cell at XXXX. You can view the beta version of my website at  (please note it is not fully operational yet).  I wish you all the best and hope to stay in contact!

P.S., Please forward this email to anyone I missed!


The "+":
  • Don't forget the goldfish, Jerry.
  • I once had a Japanese rice-cooker descaling detergent called "Greatest Opportunity for Impact."

The "-":
  • "Helped mentor" is unnecessarily redundant.
  • This deck is not client ready.
  • The first 30 seconds of your campaign video is kind of creepy.

From a Fancy Pants School to a No Pants School, with a Pit-stop in Law & Politics

January 2007

The other day I found myself zoning out, entranced by the footage of two men making sweet kisses on eachothers' manholes, lovingly reflecting on my time at XXXX Entertainment.  Would this really be the end of such daily absurdities in my life ... the end of the extraordinary and profane setting the backdrop for my everyday work?  Maybe, as I've taken an editor job with a major media (non-adult) company.  My adventures in gay porn have come to an end and it's time to focus on the next big thing, working towards my goals as a comedy writer.  

In my time at XXXX, I learned so much about people, business, and life.  Waspy seeming folks like myself from fancy pants schools (and I'm certainly not saying that I'm only one with such a background in the biz) for the most part stay away from the adult biz (at least from working in it- as we all know most of these folks are consumers or enjoyers of the smut).  Taking this job was a risk, and only if I had a little more fear and a little less faith in myself, I wouldn't have worked here.  I'm "me" no matter where I go.  Working in the adult industry exposed me to far less grotesque and dishonest situations than my time in law and politics.    The honesty and brash unapologetic nature of the business are perhaps its greatest virtue.

I certainly do not advocate the adult business as a whole, it's just that my experience here knocked a lot of our society's conservative, judgmental success valuations on their ass.  We are a culture dominated by GPAs, standardized testing, and a culture that encourages working at shitty places you don't want to work at just to boost your resume.  The economy has a very strong ability to douchbagify otherwise good people- people whose motivations become tainted by absurd ideals, in a society where it seems half the country is going to law school for no other reason than aimless ambition.  After all, this is a society where people pay money for absolutely terrible looking logo emblazoned Louis Vuitton bags.

In my last words as XXXX Entertainment's Publicity Director, I hope the press comes to embrace XXXX as the star he deserves to be.  There is no one on Earth quite like him.  XXXX is one of the few people in the world with a truly unique perspective and fresh, original world view.

I don't and never will agree with everything that XXXX has to say nor agree with the things he does.  But there's not a person alive who I could endorse 100 percent, not even myself.  After all, to err is human.  And yes, as his famous reputation suggests, XXXX is an asshole.  But for every ounce of motherfucker in XXXX is an equally delightful ounce waiting to be discovered.  He's one of the strongest, most outspoken members of the gay community, and one of the most tasteful, progressive, and artful producers of erotic entertainment.  His advances in adult film will do more to influence the quality and arguably the atmosphere of the adult industry than anything that's happened since the invention of the DVD.  Just watch XXXX and you'll see what I mean.

And if you're wondering why I'm going on and on like this, well ... there's really enough to fill a book, so I've been writing one.  Keep an eye out for "The Devil Wears Magnums" (the Heather Reznor story) at a Barnes and Noble near you.

All future XXXX matters should be directed to XXX (who I hand selected for his delightfulness and skill) or XXXX (who also kicks ass).  XXXX@XXXX.COM

PS- My real name is XXXX, and you can keep up with me on my personal site, XXXX.com. 

The "+":
  • An opus to nopuss.
  • An endorsement to indoorsmen.
  • Visit her personal site here.

The "-":
  • Makes me feel lame in comparison.
  • I would feel closer to you if you had said that the amount of motherfuckness in your boss moderately outweighed the amount of delight in your boss.