The TMI Government Lawyer

Today we have a letter from a lawyer at a government agency.  Let's evaluate it using the six criteria for effective Last Day Emails as demonstrated by the Pulitzer winning journalist, Dan Neil.

Six Do's for a Last Day Email

  1. Inclusive opening salvo
  2. Morale boost
  3. Personal story
  4. Common enemy
  5. The happy ending
  6. The triple axel sign off

Ok, now let's read:

From: XXXX
Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2010 7:18 AM
Subject: Bittersweet Farewell

Well, the time has come for me to say goodbye.

Instead of starting his email with the customary salutation, our writer leads boldly into the body of his email with an intimate "Well." How f*cking sexy is that? It's like when you order a drink at a quiet bar, and the bartender unexpectedly leans in all the way until his lips are practically touch your ear, and whispers, "That will be fifteen dollars." This guy's got balls!

LDE SCORE: The writer's non-traditional approach is worth the risk. Starting a last day email with "Well," makes everyone who receives the email feel included in a particularly intimate way. Inclusive Opening Salvo WIN.

Yo' Mama... Writes the Best Butt-Kickin' Letters

This week's Last Day Email is a little bit different from our usual fare.  For one thing, it was written by a mom to her grown-up daughter.  And instead of saying "good-bye" to a workplace, it's more of a warning that if the grown-up daughter doesn't get her shit together, she'd end up at her current workplace for the rest of her life.


They have such a knack for rubbing you the wrong way, in order to guide you the right way!

When the Administrative Staff Peaces Out, Punctuation Takes a Backseat

Here is a Last Day Email from an administrative staff member at a New York law firm who is leaving the law to work, client-side, for a bank (envious much, litigators?). And although the message itself is calm and subdued, the punctuation is unbelievably punishing. So much so, that it makes you wonder, "Hey, is this person f*cking with me?" That kind of ambiguity is, of course, a hallmark of a great, passive-aggressive, "up yours," kinda departure email.

Without further ado: