To Whom it May Not Concern
Bill Muse


In today’s highly mobile workforce, coworkers are moving on to new and better things at an ever-faster pace (not you, of course; you’re stuck). And yet, just as the need to say “So long, suckers” has escalated, the time in which to say it has seemingly shrunk. Enter the email goodbye. With a carelessly chosen distribution list, you can bid adieu to everyone you know, and thousands more, with a single poorly written maudlin composition. It is in this spirit that I present my actual goodbye letter from my last job.


The Microsoft breakup has begun and the judge asked me to go first. Yes, today is my last day at Microso-- Hey! Get back here! You can loot my office after you've read this.

Now I know it is traditional for Microsoft so-long missives to talk about how wonderful this place is and how special the quitter's co-workers are, but I'm always left wondering "If you think it's so great, why are you leaving?", and also "Who are you?" because these messages are usually sent to a distribution list that you just happen to be on, like now. Often you've never even met the person leaving, let alone bonded with them through the vocational camaraderie to which they allude.

Also common is a tone of reluctance, of a difficult decision regretfully made, as though the person retiring or taking a better job were instead Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca, and the rest of us were so many Humphrey Bogarts peering over each other's trenchcoated shoulders at the train station to read her goodbye letter in the rain.

But I'm not taking another job, nor am I retiring to pursue my dreams (because they typically feature me naked at a rodeo while H.R."Bob" Haldeman snaps me with a wet towel). Instead, my fare-thee-well takes the refreshing form of an unabashedly childish celebration of my pending unemployment; to wit:

Hasta la vista, wage slaves. You must continue toiling for your corporate overlords, but I will soon be as productive as an Arctic orchard. Give my regards to The Man. I'm free, do you hear me? Free as the wind blows, free as the grass grows. Free as the novelty phone you get for subscribing to Sports Illustrated. Free as a 31-minute-old Domino's pizza. I rule!

Now for most people, such extreme slacking (coming soon to ESPN2) would mean a one-way ticket to PovertyVille, but check this out: my wife is going to support me. Why? Let's just say I have a certain equine quality. And also because we made a deal when we got married that whoever was earning the least would stay home with the kids. Little did she know that I would repeatedly torpedo my career to ensure I would "lose". I'm not riding the gravy train, sport; I'm the freakin' engineer, and my Little Engine That Could is saying "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can day-trade tech stocks to pay for day-care without the wife catching on, leaving my days unencumbered by parenting."

True, I won't have a career anymore, but I doubt that will trouble me when I'm lying on the couch at noon, switching between MSN Investor and SportsCenter with the sound off--Aerosmith cranked--as I set the day's second brewski on a stack of muscle-car magazines. Besides, if I ever need to earn a paycheck again, I'll have plenty of time during naps to dream up resume-gap explanations couched in corporate-speak: "Out-of-the-box paradigms and enterprise-wide pro-active cross-team schemas were my key take-aways moving forward in the August timeframe." Simple.

I know many of you must be concerned about how Microsoft will fare in what will surely become known as the Post-Musian Era. Let me re-assure you with a simple demonstration: Place your hand in a bucket of water. Now remove your hand. The hole that is left behind is the hole that any of us leaves behind. (Profound, eh? It will also work with your foot, and other people's cell phones at the movies.) Now pour the bucket on your head. Man this is fun. After you towel off, bring me a latte, extra bourbon.

Please don't let our parting sadden you. Remember that when God closes a door, He also opens a window. That's why His utility bills are un-freakin-believable (as if the high ceilings weren't bad enough). And don't worry that I won't remember you wonderful people after I leave, because, due to collegiate overindulgence in bong-related recreation, I've forgotten most of your names already. Soon I'll forget your faces, and eventually even the hotties among you will fade from my elaborate sexual fantasies, or be relegated to the occasional cameo.

In conclusion, to those I have worked with, for, and around: I am the ghost of Microsoft past. Look to see me... more.


P.S. Miss me already? Email me at If I'm not too busy bidding on eBay crap, I'll answer.

P.S. to the Ladies: Now would be an excellent time to unburden yourselves and confess any secret crushes you might have on me. It's good for the soul, especially if you accidentally use Reply All.

P.P.S. Theese letters having powerfull magic's!!! Do'nt breaking it's chain!!! Put you're name at the top's, send me $50, forwarding this 1000times to your boss, and within too weeks, you two will being magicly unemployed!!!

P.P.P.S. to Steve Ballmer: Reconsider my Microsoft Linux idea. You'll be glad you did.