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How often have you visualised dropping your pants and showing your arse to the gathered crowd at your ‘leaving’ presentation, or maybe that’s just my own private and personal fantasy, but bare with me for a moment. The message quoted verbatim below was sent by one happy worker at JPMorgan as his parting shot. The message was apparently sent to a huge number of senior and middle management, names people allegedly still working for the firm, and included the CEO.

Dear Co-Workers and Managers,

As many of you probably know, today is my last day. But before I leave, I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what a great and distinct pleasure it has been to type “Today is my last day.”

For nearly as long as I’ve worked here, I’ve hoped that I might one day leave this company. And now that this dream has become a reality, please know that I could not have reached this goal without your unending lack of support. Words cannot express my gratitude for the words of gratitude you did not express.

I would especially like to thank all of my managers both past and present but with the exception of the wonderful Saroj Hariprashad: in an age where miscommunication is all too common, you consistently impressed and inspired me with the sheer magnitude of your misinformation, ignorance and intolerance for true talent. It takes a strong man to admit his mistake – it takes a stronger man to attribute his mistake to me.

Over the past seven years, you have taught me more than I could ever ask for and, in most cases, ever did ask for. I have been fortunate enough to work with some absolutely interchangeable supervisors on a wide variety of seemingly identical projects – an invaluable lesson in overcoming daily tedium in overcoming daily tedium in overcoming daily tedium.

Your demands were high and your patience short, but I take great solace knowing that my work was, as stated on my annual review, “meets expectation.” That is the type of praise that sends a man home happy after a 10 hour day, smiling his way through half a bottle of meets expectation scotch with a meets expectation cigar. Thanks Trish!

And to most of my peers: even though we barely acknowledged each other within these office walls, I hope that in the future, should we pass on the street, you will regard me the same way as I regard you: sans eye contact.

But to those few souls with whom I’ve actually interacted, here are my personalized notes of farewell:

To Philip Cress, I will not miss hearing you cry over absolutely nothing while laying blame on me and my coworkers. Your racial comments about Joe Cobbinah were truly offensive and I hope that one day you might gain the strength to apologize to him.

To Brenda Ashby whom is long gone, I hope you find a manager that treats you as poorly as you have treated us. I worked harder for you than any manager in my career and I regret every ounce of it. Watching you take credit for my work was truly demoralizing.

To Sylvia Keenan, you should learn how to keep your mouth shut sweet heart. Bad mouthing the innocent is a negative thing, especially when you’re talking about someone who knows your disgusting secrets.  ; )

To Bob Malvin (Mr. Cronyism Jr), well, I wish you had more of a back bone. You threw me to the wolves with that witch Brenda and I learned all too much from it. I still can’t believe that after following your instructions, I ended up getting written up, wow. Thanks for the experience buddy, lesson learned.

Don Merritt (Mr. Cronyism Sr), I’m happy that you were let go in the same manner that you have handed down to my dedicated coworkers. Hearing you on the phone last year brag about how great bonuses were going to be for you fellas in upper management because all of the layoffs made me nearly vomit. I never expected to see management benefit financially from the suffering of scores of people but then again, with this company’s rooted history in the slave trade it only makes sense.

To all of the executives of this company, Jamie Dimon and such. Despite working through countless managers that practiced unethical behavior, racism, sexism, jealousy and cronyism, I have benefited tremendously by working here and I truly thank you for that. There was once a time where hard work was rewarded and acknowledged, it’s a pity that all of our positive output now falls on deaf ears and passes blind eyes. My advice for you is to place yourself closer to the pulse of this company and enjoy the effort and dedication of us “faceless little people” more. There are many great people that are being over worked and mistreated but yet are still loyal not to those who abuse them but to the greater mission of providing excellent customer support. Find them and embrace them as they will help battle the cancerous plague that is ravishing the moral of this company.

So, in parting, if I could pass on any word of advice to the lower salary recipient (“because it’s good for the company”) in India or Tampa who will soon be filling my position, it would be to cherish this experience because a job opportunity like this comes along only once in a lifetime.

Meaning: if I had to work here again in this lifetime, I would sooner kill myself.

To those who I have held a great relationship with, I will miss being your co-worker and will cherish our history together. Please don’t bother responding as at this very moment I am most likely in my car doing 85 with the windows down listening to Biggie.

Let’s just hope he never needs a reference

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During a recent spontaneous flush of adventurous spirit the current Mrs G and I decided to take the Bentley out for a run in the country for a spot of pub lunch.

Fancy a spin in the country for a bite to eat and a pint of beer, Mrs G? I said with a growing sense of bravado at the thought of such high adventure.

Splendid, absolutely splendid! The current Mrs G responded gleefully; swept along as she was with the thought of such romance and danger.

We naturally logged a generalised route and expected time of return at our local police station; one can never be too careful when venturing out and off the beaten track. Mrs G and I have both watched ‘Deliverance’. Country folk, whilst appearing quaint from a distance, often have a distinct air of inbreeding and lack of personal hygiene which only becomes obvious when you have to get closer to them.

Undaunted by the concerns and dire warnings of friends and neighbours we set off, the Bentley purring gently as we passed along leafy lanes, the smell of farmyard animals (and probably locals too) drifting in through the slightly open windows. We passed farms, their cobbled courtyards littered with strangely medieval looking equipment presumably designed to be pulled behind horses, and groups of ruddy looking youths in utilitarian clothing. We passed ponds, the ducks scattering as we swept past, and fields of animals inexplicably all facing in the same direction. The countryside was even stranger than I remembered it from my only previous visit some thirty years earlier. I seem to remember overhearing my father talking once in hushed tones of a cousin who moved to the countryside when I was only very young; behaviour that could have wrought shame on us all.

We were now miles from civilization, but the directions I had been given by a close, if somewhat odd, friend and regular frequenter of the outdoors held true, and we soon drew up outside the pub he had recommended. The faint smell of manure only seemed to get stronger as we swung open the heavy iron studded door and stepped into the dimly lit interior. The current Mrs G held my arm a little tighter and stepped slightly closer as we crossed the few steps to the bar under the silent and watchful eyes of the locals. “Lunch?” I mumbled almost apologetically to the large rosy cheeked barmaid who leaned forward placing hands the size of ham hocks on the bar as we approached.

Do you have a reservation?” She replied sweetly. The room seemed to suddenly become brighter, less foreboding. Those people already seated at the tables seemed less like the warty, muck stained individuals one might expect to meet in the outdoors, and more like normal people; stock brokers and bank managers; professional white collar types, people who knew with some certainty who their parent were. This was, it turned out, a ‘gastropub‘, no longer the haunt of Mellors the gardener so beloved of Lady Chatterley. No longer the haunt of the broad backed, sun darkened farm hand; locals could no longer afford to live in the country. This pub was now the territory of the wonnabe Michelin Star chef.

So what did we settle for? The current Mrs G had the Steamed Salmon Fillet with Lime and Pepper Butter and a Salade de Pois Chiches (chickpea salad with roasted red peppers and cumin vinaigrette) and for myself the Agneau Chapvallon and a Topinambours en Daube. All very nice but not quite what we had planned when we set off to sample the delights of traditional English pub food; if such a thing exists anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to visit the countryside every day, it’s untidy and above all it smells, but it would be nice just once in a while to be able to go there and eat real English food. Perhaps it can still be found in places like ‘the North’ but I have no intention of every setting foot there. It’s simply not safe. The countryside of southern England offers quite enough thrill and mystique for the current Mrs G and me.

Nice to know that the god fearing folk of Petersburg Kentucky now have a brand new $25 million dollar privately funded natural history museum. But wait this is America (or land of the dumb-fucks as I like to think of it) so a wander around these exhibits and you’ll soon spot some pretty fundamental differences between this and most other museums. For this is a ‘creationist’ museum. For those of you who don’t know ‘creationists’ believe that the earth is only around 6,000 years old, evolution did not happen, that God created the earth, universe basically everything in just 6 days. We didn’t evolve from more primitive ancestors, the Grand Canyon and all other geological features were created in an instant, and oh yes – you’ll love this one, that we shared this earth with the dinosaurs in peace and harmony in the days following the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Indeed Noah took them with him in the Ark. And there was me thinking it was only the silly old Unicorn that missed out on a place on the world cruise. Noah by the way also invented wine and lived to the ripe old age of 950, he was already 600 years old when God tipped him off about a spot of bad weather headed his way.

I was going to attempt to make light of the utterly preposterous notion of creationism until I started to dig a little deeper, no paleontological pun intended, only to find how wide spread this believe is in the US. Only a few weeks ago three Republican presidential candidates said they do not believe in evolution, and polls suggest that about half of Americans agree. Half for fuck sake! They dismiss the scientific theory that all beings have a common ancestor, believing instead that God created humans in one glorious stroke. Similar numbers of people say the world’s age should be counted in the thousands of years, not billions, as established science would have it. For the record, mainstream scientists currently estimate the age of the Earth at about 4.5 billion years, but don’t try telling that to Ken Ham, an Australian-born evangelist and former high school science teacher who heads Answers in Genesis, the organization behind the Creationist Museum. Strangely enough Ham was one of Noah’s sons, not our Ken Ham, but the father of Canaan who Noah cursed to eternal slavery for seeing him laying naked in his tent after a particularly heavy night on the newly invented vino.

However I digress (as usual) so back to the lunacy that is creationism. Like I say I was going to try to lampoon this utterly farcical notion until I realised how prevalent it is in the US. Now I’m just shocked. No actually I’m afraid, because these people are not just your average loonies, they hold positions of power and authority (no change there I hear you cry), they teach our children for God sake!

So who cares what they think. I do because it is this blind determination to either ignore or selectively interpret genuine research to suit a hard-line fundamentalist religious belief that will strike fear into the very heart and soul of any scientist. How long before these dangerously deluded individuals hold the purse-strings of colleges, universities and research institutes?

How long before the creationists, and other believers in the literal truth of the Bible, use the Curse of Ham, you remember it was his son Canaan who saw Noah in the buff, to once again justify racism and the enslavement of people of African ancestry, who were thought to be descendants of Ham (often called Hamites), either through Canaan or his older brothers. How long before they persecute and drive genuine science and research out in favor of the ‘approved’ creationist view of what is and is not acceptable?

John Morris, president of the Institute for Creation Research in San Diego, an organization that promotes creationism, said the museum will affirm the doubts many people have about science, namely the notion that man evolved from lower forms of life.

Americans just aren’t gullible enough to believe that they came from a fish” he said.

No John, almost half of them are way more fucking gullible than that.