Letters you never send-1

Life is full of annoying moments and irritating people – some of whom you would like to tell – in no uncertain terms – what you do think of them. But most of us are complete chicken-shits when it comes to confronting people and telling them the truth as we see it – after all, they might tell us the truth as they see it, mightn’t they and then where would we be? Knocked right off our righteous high horse.

So, fellow travellers, to the letter, the traditional letter without email return address, so you can send with equanimity, without fear of reply, and get all that bile off your chest. Or sometimes, that embarrassing adoration that cannot be spoken aloud, at all, ever. Although this version is the blog-letter under a pseudonym, but you get the idea – to sender, writer un-contactable. Best all round.

Letter to Stu – no reply needed at all.

Dear Stu

We did not say good-bye or part on good terms, and no i did not wish you well, because you have spent the last 3 months since you didn’t get the promotion within the department taking your resentment out on me, seeing me as increasingly culpable for your failures and frustrations here at work. I wonder now, why i spoke so strongly on your behalf during the panel discussions for the position. Your were out-ranked by the other candidates – they were better than you, on paper, in interview and now in person. They are both so much easier to work with – and i guess that sticks in your craw. But C & S on the panel were not on your side and as they both out-rank me as well, i couldn’t hold the ground for you. Face facts, if you had wanted the job and had been more obviously willing to get on with people it might have helped.

You have a lot to offer, but i’m not sure you’ll actually achieve your ambitions. While you continue to think you’re so much smarter than the rest of us you stop yourself from listening to others, to learning, to growing. You don’t know anywhere near as much as you think you do – about Literature, sport, children, people, anything. Simply dogmatically stating your position in increasing volume doesn’t convince anyone. Strident tones without any inclination towards discussion, or brooking anyone else’s opinion just show you up as an arrogant shit. I know a lot of very clever people and they don’t go around telling the world how smart they are – they just get on with it. No grand-standing, no spot-lights, just delivering the goods.

I used to think the world of you – half fancied you there for a while. Strange how far away from that profound affection and respect i have moved. You have pushed me away. You have brought the relationship to this bad-taste ending. You could have spoken to me about references, asked, informed, discussed – all those verbs that indicate dialogue, conversation between two people. But you assumed, despite the fact that our relationship – personal and professional had soured since Easter.

Did you not see it? Was that it? Had you assumed i still thought a lot of you? Foolish boy. You can’t behave as you have towards me without there being some fall-out. How many times did you shout at me, abuse me, over matters that were well out of my control – were nothing to do with me, were because you’d been caught out doing the wrong thing? I’ve even told you to stop speaking to me like this – and we haven’t had a drink at the pub for months. Still, you seem to have missed it. Glaring at me and barking at me about references not written didn’t help. But you wouldn’t come and simply speak about it.

I don’t wish you harm, but the time of professional respect and willingness to speed you on your way has gone. Any love i may have felt for you – any respect or warmth has all been obliterated by you. Your arrogance, your anger at all matters, your egotistical and petty way within our working world, not to mention the way you talk about your lady – ‘punching below your weight’ – is such a statement of contempt for someone you’ve spent so many years with. If she’s so unworthy what does that say of your relationship, of you, that you remain in it?

I have no respect for you. I have no regard for you anymore. I am glad you have resigned, that i will not have to endure another tirade of yours, of listening once more to how wonderful you are, and now useless and stupid are the rest of us.

I marvel at your egotism – that approaching 40 you know so little of the world, or yourself, while thinking you know so much. I guess you do need to grow up, to get a grip on how far you have not come for your age, for your lack of achievement. But I guess your anger and your constant need to tell us how fantastic you are is because in the deep of your long nights, you know your own failings better than I do.

Enjoy your next posting, look back on us with contempt, your usual disdain, but remember no matter where you go, you take yourself with you. And you have to live with you more relentlessly than anyone else.

Good bye, Stu. Good luck – you’re going to need an Atlantic Ocean’s worth to make something of yourself.


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