Posted by: healingtheworkplace | August 21, 2011

The Good Thing about Public Resignations Part I

HI, by now you will have heard about the fellow who emailed his resignation letter to other employees at  Whole Foods, only to have it go viral.

Whoops! Perhaps that is what he had in mind originally.

Anyway, thousands of people, some Whole Foods’ employees,
weighed in with their opinions.

“That’s professional suicide” wrote Sidneyeve Matrix of Queens University

My first reaction was similar to Ms. Matrix but after I gave
it some thought I decided that maybe this type of ‘honesty’ is not such a bad

I don’t know how old Sidneyeve Matix is but I doubt that he
is a member of Generation Y.

From Ms. Matrix’s  view of the world this type of behaviour is “professional suicide”.  A quick check on Google shows the Ms. Matrix is not alone in his opinion on the matter.

But I doubt that this disgruntled employee will be looking
for work in a conventional organization anytime soon. For some reason I can’t see him  working in a bank or for the federal government.

And, the world of  work is changing. And it is changing rapidly. It wasn’t long ago that working  from home was a distant fantasy. Now it has become the norm.

My generation came of age before the internet so our methods
of protest were visible and public in a different way. In the 1960s it was not
unusual for 20-somethings to take their protests to the streets.

Those protests were against the war in Vietnam, in favour of
civil rights and pretty much against anything  the establishment stood for which meant that  we protested against the values and beliefs of  our parents’ generation.

Now a new generation is protesting only this time the medium
is vastly different.

According to Sarah Boesveld ,

The Internet offers an easy soapbox for a new generation of  20-somethng workers who’ve grown up social-media mad, consumer crazy, and  idealistic about their careers.

Not only can we protest publicly from the comfort of our
own homes but we can be “heard” by millions of people around the world…in a heartbeat.

This disgruntled Whole Foods’ employee may not care much about what
happened to the organization after he left but I’ll bet that Whole Foods is
taking a close look at the accusations made in the resignation letter.

Some of the accusations can be “written off” as the rants of a disgruntled employee BUT there will also be some truth to what he has to say.

I first read the letter on the blog  A lot of it focused on how Whole Foods does not live up to its stated corporate values.  The writer of the letter also took aim at many  of the people he worked with which is not cool.

For this reason “redacted” the names of the people
mentioned in the now famous resignation letter.

I’d never heard of the word before so I looked it up. Redacted means “to
edit for publication or to censor for legal purposes”.

Anyway, I keep digressing. What I really wanted to say in this post
is that there are lots of problems in our organizations and most people who
work in them are afraid to speak out. Despite attempts at creating
democratic workplaces the bottom line is that speaking up and criticising your
employer is still not a safe thing to do.

It’s Sunday afternoon here on the West Coast of B.C. and the sun is shinning so I will finish this post tomorrow! Cheers, Lesley


  1. (Please re-post)

    Here is an organization who engages in cultural and personal terrorism.

    Type “gawker outs cia officers” into google and you will see that this drug-user tabloid takes pride in playing a game of exposing undercover intelligence and law enforcement officers, an act which can cost those officers their lives. Not the sort of game America should tolerate. These people are un-American.

    The staff of Gawker have publicly admitted that they were hired to attend the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and sabotage the corporate exhibit booths in violation of the law.

    This tabloid, Gawker Media, makes it’s name out of being the first to show corporate prototypes. The staff of the tabloid try to get ahold of workers at technology companies and seek to influence them to lose “iphone” and other prototypes in public places where they can pick them up. Law enforcement believes that Jason Chen, Adrian Covert and Joe Brown, of Gawker, work together on this effort. The San Mateo Police Dept. has kicked in their staff’s doors. Gabby Darbyshire of Gawker threatened the police officers with legal and political intimidation to stall the San Mateo police department investigation. They didn’t like that!!!

    They hack into phone systems and servers for their “scoops”. Gawker staff worked for London newspapers who hacked and they are now under cooperative federal investigation with London law enforcement.

    A hacker group has made a great showing of its recent break-ins to law enforcement computers. This group has deep roots and members around Gawker Media. Law enforcement suspects that at least one of the three names mentioned previously are members of this group.

    The IRS is looking into a report that Nick Denton hides his money offshore and evades taxes with foreign accounts.

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