Re: The Longest Goodbye Ever!

Subject: Re: The Longest Goodbye Ever!
From: "Cheverie, Paul [Cont]" <paul -dot- cheverie -at- GPO -dot- CANADA -dot- CDEV -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 1996 19:00:00 EDT

Sarah writes:

>>>Well...if you're in a small and limited market, I'd hazard a guess that
people either know each other or at least know of one another--correct? If
so, one way to get out gracefully might be to write a lengthy, _extremely_
detailed letter of resignation to your client--addressed to everyone at the
company with whom you had any supervisory contact--describing the entire
history of the project and what went wrong in respectfully value-neutral
terms,and explaining your financial situation and your impending full-time
work commitment. In such a letter, it would also probably be wise to
emphasize some of the points that people on the list have made--especially
when it comes to your level of responsibility for the client's mismanagement
of the project (again in value-neutral terms). _Keep copies_. This can
then serve as documentation of your experience working with this particular
client, and you'll be able to show it to anyone whose misconceptions may
need to be dispelled. I've had a few similar situations in my own
freelancing history, and even in my market (which I suspect is _much_
larger) this graceful bow-out method has proven to be very effective when it
comes to preserving my professional reputation.<<<

Sorry Sarah,
But I think this is one of the least graceful ways to depart the
turnpoint. A simple letter explaining the commitment made to a full time
employer and detailing the lack of available personal resources to dedicate
to the project (include your best wishes for the project's successful
completion and a reasonable notice-period as a courtesey) is the best way to
go. Nobody gains professional respect by slamming a customer or a customer's
Addressing a letter detailing the worries and woes of the writer to
everyone involved will do nothing more than ascert and confirm the
supposition that the sender of the letter is a whiner and is leaving the
project due to a lack of professionalism and/or ability. This leaves the
writer entirely without the moral high-ground if he is confronted by
collegues or prospective clients with an accusation of abandoning a viable
Moshe has, at the moment, the moral high-ground in this situation. To
voluntarily leave it to the other party is foolish, potentially harmful to
his career and harmful to his client. As I understand it, Moshe has
fulfilled any contractual obligations he may have had in this situation, but
still feels professional responsibility for this project. Apportioning blame
at this point would be entirely counter-productive for the client if it is
paid attention too, and entirely counter-productive for the contractor if it
Best Regards
Paul C
paul -dot- cheverie -at- gpo -dot- canada -dot- cdev -dot- com

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