Dearest Previous Employer,

My “resume” will list traits like detail-oriented, organized to a fault, even anal in regards to getting things done. My motto of work smarter not harder is represented on that resume, strengthening the reputation I’ve sought hard to build of a girl who works hard, sacrifices for her team, and knows her stuff. Because of who I am, how my resume is built people in your company call me things like legend, Samurai, and ninja. Some people have even gone so far as to put me on a pedestal because of the person I am, my work ethic, my willingness to go above and beyond, and my humble attitude to dispute the compliments received of how well I do at my job. What I won’t dispute is that I gave my entire life for this job, for your company. I was loyal to a fault, fighting everyone on the outside to prove this company was the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Dear company, I’m not perfect. I am just a mere human. I make mistakes. I can assure you I don’t – as some believe – belong on a pedestal that employees in your company have put me on. I don’t deserve to be up there. But, why do they have me standing atop the world? Well, because they value the contributions that I have put in to save your ass. They know I will protect them. I love and nourish their dreams. I get in the trenches with them. I treat them with appreciation and respect. I give my all in everything I do for them and for the company. Everything you should be, I am for them. I am definitely no super woman, but I am loyal and they understand that. But, here’s the thing, never push a loyal person to the point where they walk away and no longer give a damn.

You see, dear company, loyalty isn’t grey. Like me, it is black and white. You are either loyal or you’re not. You have to understand this. You can’t be loyal to your employees only when it serves your purpose. As your management team has so often implied at a certain store, I am black and white. They fought tooth and nail with me on nearly every circumstance and I was the only one that has protected them and kept them out of the lion’s den for eleven months. Listen; contrary to popular JB belief, being black and white isn’t a bad thing. Being black and white means I am detail oriented and because I am in operations that is what I was hired to do and be. You hired me to do a job and I’ve done it for you with no hesitation. I may care too much, but that is because my job is to protect those who can’t live within the boundaries of the very lines you have established. I am the mama bear. The store was my family. I protected my family. I am black and white because someone had to be. I protected them but you did little to protect me until it was too late.

Some bridges are meant to be burnt as there are certain things in your life you can’t afford to go back to. While I appreciate the people I have met that have helped me to know what a leader should look like, helped me learn so much about what I can be, and helped me to be confident in all that I am, I do not regret the decision to leave your company. I have made fond memories with the people I know truly care for who and what I am. I have grown a thicker skin thanks to customers who cuss me out in regards to furniture or dismiss me because I have done all that I could but it wasn’t what they expected. Heck, my own personal grief with the loss of my father and son didn’t deter me from working my heart out for your company. Working for the company may not be the best thing for me now, but it was for me then.

I can’t walk away from this company without first thanking you. Thank you for teaching me that my true passion is to touch lives, serve lives, and help them to heal. Thank you for teaching me that what I want is to make a positive difference in the world we live in. Thank you for making me stronger and giving me the direction to choose family over work. Thank you for helping to mold me into who I am today. This last week I have struggled with the realization that my tenure with your company is coming to an end. I have felt guilt ridden because it feels as if I have given up on my office, my store, my career. I appreciate corporate for reaching out to me so much to save me this week. I am humbled to know how brass feels about all that I have put into this company. However, it was a little to late to save me. It was the same promises of change that I couldn’t sacrifice myself for. It is hard to sacrifice all that I have, caring as much as I have without you feeling the same.

Company, I was told my heart is beautiful, and your employees are right. It is. And it is time that I protect my heart from the company that refused to protect it until the towel was already thrown. So now, with a heavy beautifully light heart, I bid you adieu. I light the bridge, engulf it in flames, gather and sweep the ashes together and burn it again.