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Dear Mr. Ex Bossman,

I write this letter, not to shame you, but because you have been one of the most influential people in my life, and I would not be as strong today if it weren't for you.

By the time you hired me as an intern, I was well adjusted to being the token woman and happy to meet the guys I'd be working with in the nerd basement (data center).

It took a while for them to adjust to my presence, and they were initially careful for fear of offending "the girl," but after a few particularly bad jokes from me, that fear didn't last.

My time with you and the guys was enjoyable, and I got a lot out of the experience.  From the guys, I received friendship, guidance, and a lot of laughs.

From you, I learned many things, and I'd like to take a moment to thank you...

Thank you for not screaming at me in front of everyone like you did to the guys.  Sure you complained about my shortcomings to my friends and frequently mocked me, but every time they told me what you said, I toughened up.


Thank you for attempting to drive a wedge between me and my friends with these insults.  You accidentally strengthened those friendships.


Thank you for banishing me to scan racks in another lab. I got into the groove, scanned the crap out of those racks, and came back to scan my friends' racks so they could spend their time on more interesting stuff.


Thank you for excluding me from the invite that you extended to all the guys for a movie night on my last day of work. This last straw gave me clarity on the way you felt about me and the kind of person you were.


Thank you for making me so angry that I punched a wall. I have since studied self defense and found better ways to punch better things.


Thank you for inspiring me to channel my frustration, rage, and pain into a polite letter that addressed the way you treated me. The ability to control and focus my emotions has served me well over the last few years.


Most of all, thank you for hiding in your cube during my last week after I offered to discuss our issues with a mediator...

It was really funny.


I recognize that you weren't happy working with interns, and I empathize, so I'm glad to hear that you've found a new job that you enjoy. I hope that you are better able to work with women and people in general now that you're happier in your role.


I wish you all the best,

Mel