THE BLOG
02/18/2014 02:12 pm ET Updated Apr 20, 2014

Hey, ITT Tech! Thanks for Firing Me Yesterday! I Mean It.

Dear ITT Technical Institute:

Thank you for firing me from one of your campuses yesterday.

That statement may sound like a sarcastic jab from a disgruntled ex-employee, but it is a sincere declaration of gratitude. And that's why I wanted to write you this thank you letter -- to let you know there are no hard feelings about giving me the shaft. I know I'm going to be better off in the long run. Not that you really give a damn.

Just so you know, when you broke up with me I was a little shocked, pissed, and frightened (in that order), but not surprised. I've known all along that, like many other people out there, I was an unprotected at-will employee in a relationship with an unsympathetic and emotionless corporation. Technically, because I was at-will, I think documenting the reason for termination as "poor performance" on my separation paperwork was unnecessary, but can't be sure about that. Regardless, we both know why I wasn't able to meet my performance goals this year. Let's just agree it was a rigged game and leave it at that. Besides, the sublime arrangement that is at-will employment doesn't require you to even need a reason to fire me. Going out of your way to drum one up just seems like you're being a dick.

Luckily, as with most corporations, the folks at HQ who come up with the ideas that make it impossible for some of its employees to meet their goals aren't held to the same rigidness as those poor bastards in the trenches. If they were, you'd never have anybody around to order the troops into the machine guns. They would just stand there being happy.

I guess I held on to the delusion too long that humanity still rules corporations instead of corporatism ruling the humans. My bad. It was ridiculous of me to expect any more consideration in the final days of our relationship than I received during the 15 years we were together beforehand.

Still, I owe you one. If you hadn't kicked me to the curb when you did, I'd still be with you right now, replaying that internal dialogue zombie mantra of "just be thankful you have a job" over and over again like any normal day. Yes, I should have left you long ago when I first noticed our incompatibilities, but I was a coward. I was comfortable with the paycheck and figured it was better to stay with the monster I was familiar with than risk something worse with one I didn't. I find it hard to believe there aren't millions of other people staying in unhealthy relationships with their own employers for that very reason at this very moment.

Part of my appreciation comes from the realization that without your primordial corporate philosophy and your inanimate, data-driven management structure, I would probably never have had the balls nor the impetus to leave on my own. But, thanks to you, I am now free to explore a new direction in my life, hopefully one that doesn't include a long road on unemployment.

Unfortunately though, my time with you has ruined the chance for any other companies in the for-profit education business to have me as an awesome employee . Firing me yesterday had very little to do with that, by the way. It was a slow cook over time. As you turned the heat up step-by-step and degree-by-degree -- added responsibility-by-lost benefit and knee-jerk policy change-by-seemingly arbitrary issue resolution -- I finally looked around and noticed I was standing in a full boil. What I saw in my first six years as one of your teachers was just one small ingredient with a pending expiration date compared to the unpalatable spoilage I progressively saw bubbling around me during my last nine years as one of your registrars. I'm sorry; I obviously grew disillusioned with you over the years. But know it's not just you. I think the whole industry of for-profit schools stinks. People shouldn't have their hopes and dreams for getting an education exploited so vigorously. I believe you all focus too much on the "for profit" part and not enough on the "education" part. That's just my opinion. An opinion based on fifteen years of being with you, but an opinion nonetheless.

Most importantly, this all has encouraged me to stand back and inventory my thoughts of the corporate world as a whole. I am finally free to openly pursue my feelings on the importance of improving corporate culpability and am even more committed to actively supporting corporations that are working toward being employee-friendly rather than shareholder bound.

So, all in all, yesterday was a pretty good day. Again, thanks for that. I am tempted to recommend you fire all your employees. I believe most of them would thank you for doing it as well.

However, I can't believe yesterday's firing was just for my benefit. It holds a benefit for you, too. I'm pretty sure you will have no problem finding a replacement for my position at a fraction of what I was costing you. That's good for you.

Who am I kidding? You probably already thought of that.

Other Dirk Hughes blogs can be found at land of quo, American Dream Art Project, and Thrifstory on Wordpress.