Letter of Resignation

[flash fiction]

Doctor Galen Alber
Dean of the Occupational Sciences Department
Ledford University

Doctor Alber—

I do not regret to inform you that I refuse to work with you any longer on your repulsive project. No need to lecture me about the consequences of this decision; I’m happy to withdraw from my research appointment in addition to the University. While my career prospects would be much better with a degree earned under your tutelage, you’ve crossed the line.

Doctor Alber, you have no conscience, so you won’t care about the reasons I’m quitting. I include them because I have a conscience.

  • It’s one thing to pump small quantities of mint aroma into an office building’s air supply. The research has concluded that it’s harmless. However, I can no longer fudge the numbers to justify our work on the development of airborne amphetamine.
  • Mass-producing a melanine-activated memory blocker to make people forget their children during daytime hours? That’s just evil.
  • I agree: computer solitaire is a time-drain. Shame on you, however, for using aversion therapy to force people to break the habit. The Taser-equipped laser mouse used to deliver the charge is a yoke that no worker should be forced to bear.

You’ve said so many times that the Project will change the world by increasing worker productivity, but I have my morals. I won’t take another dime of your dirty money. The worst part is that you think you’re such a good employer. Just because you make coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice every morning doesn’t make you our friend. You brag about your recipes, touting the benefits of the “secret ingredient,” but everyone agrees that they taste just like anything you can get at a Starbucks or a grocery store. None of us would even be able to tell the difference!


Right after I spend the next few weeks finishing up the double-blind Loyaltrex® human trials.

Well, then I need to figure out what’s wrong with that bladder-strengthening enzyme that eliminates the need for employer-subsidized bathroom breaks. (After all, those mice really shouldn’t be dying; and the look of horror that distorts their faces as they expire could be a PR problem.)

Oh, and I’ll have to clean the laboratory bathrooms properly before I leave; I think I left a spot in the rightmost sink last time.

With anything but respect,

Jessica Rademacher

Kenneth Nichols earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Ohio State University.  He teaches writing at two colleges in Central New York and is the creator of the writing craft web site Great Writers Steal, accessible at www.greatwriterssteal.com.