Exit interview

by Amandeep Jutla

I see you looking at my phone. It’s beautiful, isn’t it. It goes on sale this holiday season – too late for you to buy one, I’m afraid. What I love about this thing is that it’s really just the right size and weight to sort of idly play with. You can swing it from one hand to another, back and forth, while making difficult decisions, which I make, by the way, all the time.

This really was a difficult decision. I hope you understand that. I looked carefully at the whole team’s output, and you know what? The variance was almost nothing. You were chosen, but it easily could have been someone else. Does my saying that that make you feel “better,” or “worse?” You guys have to help me out with some of this. I don’t really understand how you people work. But I’m trying.

Yeah, the phone’s nice. We’ve talked about this. You don’t have to keep looking at it. You could look at me. Look me in the eye. Any eye. I’m trying to have a candid conversation with you here. This is very hard for me. It might actually be harder for me than it is for you. No offense. I just mean I’m more thoughtful than you are. I meaning all of us, you meaning all of you – not you specifically. You are exactly as unthoughtful as any one of your co-workers. Does that make you feel “better?” Honest question.

You don’t want to talk. That’s what I’m picking up here. You’re doing that thing with the arms, where you cross them. That means you’re being petulant. Am I right? I’m right. You really want to go out like this? You really want to be sulking when they start slicing?

Something you might not appreciate: I’m kind of in your corner, insofar as any of us is. You know a lot of us don’t even bother talking to any of you? I did not have to work down here. I could have stayed in orbit. Called the shots from above. Guess what, I took a pay cut because I chose to work among you. A lot of us only know two things about humans: that they’re delicious and that they seem to thrive in office environments. But I know so much more: that you have these “feelings” that are sometimes “better” and sometimes “worse”; that you have that arm-crossing thing you do when you’re displeased; that you like cell phones.

I know these things because I’ve worked with the team – the team that you’re a part of. Were a part of, sorry. What I’m getting at is, in your own small, feeble way, you’ve taught me a lot. I appreciate it. I’m sorry things had to end this way. I would wish you good luck in all your future endeavors, but since we both know you won’t have any, I won’t say that. I would tell you this won’t hurt, but since I’m given to understand that it actually will hurt a great deal, I won’t say that either. I guess our meeting is over.