"Even now, time bends when I open Facebook: it’s as if I’m simultaneously a journalist/wife/mother in Berkeley and the goofy girl I left behind in Minneapolis. Could I have become the former if I had remained perpetually tethered to the latter?"
"The standard goodbye e-mail is a model of outstanding impulse control, especially considering the nonstandard circumstances that surround many leave-takings today. A lot of people are getting pink-slipped, most not for cause. That the workplace norms would still have the recently dumped omit any mention of anger or ambivalence is striking.
"In some sense, the endurance of this extreme politeness is evidence that hope springs eternal. Many people justifiably believe that an elegant departure might help them land their next gig. But it also confirms something that cranky observers of the white-collar classes have been harping about for decades now: The system depends on forced smiles."