Cleaner's Resignation Letter to 'Awful Manager' Goes Viral

"In a world where you can be anything, be kind."

Julie Cousins wrote this in a letter to a manager on her last day of work before retirement. After 35 years working as part of a cleaning crew, the 67-year-old stated in her note that she chose to retire after being "dressed down" in the office by the note's recipient Julie, an HSBC bank manager.

As reported by the BBC, Cousins was part of the crew that cleaned that particular HSBC branch for five years.

With her decades of experience behind her, Cousins took the opportunity to not only stand up for herself and explain her departure but pass along some wisdom the manager would do well to remember: kindness is key.

The letter went viral after being shared on Twitter by her son, Joe Cousins. In his tweet, he wrote: "And this is why I love my mum. She's been cleaning banks for 35 years and today walked out with this lovely note left for that awful manager. Happy retirement Mum - always have the last laugh eh!"

And this is why I love my mum. She’s been cleaning banks for 35 years and today walked out with this lovely note left for that awful manager. Happy retirement Mum - always have the last laugh eh! 💚☺️ #Tada pic.twitter.com/u8G73MTPMA

— Joe 😎💫 (@joecousins89) April 30, 2021

In her letter, Cousins expresses that the "dressing down" she received was "nothing more than aggressive and cruel," but comfortably admits that the behavior is more a "reflection on [manager's] character, not mine."

She goes on to remind the manager to choose kindness moving forward. "Because you are all no better than the cleaner," she says.

HSBC told the BBC that it is currently "working to understand" the issue, but would make no further comments.

More than 150,000 people have liked the tweet, and many have taken to the comments section to support the letter.

One user shared, "When I got my first job my father told me the most important people in an organization were the least paid: cleaning, catering & security staff. He took the time to learn the names of as many of them as he could in his building & always gave them something @ Xmas."

The user went on to say that when their father collapsed in the bathroom at work, it was a member of the cleaning staff that found him and ultimately saved his life.

He collapsed in a toilet one evening, he was working late and it was one of those staff who came to his aide. I could’ve lost my dad that day. Always treat your colleagues with dignity, be they a cleaner or the CEO, you never know when you might need them to save your life!

— Joanna Hall (@JoannaMarieHall) May 2, 2021

Another user said: "When interviewing people for jobs, I always asked the reception staff how they were treated by the candidate. A few failed the 'attitude test.'"

When interviewing people for jobs, I always asked the reception staff how they were treated by the candidate. A few failed the 'attitude test'.

— ™️ (@tigger_tim) May 1, 2021

Some, however, were a bit cheekier with their responses. Said one: "It's the 'I've left the job, Julie' that gets me. Bloody love it. I hope Julie feels suitably embarrassed when she reads it."

It’s the “I’ve left the job, Julie” that gets me. Bloody love it. I hope Julie feels suitably embarrassed when she reads it.

— seth darby 🌈🌈🌈 (@sethdarby) April 30, 2021

Hundreds of comments on the tweet agree with the message of the note, with one user saying:"Everyone should be valued no matter the role, position or status, it cost nothing to be kind."

Employees quitting their jobs in a public way due to maltreatment is hardly anything new, but the pandemic has added an extra layer to the stress many experience while at work. In December, one Denny's server quit on the spot after a customer refused to put their mask on after multiple requests.

Resignation letter
Joe Cousins/Twitter