Friday, November 07, 2008

The Concession Speech

(for context, check out this posting, and if reading long after November 2008, US history news for November 4th, 2008)

I have ALWAYS wanted to give a concession speech (heck: I'd settle for an acceptance speech if I had to). So now is the perfect opportunity to mash up one for the occasion.

ps. for anyone who wouldn't otherwise spot it, please note that I am using the most sincere form of flattery -- you should be able to identify the original speech quite easily: no, I am not that eloquent. Great speech, very glad to have heard it. And apologies for my crude attempts at crafting relevant overrides.

Concession Speech by sw. eng. Also Known As CowtownCoder, I-WA

Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you for reading through this email on this rainy cold Seattle day.

My friends, we have -- we have come to the end of a long journey. The Pager has beeped, and it has beeped loud and clear. A little while ago, I had the honor of lunching with my manager and team mates, fellow Amazonians -- and to inform them -- "of my decision to pursue other opportunities" (AUDIENCE: boo! boo!) -- please -- in this great city that we all love.

In an employment as long and demanding as this one has been, my peers' success alone commands my respect for their abilities and perseverance. But that they have managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many other Amazonians who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the affairs of this company is something I deeply admire and commend them for achieving.

I recognize the special significance this holiday season will have for all Amazonians and I envy the special pride that must be theirs this year. I've always believed that Amazon offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it.

Let there be no reason now -- let there be no reason now for any Amazonian to fail to cherish their continued employment in this, the greatest company around Seattle International District.

It is natural -- it's natural tonight to feel some disappointment, but come Monday you must move beyond it and work together to get Christmas shippings moving again. We fought -- we fought as hard as we could. But customers just keep on coming.

And though I fell short of the 4 year employment goal, the loss is mine, not yours.

I am so deeply grateful to all of you for the great honor of working alongside, for comraderie and for all you have done for me. I can even forgive having had to learn how to use Brazil version sets, if you give me enough time.

I am especially grateful to my family for their continued support of my gainful employment. You know, employments are often harder on an employee's family than on the employee, and that's been true in this case.

All I can offer in compensation is money I received for my RSUs, and the expire Bus Pass from 2007. But absolutely no promise of peaceful years ahead. (AUDIENCE: laughter)

AUDIENCE: (Chanting) Bezos! Bezos!

I would not -- I would not be an -- an Amazonian worthy of the name, should I regret a fate that has allowed me the extraordinary privilege of serving this company for almost four years.

AUDIENCE: (Chanting) S3! Prime membership! Kindle! Mechanical Turk!

Tonight -- tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this company and for all its employees, whether they supported cool new and tried-out working ideas or suffered from severe case of NIH syndrome. I wish Godspeed to everyone remaining committed to writing and demanding writing of high-quality code, no matter what the obstacles.

And I call on all Amazonians, as I have often during my time there, to not despair of our present difficulties but to believe always in the promise and greatness of Amazon, because nothing is inevitable here. Not even mandatory use of bloated proprietary data formats instead of open standard ones.

Amazonians never quit (except for me). We never surrender. We never hide from history, we make history. And have Fun.

Thank you, and may the Flying Spaghetti Monster bless you! And Amazon too! Thank you all very much. Do not forget to tip the waitress! No, I will not be here next week!

Thank you, you are all too kind. No I mean seriously. You are. Go home now!

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