03/30/2012 02:58 EDT

Angelo Persichilli's Resignation Letter Sends Message Of Honesty


When Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Director of Communications quit his job on Friday, Angelo Persichilli did a very brave thing -- he told the truth.

"This is a prestigious position that requires extremely intense effort and very long hours, which at a certain age, are not an option for a long period of time," the 60-something year old wrote in a letter to the press gallery.

It's no surprise that acting as the prime minister's mouthpiece to the public would create some stress, but Persichilli is the second person in the position to quit within this year -- and the sixth since Harper took office in 2006. Previous director of communications Dimitri Soudas left the job last September to "start a new chapter" in his life (which turned out to be as executive director for the Canadian Olympic Committee, focusing on communications).

In the past, resignation letters have tended towards vague phrasing and diplomatic language, complete with terms like "exploring new opportunities" and "offers of better packages." Experts often suggest being careful with the language when you resign, noting it's the wrong time to vent about problems with your job.

But it seems the tides could be turning. Since Goldman Sachs executive director Greg Smith very publicly quit his job via an op-ed in The New York Times earlier this month, it's possible employees are deciding to use their resignations as opportunities to twist the knife.

In the case of Smith, it was obviously a "screw you" to his former bosses, but for Persichilli, perhaps the prime minister's office would be wise to see this as a gentle warning. If six highly qualified employees have found reasons to leave the job over the past six years, maybe it's time to rethink the position.

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