We wish there was some backstory here but this letter from an ex-Embassy employee, fired for “laziness,” is pretty good for a Friday.
Mr. Asuquo Okon Inyang was “dejobbed” from his position at the British embassy in Calabar, Nigeria, in 1929. This is his response:
February 2nd 1929.
On opening this epistle you will behold the work of a dejobbed person, and a very bewifed and much childrenised gentleman.
Who was violently dejobbed in a twinkling by your goodself. For Heavens sake Sir consider this catastrophe as falling on your own head, and remind yourself as walking home at the moon’s end of five savage wives and sixteen voracious children with your pocket filled with non-existent £ S D; not a solitudery sixpence; pity my horrible state when being dejobbed and proceeding with a heart and intestines filled with misery to this den of doom; myself did greedily contemplate culpable homicide, but Him who did protect Daniel (poet) safely through the lion’s dens will protect his servant in his home of evil.
As to reason given by yourself — goodself — esquire for my dejobbment the incrimination was laziness.
No Sir. It were impossible that myself who has pitched sixteen infant children into this valley of tears, can have a lazy atom in his mortal frame, and the sudden departure of eleven pounds monthly has left me on the verge of the abyss of destitution and despair. I hope this vision of horror will enrich your dreams this night, and good Angel will meet and pulverise your heart of nether milestone so that you will awaken, and with as much alacrity as may be compatable with your personal safety, you will hasten to rejobulate your servant.
So mote it be – Amen
Sgd. Asuquo Okon Inyang.
A comment on the letter seems to imply that these sorts of things were fairly common: “My father was an official in the P&T Dpt in Lagos for a while in the late ’40s, early ’50s and had to demote one of his staff ( by the name of ‘Krepi’) for a specific misdemeanor. A few days later he received a letter in a similar vein in which Mr Krepi was adamant that he be re-instated, describing himself as a ‘a veritable diamond in the bush’.”
We’d love to see these happen in the modern U.S., though the response would probably be filled with more four-letter words than we can reasonably print on this blog.
Big, big hat tip to Letters of Note for the transcription.