An employee at UK-based media agency MEC left the company with some harsh words. Kieran Allen, a senior account manager, wrote a bitter resignation email addressed to "All Staff" in the London office. Someone leaked the email, and it went viral.
A spokesperson for MEC issued this poorly written response:
"We are sad that one of our employees has chosen to share their personal views in such a public way and has left the company with such bad feeling.
"We are taking this issue seriously though given the highly personal nature of the email, we cannot comment further."
The interviewee named in the email denies the accusation of having sexual relations with her future boss: "I didn't sleep with him. I kissed him. I had been to the pub with Greg for an informal interview for a job. It was a kiss in the foyer whilst waiting for taxis. We were both single at the time."
Here's the email with names redacted:
From: Kieran Allen
Sent: 25 September 2012 08:11
To: MEC London UK All Staff
It feels quite strange to be writing my leaving speech after 2 1/2 yrs. of loyal service to the company. It’s the longest I have spent at a company and I owe MEC a lot for my training and development. I leave in a position where I can go and further my career in digital if I so wish and for that I pay MEC great tribute.
However I leave with a horrible taste in my mouth after my working life for the past 8months has been ruined by <redacted>.
Joined MEC in May 2010. Soon after I started to receive continuous praise from Kevin Kirby Account Director and <redacted> for my outstanding performance across accounts (mainly Specsavers) Inc. a commendation from <redacted> to Jason Dormieux about my ability and contribution. I also received high praise from Amy Creasey and Louise Temperley (re general Specsavers performance and securing a PPC turnaround for Colgate inc a 100%+ YoY spend increase).
I decide to hand in my notice and join another agency in order to further my development. <Redacted> while initially cold to my departure rapidly changed tone and started to court me in order to stay.
I retract my notice after <redacted> promotes me to Senior AM and gives me a substantial pay-rise along with the promise of rapid development.
However while all seemed well on the surface things were far from ideal in the background.
My client load had been nearly trebled from 6 to 16 clients due to the departures of Aoife Bergin and Jacob Knox-Hooke (Brand team).
I was initially asked to help out in order to help service the clients while staff were recruited but I ended up being made the de-facto brand team manager along with my original client list.
The stress and strain took its toll and during late January – early February 2012 my health started to deteriorate rapidly.
I ended up breaking down to <redacted> that I couldn’t take it anymore and that I was losing my mind under the pressure. Nothing changed although he knew I was beyond stacked.
Feb 21st I had to go to the doctors due to an imminent breakdown where I was ordered to stay off work indefinitely. I was signed off with Work Related Stress. I ended up needing over 2weeks off in order to recover.
On my return things went from bad to worse. <Redacted> instead of welcoming me back and looking to make things right, instead attacked me and made me feel an outsider. I was made to feel that I had actually done wrong.
Soon after my return in early March <redacted>
- blocked my 2011 bonus due to
1)”poor performance in 2011″
2) “being given a pay rise and promotion in Jan 2012″
3) “things not working out as recently planned”
4) “being monitored after coming back from illness”
- Gave me an official company verbal warning for poor performance in 2011
- Put me on a performance review
All of this though after
- Praising me regularly throughout 2010/11
- Courting me to stay when i decided to leave
- Promoting me to Senior Account Manager
- Giving me a 15% payrise
- Describing my performance as “outstanding” as late as December 2011 when there was a lot of issues due to staff departures
and my ability to step in and manage the brand teams PPC activity…
The only thing that changed during Feb/March 2012 is that I had to take 2 weeks off work due to work related stress and that <redacted> was questioned as Head of Department as to why this had happened under his watch and instead of taking responsibility he instead decided to attack me and my reputation in order to discredit my time off and make himself look less liable for blame.
This type of approach would seem extreme from a decent man but this is <redacted> who openly in front of other team members
- Made jokes about the “Spastic Olympics” (referring to Para-Olympics)
- Openly claimed to be proud “not to have a drop of Jewish blood in him”
- Regularly made sexist and other bigoted remarks
- Took a female colleague out for a drink on the day he interviewed her, then later took her back to the MEC offices that night and had
sexual relations with her in the meeting rooms on the 3rd floor
The above is all common knowledge throughout the team. This is <redacted>’s style of leadership and is gross misconduct on many levels. It is hard to fathom that such a man is responsible for the work wellbeing of over 30staff.
I am writing this message in order to expose these failings and protect others in future. I am far from perfect personally or professionally but I am a good human being who treats people with respect. In 2012 this behaviour is not acceptable and certainly not in a company which touts itself as being all about its people.
Not one thing on this email has been exaggerated or made up. This is my truth to you all.
No doubt I fully expect the above to be ripped apart but as long as the truth is out there then that’s all I can do.
Good luck to MEC and all those good people who strive to make her great.
Senior Account Manager
- What's your impression of Allen's letter? Do you sympathize with him, or could there be another side to this story?
- Does a bad work experience ever justify an email sent to all employees of a company, with the potential to go viral?
- Rewrite MEC's response to be more substantive and grammatically correct.