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Nation’s Unemployment Rate Increases by .000001% Today

Five months ago, my employer threw my job across the country like a stick and asked if I wanted to fetch it. I said, “No thanks” and today marks the end of my 16 year stint with them. I decided to take this as a sign that this is the time for me to plunge into the deep end of the pool; get out of the technology and securities industries completely and become a writer for real.

I thought I would share with you the goodbye letter I sent out to my colleagues yesterday. Just a couple of quick explanations:
1. T+3 and Y2K were two big projects in the technology and securities industries.
2. Jeff Ries is a derivation of the name of the firm for which I worked.

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess who designed software in the securities industry. She analyzed data and code for sixteen years for some totally global guy named Jeff Ries whose favorite musical artist was Sting.
The princess saved the world from disaster during the T+3 scare while simultaneously getting her Series 7, all with one hand tied behind her back. Later, some time around 1999 or 2000 she again saved humanity from the great Y2K threat. During this sixteen year campaign, Jeff and the princess fell in love. But times were hard and although Jeff had strong feelings for the princess, he heard Sting’s melodic voice inside his head, singing, “If you love somebody, set them free. (Free, free, set them free)”. So Jeff set the princess free, giving her a $25.00 Starbucks card as a token of his love.
The princess cried and cried. Her heart was broken. But then one morning, the sun broke through the clouds, bringing chirping doves and a brand new day. She donned her crown and went to Paris and Cuba to follow in Ernest Hemingway’s footsteps, hanging out in romantic cafes, making fabulous artsy friends, and writing the great American novel. She became disgustingly rich and famous. You’ve probably heard of her.
Every once in a while, Jeff still thinks of the princess. And every once in a while, the princess still thinks of Jeff.
So anyway, tomorrow (Friday) is my last day. The Jeff Ries community has been my family and home since 1992. Thanks for all the memories, you guys. I will miss you. Keep in touch, my email is […]

All the best,


The last I heard, people were emailing it to their friends and family. I hope that means I really do have a chance at this writing thing.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go freak out while sorting through the vagaries of unemployment. It’s kind of a new thing for me. It feels like the last day of school before summer vacation.

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  1. Jenn says:

    What? Only $25gift card for Starbucks? C’mon, you’re gonna need a lot more than 5 mocha’s to get you through all those late night writing sessions. Then again, you’re a nanny goat, guess you really don’t need coffee.

  2. Rhea says:

    I’m sorry your company broke up with you. It must have commitment phobia. :o(

  3. mrsmouthy says:

    Holy smokes, that’s a good read! I wonder who Disney is going to cast as the voice of the princess?
    Major congrats. You must be terrified but excited, and my advice as a writer is to just DO IT. The only way I can get myself to write a story is to title it “My Really Crappy Story” and then suddenly I’m not afraid to write because I KNOW I can do crappy. And generally, it turns out pretty good! Does that make sense?

  4. jane! says:

    Good Luck?
    All of the above!

  5. The perfect goodbye! Best of luck to your future endeavors.

  6. Steph says:

    Congrats! Any idea for the plot yet? How exciting!

  7. Meaghan says:

    Thank you so much for following my blog! My blog has been nominated for an award but I have only had 1 vote. I thought I would ask if you could help me raise cancer awareness by voting for my blog. If I win it could generate so many new readers and hopefully help others with their battle.
    Here is the link to vote:

  8. Go for it. I read your blog because you’re a good writer, so I’d be ALL OVER the great American novel about goats. Congrats on this new venture.

  9. hammy says:

    I really do have a chance at this writing thing.
    Ahem. Championess of the understatement.

  10. Tricia says:

    I’m nannying for details. What are you writing. Is there a book burning inside of you. Are you going to blog full time, are you doing something else, a combination. God God Nanny, what a way to put my panties in a twist. It’s been daaayyys since you made this announcement.

  11. Heather says:

    Are you ‘kidding’ (had to get my goat joke in).
    The best thing about unemployment is you can look at other blogs all day!
    Loved the letter and look forward to reading the first book from Nanny goats in Panties.

  12. Omyword! says:

    So….what time does your plane land in Paris? I need to check my schedule to make sure I can pick you up. Then, we go to all my cozy little cafes and watch French people walk by and we discuss what we think is their secret story. The more wine we drink, the more interesting the stories will be. The more croissants we eat, well, the harder it will be to get up from the table.
    But, what the hell. We’d be in Paris, n’est-ce pas?
    I am excited for you and am so glad I met you while milking a cow. My life hasn’t been the same since.
    Hey – I left the securities software industry to be a writer TOO. nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!

  13. Just cannonball into that deep end of the pool and paddle like crazy. You are going to be awesome. As much as I love reading your blogs, I bet that novel will be even better. Best of luck.

  14. Best of luck! And at least you can get a couple of tall Java Chips with the Starbucks card!

  15. phhhst says:

    16 years, wow. You know what they say, you need to close a door before a window opens, or something like that. Best to you as you embark on such an exciting time and I hope you really do follow Hemmingway’s expat ways and blog pictures of the cafes.

  16. HappyCampers says:

    Oh goodness….sorry for your loss of community & good luck for the future!!

  17. Erin says:

    That letter is fabulous, I can see why it’s being emailed. Good luck, I think you’ll be just fine.

  18. Mike S says:

    You’ll do great. Besides, since you’re now jobless, the 1st $$$ from writing will have the sweet taste of being your own boss. Loadsa writer folks & other artists here as it’s remote & they can work anywhere these days. Just need ‘access’ to da ‘net’.

  19. Alex L. says:

    Dont you know when you quit a job your meant to call people out and swear alot!
    But seriously good luck and best wishes!

  20. Welcome to the club, rookie.

  21. Margo says:

    Aww that was cute and sweet and sad, and I think you will have great success, no matter what you do! Go out there and show everyone what you’ve got!

  22. Christa says:

    Yo Princess – Congrats on taking the plunge. Your writing rocks and I wish you the best as you turn your creativity into liquidity.
    Being self-employed has it’s challenges, yes, but it also has many advanatges.
    Take showering for example, when you work from home, you can be as smelly as you want. Not only does it save on water, you save soap and the environoment. So, it’s a two-fer.
    Brushing your hair…totally optional. Start wearing hats.
    Gargling and flossing…not necessary.
    The extra food stuck in your teeth will help nourish you as you no doubt will miss meals as you write furiously.
    Peeing…NOT optional. Never wait to pee. UTI’s suck. Don’t catch yourself doing the Pee-Pee dance (we talked about this before).
    Finally and most importantly, calling your own shots is…priceless.
    As one of your humble readers I will do my best to support you in the way a good bra lifts, supports (and often separates) the boobs.
    We’re behind you all the way.
    To infinity and beyond Mags!
    Giggle On!!

  23. Winifred says:

    Sorry you have had to leave your job or rather your job has left you!
    Sometimes these things that happen turn out to be the opportunities you would never have taken up. So when one door closes another slams in your face. Only kidding!
    It’s possibly the best thing that could happen to make you step out and take on the world. Go for it and the best of luck.

  24. Ian says:

    Now we can both be writers only!
    Except you went and made something of yourself first.
    You checked in the pool to make sure there was water, before diving off the deep end
    so I think you’ll do fine
    I hope to one day follow in Hemmingway’s and your footsteps.

  25. Margaret – this unemployment thing is going around. First my wife, the Leigh (of Leighonline fame) and now our beloved NGinPs.
    Good luck with whatever the future holds for you. Despite the fact that you’re a much more talented writer than I am, when you get an agent, could you hook me up? Thanks, you’re a doll 🙂

  26. Nooter says:

    oh! oh! can i fetch the stick? can i? oh please! please! please!

  27. Tranquility says:

    Oh – I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry while reading your letter.
    CONGRATULATIONS on your new opportunity – for new opportunities!
    Your letter was fantastic and will probably become one of those resignation letters that circle the internet for years to come.

  28. britt says:

    here’s to a great job opportunity coming your way. maybe i suggest cheese factory?

  29. Chris Wood says:

    Well done with that! I’m sure you’ll do fine as a writer.
    Great letter btw 😉

  30. Erin says:

    So glad you’re not moving to Jersey City!

  31. The Muse says:

    It is nice to have found your blog. I hope to be able to read more from you in the future. And I most certainly wish you the best of luck as the new employment opportunities await you!

  32. sheila says:

    Wow, 16 years is a big chunk of life. Too bad the company is going oversees. You’d THINK lawmakers would give an incentive to keep them in the country, but unfortunately they’re not ‘about that’ yet.
    So we’ll all continue to buy products from oversees and support their economies while ours tanks.
    Nice letter you wrote.

  33. Scargosun says:

    Congrats! You are going to be a wonderful writer!

  34. Di says:

    A window has been opened for you my dear…. I envy your ability to write and to do it so well. Good luck!
    The Blue Ridge Gal

  35. Nikkicrumpet says:

    I think it’s a genetic thing…but I hear goats LOVE adventure! Besides lets face it…you have SKILLS…not in just writing…but valuable skills in computers. You are so set for whatever you choose to do. You have what everyone else on the planet would die to have…you have “OPTIONS”. How cool is that! Good luck with the start of something great.

  36. honeywine says:

    You’ll always have T+3…whatever the hell that means. lol Wow, scary, hon. I’m starting to be really glad that I have a secure crap job.

  37. natalie says:

    wow! nothing like a little break-up to push you to do what you’ve dreamed of. hope everything goes swimmingly for you! yea!!

  38. Annie says:

    I think everything happens for a reason, so maybe you were supposed to say goodbye to “totally global” Jeff, so you could see the forest.
    Wait…that’s not how you say it… O.K. now I have it- I think you couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Writers are born to write…it just takes us awhile to realize it.
    I’m glad you decided to listen to your heart, because you were
    definitely born to write.
    Cheers~ And Great luck

  39. Chris C says:

    That was a really good letter. 🙂

  40. Cynthia says:

    Nanny! The princess reigns as a writer in bloom and a nanny goat in panties. Make them bamboo panties and you’ve got something to sell the green people while you get those first 32 chapters down on pap…I mean the c drive.

  41. Chris Bowers says:

    It’s your world Nanny. We love no matter what.

  42. eve says:

    Whut? (Rubbin’ my bowff of my eyes like a cartoon). I did not know you was such a bigshot it in real life. Well, y’all got that big ass tv in the Lawrd’s timin’, He is so good. You know I am jist pleased as punch fer you, Hon. What did you thank you needed them yahoos fer anyway?
    Love you, hug yourself fer me!!!

  43. Deb says:

    This is the most exciting thing for you since shelf liner!
    Success and happiness to you!

  44. Carrie says:

    Oh my gosh! Good luck! You know I’ve got your back! Or should I say, your furry Nanny fanny!
    I love your writing, so I know you’ll be just fine!

  45. Em says:

    Sometimes you just need a shove to cliff dive. You’re going to be huge. I’m going to go ahead and put in a request for a signed copy.
    “I knew goat when she was just a kid.”

  46. May you be guided home every night by a light house.
    Maybe too literally Hemingway? You’re right.
    Um…may people tour your house someday and imagine you sitting at your laptop writing your greatest works.

  47. Blicky Kitty says:

    So is it thanks to the princess that we didn’t have to dip into the 1000 cans of Dinty Moore beef stew we had stashed in the basement for Y2K?
    Congratulations! I think Jeff is going to start sleeping with someone who looks just like the princess in order to get over his deep pain. He’ll start singing If You Leave Me Now by Chicago. Then he’ll start calling the princess in the middle of the night just to hear her voice.
    Oh I’ll definitely buy any book that bears your bearded face on the jacket!

  48. Madge says:

    best of luck. if any goat can pull it off you can!

  49. DeadRooster says:

    You are the second person today that I know of (on line) that got laid off.
    I’m sorry to hear it, but you really are a talented writer and maybe you can do something with that. Wouldn’t THAT be cool!

  50. KiKi says:

    Much luck to you!!! I have a feeling you’ll be jusssssst fine! 🙂

  51. MrMudPuppy says:

    Who the heck is Jeff?!?!?!

  52. chat blanc says:

    Welcome to the world of unemployment! How exciting that you can devote yourself to writing! You’re sure to create a fabulous ending to this saga. 🙂

  53. best wishes!
    smiles, bee

  54. Heather says:

    Just promise me one thing: when you go on your book tour, you will not just do the Big, Important Cities like NY, Chicago and LA… PLEASE come to the smaller cities, too.
    I promise I’ll fill any venue you come to up in my neck of the woods! 😀
    Good luck – not that you’ll need it!

  55. Lilly says:

    Yes you are already doing it….just go for it – there is no Jeff any more to get in your way.

  56. Tina says:

    Yay! Go for it…and enjoy every minute. Unemployment isn’t so bad (except for when it’s one of my still living at home sons who is unemployed. Then it’s PURE HELL.)

  57. Congratulations on the big jump. You’re going to be great! I just know it. Just don’t forget us little people in the process. I’m so excited for you!

  58. muskrat says:

    Good luck! Keep us posted on your progress.

  59. Ken Geraths says:

    I don’t mean to scare you but… hell yes I do. Your going to make more money writing than that thing-a-ma- bob job you had.
    Its about time!!

  60. ByJane says:

    From the moment I first met you–Starbucks, wasn’t it?–I knew that all that stands between you and the writing life is: taking yourself seriously. And now you are. Don’t need to wish you luck; I’ve got a front row seat to the NGIP/Margaret show. Thanks for being my friend.

  61. Tricia says:

    Margaret, WOW! Congratulations. You’re going to be a rousing success and I’m absolutely thrilled for you. This is sooooo exciting!