Note: Chris Reichel, a.k.a. Dirty Biker, is one of the primary voices at Drunk Cyclist. He bailed on his office job a couple years ago, and this is what he wrote about it.—Ed.
I finally did the one thing I have been talking about for years. I quit my job to ride bikes and travel. Since I have been with DC, I have gotten a lot of emails and comments about how I don’t work and it must be nice to be a trust fund kid. Truth of the matter, I actually worked quite a bit. So much so, that it has cost me a few girlfriends over the years and I missed out on countless good times. When it comes down to it, I just don’t sleep very much. Lots of overnight drives and gallons upon gallons of coffee are what get my trips done. It probably wasn’t the most healthy way, but it was the only way I knew how.
I was fine with that lifestyle for the better part of a decade. Then bones started breaking when I used to bounce. Then a close friend, younger than me, got diagnosed with cancer and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Maybe it’s an early mid-life crisis, maybe I’ve just gone a little crazy. But for the past eight months I have gone into work and said “What the fuck am I doing?” every day. All I want to do is ride mountain bikes in as many places as possible. Taste different dirt, see the big views, meet amazing people and gather the stories that come as a result. So I said “fuck it” and I quit.
When the time came, I searched the internet for “letters of resignation” and just copied one into an email to my bosses. Bland and to the point, it was ideal for the sterile corporate environment I was leaving. I actually didn’t mind my job, being a chemist is pretty fun at times. I also recognize that this career has afforded me the lifestyle I now have and I didn’t want my exit to be like a scene from half baked. So I bit my tongue and went with a generic resignation. But there were a few things I wanted to say. Below is the unedited version of what my resignation letter should have said.
To whom it may concern,
I’m out. I quit. It’s not because I don’t like you, I think you are alright. I just don’t see this working out in the long run. It’s not you, it’s me.
I think what it comes down to is that I’m tired. I’m tired of wasting my time making other people rich. I’m tired of listening to a guy wearing $500 shoes and $400 pants stand at the front of the room, explain why we aren’t getting raises yet again this year. I’m tired of people around me being proud that they don’t have passports or bragging about having hand injuries because they played too many video games. I’m tired of hand sanitizer stations in the hallway and cubicles, oh the cubicles. More like coffins filled with the pasty un-dead, working away all of the daylight hours only to emerge in the darkness to have a few hours of living before they do it all again. I’m tired of the lines painted on the parking lot telling me how to get to my car safely, and the boyscout taddle-tales that scold me for not using them. I’ve had it with the snide, condescending comments about getting old and not having a wife and kids yet. But who is going to take care of me when I get old you say? Me, just like I have all the years leading up to now.
So it’s with this letter that I say goodbye. Don’t bother calling, I’m booked for the next six months. There is a lot of world to see and a lot of trail to ride. I’m going to do my best to see all of it.
Life is finite. Don’t waste time. See ya down the trail.
To learn more about Reichel and Drunk Cyclist, check out AJ’s interview with him here.
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