'Be kind': Farewell note to 'cruel' boss goes viral

The encounter shows how support staff are often (mis)treated

'Be kind': Farewell note to 'cruel' boss goes viral

A woman who worked as an office cleaner for 35 years imparted the best life lesson to the people she worked for – including her “aggressive and cruel” boss. She left a brutally honest note on how to treat support staff, right before she ended her last day.

Julie Cousins, who cleaned banks in London – among them, HSBC, which was mentioned in the note – used her farewell letter to open up about her experience getting “dressed down” by the boss who was also named Julie. The encounter allegedly prompted the cleaner to retire but not without first sharing her lesson from it.

“I have made up a bucket of cleaning materials for the next cleaner whoever that may be!” Cousins said. “I’ve left the job Julie after the way you dressed me down in the office. It was nothing more than aggressive and cruel but that’s a reflection on your character, not mine.

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“So, going forward, please, all of you remember: in a world [where] you can be anything, be kind because you are all no better than the cleaner,” Cousins ended her note. A photo of the handwritten letter was shared by the employee’s son, Joe Cousins, on Twitter where it earned more than 154,000 likes and more than 13,700 retweets.

“And this is why I love my mum. She’s been cleaning banks for 35 years and today walked out with this lovely note left for that awful manager. Happy retirement Mum – always have the last laugh eh!” Joe Cousins tweeted.

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The letter received support from the Twitter community. One user commented: “I really hope this gets the attention it deserves because the bank needs to know.”

Another suggested: “[HSBC] should probably look into this, provide some sort of recompense / celebration to your mum, and do something about the manager.”

The incident is a reminder of how cleaning staff are often (mis)treated by other employees. “As an ex-cleaning manager, I cannot believe how cleaners are still looked down on. My team were fabulous and so many places would not function without these guys,” one user tweeted.

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