Alternate Final Paragraphs for the John Sargent Memo

Gawker recently republished a memo distributed to Macmillan employees that announced a pay freeze for anyone making over $50,000. The memo contained one of the most heartless final paragraphs contained in a publishing circular this year.

By a strange coincidence, Reluctant Habits has obtained a list of three alternate paragraphs that Mr. Sargent briefly considered:

1. I know that this news feels as if we’re ass-raping you and your family. And quite frankly, we are. But I trust that you and yours will have a happy and healthy holiday season as we are systematically sodomizing your relatives.

2. I know that I’m an insensitive clod. But the money men have insisted that I should reach out to you in some way. So a happy and healthy holiday season to you and yours. I’d take you to Malibu with me. But times are tough.

3. There is really no way that I can end this memo without coming across as an asshole. But thank you so much for your efforts, and for taking one for the team. A happy and healthy holiday season! It’s all about sacrifice!


  1. I have to say, perhaps you could watch what’s been going on and realize the relief many felt in receiving such a memo (which was similar to Penguin’s last week), as it seems to indicate that we all still have jobs making books, for at least a little while longer.

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