‘Don’t keep your desks looking so damn tidy,’ journalist tells colleagues in farewell email

“Remember, I know where the bodiesttles are buried.”

That’s what Dow Jones editor and WSJ Law blogger Sam Favate tells colleagues in his farewell letter. (“One of the best ‘goodbye’ emails I’ve ever received,” says the journalist who forwarded it.)

More from Favate:

The heated discussions we’ve had gave this place vibrancy. (Oh, and if anyone was offended by anything I said in the wake of the 2000 election: Too bad! That election was stolen!) I’m sure you’re relieved that I will no longer maintain a pretense of political agnosticism. (Hah!)

“And do me a favor,” the lawyer/journalist writes in closing. “Don’t keep your desks so damn tidy. Keep it looking like a newsroom. You ought to be able to blow the dust off a book that’s been sitting out for a few years and find a nugget of wisdom when you need it.”

His farewell email is after the jump.

From: Favate, Sam
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 12:55 PM
To:
Cc:
Subject: The Long Goodbye

Spot News team! Copy Desk team!

I think my favorite moment of the last 13½ years occurred about eight or nine years ago, in a hotel auditorium at Harborside. The then-CEO was introducing the man who was going to be the new CFO, and would eventually become CEO himself and facilitate the sale of the company. As he stepped to the podium, a former Spot News editor leaned over to me and said “Hey, who’s this dick?”

It continues to illustrate to me the healthy skepticism that journalists should have for authority figures.

One thing that’s been constant through all these years is the pool of talented people that have come through here and who still keep things running. This place wouldn’t be what it is without your efforts, and you deserve recognition for continuing to produce high quality work under increasingly difficult circumstances. Pat yourselves on the back and buy each other a drink now and again; it’s well earned.

While I will be returning to the field of law, I’ll be keeping an eye on what you do. Once you’re used to a steady stream of news stories every day, it’s impossible to turn it off. It’s been an honest pleasure to work with people who both knew when to work hard and when to have a laugh. Keep up the great work, and remember, I know where thebodiesttles are buried.

I will no doubt carry this place with me. This is where my wife and I met, and great friendships began. And after spending nearly a third of my life here, we’ve shared our share of weddings, births, deaths, illnesses, and every other matter of significance. The heated discussions we’ve had gave this place vibrancy. (Oh, and if anyone was offended by anything I said in the wake of the 2000 election: Too bad! That election was stolen!) I’m sure you’re relieved that I will no longer maintain a pretense of political agnosticism. (Hah!)

Support your union. It’s important.

And do me a favor: Don’t keep your desks so damn tidy. Keep it looking like a newsroom. You ought to be able to blow the dust off a book that’s been sitting out for a few years and find a nugget of wisdom when you need it.

Please do keep in touch.

All the best,
Sam

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