There was a time when the manner and timing of your arrival was your coup de grace moment. Not just movie stars, swishing out of limos in the frock that makes their peers spit with envy, but business peoples’ signing ceremonies featuring almost as prominently as those of famous footballers getting an eye-watering sum for wearing a different coloured shirt this season. But if a couple of recent articles getting considerable attention in online circles are any kind of indicator, the golden moment is now the departure. (One online forum I read refers to these dramatically announced departures as people’s “*flounce* <delete>” moments, although that adds a certain swish that the examples I’m thinking of have managed to avoid.)

The article that seems to have triggered it all was Greg Smith’s Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs: having your resignation statement published in the New York Times was always going to create a splash, even if the splash is well-written and mostly avoids melodrama. A day earlier, James Whittaker published a slightly less composed, slightly more aggressive article: Why I left Google. And then the gloves were off. As Yahoo News! was quick to cover, the parodies started to appear. They picked up on a delightful spoof via the Daily Mash by Darth Vader, titled “Why I Am Leaving the Empire.” They missed my favourite, by Tom Malinowski at Human Rights Watch, where even the following:

Tomorrow, I will send my resume to the firms of Patton Boggs, Qorvis, and White & Case, which have lobbied for dictatorships such as Qaddafi’s Libya, Mubarak’s Egypt, Bahrain, and Equatorial Guinea.”

left the author feeling obliged to point out that the piece was actually an April Fools prank.