Leaving a job? Watch your e-mails

With more and more Americans downsized or leaving a job, sending the "good bye" e-mail has become standard procedure. It use to be that the boss would send a memo or make an announcement at a meeting that an employee was leaving, but now the person leaving has additional technology to say good bye.

For some, this is a chance to be clever and leave with a little humor. That's exactly what Jim Neill from the National Association of Manufacturers did when he sent around a farewell e-mail announcing "Free food in the employee lounge." Others use their farewell message to leave on good terms or fish for some job leads. Such a message is usually crafted with praise for their employer and then distributed to co-workers with a resume attached in hopes of finding a new job.

But for some, the farewell e-mail is used to rant about the unfairness of the company, the boss, and, perhaps, the world in general. While this may temporarily provide soothing for an injured psyche, it really does nothing positive for the worker that is leaving. Other employees may view him as simply a trouble maker or "sour grapes." They may be reluctant to recommend him for another job because of his "attitude."