6 Super-Cool Ways People Have Quit Their Jobs

By Tara Struyk on 24 March 2015 0 comments

When you're working at a job that you hate, sometimes there's only one antidote to cure your stress, boredom, anger, and frustration: quitting. Most of us have indulged in a few fantasies of finally walking out the door, of telling the boss what you think of her, of reclaiming your dignity, of showing that manager what you're made of, of never looking back… but unfortunately, those outrageous abdications of gainful employment are easier said than done. After all, you probably need the money. And a good reference. Dignity be damned.

Oh well. If shouting "I quit!" isn't in the cards for you right now — or ever — at least daydreaming about it can help make the day more bearable until you professionally, respectfully, resign.

Here are a few people who threw caution to the wind and quit their jobs in a spectacular fashion. In most cases, following suit is not recommended, but here's hoping that their stories help soothe your sense of indignation while you look for a better gig.

1. Emergency Job Evacuation

Maybe it was a case of the so-called "Monday blues" that tipped flight attendant Steven Slater over the edge, or maybe it was the passenger who whacked him in the head with a piece of luggage and refused to apologize. Either way, Slater's decision to finally end his 20-year career at JetBlue in 2010 happened in an instant. After arguing with the passenger — who opted to direct an expletive at Slater rather than apologize — Slater got on the airplane's PA system and directed the same obscenity at the flight's 200 airline passengers as the plane sat on the tarmac at John F. Kennedy airport. Then he activated the plane's emergency slide, grabbed two beers from the flight attendant's galley and slid down the chute. Bon voyage!

Of course, Slater was arrested at his home soon after. While he avoided jail time on charges of criminal mischief, he was forced to pay a hefty fine to JetBlue and served a year of probation. He has, however, become a minor celebrity, and now works as a commentator and observer for the aviation industry.

2. "F*** it, I Quit."

Being on live TV is stressful. You always have to be on. You always have to be at your best. You have to say the right thing. And, if you want to keep working in the industry, on-air probably isn't the best venue for quitting your job. But then, TV news reporter Charlo Greene had other aspirations.

In September, 2014, while finishing a news segment for KTVA, a local news station in Anchorage, Alaska, Greene covered a report about the Alaska Cannabis Club — a business that claimed to be the only legal medical marijuana resource in Alaska — and an impending ballot on whether to legalize recreational marijuana use in the state. That's when Green veered off script, revealing that she was the owner of the club, and was dedicating all her time and energy to campaigning for marijuana legalization. She signed off that night by dropping an F-bomb — and quitting on air.

"There comes a time in each and every one of our lives when we must choose to continue to spectate or stand up for what's right," Greene said in a video she released the following day. Some thought Greene was acting, well, high, but recreational marijuana use was legalized in Alaska in February of this year.

3. Resignation Dance Video

Not all resignations are abrupt and angry. Some disgruntled workers like to go out having a good time. In 2013, Marina Shifrin quit her job at Next Media Animation with some dramatic style by dancing around her office to Kanye West's "Gone." Shifrin posted her video — and officially announced her resignation — on YouTube, where it garnered 15 million views in a month's time. The twist is that the company Shifrin worked for specialized in making short, comedic viral videos. Shifrin's "I Quit" may have surpassed them all. The brazen stunt also helped her launch a new career as a writer and comedian.

4. Marching On Out With Fanfare

Many people dream of quitting with fanfare and marching out in triumph. In 2011, Joey DeFrancesco added a live marching band when he quit his job in room service at a hotel. Disgruntled with long hours, difficult management, and trouble forming a union, DeFrancesco enlisted the help of the What Cheer? Brigade, a 19-piece brass band for which he played trumpet. After tossing his resignation letter at his boss and announcing that he'd quit, DeFrancesco's band played boisterously as he marched out of the building — all the while recording what would become a viral video on YouTube (of course!)

5. Signing Off at the Super Bowl

Sometimes, people quit their jobs to pursue a dream of starting their own business. In 2014, Gwen Dean teamed up with GoDaddy and appeared in a Super Bowl ad where she looked squarely into the camera and said, "Hi Ted, I quit." Dean was a licensed refrigeration machine operator and Ted was her boss, who was supposedly at home watching the game. Dean's resignation made waves in the media. She's now working on her business, Puppets by Gwen, where she makes puppets and puts on shows at birthday parties, schools, and hospitals.

6. Via Op-Ed in the New York Times

A company's perceived lack of integrity can quickly undermine employee morale, but while most disgruntled workers quietly move on to other jobs, some choose to speak up. That's what Greg Smith did when he publicly resigned from his job at Goldman Sachs, where he worked as the executive director and head of the firm's United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. on March 14, 2012, an op-ed piece written by Smith ran in the New York Times. In it, Smith called out his employers for the "toxic and destructive" environment at the company, and for putting profit above the company's clientele.

The company later investigated his claims and worked to discredit him, saying that he was denied a big raise and promotion shortly before quitting. So was Smith a bitter employee or a brave defender of integrity? The world may never know. But it's probably safe to assume he won't ever be hired on Wall Street again.

7. A Sweet, Regretful Goodbye

Not all resignations are nasty and mean-spirited. When Chris Holmes resigned from his job for the U.K. Border Agency at Stansted Airport, it wasn't because he hated his job, his boss, or his coworkers. In fact, Holmes' resignation was borne of a positive change — the birth of his first child and his desire to pursue a career as a baker. So, Holmes served up his notice — and a slice of brilliant advertising for his new business — by announcing his resignation in buttercream and icing. Holmes said he aimed for the resignation to be good natured, and one that "left a nice taste in their mouths." Now that's a delicious way to begin a new career.

What’s the craziest way you’ve heard of someone resign?

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