Going Out With a Bang
We’ve all been there.
You’re at a job you no longer enjoy. In fact, some days you can barely muster up the will to drive to work. The mere thought of having to deal with your awful boss and plod through the drudgery of Monday morning seems to loom over you and ruin your entire weekend. In short, you hate your job. And you’ve decided to quit.
But how do you plan on doing it?
Most people give the standard two-week notice in writing. But for a select group of employees who didn’t feel the bare minimum was good enough, quitting also became a matter of sending a message. These real-life examples of people quitting their jobs might put a smile on your face, but is it really worth torching the bridge and risking your future hiring chances? Let’s take a look.
7. Borders Harry Potter Spoiler Alert
Remember when bookstores actually existed? Well back in 2007, a few Borders employees decided they had had enough. But giving their two-week notice apparently didn’t give them the satisfaction they craved, so they had to take it to the next level.
The last installment of the Harry Potter books was on the verge of being released, and rabid Potter fans the world over were clamoring for an early glimpse of what J.K. Rowling had in store for Harry, Hermione, Ron and company. But even though the publisher gave strict orders to keep everything hush-hush, these disgruntled employees recorded a video of themselves reading spoilers from the book just days before it was to be released.
While entertaining to some, hell hath no fury like Harry Potter fans scorned. Furthermore, this stunt could’ve ended with them facing legal repercussions and possibly locked away in Azkaban. So if you’re going to go all out, be prepared to face the Dementors. Watch the video here!
6. Stand Up and Shout
Doug Walker submitted his written intent to quit his job. He just didn’t use pen and paper to do it.
Instead, Walker harnessed his flair for the dramatic by arming himself with a boombox and blasted a soundtrack while walking into his cafeteria. He proceeded to theatrically step up on a lunch table, throw his arms in the air, and then ripped open his shirt to reveal “I QUIT!” emblazoned on his chest.
While no doubt heroic to many, you also need to account for your company’s security measures as Walker was chased out to his car afterward.
5. The Super Mario Quit
This story is proof not all of these stunts have to be spiteful in nature.
A video game developer in Australia had no ill will toward his current employer, he simply felt it was the right time to start his own game development company. So what better way to soften the blow than to do what he was paid to do?
The man created his own modified version of Super Mario Bros which his bosses had to play that explained his decision to quit. It was creative, thoughtful, and done with tact.
You can actually see and play the game here.
4. Grab a Beer and Fly Away
Flying can be stressful. Taking care of stressed airline passengers even more so.
That’s why, in 2010, Steven Slater – then a JetBlue flight attendant – found one of the more unique ways of quitting a job while his plane was taxiing to its gate at JFK Airport in New York City. After a passenger allegedly became irate and then hit him in the head with a carry-on bag with no apology, Slater unleashed a verbal tirade over the plane’s PA system. He announced he was quitting, grabbed two beers, opened the plane’s door, and slid down the emergency inflatable slide.
Unfortunately for Slater, he later pled guilty to a charge of attempted criminal mischief for his stunt, proving once again you have to quit with caution.
3. Put Up a Sign for the World to See
This epic quit was nothing fancy, but it got the attention of the Internet all the same.
Three employees of Journeys – a clothing store in Rochester, NY – simply put up a posterboard with a note to the store manager on the front of shop, listing all the reasons why they quit. They included not being sympathetic to employees diagnosed with cancer, using vulgar language, and a general mistreatment of store employees.
The only problem with this is if the employees who quit have their names published, future employers will be wary of risking public humiliation.
2. Strike Up the Band
Want to really make your resignation heard? Enlist the help of a marching band.
A Providence, RI hotel worker named Joey had grown tired of alleged mistreatment at his job, but instead of flying solo he enlisted the help of a dozen friends armed with big band instruments. They followed him into the hotel, Joey handed his written notice to his manager, and suddenly the band let loose like it was Mardi Gras as Joey triumphantly walked out for the last time.
It may be detrimental to his plans to get hired in the future, but you’ve gotta admit – that stunt had panache.
1. Get "Gone" with Kanye
For our money, Marina Shifrin set the gold standard of quitting in epic fashion.
Shifrin worked for Next Media Animation creating video content. But she grew tired of the long hours and her employer’s alleged focus on quantity over quality. So Chifrin filmed herself dancing around the office to the strains of Kanye West’s “Gone,” as a litany of complaints and her reasons for quitting scrolled across the bottom of the screen.
But the most important part of Shifrin’s plan was remembering if you’re going to quit, make sure you do it well. Her video attracted the attention of Queen Latifah, who recently offered Shifrin a job. No word on whether Kanye is considering her as a back-up dancer.
Quitting? Make Sure You Negotiate Your Next Salary
If you're going to quit your old job you're going to need a new one. And that means negotiating for what you're worth. Salary.com can help.
The first thing you should do is research, so you're able to come to the table armed with the knowledge of what your job is worth. Use our free Salary Wizard below to find out what's a fair salary for your position. You can enter your location, education level, years of experience and more to find out an appropriate salary range before you negotiate.