Inspired by the JetBlue flight attendant’s profane emergency escape, and an assistant’s apparently fake but still great “screw you” to her Farmville-loving boss, commenters around the Internet are revealing their best quitting stories. We read as many as we could to bring you the cream of the crop.
The woman who actually pushed her grabby boss to the floor:
I knocked down my first boss. On my first day at a small art publisher in the mid-70s, I saw that he was openly pawing all the young female employees. He looked like a disgusting Rowlandson caricature, and he had one hanging in the office. I went down to the public phone, called Unemployment to find out how many weeks I needed to work to collect, and ducked him for that period. It was like running a football field. On the day I could get Unemployment, I allowed him to touch me for the first time, pushed him hard so he fell over backwards, was fired, and finished my BA on the Unemployment money. To all young women I say, “Be Tactical.”
The woman who let everyone know she stopped doing her job a long time ago:
A secretary from our office announced at her last day retirement party: “I gave up ages ago. For months, anything I didn’t want to deal with, I’ve shredded.”
The bus driver who stranded his passengers in the rain:
A job quit that I witnessed: I was on a crowded rush hour bus heading up Madison Ave. in a downpour. The only thing driving was the rain; we sat on the same block while the light turned, and turned, and turned. Suddenly the driver lunged out of his seat, turned to the passengers and said, “That’s it, I quit,” and clambered out into the rain where he rapidly disappeared down the soggy street, leaving his wide-eyed mob of passengers to suddenly become an instant community of people who forgot their own trying jobs and bummer commute to speculate on his.
The waiter who knocked the busboy out cold:
I worked as a host at a popular family restaurant on Long Island. One busy Saturday night, when the restaurant was completely full, one of the servers and a busboy got into an argument. The server had a bad temper and he was seething. He walked up to the manager of the restaurant and wanted him to fire the busboy. When the manager didn’t side with the server and told him to calm down, the server lost it. He walked up to the busboy, punched him in the face, knocking him out cold, and walked out the front door. He left all of his tables full on a Saturday night, right in the middle of the dinner rush. We never saw him again.
The guy who ruined TV for the weekend:
I spent about 6 months working as the programmer for a regional TV station. Shows and commercials would come in, and it was my job to singlehandedly make sure they all went to air on schedule.
This was a horrible place to work. Angry bosses and co-workers who couldn’t care less about doing their job and seemed to enjoy making my life miserable. After being told to work over July 4 weekend (which everyone else was taking off) I decided I’d had enough.
The Friday before the 4th, the office was completely empty, except for me. I had resigned myself to quitting by then, and decided to take advantage of the fact that I would be the only one in the station until the following Monday or Tuesday, and I had unfettered access to their programming.
So I programmed in that weekend’s batch of commercials, but nothing else. What was usually their highest-rated weekend was now nothing but dead air and commercials, and the two other people who knew how to work the programming software were out of town.
The guy who racked up the phone bill:
My flat-mate’s older brother used to work at an advertising agency a couple of years ago. Apparently his boss was a sociopath, his workload was insane & workplace intolerable etc. After his boss claimed credit for some project work that she hadn’t done (yet again), he went back to his desk calmly, picked up his work phone and called his grandmother’s house in Oman. When she answered, he told her not to hang up the receiver. He placed the phone in his bottom drawer and locked it. Then he grabbed his bag, suit jacket, sauntered over to his boss’s office and said,”For 2 years, you’ve made everyone’s life on this floor a living hell.” Then he swore the fuck out of her in his native language for a while (top tip: Arabic’s great for venting in). His parting line, just before security arrived? “Even my phlegm has more integrity than you do, you fucking bitch!” (Yeah…I didn’t really get that, either). Anyway, since it was a Friday, by the time his (ex-)workplace realised that his phone line had been on the entire weekend, it had racked up no less than 71 hours in silent, super-expensive international phone call hours. Ace.
The guy who embezzled $100,000:
I knew they were going to fire me so I embezzled $100k before they did. Never got caught. This is not a lie.
The woman who quit (and left teaching altogether!) because she was called out for exposing her undies:
During a teacher observation I got an unsatisfactory that was caused by the top band of my full seat cotton underwear showing when I bent over to help a student. Never mind the fact that I had one of the most difficult classes in the school under control and learning.
The woman who taped her name to her forehead and threw the phone at her boss:
I worked in a cancer treatment and research center where one of the executive staff at the time was notoriously rude. He never even took the time to learn his secretary’s name. After several years of answering to “hey” and “you” she came to work one morning with her name taped to her forehead. He never cracked a smile. In fact he still refused to use her name. So that afternoon, when she was busy juggling 12 tasks, the phone rang. She didn’t get to it within the accepted 3-ring time frame. Her boss started yelling at her to get the G*d D*** phone. Her response? She tore the phone out of the wall jack and threw it through his office door. Her parting words were: “Answer your own G** D**** phone!”
The woman who quit when she was asked to write an essay for her boss’s Ivy-educated son:
When my boss asked me to write a paper for his son, a student at Princeton University. (Yes, Princeton.)
The calm, naked exit:
This isn’t my story, but it’s the most beautiful job-quitting method I have heard of to date. I live in Oslo, Norway, and the National Museum had untill just a few years ago, manual security only. Nice men and women in anonymous unforms, sitting quitetly on chairs in their respective parts of the museum. The women this story is about, had gone to work at 08:00 a.m. every day including Saturdays for 30 years, with a thermos filled with coffee, and smiled at the visitors, and shushed at the kids and the students. One day it was simply enough. Time to leave. She stood up, took of her uniform, folded it neatly and placed it on the chair where she had spent most of her adult life, and walked naked through the entire museum with her hands above her head.
Deploying The Slide: Your “I Quit” Stories [WNYC]
Share Your Most Spectacular ‘I Quit’ Stories [Gawker]
What is your best ‘I quit!’ story? [Anderson Cooper 360]
Share Your ‘Last Straw’ Stories [City Room/NYT]