If you’re invested enough in your career to read career advice, chances are good that you know how to quit a job without burning your bridges. You give two weeks’ notice, provide a written resignation letter, extend an offer to help your soon-to-be former boss train your replacement or find coverage and so on.
All of that is just as it should be. It’s the smart move both in terms of networking and being a good person. But man, what would you give for one do-over day, so that you could quit your job with some style?
You can’t have that, but you can have this: five tales of last-day bad behavior that will reshape your facial expression into a wow emoji … and ultimately, maybe make you glad that you know better than to make an awesome exit.
Deleting the President’s Twitter Account
Last week, President Trump’s Twitter account went down for 11 minutes. The company later confirmed that the account was deleted by a customer support representative on their last day of work.
Through our investigation we have learned that this was done by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee’s last day. We are conducting a full internal review. https://t.co/mlarOgiaRF
— Twitter Government (@TwitterGov) November 3, 2017
Reactions were mixed. Some pointed to the deletion as yet another worrying sign of tech companies’ power and lack of oversight. Others found brief banning hilarious, brushing off their best GIFs for the occasion.
Trump’s Twitter was deactivated by a “Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee’s last day.”
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) November 3, 2017
Either way, we’d all love to know what happened to the former employee, but so far, no one is talking. Presumably severance is out of the question, so maybe we’ll learn more when he or she lands a book deal (or winds up dealing with a public lawsuit).
Activating an Inflatable Escape
Probably the most referenced quitting story in the wake of the Twitter incident was that of Steven Slater, the former JetBlue flight attendant. After dealing with one irate customer too many, Slater quit his job in epic fashion in 2010 by announcing it over the plane’s PA system, grabbing two beers, and activating the inflatable emergency slide.
“In some respects, it was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m doing this,’” Slater recently told The Washington Post. “And then the next thing I know, I was on the tarmac. ‘What the hell? What did I just do?’ I remember standing on the tarmac on the sun and it was just so warm. I thought, ‘Ahh, I can exhale. But how did this happen?’”
Slater acknowledges that he might have quit in a “more professional manner,” and says that being recognized as “the JetBlue guy” by hiring managers has probably cost him some jobs. Still, he has no regrets … but he does have advice for the former Twitter employee:
“Don’t second-guess. It is what it is. Be present and you’ll be fine … And I would say I’d like to buy this guy two beers.”
This guy makes two beers and the cost of deflating a slide look like chump change. New York magazine rounded up a bunch of horrifying quit stories, but the winner has to be this one, from an old Gawker post’s comments section:
“I knew they were going to fire me, so I embezzled $100k before they did. Never got caught. This is not a lie.”
Making a Big Career Change
BuzzFeed user SkyPieSauce’s brother quit his DirectTV job to move on to a better opportunity: Defense of the Dark Arts Professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry:
Of course, it’s likely to be a short-term gig.
Publishing a Resignation Letter in the Op-Ed Section
When Greg Smith decided to resign his position at Goldman Sachs in 2012, he didn’t hide his feelings about his soon-to-be former employer. Instead, he published his resignation letter in The New York Times.
This kind of exit, like the others on this list, is rarely advisable. In Smith’s case, however, it worked out: for his next job, he landed a million-dollar book deal writing about his experiences at the company.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you have an amazing quitting story? We want to hear from you. Share your tale in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.