If you've ever had a job you despised so much it hurt, then take heart. You are not alone! And every so often, when the time is just right, you might just find an outrageous way to say "I Quit!"
But beware, sometimes quitting in a flamboyant manner can backfire, as our first author ruefully remembers.
Power-Pointedly slamming the door
I always wanted an office job and when I finally found one, I was ecstatic. I would come in every day at 8AM and leave at 5PM. My job required me to answer and route incoming phone calls, set appointments, file paper work, do minor data entry and, once in a while, do some office maintenance.
And for $10 an hour, it was easy.
One morning, I went into work as usual and was in the middle of setting up an appointment when my boss came to my desk. He started telling me about how he wanted to do a business deal with this big company. He was really excited and he needed all the help that I could give him. Of course, I agreed. My first assignment was to do a PowerPoint presentation about what we had to offer them as a company, explaining our product and what was so great about it.
The next day, I came in with my PowerPoint project and my boss sat quietly through it. He wanted everything to be perfect, so he gave me some changes. He told me to condense it, that it was too long. Over the course of the week, I fixed it a dozen times, and each time he had the same exact complaints. I began to realize that it seemed as if nothing would ever be good enough.
One day away from the major business deal, I walked in to find another girl sitting behind my desk. I talked to my boss and he told me he wanted me to only concentrate on the business deal, that I was going to be paid $8 an hour (instead of $10) and that I should go and pick up coffee for him. I could feel myself about to cry and I left in a hurry. Not only was I replaced, but I was demoted!
I worked on the PowerPoint presentation until the last possible minute, so he wouldn't have time to review it. My boss thanked me and told me to tell the new girl to call and reserve a table for us at this upscale sushi bar and that he was promoting me to $12 an hour for my hard work and dedication.
My heart stopped beating because all I wrote on that PowerPoint presentation in bold, bright colors were the words: "I QUIT!"
– Alexandra Erwin
Hitting the stage
While I was a sophomore in high school, I had a job as a sound tech for the middle school's plays and musicals. I had volunteered to help with them back when I was in the sixth grade, and the tech teacher who gave me that chance thought I did a good job, and asked me to come back after I left the middle school.
He paid $50 a week, and this gig only lasted two weeks; but when you are a high-school student, $100 is a big deal. So was the musical -- especially for the music and tech departments, since it allowed them to work together for a few weeks every year putting on a big show.
This was great in theory, but the music teacher, Mrs. Wier, was one of those teachers that always needed to be in control. One afternoon during the rehearsal, some feedback came from one of the actor's microphones. Mrs. Wier rushed to the back of the auditorium where the soundboard was, pushed me out of the way and shut off the soundboard, resulting in a minor power surge and the blowing of two speakers.
She blamed the whole problem on me and said that I would be moved to stage crew for the musical, "seeing as you couldn't prevent damages from happening."
This threw me over the edge. I had decided to quit, and I had just the way to do it. The evening of the full-dress rehearsal, I snuck into the auditorium early and rigged up a sound loop I had recorded earlier, of her yelling at the star actor. When the lights went out, and the music was to be played for the curtain opening, the new sound guy pressed play and my special loop started, with her berating voice booming into the theater.
As soon as it was finished the curtain opened, and there I was, standing on stage, dressed exactly as she was. I flipped her off and yelled "Up yours!" Her jaw dropped and she stood there in shock.
Needless to say, I didn't get paid and was never invited back.
– J. Maroney
Doing it by the book
I was a bouncer at a bar. It was deadly boring, so I always brought a book. Almost as a routine, the bar manager would come by every night and ask what I was reading. I would tell him, and we would talk books for a minute and he would go on his way.
After six weeks of this, I got fired -- for reading on the job!
The real reason I was fired was that the bar manager was the perfect target for my juvenile sense of humor and I was always making him the butt of a few clever pranks here and there -- jokes that he amply deserved. But, he couldn't pin any of those on me, exactly, so instead he fired me for reading on the job.
After I got fired, I went back and asked for my job back.
I told him that while I worked there, night after night, he had asked what I was reading and discussed the book with me. And he never once mentioned, "Hey, don't read on the job, it isn't allowed."
We debated this for a while. Then he finally said, "OK, you can have your job back."
I said, "Are you kidding me? I don't want the stupid job back. I just wanted to make my point." And I quit!
– Anthony Hall
Telling the world about his cheatin' heart
It was the glorious 1980s, and you can just guess what my hair and clothes looked like! "Big" doesn't even begin to describe my hair.
During my annual review, my boss commented that I was the "limit of the norm" that the company accepted as employee material and threatened to let me go if I didn't change my look. Believe me, I could see the writing on the wall -- and I had no intention of changing my "stylish" look -- so I politely picked up my review paper and left his office, and began to plan my revenge. Just a few months later I was able to serve it up COLD, which is always the best way!
At the company party I marched right up to his wife and told her all the gory details of his latest fling with another woman, and told her that I was quitting because I couldn't stand his cheating ways. I then broke out into the song 'Your Cheatin' Heart,' belting it out as loud as I could. And as I finished a verse of that telling tune, I plastered a big smile on my face and sauntered out of the party, pretty as you please.
I still laugh when I think of the look on her (and his!) face.
-- K. F. Slocum