Creative Ways to Quit a Job

quit your job Sometimes, no matter how terrible the employment market might be, you come to the end of your rope and just have to say goodbye to a job you cannot stand. And while most people simply give notice and head off into the sunset, every so often the boss or the job itself is so bad that you've just got to get inventive in the process of quitting. Read on for some very creative ways to quit a job; but remember, burning bridges isn't always an ideal way to move on. But sometimes it just feels so good!

An ice-cream revolt

If I never see another ice-cream cone it will be to soon. I once worked at a Cold Stone Creamery in sunny southern Utah. During the summers there the parched desert is transformed into a sweltering Hades not fit for human habitation. Hot, dusty patrons descend on the shop in droves, creating a startling scene that George Romero would be proud of. These "assaults" would send our Cold Stone team into a panicked frenzy. I can still smell the banana ice cream and hear the screaming toddlers in my nightmares.

Let me pause to point out that I consider myself a hard worker, and I do enjoy the feeling of a task accomplished. But this particular job was grueling. At Cold Stone they don't give you ice-cream scoops. Instead you are provided with two instruments called spades, which are flat and have rounded edges. I don't understand the logic, but trying to maneuver through hard, frozen ice cream gets old fast!

On top of that we had a lazy manager. Her name was Deena, which I thought sounded like a dinosaur. Although she acted more like a pig. As soon as her shift started she was out the door. "Oh, I need to go Costco to get more Kit Kats," you might hear her say, or "I'm just going to run over to Starbucks, be right back." Then she would disappear for the whole night, shirking her responsibilities off on us. At the end of the night she would cheerfully reappear and instantly begin barking orders. Needless to say she was not popular.

Most of the team was comprised of high-school students who didn't desperately need their jobs. Instead they tended to view the gig as a source of spending money. Looking back I can't remember what Deena did to make us all so angry on that summer night, but angry we were.

Jesse L., who was on waffle-cone duty, announced loudly, "I quit," and was gone with the wind. That left only two of us on the floor, myself and a Goth girl (that I was terrified of), who asked that everyone call her Tru. No, not True, but "Tru."

I was considered the quiet one of the bunch, so I just watched as Tru grabbed all the cash from the tip jar. I was unsure of what my next move should be.

"We don't have to put up with this," she said, but peppered with more obscenities. "What are we supposed to do when the rush starts?"

We both knew we couldn't call Deena. I knew she was right, two people could never handle the onslaught that 5PM brought. So now I was angry, too.

Over the next 15 minutes Tru, who by now I had decided was pretty cool, hatched a plan to go out with a bang. We had no customers at the time, so we locked the door and flipped the "Open" sign to "Closed."

The first squeeze out of the strawberry syrup bottle and onto the floor set something off in us. We went crazy, throwing ice cream all over, burning waffle cones and writing "WE QUIT" in various condiments on the floor. And then we left, door locked and closed to the public.

I can only imagine Deena's reaction when she returned. Though, interestingly, there wasn't much fallout. I didn't receive so much as a phone call in regards to the incident. I never received my last check, either.

Yes, we've all had terrible jobs, and at times have felt like bashing our heads into the brand-new company purchased monitors that enslave us. At 16, I could afford to make such a grandiose statement. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else. I have never applied at an ice-cream establishment since, but I'm fairly certain I wouldn't be hired if I tried. Even in the ice-cream community, word gets around. So the moral of my story is this: if you're going to quit, why not get creative?

-- Cody M. Ham

The flying burrito goodbye

Tijuana Flats is a higher-end, fast-food Mexican restaurant. Upon arrival, guests are cheerfully greeted by employees and provided with vibrant menus. Once they've made their selections, they make their way to the register to place their order. Seating is open and their food is brought to them by a server when it's ready.

After being a burrito-running slave for a few months at the Tijuana Flats location in Coconut Creek, Fla., I can easily say that becoming flustered in the fast-paced food service industry can happen at the drop of a hat. The essential job tasks, in-and-of themselves, are not that difficult. There is nothing complicated about carrying trays of food to happy customers for hours on end -- until you come across an angry customer, of course. One such angry customer began a chain of events that represented the beginning of my last day.

Some days the kitchen would get backed up, but on the day in question, everything was running smoothly. The guys on the food preparation line were so proud of how quickly they were moving, that they began to lose focus. This led to them dousing a gentleman's burrito with the incorrect topping. The ticket clearly stated that he wanted queso (melted cheese) on top, but instead they used the verde (tangy green) sauce . When I delivered the burrito, he was furious and naturally took it out on me. This led to me stepping back into the kitchen to express the man's anger to the guys, which resulted in a full-blown viscious cycle of anger!

I should mention that the past week of work had been clouded by a constant swirl of annoying rumors and gossip. "So-and-so slept together... she told this lie to the new girl" -- you know how it goes. And then the cooks decided it would be funny to start messing with the food I would order for myself while on break. This particular evening, I was already aggravated and beyond hungry. I put in a burrito order for myself under a different name. I guess that they somehow knew it was mine though, because I was in the habit of ordering the same thing every afternoon.

When the burrito came out, I gave it one look and said to my co-worker, "You watch. There will be jalapenos or tomatoes in this burrito." Those were the two ingredients I couldn't stand. I cut into the center and, sure enough, it was filled with jalapenos.

I stood up, marched into the kitchen and asked who made it. Each cook was in denial, and each had a smirk spread across his face. Finally, Justin (a guy whom I was not on the best of terms with), spoke up and took the blame.

I proceeded to pick up the burrito and chuck it directly at his head, leaving a swarm of warm re-fried beans dripping down his face.

They all stood in shocked silence, and I announced loudly that "I quit!"

As I headed for the door, I suddenly did a complete turnaround, went back into the kitchen and picked up the entire huge box of cookie dough that was used to make the popular dessert called "cookie-dough flautas." I carried it out of the restaurant and took it home as my own reward.

Looking back, this is one of those memorable and humorous events in my 18-year-old life. However, I do not recommend that anybody else actually try this as a way to quit. It is difficult to put the company on job applications, due to the high possibility that their comments will not be so polite. But regardless of circumstances, Tijuana Flats is still one of my favorite restaurants -- but I never go to that branch any more. Who knows what I would find in my burrito?

-- Jennifer Peach

Attention shoppers -- and my boss

My name is Brooks Anderson, 28, and I went out like George Costanza of 'Seinfeld' fame. At the conclusion of my tirade, my former co-workers probably thought, "Wow, he really quit his job."

I was working as a maintenance technician at a local western-wear retail store. The job entailed sorting hangers, vacuuming the floors, cleaning windows and making sure the store looked presentable to customers. After an employment of about three months I decided that my desires lay elsewhere, as I figured if I was handling this much degradation, I should be doing it for a much larger paycheck.

The job itself was not degrading; rather the degradation came in the way I was treated by co-workers and management, who constantly acted like I was their slave, not worthy of any respect. When I politely informed my supervisor that I would be putting in my two-weeks notice, he informed me that the company policy dictated a month's notice to be eligible for rehire. Rehire? Why would I want to come back to work at this dump?

I accepted his words and went on my way. After completing my day's work I slipped unnoticed, as usual, out the front door. The next morning I arrived as scheduled, went straight to the equipment closet and grabbed the foam carpet cleaner I had become so attached to over the last few months.

I walk right up to the window of my boss's office and in big foam letters wrote: I QUIT. The look on Mr. Manager's face was priceless, to say the least.

To make sure there was no misunderstanding, I commandeered the PA system microphone and announced in a loud, Costanza-like voice: "Attention western-wear managers, effective in two minutes, you have an immediate opening for the position titled maintenance technician. Someone else will have to clean up your messes. Have a pleasant and restful day."

I then walked straight out the front door, but I sincerely wanted to be a fly on the wall of that store for the rest of that day.

The impact of my resolute decision to forgo a career as a maintenance technician in a western-wear store is the prestigious status of being ineligible for rehire at the company. After quitting, I made one phone call to the HR department and asked that they send me my final paycheck, which they did, and that was the end of my contact with corporate western wear.

Despite the satisfaction of my departure, I would not recommend a creative exit to any job. The reason being that potential employers often contact previous employers and a creative exit could lead to long-term unemployment. If I could go back and do it over again, I would have worked with my manager, instead of against him, so we could mutually benefit from my departure.

-- Brooks Anderson

My job-quitting fantasy

My name is Ryan Zanoni. I am a 25-year-old aspiring writer who is currently in between jobs. My last position was with Nielsen/IAG Research, as a data production and entertainment associate. The following is a fictional tale, a job-quitting fantasy from my own mind. Have you ever worked a job you despised? What did you always dream of doing but never do, for fear of the consequences? How did you imagine telling off your boss, leaving and never looking back? This is how I imagined it.

I once worked at a bookstore. Mostly, I worked as a cashier and stock boy, putting volumes of books on the shelves to replace those I had sold to people, in an endless and monotonous circle of boredom. I worked there for two years. I'm surprised I made it that long. I was looking for a way out, and also wanted to play a practical joke on my boss, who was rather nasty, uptight and always taking things too seriously. So I typed up a little insert to be put into the science books in the store. I began to insert it into the volumes before I stocked the shelves with them. I would skip some intentionally, to make conversation at the checkout counter.

"Oh, 'A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.' You're quite the avid science reader, huh? Did your volume come with the new insert?"

"Insert? I don't know," the patron would reply.

"Oh, no problem, let me check for you," I would say, as I flipped to a certain page.

"What's the insert?" the patron would usually ask.

As I pulled it out of my secret stash under the counter, I would deadpan, "A Brief History of Time by Jesus."

It took every ounce of strength I had not to crack a smile as I observed the patron's reaction.

"What?" the patron would say. "What does that have to do with Stephen Hawking's book?"

"Oh, it's just the other side of the argument," I would answer. "Creationism versus evolution. Ah, the eternal debate, n'est-ce pas?"

The patron would look at me oddly, then say one of two things, either "That's OK, I don't need the insert," or "Oh, OK, sure."

If the person chose the former (as I always hoped he or she would), I would counter with, "Oh, of course, no one needs the insert. No one needs or wants to hear the other side." I would gradually raise my voice. "No one cares about creationism. Everyone just thinks it's fiction, made up by religious nuts or something like that, but let me tell you something: Stephen Hawking talks about intelligent design, and that means God, which means Jesus, depending on your beliefs, so you should have a little more respect!"

Sometimes, this would lead to a philosophical debate right there at the checkout counter, which would usually end with the person storming off angrily.

When I got to the point where I desperately wanted to leave my job, I made sure I gave my boss a really good reason to stop what he was doing and come over to chastise me. I did so by becoming as loud and animated as possible, even standing on the counter at one point and pretending to preach like Jesus to the crowd of shoppers.

My boss stormed out of his office and over to me. "Ryan, what are you doing? Get down right now!"

I reluctantly complied, and he continued, "What is the matter with you? You're acting like a crazy person. You're yelling, and you can't climb up on top of the counter -- what's the matter with you?"

I contemplated this for a moment and then replied, "Oh, I see. I'm the crazy one because I'm defending creationism. So people who believe in creationism are crazy, is that what you're saying?" I asked, accusingly.

"That's not at all what I'm saying," he began to protest.

"Because it certainly seems like that's what you're saying!" I interrupted. "And I don't like it one bit. If you're not going to show respect for me and my beliefs, I am not going to continue working here and taking this abuse! What's it gonna be, man?"

"Listen, Ryan, we need to have a serious talk," he said.

"About what, evolution? Primates? Darwin? No, thank you. I think I'll stick with Jesus on this one. I'd tell you what to do with your natural selection, but I don't want to offend the faint of heart here in this establishment. So, I bid you good day! And I shall not return! I hope you can live with that."

And with that, I took my things and left. Naturally, I did not ask him for a recommendation, nor did I suggest that any future employers contact him or the company. I cited a difference of opinion about what was fair and respectful in the workplace as my reason for leaving. I never heard from the company again, and fortunately, the incident has had no negative effects on my ability to acquire or maintain employment since. For that reason, I would not change a thing about the way I quit the job. I would, however, advise others in similar situations to strongly consider whether or not they are going to desire recommendations from their bosses in the future; if one is going to go bold, one must realize that there is often no going back.

-- Ryan Zanoni

Next: 10 Signs It's Time to Quit

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My husbands boss is such an *******. Just cannot stand it anymore. Verbally and mentally abusive. He has been with him for over 11 years and watched our family grow up. What can we do?

February 08 2012 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Back in the early 80s I had a job with a law firm I really enjoyed but it didn't pay quite enough. I began looking for another job doing the same thing just with more pay and found one. The office manager that interviewed me assured me it would be a good stepping stone for me and I would love it there. I was there only a few days and one of my duties was to answer the phone, which rang constantly. Another was to do the filing which was in an office just down the hall, so I was going from the phone back to filing and back again like a tennis ball at Wimbledon. One day I was at my desk and couldn't stand to hear the phone ring one more time so I turned the volume off and just sat there waiting for the lights to light up. I would then do the filing on my breaks as this was much less stressful but I could clearly see this job was nothing like my last one and not very well planned out. And I didn't know the phone would ring so much to the point of irritation. After a few months I was burned out and sitting at my desk one Friday afternoon and the phone wasn't letting up, and I had enough and the phone rang yet again and I answered it with a "And just what do you want??" and it was the managing partner's wife. I tried to pretend she had dialed the wrong number but she recognized my voice. About an hour later the office manager came out and told me she wanted to talk to me, and I went into her office and got my meager severance check and on my way out I paused at her office door and said, truthfully, "By the way, everyone here thinks you eat hershey's syrup out of the bottle when nobody is looking" and the shocked look on her face told me it was true.

February 05 2011 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In 1977 I lived in Los Angeles and had a terrible job as a secretary: lousy pay, bad working conditions, abusive treatment, etc. My brother died suddenly after I'd been there 2 mos and I had to go back east for a couple of weeks as he was my only sibbling and things were a mess. I did NOT expect to be paid for the time off. On the day of my brother's funeral I was told the (disgusting, fat loud) President of the small company was going to call to chew me out for leaving on such short notice. Told my immediate boss the Pres had some nerve making a call like that on the day of the funeral and I wouldn't speak to him. He didn't call. When I returned they told me that they were going to penalize me for leaving for the funeral and the 2 mos I'd worked were forfeited in terms of being elligible for raises or benefits. Fortunately I had a job interview that afternoon for a MUCH better position, substantially more pay, great working conditions, benefits, etc.. My boss went out of town on a trip that same afternoon. I returned to the office, left a note...and never returned. Man did that feel GREAT.

February 05 2011 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

in this day of employment there are more dictators at work that drive the hardest workers to quit. Next thing you know they will get ideas from china buy physically abusing their empoloyess

February 05 2011 at 12:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I recently quit at job at a title company in Columbus. They expected all of us to work 12-14/hrs a day with no lunch break everyday! Some worked more! After another employee hit my new car (still had 30 day tags) in the parking lot, I used my lunch hour to have the police come and file a report, as my insurance company required me to do. The next day, I was written up for "being away from my desk too much". I turned in my notice the next day. 9 of 12 co-workers followed in the next 6 weeks.

February 05 2011 at 9:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ann Mickunas

I did get into an altercation with a customer, which ultimately led to my termination from my former employer. Was it worth it? Yes, for me it was. Would I recommend going out with a bang? I think it depends on the situation. In my case, I believe I was going to be fired eventually, it was a matter of time because of the amount of money I was making and I was a little too good at my job. They could hire someone with a lot less experience, pay them 30% less and scare them into complacency. I haven't regretted what I did, I just wish I had told my boss off when I got fired instead of taking the high road.

February 05 2011 at 2:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was a Director of the major department at our company. With the downturn in the economy I thought, what the hell am I doing still working. I laid myself off, gave myself a severance package and drew unemployment for a while. Let me retire early and allowed a couple of college educated youngsters get promoted. Without my leaving they'd still be working hard to get promoted or would have quit and gone to another company.

February 05 2011 at 1:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I work at taco bell for 23yrs (yes i started at a crew made it to a mgr and was making lots of money thats why i stayed) I always dreamed of doing what jennifer did but to one of our rude custmors. what she mention happens all the time. I say good for her for having the guts to do it.

February 04 2011 at 11:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

@xqxin, I reported your 'ad' (bad attempt to disquise it as a post') to AOL. Hopefully they will ban you, charge the 'web site' you advertised in 'post' and do that to every other 'poster' who thinks they can use a blog as thier personal 'Craig List'!!

February 04 2011 at 10:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to tell you my story...back in the 80s I got a job as a legal secretary trainee at a prestigous law firm. I learned the ropes quickly, recieving 2 raises the first year. My duties included legal document prep, phones and appointments, greeting clients, making coffee and the bosses lunch daily. I absolutely loved it. I came in early and worked late frequently.

After 2 years, one day, the boss said, at lunchtime could you take the master key set for the building and make copies for the new partner? I happily agreed.

When I returned, he called me in to his office and said... Oh by the way, Im sorry but my girlfriend needs a job so I have to let you go in 2 weeks. She can not type and doesnt know the computer or phone system, so if you could train her in those 2 weeks that would be great!

Stunned, my brain on autopilot, I replied... Yes Sir, no problem. I returned to my desk. Then I started a slow burn, thinking about it all over and over until my stomach wss churning. I returned to the bosses door and said, Sir, Im not feeling well, Im afraid I need to go home early today.

Of course, he replied. As I got in my car, it occurred to me I still had the master key set with me...I removed each key from the ring and, driving home down the freeway, one by one, I tossed them out the window!

Needless to say, I never returned!
P.S. Apparently they forgot to teach in Law School, that, TIMING IS EVERYTHING!

February 04 2011 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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