Coffee Shop Worker Quits Via Song -- But Was It Fake? [Video]
A job for many workers is just a paycheck -- an often dreary way to pay the bills. That may be why so many Americans are keen on (or at least dream of) quitting their jobs in an over-the-top fashion.
There are a number of recent examples of "extreme quitting," including one by Joey DeFrancesco, who video recorded his departure from his hotel job, which included the accompaniment of members of the What Cheer? Brigade brass band. The YouTube video shows DeFrancesco presenting his boss, "Jared," with his resignation letter. The manager responds by ordering the group out of the hotel, before they march off to rousing music.
A more recent instance of extreme quitting aired earlier this month on the "Steve Harvey" show. Phil Sipka quit his job of three years as a barista at the trendy Robust Coffee Lounge in Chicago in October, and delivered his resignation via song -- backed up by a quintet of backup singers known as The Voices.
Whether the stunt was real or not is questionable, according to viewers of the YouTube video (posted below) and commenters on the popular social-media site, Reddit. [Excerpts posted on Reddit that appear here retain their original spelling and grammar.]
"The whole setup reeks of jerkoffery," wrote Reddit contributor GodfartherPart2. "It's a daytime television show segment. The cameras are in the coffee shop before anything begins. The people he's supposedly rebelling against are smiling while he sings and then applaud at the end."
Another contributor, leif777, offers this critique: "I believe the word your looking for is 'contrived' ... And its the heartbeat of american TV."
Others were less critical. Wrote justguessmyusername, "It's obviously in good fun ... "
Comments posted on YouTube were equally dubious. Commenter amobi25 wrote: "Obviously its fake ... Its just showing you HOW TO QUIT."
Don Halcombe, spokesman for the show, offered some insight to explain why the event seemed staged -- in part because it was. Sipka's colorful resignation didn't surprise his bosses because they were told that the show would be videorecording an event in which Sipka would quit, Halcombe said. "They just didn't know it would involve a Motown-style singing group."
Though Sipka's over-the-top resignation was to a degree staged, it nevertheless remains a mystery as to why he quit so dramatically, since it seems that he didn't hate his job. Among Sipka's lyrics in the song are these (via Lybio.net):
I am quitting this job today hey hey hey I'm leaving.
Even though I like it here. Gonna start a new career.
Gonna make it to the top and start my coffee shop.
So while the video may go down in the pantheon of great "I quit" anthems, Sipka apparently doesn't harbor any ill will toward his former boss or co-workers, making him, it seems, among the politest of extreme quitters.
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David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.
Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.
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