News & Politics

Crazy Ways Washingtonians Have Quit Jobs

When flight attendant Steven Slater quit his job with JetBlue by sliding down an airplane’s emergency chute, beer in hand, it got us thinking: In Washington, full of professionals unlikely to burn bridges, would anyone make a dramatic exit from a job?

“Someone paid a window washer to write ‘I quit’ with a bar of soap on his office window on the eighth floor.” Illustration by Chris Philpot

A Song in Their Hearts

“The PA system suddenly started blaring the song ‘Take This Job and Shove It.’ That’s how we knew the receptionist was leaving.”

“A relative of mine was sat down by his boss to be fired. When my cousin realized this, he broke into ‘People Will Say We’re in Love’ from Oklahoma! as his boss screamed louder.”


See Also:

Outrageous Tales of Bizarre Workplace Behavior

Outlandish Excuses for Missing Work

Illustration by Chris Philpot

Points for Style

“At my previous job, an employee who was laid off did cartwheels while high-fiving the HR director and his manager on his way out of the building.”

“An employee mailed his boss his briefcase with his work inside and ‘I quit’ painted on the outside.”

“A former employee wrote a resignation letter as a haiku.”

“A person suddenly came into enough money to retire, hired a limo to take him to work, carried in drinks for all, and deposited his resignation with his boss.”

“I know someone who found crime-scene tape and taped his office door on the day he left with the comment that it was the scene of a burglary–the firm had stolen his ‘life, soul, and twenties.’ “


Noteable Notes

“We had an employee resign on a Post-it note. He decided to move to Vegas and change careers, and he left the Post-it on the top of unfinished work on his desk.”

“Someone paid a window washer to write ‘I quit’ with a bar of soap on his office window on the eighth floor.”

“One person went to lunch and left a note taped to her chair that said, ‘I’m not coming back–ever.’ “

“Many years ago at another company, a coworker faxed a two-word resignation letter which said ‘I quite’ instead of ‘I quit.’ “

“Someone at our company had cleared out his office in the middle of the night and shut his door with a sign that said, ‘In a meeting.’ No one knew for days that he wasn’t in there.”

“A female employee had been engaged in romantic liaisons with her supervisor, who happened to be the CEO. When the young woman was fired, she covered every inch of her desk with hard copies of past e-mails that contained affectionate messages from the CEO. Then she walked out of the building.”

“Someone I knew wrote her resignation letter on a toilet-paper roll.”

“Someone paid a window washer to write ‘I quit’ with a bar of soap on his office window on the eighth floor.”

“Someone had a cake made for his boss that said in icing: ‘I quit.’ “


Restaurant Work is Hard

“A guy filled a stand mixer with 50 pounds of flour and turned it on–filling the kitchen with flour as he walked out.”

“I worked in a restaurant that had a small pond in front. The employee quit, went to his locker, grabbed a scuba mask and flippers, jumped into the pond, and swam around in front of patrons who were eating on the patio.”


Dressing Down

“I used to work at a coffee shop. Someone, on her last day–we had no clue it was her last–changed into her uniform and began her shift. She was wearing only her apron. That’s it.”

“An employee came into the office in his pajamas and tendered his resignation. He said he didn’t plan to lose much sleep over it.”

“A girl who was asked to leave because of dressing inappropriately at work–she wore jeans instead of suits–stripped to her bra and panties as she walked out of the building.”


The East of Technology

“One guy sent a text while hiking the Appalachian Trail saying he had found himself and wasn’t coming back.”

“An ex-colleague resigned by sending a blast e-mail to everyone during a company all-hands meeting–while sitting in the meeting.”

“A woman took a picture of herself in front of her new employer’s office building and e-mailed it to her old boss with the caption ‘If you’re wondering where I am today.’ “

“The network administrator changed all the passwords and left.”

“A secretary had access to her boss’s e-mail. When he refused to give her a raise, she forwarded to his wife illicit e-mails between him and his mistress and then quit.”


Not One More Minute

“A gentleman e-mailed his department of about 20 people stating he was going to pick up lunch. He asked if anyone wanted anything, and several people brought him cash for their orders. After two hours, the office started to wonder where he was. Shortly thereafter, they all received an e-mail from him saying he wouldn’t be returning to the office at all and that he’d mail their money back.”

“I used to work in a law firm. One of the secretaries was tired of typing the same document over. She let the lawyer know this was the last draft. When he started to make changes, she packed up her things and left.”

“When I was working for a firm many years ago, a disgruntled employee downed the main server, walked it out to the parking lot, placed it under his truck tires, and ran it over.”


No Hard Feelings?

“An employee typed a resignation letter in font so small that the manager had to use a magnifying glass to read it.”

“I know someone who left one contractor for another one and then was able to fire his previous boss from the contract.”

“An employee who didn’t want to quit started coming to work in his pajamas. When he got there, he put his feet up on his desk and proceeded to read a novel. The company finally fired him two weeks later, but he was paid for his time reading.”

“Someone re-signed and didn’t like the HR VP, so they sent her a witch’s hat via overnight mail.”


Butt Ends

“At a start-up where I used to work, a woman in her twenties got laid off. Her boss–he was about 30–walked her to the elevator. They hugged as the elevator opened. She grabbed his butt and said, ‘I always thought you had a great ass.’ Then she hopped onto the elevator.”

“Printing their butt on the Xerox, then printing a bull’s-eye on one cheek and the following message: ‘Kiss my ass–I am out of here.’ This was left on the president’s desk.”

“A guy turned in his letter saying he was leaving. He then went out to the parking lot, set off his car alarm, and mooned the whole building of people looking out the windows. Six months later, he applied for a job at our company again. He didn’t get it.”


Into the Sunset

“I know someone who threw his own going-away party. Ordered food for the entire staff and made an announcement that he was leaving at the end.”

“An employee failed to show up at work. Turns out he went on a cruise, met a woman, fell in love, and followed her to another continent.”

“A guy at another company said he was going to the restroom–and never came back.”

“A colleague scheduled a meeting in Honolulu, took the flight there, and never returned.”

This article appears in the November 2011 issue of The Washingtonian. 

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