Hate Your Job? Epic Ways to Say “I Quit”

If you're looking for a memorable exit strategy, these famous resignations will show how to quit your job in extreme style.

By Perri O. Blumberg
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    Put An Interpretive Dance on YouTube: Marina Shifrin and Next Media Animation

    Fed up with her job making viral videos, Marina decided to make one of her own, set to Kanye West's "Gone." 5.8 million views and counting later, we're guessing she doesn't regret her decision to ditch the gig. Here's her intro to the clip: "I work for an awesome company that makes news videos. I have put my entire life into this job, but my boss only cares about quantity, how fast we write and how many views each video gets." Watch the video here.

    Put It in the New York Times: Greg Smith and Goldman Sachs

    On March 14, 2012, Smith resigned from his high level role at investment bank Goldman Sachs with a scathing resignation letter in the New York Times. His dramatic exit might just have landed him a new gig—as author of a million-dollar book deal focusing on life at the financial behemoth.

    Hit Your Boss: Adam Porter and Friendly's

    On January 10, 2010, his final day of work at a Friendly's restaurant, Adam Porter threw an 80-ounce caramel Heath bar ice cream cake at his boss, resulting in assault charges. He was released from jail on $1,000 bail—$978 more than the cake's $22 retail value. But hey, revenge is sweet.

    Head for the Door and Don't Look Back: Steven Slater and JetBlue

    On August 9, 2010, fed up with his job as a flight attendant at JetBlue, Steven Slater took his exit into his own hands. After landing in JFK Airport in New York City, he released a curse-word-infused frenzy over the loudspeaker, grabbed some beers, and glided down the plane’s emergency slide. Way to leave in (mile) high style.

    Show Up to Work Under the Influence: Ricky Williams and the NFL

    In July of 2004, amidst the threat of a four-game suspension for failing a third drug test, the Baltimore Ravens running back Ricky Williams resigned from the NFL. When he spoke with The Miami Herald, he quipped, "I didn't quit football because I failed a drug test, I failed a drug test because I was ready to quit football."

    Tweet It to the World: Jonathan Schwartz and Sun Microsystems

    Why have a private chat with your colleagues when you can blast off a message for your 14,000+ followers to see? That's exactly what Jonathan Schwartz decided to do on February 4, 2010, when he had enough of being CEO of Sun Microsystems. It seems like Mr. Schwartz wasn't all that concerned about his future when he tweeted:

    <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    Break Your Contract: Dave Chappelle and Comedy Central

    On April 28, 2005, mid-production of his resoundingly popular show on Comedy Central, Chappelle stunned both fans and the entertainment industry by walking off the set. Following this unexpected move, he jetted to South Africa to participate in a spiritual retreat. What he left behind? A $50 million dollar deal and a huddle of shocked executives. Hakuna Matata!

    Stop Showing Up: Sergei Polunin and Royal Ballet

    On January, 24, 2012, the youngest principal dancer who ever joined London’s famed Royal Ballet shocked the ballet universe by abruptly quitting, just as folks were getting revved up to see his debut as Romeo. However, he made sure not to leave without one final leap…onto Twitter. On the same day he made his announcement, he tweeted:


    Cause a Scandal: Richard Nixon and the American People

    In light of Watergate and the events that followed, on August 8, 1974, Richard Nixon became the only U.S. President to resign. Though reactions varied, even more than 35 years later many remember the shock they felt when the former leader announced, "I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow."

    Perform Below Expectations: Roberto Durán with Sugar Ray Leonard

    When world-renowned boxer Roberto Durán entered the ring in New Orleans’ Superdome on November 25, 1980, for the welterweight championship fight against Sugar Ray Leonard, everyone thought it was going to be an historic fight. Suddenly, in the middle of Round 8, Duran waved his glove in a gesture to stop the fight, saying, "No más, no mas. No more box." Talk about throwing in the towel.

    Or...Just let 'em know the truth: Andrew Mason and Groupon

    In late February of 2013, Groupon CEO, Andrew Mason, penned this memorable note to his employees, "People of Groupon, After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding — I was fired today." Honesty is always the best policy, right?

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