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'Take this job and shove it'

JetBlue flight attendant hits breaking point, grabs a beer and slides down an emergency chute into history as one of the most memorable resignations ever

By Todd Humber (todd.humber@thomsonreuters.com)

“Take this job and shove it, I ain’t working here no more.”

When Johnny Paycheck belted out that tune, it became an anthem of sorts for the working folks. Few of us can afford to tell our bosses that, but almost everyone has felt the urge to belt out Paycheck’s tune on occasion (present company excluded, of course — my boss reads this blog.)

But some people do hit a breaking point. There may be no better example of this than Steven Slater, the flight attendant for JetBlue who lost it after a flight on Aug. 9.

While he may not officially have resigned, it’s hard to imagine him returning to the job following his memorable exit. According to Reuters news, Slater bolted from the plane by deploying and sliding down the inflatable emergency chute after an altercation with a passenger. (The plane was on the ground when all hell broke loose.)

But before doing that, he apparently used a few expletives and told passengers over the intercom, “I’ve been in the business for 28 years. I’ve had it. That’s it.”

That’s when he allegedly grabbed a can of beer, and made his memorable escape from his career. He was arrested at home later, and will likely be charged with reckless endangerment and criminal mischief, according to police.

What are some of the more memorable resignations you’ve encountered or heard about? Feel free to tell your tale here by adding a comment. (Comments can be added anonymously.)

In the meantime, here’s a few of the "Greatest Quits" from YouTube to keep your mind occupied, starting, quite appropriately, with Johnny Paycheck’s anthem. (And who doesn't feel sorry for the poor employers that have to deal with these sods? Some of the quits are a tad uncomfortable.):

Take this job and shove it

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPrSVkTRb24]

A memorable quit

This guy was apparently inspired part by 2001: A Space Odyssey and part by the character Lloyd Dobbler from the movie Say Anything (you know, the guy played by John Cusack who had an affinity for holding boom boxes over his head?) Though, his method is a little creepy and, quite appropriately, apparently gets the cops called on him in the end:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGn2-GGHnMU]

Quitting over the intercom

Here's a guy who has clearly lost touch with … something.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7beULpIaz8Q&feature=related]

Quitting with class

Not everything on YouTube is strange people running around with cameras. Workopolis offers up this video on how to quit with class.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv0sRyLtq2s]

Hollywood's take

And, of course, there's Hollywood's take on resignations. While there's plenty of great scenes to pick from, I've always been partial to the movie Office Space. And here's Jennifer Aniston's departure from her waitress job in that classic film:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bXHPqj3NcI&feature=player_embedded]

And while this is before my time, it nonetheless makes interesting viewing (well, in this case hearing — because this clip is audio only). Here's how the legendary Jack Paar emotionally quit the Tonight Show in protest in 1960 after NBC censors tampered with one of his jokes:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45TLOCFbPsQ]

Share your stories?

Have a memorable story on quitting? Share it here by adding a comment.

Todd Humber is the managing editor of Canadian HR Reporter. For more information, visit www.hrreporter.com.

Todd Humber

Todd Humber is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Canadian HR Reporter, the national journal of human resource management. Follow him on Twitter @ToddHumber
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