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9 of the Most Outrageous Resignations in History

By Joseph Cueto on August 4, 2015

Career experts have always recommended resigning from your job in a professional manner. Not only will it help your reputation remain intact, but it will also help you avoid burning bridges with colleagues.

Ideally, leaving your workplace with respect and mutual understanding approach should be done at all times. Even when your frustration with your boss, office mates, and the management has reached fury-of-a-thousand-suns levels, there's always a way to bow out with grace.

But, just cause there's a way, doesn't mean people do it that way. Did these folks leave in a blaze of glory? It probably felt like glory for a few seconds but, in the end, it left their surroundings razed in negative feelings, defiance, and a lasting bad expression.

Let's talk about how not to resign. Here are some stellar examples of the most outrageous resignations in history.

The bricklayer cometh

Let’s kick off the list with some “heavy” material. Bricks are useful when building a house. However, one disgruntled worker showed that bricks can also be used to send a message. The said worker threw a brick containing the words “I quit” through a window.

No truth to the rumor that the brick was used for the company’s construction project. No doubt, it was a surefire way though of destroying any goodwill between the employee at hand and the company.

A bittersweet ending

The less-than-sweet message of W. Neil Berrett, an individual with an apparent sweet tooth, to his employer was, “You can definitely have your cake and eat it too!” While employers give out a cake on their workers’ birthdays, Barrett turned it around.

Barrett brought in a custom-made cake that had resignation letter written in frosting on the cake’s sweet surface. Not exactly the most yummy of desserts. Unfortunately, these cakes are not sold by Goldilocks or Conti’s so best to do some self-study on cake designing if this is how you would want to resign.

Parental guidance

Remember when our parents, at many points in our lives, went the extra mile to show how they cared for their sons and daughters? Their willingness to do things on our behalf show how parents dutifully look after their children.

One set of parents may have spoiled their kid too much. An employee tasked his parents to chat with his boss, and to make clear that their son was leaving the company. Maybe, just maybe, we're all a little bit too old to call mommy and daddy for help when we're tired of something.

March all the way out the door

Who says you can’t march to the beat of your own band when you call it quits at work? Hotel employee Joey DeFrancesco was disgruntled at the company’s management team, who shared the same feeling towards him as well.

With a little help from his marching band-playing friends, an excited DeFrancesco and his fellow musicians put on quite a show, captured in a viral video. With his boss entering the scene, DeFrancesco submits his letter of resignation and signals to his band mates, who play a noisy tune. Showmanship lives, indeed.

Hands off the merchandise

Here is a case that shows your resignation note can be written in a material other than paper.

A then-employee from Bed Bath & Beyond wrote his on the merchandise tag of a popular item on sale. The tags contained colorful and unwelcoming written sentiments aimed at his boss, such as "This is for fat f--ks," "My boss is a prick," and "I'm quitting today." Fortunately, the tags escaped the eyes of passing customers.

Expressing angst in the airways

Have you heard of former JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater? Everyone has a bad day at work. In Slater’s case, being hit on the head by the baggage of a said-to-be rude passenger, was the catalyst to hasten his departure from the airline industry.

His pent-up frustration made him use the plane’s intercom system to fire a few choice words. But his theatrics did not end there. Slater, in gung-ho fashion, took a couple of beers from the drinks tray, used the emergency chute, and rolled down onto the runway. Eventually, his newfound fame was short-lived as local authorities arrested and charged him with criminal offenses. Needless to say the resignation high was short-lived.

“Times” for a change

Sometimes, working for the most prestigious companies may not be as glamorous as it seems. That seems to be the case when a different type of insider info begins leaking out.

High level executive Greg Smith crafted a revealing and derisive resignation letter published in the New York Times. Entitled "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs", Smith took shots at Goldman Sachs’s company culture. Smith was criticized, in some circles, as opportunistic as he parlayed his being in the New York Times spotlight into a lucrative book deal centering on tenure at the said company.

Just dance 

Marina Shifrin, a viral video maker, created her own viral video. Predictably, it explains why she has had enough of her work through interpretative dance.

Bosses who get to read her introduction to the video will learn a thing or two about how managing their direct reports better. Shifrin’s video has garnered over six million views.

In the nude to resign

Why not just lay it all out there for the world to see, right? For some people, it feels like they forget to focus on the bare necessities (no pun intended) in their aim to leave the company. Good thing the video leaves a little bit for the imagination. At least, the person is stating the naked truth (of why he left).

Some stints and tenures at work end in a simple yet classy way. A few others end up resigning with a resounding bang that ultimately leaves their career in whimper-like state. How would you like to be remembered in your former company? Your answer and how you respond before moving on can be the difference between a thriving career and having an “employer beware” label on your back.

If we lived in an ideal world with no consequences, by all means mark your exit with style. If you had a chance to have outrageous resignation, how would you pull it off? Know of more outrageous ways people have decided to call it quits? Share them with us in the comments section below.