Parting is such sweet sorrow: Chris Holmes, an immigration officer for Border Force at Stansted Airport in the UK delivered his resignation on April 15 iced on to a cake.
When we are really fed up, most of us have fantasies of resigning in style, raising a proverbial middle finger to the people who have failed to appreciate our genius over the years.
However, it is not usually advisable.
Far better, in the long term, to keep it anodyne and dull and burn no bridges. You never know when you may have to work again with those people.
Meanwhile ... there’s no harm in getting some vicarious pleasure from following the glorious flame-outs of others. Enjoy:
- Sweet farewell: Chris Holmes, an immigration officer for Border Force at Stansted Airport in the UK delivered his resignation on April 15, iced onto a cake. “Having recently become a father, I now realise how precious life is and how important it is to spend my time doing something that makes me, and other people, happy. For that reason, I hereby give notice of my resignation, in order that I may devote my time and energy to my family, and my cake business,” he wrote, without irony.
- Out of this world: Doug Walker took a boom box into the factory canteen, playing the Space Odyssey theme, ritualistically stood on a chair, ripped open his shirt to display an angry “I quit!” scrawled across his chest. He then paraded through the building until the police were called. “What have we learned here today boys and girls? What we have learned is that a bridge has officially been burned,” he tells his friend who videoed the whole thing.
- A blast: Joey DeFrancesco took a marching band when he dropped his resignation letter at the foot of an angry supervisor at the Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel. “They treat us like sh**”, he says in the video that recorded his departure.
- Falling, with style: “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. If you’re wondering why… you haven’t been paying attention.” That’s how Andrew Mason announced his leaving to staff in February. “From controversial metrics in our S1 to our material weakness to two quarters of missing our own expectations and a stock price that’s hovering around one quarter of our listing price, the events of the last year and a half speak for themselves. As CEO, I am accountable.”
- Going public: Greg Smith announced his resignation as a regional head of Goldman Sachs’ equity derivatives business with an Op-Ed in The New York Times
. “I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.” The piece created a storm. “I don’t know of any illegal behaviour, but will people push the envelope and pitch lucrative and complicated products to clients even if they are not the simplest investments or the ones most directly aligned with the client’s goals? Absolutely. Every day, in fact,” he wrote.
- Ouch: Dublin Ernst & Young employee Cian Kelliher thought he was delivering a joke when he resigned, using a text he found online in 2007. “For nearly as long as I’ve worked here, I’ve hoped that I might one day leave this company. And now that this dream has become a reality, please know that I could not have reached this goal without your unending lack of support. Words cannot express my gratitude for the words of gratitude you did not express,” he wrote. His letter, of course, went viral and he was required to apologise in writing.
- Fall on your sword. If I leave, will you go too? There’s nothing like quitting and then asking to boss to also fall on their sword. James Purnell resigned as Work and Pensions Secretary in the UK in 2009, asking the then leader, Gordon Brown, to stand aside. “I owe it to our Party to say what I believe no matter how hard that may be. I now believe your continued leadership makes a Conservative victory more, not less likely ... I am therefore calling on you to stand aside to give our Party a fighting chance of winning. As such, I am resigning from Government.”