The best resignations of all time

We all have bad days at work but most of us simply shrug it off and get on with things. For JetBlue Flight Attendant, Steven Slater one difficult passenger proved too much to handle however. Having reached the end of his tether, the fed-up attendant vented his frustrations over the aeroplane loudspeaker, grabbed a beer, pulled the emergency slide exit and announced ‘that’s it, I’m done’ before leaving the plane. Although an interesting way to depart, Slater’s actions ended his 20 year career and also saw him receive a year of probation.

Most people leave their job because they don’t think they’re earning enough money. Unbelievably though, Kansas City Royals pitcher, Gil Meeche walked away from a $12 million contract in 2011 because he felt that he was earning too much. After a particularly bad season, Meeche announced he was giving up baseball. He said; ‘once I started to realise I wasn’t earning my money, I felt bad. I was making a crazy amount of money for not even pitching. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I deserved it’.

It’s a definite sign of the times when a highly regarded Chief Executive tenders his resignation through Twitter. Jonathan Schwartz, former CEO of Sun Microsystems, certainly managed to make his point when the troubled tech company was acquired by Oracle in 2010. Whilst it came as no surprise that Schwartz resigned, nobody expected him to do it via a tweet that simply stated: ‘Financial crisis/stalled too many customers/CEO no more’.

Greg Smith famously announced his resignation from Goldman Sachs earlier this year in a very public manner. Writing a letter to the New York Times titled ‘Why I am leaving Goldman Sachs’, the document was published and then went viral all across the world. Clearly unhappy with how things had been going in his role, the disgruntled employee aired his frustrations with comments such as ‘I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it’.

Fed up with his job, one computer programmer decided to make sure his resignation would always be remembered. He created his own version of Super Mario with an ‘I quit’ message that would appear loud and clear every time the plumber grabbed a mushroom. The game was sent around the office to make sure everyone got the message.

Not all public resignations have ended badly of course. Neil Berrett sweetened his departure from Hunters Point Vaval Shipyard in San Francisco by writing his resignation on a cake. The cake read; ‘Dear Mr Bowers – During the past three years, my tenure at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard has been nothing short of pure excitement, joy and whim. However, I have decided to spend more time with my family and attend to health issues that have recently arisen. I am proud to have been part of such an outstanding team and I wish this organisation only the finest in future endeavours’.

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