The Internet's Best Job-Quitting Stories

Teachers, waiters, journalists and burger-flippers share their "Slater moment"

This article is from the archive of our partner .

This week an American hero was born in former Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater. His dramatic, expletive-fueled exit from a flight at JFK International Airport aroused the sympathies of the nation's downtrodden, pushed-to-the-brink workforce. Tapping into that sentiment, newspapers and websites across the country solicited triumphant job-quitting stories from their readers. This resulted in an outpouring of long, depressing stories. Sifting through the rubble, we compiled some of the best (i.e. briefest) tales:

  • The One-Cake-Too-Many Guy: "I worked in a chain restaurant as a server when I was about 22. One night I was asked to take a birthday cake out to the kitchen and cut it into slices. The cake had a bunny rabbit drawn into the icing. It was an ugly, freaky bunny rabbit that suddenly represented everything I hated about the job. I stabbed the bunny in the face and left the knife sticking out for them to find. Then I ran home through the golf course out the back. The End."
  • The Ballsy Journalist: "I worked as a reporter for a business magazine, owned by an international publishing house. For months, our unit director had been giving our editor-in-chief hell about publishing too many ‘gloomy’ business stories in the mag (but hey, we were in the middle of a crisis). It was bad for advertising, he said. I decided to put our editorial independence to the test. When asked to write ten profiles of the ‘worst ceo’s of the past year’, i included a not-too-friendly profile of our CEO – or rather, I chose not to exclude him, since there was wide consensus among the business community that his performance had been way under par. The day the magazine hit the stalls, our editor-in-chief was fired. The fist thing his successor did was fire me. Guess that answered my question about editorial independence."
  • The Impatient Drinker: "I worked at a burger joint in college. My buddies would stop by on the way home from bar crawling and let me know what I missed. On one particularly poor night, the hot chocolate machine wouldn't shut off and emptied all over the floor behind the counter. I called the owner for advice, he got mad I called, and I quit. And went to the bars."
  • The Vengeful Spy: "Super-long story short: Collected spy photos over my cube wall of asshole co-worker playing shooty-games all day every day -- used full photo-montage against him in a grand fashion when the time was nigh."

  • The $100K Embezzler: "I knew they were going to fire me so I embezzled $100k before they did. Never got caught. This is not a lie."
  • The Teacher Who Left the Profession Forever: "During a teacher observation I got an unsatisfactory that was caused by the top band of my full seat cotton underwear showing when I bent over to help a student. Never mind the fact that I had one of the most difficult classes in the school under control and learning. After we finished reviewing that observation I told the administration that I would leave at the end of June. I kept to more word-I left teaching and have never looked back.
  • Lastly—How to Avoid Blowing Up at Work (Threaten the Boss's Children): "Years ago, I had a boss who was a 'yeller.' The first and only time he yelled at me, I simply told him that yelling was a) unacceptable and b) I knew where his children went to school. Never again had a problem."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.