I’m Mad As H#%* and I’m Not Going To Take This Any More!

Do you remember the 1976 film Network? The movie produced a very famous scene in which Howard Beale (played by Peter Finch) has a breakdown (some would argue an epiphany!) on live television (PG-13 clip of course!)

Seems a little too timely, doesn’t it! Over the last couple of days, two news stories have surfaced of individuals who decided they were “mad as hell, and were not going to take this anymore” with their jobs. They quit in style.

Quitter #1: a Jet Blue flight attendant essentially quit his job when he fled his plane via the emergency slide — beer in hand — after getting into a fight with a passenger and then cursing out the entire cabin over a loudspeaker. The short story is that a passenger stood up to retrieve his luggage while the plane was taxiing to its gate after landing and the seatbelt sign was still lit. The flight attendant asked the passenger to sit back down and was ignored. As the flight attendant approached the passenger, the luggage fell from the overhead compartment, hitting the flight attendant on the head. When he asked for an apology, the passenger cursed at him. Apparently, this was the last straw for the flight attendant, who proceeded to get on the loud speaker, tell those aboard to “go f*** themselves,” grab a beer from the galley, deploy the chute and run into the terminal. His car was parked at an employee lot and he drove home, where he was later arrested.

Quitter #2: a brokerage firm assistant quit her job via whiteboard messages. A young woman employed as an assistant discovered her boss referred to as a Hot Piece Of A**, and that was the last straw for her. She took 33 photos of a progressive message detailing why she was quitting and emailed them to her 20 co-workers, including her boss. In the photo messages, she revealed things like how her boss had bad halitosis and even disclosed that he spent nearly 20 hours per week playing Farmville at work. You can view all of the photos here. (UPDATE: this story was revealed to be a prank… thoughts of Mercury Theatre on the Air and the 1938 H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds broadcast come to mind…)

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So what is the significance of these stories to you? While these stories are certainly humorous, and I’m sure at some point in each of our careers we would have loved to perform similar grandiose exits, these behaviors won’t win any brownie points for future employment. And even though one of these situations has turned out to be a fake, it’s still not completely out of the realm of possibility for a real-life situation. As search professionals, part of your job is coaching candidates on appropriate ways in which to resign their jobs. The goal in almost every case is to not burn any bridges, because one never knows what the future may hold. We may view these types of individuals as ‘heroes’ for a moment, but how would you put them in front of your client for a new opportunity after their recent actions?

What are some of the coaching techniques you use with your candidates to help them resign with tact and dignity? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Amybeth Quinn began her career in sourcing working within the agency world as an Internet Researcher. Since 2002, she has worked in both agency and corporate sourcing and recruiting roles as both individual contributor and manager, and also served previously as the editor of The Fordyce Letter, FordyceLetter.com and SourceCon.com, with ERE Media. These days she's working on some super cool market intelligence and data analytics projects. You can connect with her on Twitter at @researchgoddess.

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1 Comment on “I’m Mad As H#%* and I’m Not Going To Take This Any More!

  1. I’ve found that even for executive level candidates, resigning is one of the top perspiration-inducing events of their careers. Here are a few tips:

    :: You don’t need to feel guilty or apologize for leaving. This was a business relationship in which you were paid for the work you produced. You’re even.

    :: Give notice in the late afternoon. That way you won’t have to spend the rest of the day answering questions about why you are leaving and where you are going. This also does not allow your former employer time to develop a strategy as to how to keep you on until they find someone who does want to work there.

    :: Keep the conversation focused on your transition during the next two weeks, not about where you are going and what you are doing next. You don’t own them that information and can provide it to them once you’ve arrived at your new destination.

    :: Do not accept a counteroffer unless you’re interested in burning several bridges (your prospective new employer, any recruiters you’ve worked with – we don’t forget that sort of thing- and of course your current employer because, trust me, if you take the counter, stats show you won’t be there a year from now (don’t believe me? Google: ‘counteroffer’).

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