It's become the "I Quit!" moment heard 'round the world: Former Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater's dramatic and very public exit from his job -- down an airplane's escape chute -- has elevated him to media hero status.
As the narrative goes, after two years working for the company and 28 years in the airline business, he apparently had enough and quit while on the job.
Although the investigation into Slater's action is ongoing and new details are still emerging about who started what before he announced he was quitting his job with Jet Blue, a few things are clear. Slater got on the intercom at the end of the flight, cursed at some passengers, then headed for the emergency chute -- after grabbing a couple of beers. In the aftermath, Slater has become a hero to workers who feel under-appreciated and put-upon -- and have fantasized about their "I quit" moments.
It's also helped create dialogs with managers and business owners about policies and management. So if you're thinking of living out your own "Steven Slater" moment, experts urge caution: Slater already has spent $2,500 to bail himself out of jail and may face more fines and real jail time.
Of course, making a classic moment out of quitting isn't new. Hollywood's been selling movie tickets with those themes for years; audiences can relate.
In Hollywood, Jennifer Aniston's Office Space character, Joanna, triumphantly quit her job as a waitress by cursing her boss out. Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada did what countless people with insanely demanding bosses fantasize about and tossed her work Blackberry in a nearby fountain.
In that spirit, I set out to find other larger-than-life ways people would like to give their notice.
Unlike Slater, whose "I Quit!" story spread like wildfire, everyone who shared their fantasy flee was not willing to be identified after sharing what they might do on their way out of their self-imposed last day of work.
A teacher, a hotel concierge, and a boutique manager all said they'd likely pull the fire alarm on their way out the door. State law prohibits pulling fire alarms and doing so is considered a misdemeanor class A crime. And even worse, is if someone leaving the building gets hurt, you score felony charges and face up to $10,000 in fines and one to three years of jail time.
A quick YouTube video search brings up a plethora of videos of people in customer service and retail jobs making a spectacle out of their quitting. Already Craigslist is running a blind item casting for a TV show about quitting Slater style.
And then there was last week's photo-essay quit that turned out to be a hoax orchestrated by The Chive, as well as a video from the website Funny or Die, who gave the ultimate kiss off Harry-Potter-book reveal-style.
The most creative story I was told came from a film director who fortunately channeled his hair-brained idea into more two dimensional entertainment. While working as a lifeguard during his teen years, he'd planned to create a large water explosion as his sayonara.
Thinking better of it later, he chickened out.
Quitting can be both a stressful and cathartic experience. It's clearly best to do it in more of a proper way and give notice. Before you consider doing something drastic and dramatic, run through this list of how to go about it:
Have a good reason to quit. Not liking your boss, colleagues, or getting annoyed by customers isn't really enough of a reason. That's life, after all.
Follow the protocol. Think about it. Make an appointment with upper management. Tell your superior face-to-face and calmly that you're leaving. Follow up with a letter making it official. Never scream or curse!
Give two weeks notice. Don't just storm in and scream: "I quit!"on the way out. After all, they might like that you'll be available to train the next person who takes over your job. And you likely wouldn't mind getting a recommendation down the road.
Don't do anything illegal. That means you shouldn't use leaving as your opportunity to steal anything, from sensitive information to a few beers.
Once you're gone, don't badmouth your former employer. It's a small world. It can always come back to haunt you.