People who find themselves in an unhappy work situation often fantasize about quitting in a dramatic fashion. Like throwing a rude gesture at the manager who has been riding them or something. But a select few actually follow through.
A few weeks ago, Redditor Firelampan asked other platform users the following question: "People who've quit their job on the spot, what did it for you?" And they answered.
As of today, Firelampan's post has over 500 comments, many of which detail the situations when people chose their dignity over their paycheck. Below are some of the most memorable ones.
"My boss not letting me have a weekend off for my best friend's wedding because a co-worker wanted a dirty weekend away with the married guy she was having an affair with. The married guy was my boss by the way."
"I was a bridesmaid and had booked the weekend off 10 months in advance. I quit on the spot and told my boss' wife he was cheating on her. My best friends wedding was lovely."
Personal, career, and business coach Sarah-J told Bored Panda that, generally speaking, acting and reacting on impulse isn't a good idea. "It doesn't suggest you have the maturity and professionalism to deal with conflicts or situations at work, and what happens the next time you don't like something or someone upsets you?" Sarah-J said.
According to her, the way you deal with difficulties at work depends on many factors. But is this a career area you are interested in and want to develop in the industry or sector? In this case, think about the longer-term impact on your reputation in the sector. After all, the word may get out.
Boss told me i was scheduled to work the weekend of my wedding, told him ive had that scheduled and approved for 6 months now. His exact words were "sorry, but i dont care" told him ill go get supplies for the weekend. Packed my [stuff] and turned my phone off. Got married and had a fabulous 5 day weekend before i started a new job in a feild i love.
I worked as a nanny during the day and a waitress at night. I nannied for two kids, a 3 month old and his 5 year old brother who was severely autistic. Needless to say it was very challenging but the 5 year old and I eventually got into a good groove. His parents did not offer any support to me or their child. The dad "worked from home" which meant he played call of duty on the couch all day while I took care of his kids and the mom was at work. Eventually I noticed my paychecks were gradually becoming smaller and smaller so I brought it up. The dad told me he didn't believe I should get paid for the times he was in the room. THEN he asked me to choose between my waitressing job and my nanny job, as they were concerened my waitressing job was making me too tired. I was tired, but I was tired of trying to single handedly handle their son's autism without any support. I immediately handed him his baby and his housekey and quit. The look on his face was priceless.
"'On the spot' does suggest impulsivity (even if you are in a toxic environment). By walking away and quitting, you are potentially walking away from any financial settlements, notice payments, claims, and other things too."
But if it's a casual job and you are being treated really poorly, Sarah-J believes it's different. "You may choose just to leave as long as you think you can get a job elsewhere," says the coach who helps new and emerging leaders advance their careers, build confidence, resilience, and a can-do mindset.
"I actually did that myself," she added. "I was 17, working in a kitchen but it was a really bad environment. I knew I shouldn't have taken the job; people were shouting at me. So I went to lunch and never went back as I knew I could get work elsewhere, and I did not want to stay in what I felt was a toxic environment. I would not put myself through that. I had had doubts before I took the job, so I perhaps could have listened to my gut more!" Sarah-J recalled. "But happily, I got other jobs to pay for my studies that were far more fun!"
Let me go back to bed. I was the only adult who worked at an ice cream store, the rest of the staff, aside from the owner, was high schoolers. The owners lived an hour or so away, I lived right down the street, and I had a newborn child at home.
So high school employee forgets his key. Owner calls, I go down to lock up. I am not paid for this time.
So high school employee forgets his key. Owner calls, I go down to lock up. I am, again, not paid for this time.
So high school employee forgets his key. Owner calls, I say that no, I'm not doing this, I have a newborn child, this is my day off, I need to sleep and you need to make the kids you hire be responsible. Owner says that I am not being a responsible employee, they hired me because I was a responsible adult. I say, welp, guess I'm not your responsible employee anymore bye.
i worked at subway as a minor and asked for a day off for my cousin’s funeral. they said no. then when i started crying on break they said i could have off for the funeral if i came back to work after. i quit the next day
I worked in an Italian restaurant where I basically did everything except cook. The manager was a Portuguese guy who was horrible and constantly swore at me in Portuguese (chefs who were also Portuguese would tell me). They underpaid us, but to make up for it we could help ourselves to bottles of wine to take home at the end of every shift (18 year old me loved that). I also worked there with my boyfriend, who was very camp and obviously gay.
One shift we both worked together for a large group of people who had just been to a wedding ceromony, I assume it was a meal out before hitting the wedding reception, and this group were the roughest, chavviest a**eholes you can imagine. I was already stressed out because my boyfriend and I working alone to cater for their every need was bad enough but after a few drinks the men in the group started being homophobic towards us, so I refused them service at the bar.
The manager came upstairs to us after I assume one guest complained, and completely tore me and my boyfriend apart in front of all the guests. Completely humiliating and the final straw. We both simply went downstairs after the manager left, while the guests were still screaming at us to be served more booze, we packed six bottles of wine and shoved them into our backpacks, and simply walked out for a smoke...and just kept walking until we got to boyfriend's house. Never went back.
Sarah-J said another excuse for quitting your job on the spot could be the fact that you know you are never going to work in this area again. You feel like it won't create any damage to your future opportunities or perhaps your future looks very different, like moving abroad or starting a new enterprise.
"But I would say only do this in an extreme situation of harassment, for example," Sarah-J said. "I think you need to have a plan A and plan B for your career. When you follow that path and adapt to the twists and turns, you will know inside out what the right move to make is and when. So you are acting from a foundation of confidence."
Got in trouble working at Walmart one time. Christmas season in the toys dept. Everything was everywhere. Didn't have enough time in the night to put everything away and restock all the shelves. I was given 3 days off without pay (which I probably would have put up with), but then they also wanted me to write an essay on what I did wrong and how I would correct it. I just told them to f**king do it themselves then, and walked out. Best thing, really.
3 straight days in the HR manager's office, with both my bosses, where they were trying to force me to agree to lower the ratings on the annual performance reviews for my team, in order to justify paying them smaller bonuses.
This was at a AAA game development studio, on a record-breaking title. These people worked enormous amounts of overtime for years, that is only compensated by bonuses, based on sales. I was the only department head that got the annual performance reviews done on schedule, and had already done the one-on-one review with each employee, everything already signed-off.
Also on day 1 of this fiasco, our Executive Producer showed up from a Vegas trip with a brand-new Lamborghini he had just purchased, and apparently this was the reason why the bonuses needed to be adjusted for everybody else.
So, I fought it for 3 days without success, and then quit.
My best artist also quit the following day, and then they wised up and restored the original performance evaluations, and paid the remaining people their rightful bonuses that they worked so hard for.
I guess it worked out in the end, though I pretty much threw away a successful 20-year career as a video game developer to do it.
I was a steak cook at a Ponderosa (low tier steakhouse chain, like Applebee's with a buffet). We had a new shift supervisor who was terrible and seemed like she wanted to throw weight around before learning any staff dynamics. Someone spilled something by the buffet and, instead of asking the buffet workers, asked me to mop it up. I told her I normally wouldn't mind but I had a lot of steaks on the grill and didn't think the customers wanted overcooked steaks just so that one specific person could mop the floor. She said to do it anyway, so I did.
She came back five minutes later and said now the floor is wet and I need to drymop so customers don't fall. I reiterated that I had steaks on the grill and really didn't have time to get the floor perfectly dry. She said that she gave me an order and my job was to follow it. I told her "Well it seems like you have a very specific idea of how you want the floor done, so maybe you should take care of that so that you know it's done correctly." She said if I ever talked to her like that again, she would tell the manager and get me fired. I told her "Don't bother. [Screw]off. Have fun explaining to the customers that they can't have steaks tonight." and left.
The manager called the next day to get my side of things, said he had told her to ease up a bit, and really wanted me to come back. I asked if she was still going to be a supervisor. He said yes, so I told him I'd be in for my last check and thanked him for the opportunity.
As we can see from the stories in the comments, the American workplace can be grueling and stressful. A 2017 in-depth study of 3,066 U.S. workers by the Rand Corp., Harvard Medical School, and the University of California, Los Angeles, found that nearly one in five workers — a share the study calls "disturbingly high" — say they face a hostile or threatening environment at work, which can include sexual harassment and bullying. Not surprisingly, workers who have to face customers endure a disproportionate share of abuse.
If someone decides that enough is enough, there are ways they can minimize their exposure. "I would typically say check your contract, speak to your manager and keep it professional, stick to the facts and why you are leaving," Sarah-J said. "Be polite, this may be a shock for them, follow up with a short email or letter explaining why — you may want someone to look at this for you. Again, keep it to the point, polite, and state the reasons without personal criticism. Suggest when you want to leave and see what notice agreement you can deal with or agree upon — for example, a week."
I worked at a customer support centre for a pretty big company. Employees were just numbers and our manager was a total d**k.
An employee's mother had an operation for the removal of a tumor (don't know what kind or where) and it was only a 50% chance she'd survive.
When he asked for 2 days leave, the manager said no because the influx of calls and emails was too high. The man quit on the spot and so did half the team and I.
I work at a better company now with a manager that appreciates good work and tells us to take time off himself if we look like we need a break.
When I tried to talk to a coworker and the supervisor told me there will be no talking to coworkers. Walked away that easy.
My previous job was at a law firm. This was one of those places that had constant turnover, mass layoffs, and eventually just stopped filling vacant positions. The type of place where management bragged about not paying out vacation and marking people as ineligible for rehire even if they put in a months notice. One day my supervisor ordered me to commit what I believed to be fraud, and told them the only way I’ll do it is if they send me an email saying so (basically I’m not committing fraud without a paper trail of my supervisor ordering it). After that point I had a target on my back.
One day, management has a meeting with me where they pretty much say they know I have a couple years on my contract, but I need to sign an updated one with effectively double my workload, for no extra pay. I refuse, either compensate me for additional duties or [forget it]. They say fine, no additional duties, but you’re being transferred to a worse department. I make it a point of not signing the new contract unless they explicitly state I won’t be responsible for duties of my former position. Well surprise surprise, they renege on that a month it.
I called my new manager out on that, and she says really condescendingly “oh, so you can’t do a single thing that’s not on your contract? Why don’t we talk to MY boss about that and you can tell her what you just told me”
At that point I reached my breaking point, didn’t tell, didn’t cuss her out, but just calmly said “talk to whoever you need to. I’m done here”. Grabbed my jacket and lunch, walked out, and found a better paying job at a much more functional company less than 2 weeks later. Not as fun as some stories, but damn it felt good.
Sarah-J stressed that job changes are a big deal and can be stressful, so having an overall career plan is key to securing your future whatever the present throws at you.
"It's always good to think about 'Where do I want to be in 5 years.' Work back, break down your game plan, or just work a year back. Get clear on what career suits your personality. Then break the plan into goals so you can progress and monitor success." This way, the uncertainty is less overwhelming.
Company asked me to forge documentation so we don't get in trouble with health and safety. They choose me cause I needed and love the job. When I said no it got worse. Other started bullying me too. I walked out not knowing how will I pay bills next month. on Thursday evening. Even though I am not religious and I haven't been in church for decades for some reason last thing I thought was "be the stone that breaks the waves" from old testament. I am ok now. Got new job and long term contract. Half of the management got fired 6 months after that.
I woke up and realised that if I had to spend one more day there, I’d probably walk into traffic. The stars aligned because I quit on the spot, found a job opportunity the next day and started my next job the following week.
Well when your boss yells at you and demeans you in front of customers on your 3rd day of working, while having anxiety and not feeling good enough, that'll do it.
I was working as a janitor at a casino. Someone had clogged a toilet with feces, toilet paper, and a used tampon and my boss radioed me to leave my assigned post to go and clean it up because the person assigned to that bathroom had gone AWOL. (My bosses consistently called on me to do other people’s jobs for them) So I get in there, see the mess, and reluctantly get to work. While plunging the toilet, the automatic flusher engaged. Backsplash. I was covered face to waist with foulness. Some of it got in my mouth. I got angry. I went back to the supply closet to scrub my face and there was the person who was assigned to that bathroom, reeking of liquor. After scrubbing my face I went to the office and reported the derelict and asked if I could clock out early so that I could go home and wash off the filth. By boss looked at me like I was stupid. I bypassed pissed and went full-on insane. The very next morning I turned in my badge and uniforms and left without explanation.
Got food poisoning the night before a shift at a family owned farm/farm stand/plant nursery. The protocol was to call or text the manager who was on duty the next day as early as possible so they had time to find someone to cover. Well what I got back was a tirade from said manager saying that she feels like s**t every day and that it’s no excuse for missing work, even though I was really the only one busting my ass on the daily - there at 4 am to prep for market, staying late to help fix things and care for the animals, etc. The next day I went in to pick up my last paycheck and told the owner that I would not be returning to work because her daughter was way out of line and I refused to be treated like I had been.
Apparently I wasn’t the first person to quit because of this
Boss was arrested. Turns out he burnt down one of his buildings for insurance money and someone died. I had been there for only a couple of weeks, he was the most abusive person I've ever worked for by far. I was debating it, so when the police burst in and arrested him, I locked up and left.
A BBQ joint, they moved me to dish shifts alongside a pay increase. Found out from other dishwashers they were starting them off higher than they were now paying me. Ask boss for a raise to this amount, get told no, quit.
Worked at Best Buy years ago. This was my second job, that I worked at for fun and the discount. I only worked weekends because I had a full time job during the week.
Back then, when the next weeks schedule was done a manager would hand it to a person on the team and they'd put it in our little media backroom. Well, I didn't have my schedule for next week yet and it was Saturday. There were none to be found which was odd. I asked a manager for a copy so I knew when to come in and she refused, "I'm tired of printing out new copies for people."
Well, I can't come in if I don' t know when I'm supposed to be there. So, I just never showed up again. Best part was that I still got the discount for like 6 months.
Boss was throwing a fit because I didn't want to instruct a temp worker to stand inside a robotics setup and interacting with a working robot capable of killing the man where he would have to stand. Business later was forced to close with a mega fine for doing just this. Appearantly other employee didn't mind and it was caught.
My tasks were to take photos of people in the park and make souvenirs, and after visiting the park, take money for services and give out a magnet / mug with a photo to visitors. I worked for a few days and showed a good result, so I was disbanded in another park, which was closer to home. There I got a new supervisor, who on the first day began to re-instruct me. Based on the conversation, I realized that this girl is a complete b***h. She proudly told how she rudely reprimands employees for the minimum shortage (some consumables are simply difficult to take into account), delays and damage to the company's property (even if the employee is not guilty of this). I still remember the final drop.
She: - There are two managers working at this point: me and my colleague. He's too careless about our work! Recently, his employee accidentally broke the lens because he was pushed by a visitor, so the colleague defended his employee and did not even write him a fine of $ 700! This is wrong! I absolutely do not care about the reason why the equipment deteriorates! If it is broken, it is the employee's responsibility to fix this problem!
Then she asked me to show her skills, to which I replied: "I don't think it's necessary. I'm leaving. I do not want to work under the guidance of such a callous and unemphatic person."
I didn't regret my decision a bit. I think I just saved my energy.
I was working as an assistant manager for a large Taco Bell franchise. We were required to work 60 hour weeks (5 twelve-hour shifts), on a shifting schedule. Each assistant had a roaring schedule (mine was opening Tue, mid shift Wed & Thurs, closing Fri & Sat). We had no general manager, so I was doing a lot of that work.
So, here I am with no real, healthy sleep schedule, newly married and never seeing my wife, working insane hours.
Well, the other assistant (there were only two when there should have been three) was young. Very young. Like, fresh out of high school young. So very immature with a lot to learn.
I came in on one of my closing shifts (we were open until 3am, so shift was 4p-4a). Store was a disaster. Again. Dirty as [hell]. S**t all over the lines and the floor. No food prepped or cooking. Again. As it was every day I came in behind this other guy.
I stood there for like three minutes. Just...in shock. Furious. About to snap.
Instead I carefully took my store key off my key ring, gave it one of our team leads, and asked him to go back to give it the other manager, and walked out.
I had an insubordination employee at a large coffee chain and complained to PR that I wanted to fire her. They wouldn't let me. About a week later she was on the clock and sitting down having a drink with her friend. She's been warned about this multiple times by me and the shift supervisors. I gave up that day on a [sh****] job. I put my keys in the register, clocked out and just went home. I had a new job a few days later. I couldn't handle that corporate bulls**t. I found out that I couldn't fire her because her father owned the building and was a lawyer. They would have lost a great corner location. Entitled little brat. They just shuffled in a new manager to take my place. He quit because of her too. Then she quit for no reason and they lost the lease anyway. Now an even [worse] big coffee chain is in that spot.
Working at a zoo food court kitchen. It was just carnival food basically, pretzels, chips, ice cream and Bahama Mamas for the moms taking their kids. The chef in charge of the kitchen...he had frustrated ambitions to be one of those Food Network TV Tyrant chefs and was not easy to work with. I got a concussion cleaning cabinets and had to staff a fundraising banquet and the chef made too much chicken picatta then went off ranting at me blaming me even though I had no involvement. My doctor told me to quit and I did.
I was made to take care of 20 toddlers under 3 with about half an hour of training at a daycare. I quit day 2.
Oh yes this is my time. So I worked for an 80 something-year-old prick who was a misogynist, unhealthy absolute brute who had the audacity to make multiple comments about my weight and even offer me a bottle of garcinia Cambodia- unsolicited, by the way. Anyway he made me fill up his water every single day that I worked there which was about six months. He did not know how to operate a computer at all, aside from the fact that he’s the owner of an entire marketing company. So I was hired as the junior graphic designer and the work was stupid easy. He had a knack for making particularly asinine comments to his clients once he stopped wanting to do business, or if he just straight up did not like them. One of the worst people I have ever met personally and did a lot of illegal [stuff] and bragged about it and had a gun in his office that he would use to threaten his son who worked in the office next-door. In spite of one of his clients, he told me to put our company’s logo on a flyer they commissioned. The assistant manager/other graphic designer working with me stressed that I explicitly do not put the logo on the flyer because it was for a sports commission and the boss had personal beef with them about this particular subject, and it would just cause drama or something like that- so I left it out. The flyer is sent to the sports people they approve it they use it in the next day I’m asked by my boss to print it out for him and put it in on his desk. So I did and the logo was not there obviously so he was like “why isnt the logo on there, I know I told you to put it there! You can go home.” and he looked at me in the eyes with his grumpy face, like he wanted me to know he had all the power and just wanted to make me feel so small. No way. This was the last straw. I eyed that water that was there on his desk that I had just filled up. I told him I quit angrily because I was just so frustrated at this point and took the opportunity to knock over the cup of water onto his very unorganized and messy desk full of old papers, candy, dog food etc. I never regret it and it gives me the biggest adrenaline rush even just talking about it and thinking about it because he really deserved it.
My Grandfather passed away which was sad but it meant that having a job became optional. My boss was a jerk and would send me on wild goose chases and yoyo my position. One day I was a stocker, the next I was a bag boy and then a cashier. Always dangling a better position and then snatching it away. I had worked as a cashier for several days and came in to find I had been moved back to bag boy. I handed him my apron and hat and left. Never looked back.
I was training at MoneyMart, a predatory payday loan company in Canada.
The company-wide intranet training course spent my second day focusing on how to up-sell people on products they could not possibly pay back. I always knew the company was sleezy, but this was a whole different level than what I expected.
I sat there for four hours, then told my "manager" that this was not the job for me, and never came back.