Tech & Work

Quitting your job in a blaze of glory

A flight attendant quits his job in a big way. It's cathartic but is it the right thing to do?

It appears that a flight attendant was ticked off that an airplane passenger wouldn't apologize for accidentally bonking him the head with a piece of overhead luggage. So the flight attendant did what any normal person would do-he cursed out all the passengers, activated the inflatable escape chute, grabbed a couple of beers from the flight attendant's galley, slid down the chute, and escaped into a terminal at JFK.

If you're a working person and you read something like that, you think, holy moly that guy lost his mind. (That's your second thought. Your first one is how awesome it would be to quit your job by sliding down a big, bouncy sliding board on your way to pound back some beers.)

In other words, most of us have that little hidden fantasy of making some kind of "statement" when we quit a job, whether it's a nasty exit interview or finally telling your boss just what you think of him. (I did a video some months back about why these kinds of endings are not recommended. Although, this notice of resignation is pretty awesome.)

Here's the deal with nasty exit interviews: HR reps will listen patiently while you unload about what a terrible manager your boss was, see you off, and then never address the subject again. In a perfect world, that information would be dealt with in a meeting with the boss to discuss the accusations. But I'll be honest, that's a fantasy in and of itself. In all my years in the working world, I've never seen it happen. So, really, all you've managed to do is paint yourself as a disgruntled ex-employee.

The time to deal with a bad boss is while you're still employed and you have five or six other employees willing to back you up. In good companies, if a manager has a high turnover rate in his department, that will raise a red flag-after all, high turnover results in the outlaying of major funds, and that catches the corporate eye.

Clearly, our flight attendant guy had a few more issues going on if a lack of an apology from a customer caused such drastic action. My guess is that it was just the straw that broke the camel's back. But you can bet that as talked about as this story is going to be, it will not make airline passengers more polite. But it may keep the flight attendant from finding new work for a long, long time.


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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