The famous scene from Jerry Maguire where Tom Cruise's character is forced out of the business for his unorthodox views is perhaps a great moment in cinema. He takes the goldfish, he takes the girl (or rather, she goes with him in what can perhaps be described as a moment of insane idealism), and the audience cheers.
But what about the real life Jerry Maguires? The employees whose exit we've all secretly wished we could emulate, especially on those days when you've had it with your job. These five unbelievable resignations show you how it's done.
1. Jenny the DryErase girl
In this series of photos, executive assistant Jenny uses a dry erase board to list her numerous gripes with her boss, including his bad temper and prolific use of the video game Farmville during work hours. Her boss responded with his own photo series, mocking her ambition to be a broker, reminding her of the employee agreement she signed and has now broken before signing off that she can soon expect a call from Theresa in legal.
The internet argued over who acted more inappropriately before it was eventually revealed that the entire thing was a hoax. But even after this was revealed, it still struck a chord with people, garnering over 238k Facebook shares and 31k tweets. As the creator of the hoax John Resig explained, "everyone wants to quit their job like this".
2. "Farewell and Queen Bey all day!"
This email from an associate auditor at PriceWaterhouseCooper quickly went viral.
In a hashtag-laden takedown of her 'phony' colleagues, she calls out the behaviour of her workmates one by one, levelling accusations such as "your cat doesn't care about you so stop caring about it" and "I hear you giving weird remarks that are borderline weird" before ending with a thorough dissection of why Britney Spears will never compare to Queen Beyonce.
3. Freedom fighter?
In the Western world, medical marijuana is a topic that sometimes evokes strong sentiment, but one news anchor gave her colleagues a major shock when she revealed herself as the owner of a medical marijuana resource facility following a story she presented about the issue. She then announced she was quitting ‘live’ on air before walking off set.
Watch the video here.
4. "You have to realise who you're working for"
This resignation is not the sort we hear about too often. Anand Iyer was earning six figures working in the San Francisco tech industry, but realised he was missing out on the most important thing in his life — watching his two-year-old girl grow up. Tired of coming home every night to find her already asleep, he made the choice not to miss out anymore, so he quit to become a stay-at-home dad. Luckily for Iyer, his boss could not have been more supportive, reminding him to "realise who you're working for" and put his family first.
While Iyer admits he was fortunate that his wife's salary was enough to support their family and that not everyone is as lucky, it's a good reminder to step back occasionally and assess your priorities. You can read the rest of Anand's story here.
5. Marina Shifrin
With over 19 million views on YouTube, this exit is so famous it has spawned numerous parodies and saw its creator become an overnight social media sensation.
Marina Shifrin worked for Next Media Animation, a Taiwanese company that creates animations depicting major news stories. But after sacrificing her social life and relationships for her job and feeling that her boss cared more about page views than creative work, Shifrin decided to let her boss know she was done in a way that definitely honoured her creativity.
At 4:30am, she set-up cameras around her office and danced her little heart out to Kanye West's 'Gone', captioning the film with her reasons for quitting before she turns out the lights and leaves. Marina's old company even created a "we're hiring" response video, but surely to the dismay of a company accused of chasing page views, their video only received 4.6 million views.
Resigning from your job on good terms takes preparation, tact and professionalism. Here's how you can do so and how you can succeed in the first 90 days of your new role.