the employee who quit via cod and other dramatic resignations

When you quit your job, the process is usually pretty mundane — a meeting to deliver the news and a discussion of how to wrap up items you’re working on — but occasionally a resignation is more memorable. A while back, I asked readers to share the most dramatic resignations they’ve witnessed. Over at Inc. today, I’ve got some of my favorites — including a landscaping disaster, an unspeakable act in the garden area, and a message delivered in cod.

You can read it here.

{ 215 comments… read them below }

    1. Ann Nonymous*

      How do people poop on command? I’m semi-impressed with that ability alone. Signed, forever constipated.

      1. Nobby Nobbs*

        Last time there was some speculation that he was being reprimanded for trying to go to the bathroom without permission or some such nonsense, and was already “primed” for this particular protest.

      2. Short Librarian*

        Perhaps he’s lactose intolerant? I have no choice but to find a bathroom within 30 minutes of eating cheese. It’s surprisingly and consistently precise. If he knew something about his digestion like this, he could time a poop “on command” to make a grand statement.

  1. Katie*

    I remember second coming guy! And I remember thinking his firm resolve to not be swayed from his work/life balance boundaries was impressive but seemed a little, I don’t know, inaccessible to the lot of us. This story hits differently now! We have all become SCG.

    1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      Reading it today, I too feel differently from earlier years,
      – not because I felt SCG acted entitled or incorrectly. I was genuinely jealous because I felt he must have some better background, skills, knowledge…something that made him able to write his own ticket.
      – not just because the world went batcrap crazy and the fallout has changed the them/us paradigm.
      but largely because I’ve been working longer and letting AAM inform my perspective at work, and I have learned that while their are battles to fight and hills to die on, there are also options, and choices I can make without anyone batting an eye.

    1. Emily R*

      #6: I hate emails that are meant for one person, but go to an entire department. So demoralizing. And usually the one person does not take the hint.

      1. No Name Today*

        And the additional, “rouse the troops factor”:
        “I can’t believe management is making a big deal about this. It doesn’t matter when we come in. Right? Am I right? You agree, right? You don’t want to punch a time clock, right?”
        Getting coworkers to agree that the memo is wrong, and nobody saying, “dude, it’s just you.”

      2. NotAnotherManager!*

        Same. It’s one of my biggest management pet peeves, and my spouse’s former boss was nonconfrontational and a full-group emailer to address single-person problems. If you cannot sit Bob down and directly tell him what he needs to do differently going forward, you have no business managing. I am so glad she’s not his boss any more.

    2. Gritter*

      I’ve always wondered what became of this guy, I imagine from the way he was courted that he must have had a highly desirable skillset, so it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal for him to find something new fairly quickly.

      1. Econobiker*

        Or he was only working as a “hobby” having already become independently wealthy (via a tech company cash out) or was already retired once and had his income and health insurance taken care of.

      1. Erie*

        Yeah, I was always surprised that on the original thread the cod story and the pooping story got more attention than #6! Those are great, but this one is just so enormously entertaining and well-told.

    1. Phony Genius*

      It seems a word was changed in the Inc. article that changes the meaning of the story. The original story had the employee writing “I quit” IN cod, as in lining up the fish like letters. The Inc. article says it was written ON the cod, like with a magic marker. I think the original is probably correct, and the story has become the victim of a bad edit at Inc.

        1. Eldritch Office Worker*

          I love this story being so ridiculous that an editor couldn’t wrap their heads around it

      1. L.H. Puttgrass*

        And not just cod! For maximum comedic effect, the full tableau of “cod, haddock, and tilapia filets” needs to be listed.

      2. Princesss Sparklepony*

        They fixed it. It now reads:

        ‘I QUIT’ in pieces of cod, haddock, and tilapia filets in the seafood counter, and clocked out.

        I am mentally making that picture in my head and loving it!

        1. Rusty*

          I submitted that. Alison posted a photo of a photo of the fish art that I sent to her (took me a while to flag down, no camera phones in 2000! ).

    2. HoHumDrum*

      Until I clicked on the article and saw the image I really thought somebody found a way to quit via a message in Call of Duty

      1. Amanda, But Not Amanda Hugginkiss*

        I didn’t think cod the fish or COD the video game. 52 year old me thought someone sent a letter without stamp, asking it to be ‘charged on delivery.’ I hope others chime in with what they thought it was.

        1. Aspiring Chicken Lady*

          That’s how I read it at first — and then wondered how much I would charge them for the pleasure of my leaving.

        2. Azure Jane Lunatic*

          I was fish-first but then wondered if it was unstamped. I was pleased to discover that my first instinct was correct.

        3. Princesss Sparklepony*

          Same here, I read the story specifically to figure out how that would work.

          But I loved that it was spelt out in fish. That is wonderful.

        4. Irish Teacher*

          I mentioned below that I thought it might be a typo and she quit in CODE. Like matched each letter to a number, then wrote her letter of resignation with the numbers or something.

        1. Hannah Lee*

          I love that she still had enough respect for the actual fish to arrange it on ice in the display case. (instead of lining it up on top of the counter)
          Her employers were not worthy.

  2. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

    “A message delivered in cod” sounds so Goodfellas-esq; “We spelled it out for him (sniff, head bob)…in cod.”

    …but I do love that story.

    1. No Name Today*

      Same. I love how those of us who remember K-Tel records on 8 track and cassette, have gone from, how the hell you resign COD? to, omg, yes, the cod resignation!

  3. RosyGlasses*

    *pops the popcorn*

    Come for the article, stay for the comments – there are bound to be some juicy stories shared today!

  4. Antilles*

    It’s a funny story, but I still don’t get why #3 left the jacket and purse.

    I’m assuming it a spur of the moment thing, but even so, why not grab your jacket and purse before walking out? If it took 20 minutes for anybody to notice, clearly nobody pays that much attention. But even if someone does see you, just make a white lie about “oh forgot something in my car, give me a minute” and trust in the fact that it’ll take them a while to realize that ‘it’s been way longer than a minute’.

    1. No Name Today*

      I’ve given this more time than I should have (because this is a throwback). My theory: this is not coworker’s first rodeo.
      She’s had crap jobs before, retail, fast food, phones…she announced she was walking out and was chased down, yelled at, guilted. She didn’t want to deal with potential unpleasantness.
      OP uses the phrase “head start” with the implication it is a joke. Like who would chase down someone quitting a call service job? I’m guessing more than one person in coworker’s past.

      1. Michelle*

        I once quit a horrific job with no notice and when I went back to get my final paycheck, I didn’t see anyone I knew and thought I was in the clear, until my supervisor stepped out of the freaking bushes while I was pulling out of the parking space and about to drive away. He stood right in front of my car, arms crossed, glaring at me.
        I refused eye contact. There was enough room to maneuver around him and he didn’t move – not sure what I would have done if he’d continued to try to block my car with his body. He just sort of swiveled in place to keep glaring at me as I passed him. He was still standing there as I turned onto the road and drove out of sight. I’m proud that at no point did I actually acknowledge his existence except to drive around him – bet that really pissed him off.

        1. RosyGlasses*

          what the what? why? I’m ferklempt. Who hides in bushes and glares unmovingly at an exiting employee!??

    2. Portia*

      I think the LW had a pretty good guess — the co-worker apparently thought she needed to set up some cover to give herself adequate time to flee. I have been in jobs where that would seem like a completely reasonable thing to do.

      1. MarsJenkar*

        Given that the manager apparently thought it was OK to leave a nasty note for them, it seems she wasn’t off-base in thinking it might be needed here, specifically.

    3. Ann Perkins*

      I worked with a woman who left her wedding ring in her office (among other personal items) when she quit. People are weird.

      1. EvilQueenRegina*

        Okay, I thought the football boots left behind by one former coworker (who didn’t leave on the best terms, but was a planned departure) were odd, but wedding ring beats it.

        Around the same time as that, I did end up sending a jacket back to the temp immediately before me who had ghosted after two weeks.

      2. Avril Ludgateaux*

        That actually doesn’t strike me as too out there – she was probably trying to leave her whole life behind, including an unhappy marriage, and leaving the ring and other personal effects was a symbolic gesture.

        Maybe it was the same thought process for the call center woman!

        1. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

          Unless it was a fake ring and she was never married… intrigue.

      3. Temperance*

        We had a woman who claimed that she left the “only” photo she had of her deceased dad in her office when she left, and then come back months later to ask for it. She left a bunch of trash, like used napkins and plastic cutlery, but I don’t recall the photo at all.

        My boss was pissed at me because I couldn’t magically recall the location of this picture that I had never actually noticed and was definitely not in a frame.

    4. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

      They could have been intended to be decoys…which does sound strange but people are strange. My old boss told us the story about when he was a younger man out car shopping at the dealership, they used to ask to hold onto his briefcase (remember those?) while he test drove a car…okay, sounds somewhat reasonable…but then they would deflect and delay giving it back when he decided he didn’t want the car and wanted to leave; this was their way of negotiating the sale of a new car…stop the person from leaving. So he would bring a cheap decoy briefcase filled with newspapers, ha ha ha, and if he decided to leave, he’d just go without his “briefcase.”

      1. Ann Ominous*

        Oh wow. That would infuriate me. My husband once had to raise his voice at a car salesperson who was playing games and wouldn’t give him his car keys back. My husband is tall, intimidating, and in the military with a deep voice …the salesman gave his keys back in a hurry.

        1. zuzu*

          I had to do that once. I’d brought my car in for service at a dealership and was just idly looking at the new cars. Approached by a salesperson who asked what they could do to get me to sell them my car (they were desperate for used models). I had some time, so I figured what the heck, I’ll take a test drive for half an hour in one of the new models and kill some time.

          Big mistake.

          Three hours later, they “still hadn’t finished” my very simple repair and were still pressuring me to buy a new car and trade mine in. I hadn’t yet had coffee (they had some at the dealership, but it was too terrible even for a caffeine fix) or breakfast, and my hangry, decaffeinated self finally snapped and yelled, “GET ME MY F&CKING CAR BACK AND LET ME OUT OF HERE” right on the sales floor on a Saturday morning. The sales associate turned white and I suddenly got a text from the service manager saying my car was ready.

          1. Mike S*

            She’s ago, a friend’s parents dropped a car off for service, and mentioned trading it in on a new car. When the old car was supposed to be ready, they changed their minds, and went back to the dealership to pick up the old car, only to find out that they had sold the old one.
            They got their choice of vehicle for the low low price of not pressing charges.

            1. Hannah Lee*

              Years ago (or She’s ago lol!) I was helping some friends out at a yard sale. One of them had brought a pair of roller skates to sell. I hadn’t roller skated in years, and decided to take them out for a spin. While I was cruising up and down the street in the roller skates, a one of the yard sale-rs sold my shoes.
              There was no legal action needed but a lot of laughs.

          2. whingedrinking*

            I once took my bike in for a tuneup and got an email from the shop, saying there was a crack in the rear wheel. Since I had a spare wheel at home already, I said to leave it and I’d deal with it myself.
            When I went to pick it up, I had to fight with the mechanic who insisted I could NOT ride it out of the shop as it was unsafe. (Note for non-cyclists: this is, at most, half true. It’s never ideal to ride on a cracked rim, and riding on it will make it worse until it genuinely is unsafe to do so, but a hairline crack is not by itself a real danger.)
            I wasn’t even planning to ride it out – I’d brought a car – but however many times I told him that I’d heard him, he kept insisting that I had to let them replace the wheel. Another employee walking by finally bailed me out by telling the guy that the boss wanted him in the back, and I could at last take my bike and go the eff home.

      2. to varying degrees*

        All I can picture is this woman having a bin of decoy jackets and empty purses in her trunk so she can make quick getaways when necessary. That shows some forethought.

  5. BluRae*

    I was reading the cod story as she resigned via Cash On Delivery and was wondering how that worked. But she resigned via FISH! Wonderful. 10/10, no notes.

    1. No Name Today*

      Thank you! My people!
      The first TWO times I saw this, originally and then in one of “more like this link” I went straight to “what? how?”

    2. Seashell*

      I thought it was going to be Collect on Delivery, like they had to pay to receive the resignation letter or something.

  6. Ex Kmart*

    Lots of years ago I worked for Kmart in the cafe. (Yes that was a thing) I worked 4-8pm. It was Thanksgiving time and the day shift didn’t leave extra pumpkin pie out. So I had to take the one from the case as it was defrosted. The Mgr noticed and I said I’d get to it after my customers. I had a line of 4. He leaves and comes back 20 mins later and again asks about the pie. I replied the line hasn’t stopped they are in the freezer if you could put one in that would be great. He laughed and said not my job. 10 mins later he’s back. I’m literally cooking, taking orders, cutting pies and have a line of 7 now. He said loud enough for everyone to stop and look “PUT A PIE IN THE CASE” to which I replied by tossing the spatula on the grill, taking my apron off, grabbing a pie from the freezer, handing it to him and saying shove the pie up your … I quit. People literally clapped as I walked out. Goodness that man was awful!

    1. Artemesia*

      Reminds of a restaurant where I was having lunch and they were down a server and the server was run ragged and dishes were not being bussed and people were waiting waiting at a time when they had to get back to work — and the owner was sitting in a booth having lunch. Never gave a thought to hopping up and making his own business run smoothly.

      1. whingedrinking*

        There was an “Am I the asshole?” a few months ago where the OP was the manager of a restaurant and yelled at two teenage waitresses for leaving the hostess stand…because they were the only two employees on the floor on a busy night, and they were doing such trivial nonsense as taking orders, running food, and clearing tables.
        When the commenters asked where the eff the manager had been in all of this, he defended himself by saying he was in the office “doing paperwork”. He was rightly ripped to shreds over this.

    2. hodie-hi*

      Someone I know worked in the kitchen at a golf course and did other tasks when the kitchen wasn’t open. Minimum wage, treated really poorly. One day when the kitchen was really busy they were told to drop everything to clean a bathroom. Spatula on the grill, apron off, walked out the door never to return. Glorious.

    3. Princesss Sparklepony*

      One night my mom wanted to go to this little hole in the wall restaurant that had great reviews. We go. Turns out the woman who cooks and owns it was a terror and that night a little before we came in all the employees quit on her. No busboys, no waiters, no hostess, no dishwashers, no line cook. It was an interesting evening and I totally understand why the employees quit. To top it off the food was ok but not great. And since she was the great chef, I’m not sure that having a line cook there would have improved it.

  7. Essess*

    When I saw the title, I thought that it meant that an employee had sent a letter c.o.d. (cash on delivery) and therefore caused an employer to pay for the delivery of a letter stating that they quit. LOL

    1. Irish Teacher*

      I was wondering if it were a typo and he quit in code. Like he wrote 9 17 21 9 20, with each number standing for the corresponding letter of the alphabet, so it would mean “I quit” (unless I miscounted somewhere, which is likely).

    2. IndustriousLabRat*

      There’s a [possibly urban legend?] tale of a guy who was working overseas and quit on bad terms, and the company insisted that he return his laptop… so he used their freight forwarder account to hire an ENTIRE SHIPPING CRATE FOR JUST THE LAPTOP, and have it returned via slow boat. I wish I knew if this were real, and what the full story was!

    3. Rage*

      Yes, I also was thinking “Cash on Delivery”. When I realized it actually meant the fish, I came down with a terrible haddock. You bet your wrasse that I am still shaking my head. I’m not too shark these days.

  8. MisterForkbeard*

    I had a boss who’d put herself through college as a waitress paid under-the-table at a speedy restaurant. Her boss was also a creep – he’d harass his female employees, pinch butts, that sort of thing.

    When she graduated and got a job offer cross country, she went in normallyaround lunch and let him know she was giving notice and wanted to make sure her last paycheck would be sent to the rest place. He fired her on the spot and refused to pay her what she’d already earned.

    She kicked him in the nuts, explained to the customers what was happening, and took her back wages out of the register and then left. Dude never pressed charges or followed up.

    This was, coincidentally, the best boss I’ve ever had.

  9. the cat's ass*

    I have another “resigned in fish” story! The terrifying paralegal at Exjob brought a large side of raw salmon into the office, stashed it in her top desk drawer, and then crazy glued the lock. She then locked her office and crazy glued THAT lock. The hazmat teams were called by day 8. She was never pursued for this because she was …terrifying.

    1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

      Oooooh! This is a whole ‘nother genre: Post-quitting tales of Vengeance. I have seen some of those. It is kind of scary how far people will go and how long they will wait to get back at someone

    2. English Rose*

      This is kind of a resignation, but a divorce in crustacean. I was working for a divorce lawyer whose female client was forced to vacate the shared marital home. The last day before leaving, she carefully sewed rows of dozens of prawns into the hems of every curtain in the house. It took nasty ex weeks to work out where the smell was coming from!

      1. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

        Ha, I’ve heard the same story but it was shoved in the hollow curtain rods, and they ended up moving because they couldn’t find the smell. The next owners renovated and replaced all of the window dressings and the smell vanished.

        1. Jen in OR*

          In the version I’ve heard, the Ex and the NewChick pack up the curtain rods and take them to their new place.

        2. Not the Shrimp Salad*

          Version I heard the ex-wife bought the house very cheaply from her ex because of the smell. She removed the curtain rails.

          One of those tales that has been elaborated on over the years, pre-dating the interwebs.

      2. eggnonimous*

        When we moved out of our last place we rented, we hid several raw eggs in the basement. About the “why” I will only say that, it took about 3 years and 4-5 court dates to get our deposit back.

  10. CatCat*

    He raised his elegant eyebrows, said in a not-overly-loud-but-very-clear tone of voice, ‘Oh, I can’t deal with that,’ delicately put the memo back on the chair, and walked out, never to be seen again.

    This story never gets old for me. I dream of quitting this.

        1. Princesss Sparklepony*

          I remember that Laurie played Bertie Wooster and was nothing without Jeeves.

          They really need to do more adaptations of the Lord Peter books. Laurie would likely be great as Wimsey.

        1. MisterForkbeard*

          They’re not elegant, but I can confirm that the single-eyebrow-lift is an excellent managerial tool.

          1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

            Bonus points for those of us who can raise both independently.

            (less points because they sometimes raise and lower on their own when people say stupid things.)

    1. Rara+Avis*

      Lord Peter quit his advertising job by being arrested at a corporate cricket match where he had just about blown his cover by playing too well.

  11. Not really a Waitress*

    Perfect timing. It is popcorn day at work.

    We actually had a guy quit last week. He was awesome. He managed one of our support teams and I knew when I went to him, it would get done. I found out this week he had quit… after sending an email pointing out all the facts on why his boss was horrible and literally copied up 10 levels of hierarchy to the CEO of the US division.

    WE call that burning your bridge, peeing on the ashes, then setting that on fire too.

  12. Miss Suzie*

    I really did sing a rendition of Take This Job and Shove it, complete with dance moves, on my last day. In front of my entire team including my manager.

      1. Charlotte Lucas*

        My dad told me about someone in his trade who won the lottery & hired a band to play Take This Job and Shove It at his job when he quit. This was like 40 years ago.

  13. RB*

    I miss the story of the guy who took a bunch of documents into the woods, dumped them in a pile and set the pile on fire. I think that was his quitting story.

      1. Foila*

        Yeah, what’s amazing about that one is that he WASN’T quitting! He had been given such an impossible task that lighting it on fire and leaving the wreckage to burn was actually a good move!

        Still a hero.

    1. Be kind, rewind*

      Is this different from the person who was tasked with a complex legal filing (not their job) with no support? (I don’t think that was a quitting story, though.)

  14. Gritter*

    Back at the start of my career I was working on an IT service desk. I was one a group of new people brought in as part of a recruitment drive, 5 of us started on the same day. One of the guys hired as part of this was the stereotypical ‘brilliant jerk’ with excellent technical skills but an appalling attitude. He was condescending and unpleasant to both his colleagues as well the end users. He genuinely considered the job beneath him.

    After the end of 3 months all of us where informed we had passed their probation. Except for him. He was told that he was having his probation extended for another 3 months and that unless there was an improvement in his attitude he’d be gone. He was outraged, livid. How dare management question his brilliance.

    Within a week he’d interviewed for another IT job at another firm across town, was offered it and quit. No one attempted to get him to change his mind (which only seemed to enrage him more) and everyone else on the team breathed a sigh of relief that we wouldn’t have to put up with him anymore.

    On his last day he was working a late shift, so all managers had gone home. 5 minutes before then end of the shift he sent out an e-mail to everyone else in the firm (not just the IT department, the entire firm, 90% of whom had no idea who he was) where he berated management for their lack of vision and their inability to retain talent and said the company would be lucky to be around in 6 months. He also tried to get his direct manager fired by making a bizarre claim that he had lied about a job offer in order to receive a counter offer (this wasn’t true). It was an utterly surreal mail to read the next morning and gave most of a really good laugh. It was also final conclusive proof that we were well shot of him.

    What happened next however was the icing on the cake. Unbeknownst to the jerk, his hiring manager at his new job used to work at our firm, and was still friendly with several people on the team. A copy of the final mail was forwarded to him by one of said ex-colleagues and as a result the jerks job offer was withdrawn.

    It’s said that he attempted to get his job back with us, but I was never been able to get confirmation. I’d would have loved to have heard that conversation.

  15. anti social socialite*

    Re #2: I knew a guy in high school who worked at the mall. He hated it so upon tendering his resignation, he stole a security golf cart and floored it through the parking garage. He got it stuck on a curb and apparently threw the keys into a bush & fled on foot. Security couldn’t be arsed to chase after him so they just let him go.

  16. calvin blick*

    I had a grindingly stressful sales job out of college, and one poor guy was utterly miserable. It got to the point he stopped running his appointments, and his last week there he didn’t make any calls, just stared at his desk miserably. Eventually halfway through our call block he walked into the bosses office, told him he quit, got persuaded to at least finish the shift, sat down for another fifteen minutes, then decided he was just too miserable and walked out.

    1. Asenath*

      I knew someone who did something similar. This was in a school system – he showed up in September, apparently just as cheerful and hardworking as possible, and several days in, just…left. Got up from his desk and walked out. I had different feelings about it – partly surprise that, although we weren’t personally close, he could appear to be so cheerful and yet want to leave so very desperately and at such an odd and awkward time, partly surprise that he’d leave so suddenly and after so many successful years in the job when he must surely have been close to retiring on a full pension, and partly admiration for him for just not caring what happened; but getting out when he needed/wanted too. I never did hear other details (they’d have been kept private), but I guessed that his employer would have arranged a bit of medical (“stress”) leave until his pension kicked in. That was usually what happened when someone just couldn’t take it any more, but usually it happened much earlier in the person’s career, so the pension wasn’t a given.

      1. Chirpy*

        Someone at my college straight up walked out in the middle of studying, left the radio on and everything, and flew to another country without telling anyone. Apparently he’d been thinking about it, and suddenly decided if he didn’t do it *right now* he never would.

        It all seemed to work out in the end, but there was definitely some concern at the time whether he’d been kidnapped or something.

        1. Rainy*

          When I started my PhD, I started in the largest cohort my program had had in years, maybe ever–there were four of us. One guy came to the meet-n-greet, picked a desk in the reading room, and then….just never showed up again. I don’t even remember his name or what he looked like. The second guy left six weeks in after the particularly gruelling entrance exam that had never been required before and that no one after us ever took. The third person told me straight-up about three days after the second guy left that she had guaranteed funding for a calendar (not academic) year, and so she was going to stay and pretend to be working on her proposal while taking their money, and then she was going to leave, which she did. Her funding ran out two weeks before midterms the following fall, and she just left without a word.

          1. Rainy*

            (If you are thinking to yourself, self, that sounds like the most toxic environment in the history of education, you are correct. It was less of a shock to me than everyone else because I spent 3.5 years in my early 20s working in a small family-owned business.)

          2. londonedit*

            We had someone in my flat in halls who quit uni before the very first day of term in our first year. We all moved in at the weekend, then Monday was registration day for our various degree courses before lectures started the following week. When we got back to halls after registration we found one of our flatmates packing up to go home. I guess on the one hand I was impressed that she’d decided within 48 hours that it wasn’t for her, but on the other hand I don’t know why she didn’t at least give a couple of lectures a go before she sacked it off!

            And in one job years ago we had a work experience person who left for their lunch break on their first day and never came back. That was very odd and the office manager spent all afternoon trying to contact them, worried that something awful had happened! The next day she got an email from them saying the work wasn’t as they’d expected (they’d only been there for three hours!?) and they were unimpressed by being asked to make tea.

  17. PotsPansTeapots*

    At a ridiculously toxic job, the VP was the worst person there, even by their standards. She demanded an absurd, Panopticon-level of surveillance in the CS department, played favorites and played people off each other, told us not to discuss our pay with each other (illegal), and tried to get an employee for being an out gay woman (illegal in our state).

    She also had the habit of shaming people in company-wide email and couldn’t write to save her life. Some people don’t have great grammar and would be well served by an assistant drafting emails, but this woman’s emails were so poorly written they were inscrutable.

    So towards the end of the day, after a brief but unhinged full company email that used “your” for “you’re,” a hero in the claims department replied all with just, ” *you’re.” 10 minutes later, he popped in to the customer service department to tell us he had gotten what he wanted (being fired) and asked if anyone wanted his stapler.

  18. Buni*

    I haven’t worked anything even remotely corporate-office-y based since 2004 so I just assumed ‘cod’ was another one of those zoom / slack / intra-office IM systems I’ve never heard of…

  19. Made me laugh*

    I quit a great job with a great boss at a horrible company. For my exit interview and a grad school class, I wrote a paper about the hypocrisy of the company and how it paid the worker bees vs the executives. I left the paper with the VP after I spoke to him and a few minutes later, my boss came over to tell me that the VP insisted that I be escorted out of the building RIGHT NOW. I was laughing so hard – he wasn’t the smartest guy, but I was glad he understood the essay enough to make me leave!

  20. Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii*

    Was there an image of the glorious cod or is the one i am remembering a staged later pic?

  21. Andrew*

    Early in my working life, I took a job interview at a call center. The interview was scheduled for an hour. Half an hour into it, I realized there was no way I could take the job, or handle working for the person who was interviewing/onboarding me, so I excused myself to use the bathroom and just fled the building.

    1. Rainy*

      Mr Rainy got a call back for a second interview once where, when he came in, it was clear the business owner had meant to call back someone else entirely, as the dude spent several minutes trash-talking Mr Rainy to his face. The “you wouldn’t believe the idiot I interviewed yesterday” kind of thing.

      Mr Rainy told the guy that he was in fact that self-same idiot, and left.

  22. Emotional support capybara*

    The actual quitting part of my blaze-of-glory quitting tale is the least interesting part, it’s what led up to it and what followed that’s wild.

    This place had been full of bees for ages (I think I’ve mentioned the boss that frequently “forgot” to do payroll on Fridays and would begrudgingly loan us $20 for the weekend) but the real wakeup call came when my dad suddenly passed away. I took a week off to deal with all the practical stuff plus, you know, wrap my head around the fact that my dad had just died and nobody saw it coming. I came back to work and one of the admins, who was eat up with bees and who had a couple years prior taken several months off over a death in her family, asked me if I had a nice vacation. In front of a customer.

    “I guess,” I said, “other than the part where I buried my dad.” Customer made >:O face at Admin. Admin turned colors and shut up quick. And that was when I thought “you know what, screw this place” and quietly started job hunting.

    A few weeks later I had an offer. It was a pay cut but much closer to home and had free lunch. Perfect. I put “Capybara’s Last Day” on the schedule while I was on the phone with a customer, with every intention of going back and telling the bosses in person once I was done.

    Then I heard “HEY WHAT OH NO” from the bosses’ office. Lol oh well.

    I finished up with my call, went up front, and explained to Bosses that I had in fact found a new job and would be leaving. And that was that, for a while. Until a few days later when Nice Vacation Admin made some snarky comment about me abandoning the company for more money elsewhere.

    “They’re actually paying me less,” I said sweetly. I think that was the last conversation I had with her.

    I did finish out my notice period, but on my last Monday I was told to show one of the other teapot spout reattachers how to order supplies. Surprise, he was actually on his way to put in his own notice.

    After I started at my new job, I had a dream about ex-boss bringing broken teapots to my new job. I woke up and thought “haha what a silly dream, even she wouldn’t be that awful.”

    A few weeks later someone called my new work asking for me. One of my ex-customers… who had been given my new work number by someone at my ex-work who told him I would still fix his teapots. Obviously this was BS and even if I’d wanted to fix his teapot, New Job was right in the thick of busy season so I had to send him elsewhere. My money is on Nice Vacation Admin but I didn’t care enough to call and ask so it is forever a mystery.

    Anyway, they apparently gave the guy my number because within a couple of weeks of me leaving, all but one of the spout reattachers either put in notice or straight up walked because the bosses refused to hire replacements and the remaining reattachers were left with an inhuman workload AND a boss that could barely “remember” to write paychecks at all much less approve overtime.

    I think they’ve since gone out of business. :)

    1. also anon for this*

      slightly OT, but I just want to mention that I recently got a capybara tattoo! I love them; they’re friend-shaped.

  23. Anon Head Start*

    I think I might have told this story before, it’s not quite as spectacular as quitting via fish, but…

    I was hired by a daycare to run their two classroom state-funded Head Start program. I had recently left a job at the local early childhood development program, so I was familiar. One my first day, I was told I could just review their set-up, meet with the teachers/kids and review their paperwork. It was not good. I saw many mistakes that would need to be fixed and all the kids that had been enrolled were missing required paperwork and they were mixing funds and supplies with the regular daycare so it was a mess.

    Anyway, about 2 the owner told me she needed to run errands and since someone had called out, I needed to “run the front desk”. I told her I didn’t think I could do that and she was very short with me and said all I needed to do was buzz parents in. Of course it all went to hell as soon as she pulled out of the parking lot. Parents who had lost custody and wasn’t supposed to show up, parents who wanted to pay in advance, phone ringing off the hook, sick kids whose parent wouldn’t come get them.

    I guess another employee who had her cell called her and she came skidding into the parking lot about 3:30. Once everything was settled, I was called into the office and thoroughly griped at. When she finally stopped, I basically said “Yeah, this isn’t for me. This was my first day and you left me alone to handle all this, your Head Start program isn’t properly set-up and it’s going to take someone weeks to fix it but it won’t be me because I quit”. She started to blow-up and I said “Bye” and turned to leave. She said “I’m going to need that shirt back” (all employees were required to wear a red polo with the daycare name embroidered). I took it off, tossed it on her desk and walked out in just my bra. A couple of parents in the parking lot were shocked to see a shirtless person walking out of the daycare.

    I still don’t regret it.

    1. Ann Ominous*

      I love you for this.

      There was a story going around my school (UNC Chapel Hill, circa 2004? I think?) that this reminded me of. There was one of those hellfire and damnation bullhorn preachers on the quad railing about how immodestly sinful women were dressed.

      Right then a student happened to walk past wearing a long sleeved, high necked, full length dress. The preacher stopped and praised her for dressing so appropriately.

      She took one look at him and without hesitation, pulled her dress off over head head, tossed it over her shoulder, and kept walking, wearing bra and panties. And everyone clapped.

      1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

        I just sent this to my bestie who works in and attended UNC schools. Without missing a beat, she goes “oh, the Brickyard preacher. Gary Birdsong. He has his own Wikipedia page.”

    2. Emotional support capybara*

      I am ugly laughing with tears about the shirt. That’s absolutely fish-o-gram tier quitting.

  24. Elle Woods*

    A nearby coffee shop had a really good business going. They made all their food from scratch, made great coffee and other drinks, had a very welcoming and cozy atmosphere, and fantastic employees.

    Until they were under new ownership.

    The new owners thought owning the place would be easy money and never bothered to learn how to do anything but the books. They didn’t know how to make drinks, follow recipes, or run the register. They also decided that they could make more money if they only had one employee working at a time rather than at least two AND that they wanted zero food waste so employees were not to prep food like cookies, sandwiches, and soups ahead of time.

    On my last visit there, the employee was working by herself and had a line of about 12 customers waiting to place their orders. The owners sauntered in and made a comment about how backed up things were. The employee said, “Yeah. I could use a little help here. Could you run the register while I make drinks and breakfast orders?” The owner said, “No. That’s your job.” The employee said, “Not any more it isn’t,” took off her apron, grabbed her coat, and left.

    I wasn’t terribly surprised when the shop closed a few months later.

      1. Phryne*

        I recently saw a brilliant social media post (dont remember which platform unfortunately, I think a tiktok that someone put on insta or some such, should have saved it), in which some brilliant person had a whole reel of newspaper clippings with the quote ‘no one wants to work anymore’. Starting somewhere halfway the 19th century all the way up through the decades up to now. All the whining business owners crying about how no-one wants to work absurd hours of backbreaking work for starvation wages anymore these days. It was glorious.

  25. Econobiker*

    During high school, two girls I knew worked at an independent beachfront submarine sandwich shop without a seating area – order and pickup only.
    The shop’s owner was a sleazeball among other issues. After starting one of their shifts, he made yet another comment about “his cute high school workers” (or worse) that the two girls finally said “we quit”. He pulled the “can’t quit during your shift” lie because they were naive school girls plus he had to run an errand away from the store and they were the only workers.

    So for the next 1/2 hour they stayed making and selling sandwiches until he returned. And then the customers began calling up or returning with their sandwiches. All of the sandwiches had a bite taken out of them directly in the middle of the long submarine sandwiches by one of the two girls making them. THEN he told the two girls to leave and not come back. They didn’t care about the couple hours of pay because they’d just ruined at least that amount or more of the cost of sub sandwiches that he have to remake again for the customers. Plus the girls figured they’d already eaten about half a sub each from the huge bites they’d both taken from the sandwiches!!!

  26. Sera*

    I put in notice to leave this horrible job I stayed at for 10 years as my town had zero options. They knew people were stuck there and treated people terribly. And handled it badly when people gave notice to leave. I decided to move across country on a whim.

    On my last day as I was leaving, I handed my supervisor (who we called B*tchacula) started yelling at me for leaving a week early. I told her in my letter of resignation, it stated that day. She ran into her office and brought out my letter where she scratched out the printed date of my letter and put a week later on it in her own handwriting. Needless to say, I walked out laughing up a storm, while she was screaming, “you’re making a foolish decision!!!!!”

    The move across country? I now make double what I made there, better benefits, treated well, and my university education is being paid for in full. And things got better in my hometown and people left that place in droves.

  27. EchoGirl*

    This story comes from my dad, who worked at a high-end restaurant back in the 1970s (that no longer exists). One day, one of his coworkers served a table where the bill came out to 99.90 (again, that’s in 1970s dollars). The guy paying gave her a $100 bill, told her to “keep the change” as her tip, and winked. She came back with the receipt and the dime and said, “If that’s all you can afford, you need it more than I do.” Then she took off her apron and walked out.

  28. Lizard*

    I guess this is a quitting story? I had verbally given 2 weeks notice to my manager at the first job I ever had. As a high school student I had thought a verbal notice was sufficient, but soon learned otherwise.

    This job provided a weekly schedule (available the week prior), and lo and behold, my name was still on the schedule for days AFTER my verbally agreed upon last day. So I asked my manager about it, and she said she wasn’t aware I was leaving (???) but that my last day could be another two weeks in the future. I let her know that I strongly disagreed, and would stop working at the date I had originally said. She kept up her delusion that I would be in the following week, and I never set foot in that business again after what I had said would be my last day.

  29. Derek Micah*

    I have one:

    I was managing a team of product managers at a notable Fortune 100 company. Generally I get along with reports and have rather silly banter with them. One was a fellow I found particularly amusing. He had worked for me for about a year and a half and trusted me enough to tell me that he planned to move to another country in a month or two to be with his wife and would have to resign. I congratulated him and told him I’d be sorry to see him go. He asked “how would you like me to submit my resignation?” I responded, off the cuff, “I dunno, puppet show, maybe? Email’s fine, dumb@ss.”

    You can imagine my surprise and delight when the moment came and he had prepared two puppets made from popsicle sticks, with copies of both our smiling profile pics glued to the tops. From his, a word bubble emanated saying “Dammit Derek, I quit!” From mine a word bubble with only the word “Nooooooooo!” He then pantomimed the moment of my incredible grief.

    Miss that guy.

  30. supermadbro*

    About 15 years ago, a co-worker was laid off. He updated his online org chart work description to read “Assignment: Looking for a job.” It was several days before IT removed it.

  31. ken*

    Worked in a huge CD store at a touristy location in 1997. It had a booth overlooking the store where a live DJ would play during busy times. I was in the break room when the DJ came in muttering angrily about the manager yelling at him to stop playing “all that techno crap.” Back on the floor 20 minutes later “Take this Job and Shove It” came blaring through the speakers. It actually took a minute for the manager to realize what it was, but then she was frantically running across a 3,000 sq ft store and up the stairs. It’s only a 2 and a half minute song but it felt a lot longer at the time. I’m pretty sure we got to hear the whole thing. Sadly I think the booth was soundproofed so we didn’t get the full show.

  32. PB Bunny Watson*

    When I first read the title, I thought “cod” might be some cool new social media or work messaging platform that I didn’t know about.

  33. NotBatman*

    The out-of-office email (and IT team who didn’t act fast enough) reminds me of the guy who quit from my former workplace, stole a bunch of vodka (which we sold), and spent the evening drunk-emailing the whole company listserv to brag about what a great worker he was and how much vodka he’d stolen on his way out. Not sure how it got resolved, but presumably IT was quicker on the inbox shutdowns after that SNAFU.

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