Feeling like tossing in the towel and walking out? You're not alone if you've ever been so fed up with your job (or a certain someone at your workplace), that you have a burning urge to up and quit — with a dramatic exit, no less.
Rage quitting is quitting without notice out of pure anger. An employee may rage quit if they're so done dealing with their work, or certain colleagues/a manager, that they don't care about any of it anymore — they quit in that moment.
Whether it's right or wrong, people rage quit all the time. Here are five recent examples of rage quitting to give you a clearer idea of what it might look like.
One time, former Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater infamously quit after he was reportedly abused by a passenger. He cursed out the passenger over the plane's public address system, announced that he's quitting, grabbed two beers, deployed the evacuation slide and slid right on down the chute and to his car.
Then 25-year-old American ,Marina Shifrin filmed herself in the office at 4:30 in the morning while working for Next Media Animation, a Taiwanese animator. She titled what became her resignation video: "An Interpretive Dance For My Boss Set To Kanye West's Gone." In it, she explains why she's quitting, saying: "For almost two years I've sacrificed my relationships, time and energy for this job... And my boss only cares about quantity and how many views each video gets. So I figured I'd make one video of my own." Dancing around the office, in the bathroom, in a sound recording booth, at a cubicle, Shifrin tells her boss: "I quit."
At 23, Joey DeFrancesco had been wanting to quit his hotel job in Providence, R.I. for quite some time. So he decided to film his exit, accompanied by the What Cheer? Brigade, a 19-piece brass band for which he plays the trumpet. "I’m here to tell you that I’m quitting," DeFrancesco tells his boss in the video, just before walking out with the band (playing super loud, happy tunes) following him.
Then there was the time that Russian Today anchor Liz Wahl quit her news job on live television, telling listeners that she "cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin." She goes on: "I'm proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth and that is why, after this newscast, I'm resigning."
News anchors quitting on air happens more often than you might think. In 2014, KTVA reporter Charlo Greene also quit her job on air, dropping a big old F-bomb. Outing herself as the owner of an Alaskan Cannabis Club after previously reporting on it, Greene told listeners that she was going to put all of her energy into the fight to legalize marijuana in the state.
"Now everything you heard is why I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all of my energy toward fighting for freedom and fairness which begins with legalizing marijuana here in Alaska," she said. "And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, f**k it, I quit."
Sure a lot of the aforementioned examples of rage quitting are sort of legendary and pretty hilarious. But if it's not obvious by the thousands and millions of views that those videos of people rage quitting have garnered, rage quitting will follow you (especially if you film it and actively choose to publish it on the internet...). Rage quitting, and not giving notice to your employer, is one surefire way to burn bridges.
If you don't want your actions to haunt you in the future when potential new employers dig up your past, definitely don't rage quit yourself. If you don't want to regret your decisions in the future when those potential new employers consider you erratic and unreliable, definitely don't rage quit yourself. If you don't want to don't want to lose job prospects in the future when those potential new employers totally neglect to give you a chance because they're afraid that you'll pull what you pulled in the past again, definitely don't rage quit yourself.
Rage quitting, as epic and funny and warranted and heroic it may sometimes seem, is, in a word, unprofessional. You don't want to be labeled unprofessional.
If you're an employer and are worried about your employees rage quitting, there are steps you can take to prevent it.
Make sure that you are regularly checking in with your staff to ensure that they are comfortable, content and feel respected in their place of work. By having consistent chats with them, you leave far less room to be blindsided by some dramatic exit.
Company culture is everything, and you want to create one that allows your employees to feel comfortable approaching you about their questions and concerns. Employees want to feel like their voices are heard, and by cultivating a space in which they can share their voices without worry, you leave less room for rage.
If you treat your employees all fairly and all with respect from the start, less of them (and, hopefully, none of them) will want to rage quit. Quitting is inevitable for some employees, who leave for a number of reasons that may have nothing to do with the company itself. If you've built rapport with them, employees should have an easier time quitting with warning and will be less likely to up and leave at a moment's notice.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.