Cakes, planes and dancing: The most dramatic job resignations ever

By Kelly-Leigh Cooper
BBC News

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Some workers are probably guilty of fantasising about making a spectacular exit from their day job or pulling a Bridget Jones and telling their boss what they really think of them.

But one (now former) Twitter employee actually did it, and made their departure known around the world on Thursday by deleting US President Donald Trump's Twitter account.

The social media platform said his account was "inadvertently deactivated due to human error" and restored it after 11 minutes.

But what are other famous examples of unconventional resignations and frosty workplace goodbyes?

Flying off the handle

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In 2010 a disgruntled air steward, Steven Slater, lost patience with passengers' behaviour and ended his flying career with a spectacular exit from a Pittsburgh to New York flight.

He had reportedly been drawn into an altercation between passengers over overhead luggage space during the flight. After a woman then ignored his requests to stay seated as the plane landed, he took to the plane's intercom system.

Reports said he went on a foul-mouthed rebuke of the passenger and said: "To those who have shown dignity and respect these last 20 years, thanks for the great ride", before grabbing a beer from the in-flight trolley, activating the JetBlue plane's inflatable slide and departing.

He told the New York Times the flamboyant exit had been a long-held fantasy. But it proved to be an expensive one, after a judge eventually ordered him to pay the company $10,000 (£7,700) for a replacement slide and sentenced him to a year's probation. He faced felony charges of reckless endangerment and criminal mischief, as well as criminal trespass.

A sweet farewell

image copyrightchris holmes
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In 2013 Chris Holmes, a former airport border force worker, baked his resignation letter and gave it to his employers when he opted for a change in career.

Four years on he is still baking and running his own business full-time, and told the BBC he had absolutely no regrets about his decision.

He said he found his old job at Stansted Airport quite boring and wanted to "inject a bit of a fun in a final flourish".

"At the time everyone asked me if I thought everyone should quit their job for something they love," he said.

"If you have a plan in place, why not?"

Creative goodbyes

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Both animator Marina Schifrin and games developer Jarrad Woods turned their crafts into creative resignations online.

In 2009 Mr Woods, who is also known by his nickname Farbs, made a customised level of video game Mario to reveal his resignation from a Australian game developer in order to go freelance.

In a blog post he said he spent the night making the game, and then sent it off around his office - you can still play it on his website.

In 2013 Ms Schifrin was working at the time as an animator in Taiwan when she posted a video of herself quitting by dancing around an empty office on YouTube set to the Kanye West song Gone.

The description for "An Interpretive Dance For My Boss" said: "My boss only cares about quantity and how many views each video gets. So I figured I'd make ONE video of my own."

It got almost 20 million views online (but it has now been removed for copyright infringement on the song).

Her old company and manager tried to have the last laugh by posting their own version of her video in response.

Marching out of the job


A Rhode Island hotel-worker staged a spectacular resignation in 2011 when he brought his marching band friends along with him to tell his boss he quit after three and a half years.

Joey DeFrancesco posted the video online and it soon went viral (warning: expletives). The band are seen sneaking into the hotel and begin playing a celebratory song after the worker hands his manager a letter of resignation.

The disagreement was reportedly part of a long-running battle between employees and management over union membership.

"We'd joked about doing it for a really long time, at someone's engagement or them coming out to their parents or something," Mr DeFrancesco told the BBC.

But he said to quit alongside the band came out of the blue after a "particularly awful day at work".

His video was watched almost six million times and saw the band invited on US television shows. He still plays music, recently with his new band.

A rude departure

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A typesetter at an Australian magazine drew a naked cartoon of himself and put it on the cover of his final edition (don't worry - nothing in this link is explicit), replacing British band the Kaiser Chiefs, back in 2012.

Luke Benge hijacked the edition by swapping out the image with a crude drawing, complete with genitals, avoiding the pre-print checks.

According to Australian media, no one at the magazine knew about the cover until 35,000 copies had been distributed across Melbourne. Beat magazine took it well, and apologised to faint-hearted locals who might have been offended.

  • One of the best-known resignations is that of an Alaskan television news anchor, Charlo Greene, who quit in 2014 while live on-air. She was presenting a story about a group lobbying for legalisation of cannabis - she walked off set because, it surprisingly turned out, she ran the group
  • Another example from 2013 was of a Brazilian priest quitting during Mass by announcing he going to be a father
  • David Powell-Cameron told the BBC how he and a fellow window-dresser in a department store in Pennsylvania in 1983 sabotaged the main window display to become a macabre gorilla wedding scene - complete with animal costumes in wedding gowns in front of a firing squad. "Our revenge was realized when we watched frantic employees enter the window, with rush-hour foot traffic watching, and wrestle with the grotesque scene to dismantle it," he said.
  • You told us that creative notes are also a popular method, including making elaborate designs. Tina told the BBC she had a difficult boss in a bank that refused to directly talk to her so she hid her resignation letter in his letter pile and watched him open it then just walked out.
  • Although we don't recommend violence, Jim McCarthy told the BBC that he resigned from a job as a carpenter when he was 18 with a punch to a boss he described as a "bully" ."When he was coming to, I told him, I guess you know today is my last day," he said.

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