Dramatic resignations go viral

by Human Capital04 May 2012

The lead characters from Bridget Jones's Diary, Jerry Maguire and American Beauty showed the world how to quit a job when they were being mistreated – but with the advent of viral videos, dramatic resignations have now crept into real life too.

Whole Foods

In a 2,324 word diatribe, an anonymous Whole Foods employee certainly got the message across with a viral letter published on popular blog Gawker last year.

The employee wrote, “My experience at Whole Foods was like an increasingly sped up fall down a really long hill. That got rockier with every metre. And eventually, just really spiky ... with fire, acid and Nickleback music.”

It seems the employee was slowly disillusioned and resentment grew over the six years the person was employed. “I appreciated and respected what the company said its philosophies were at that time. The “core values” essentially. However, it didn't take long to realise what complete and utter bulls**t they are.”

Joey quits

A young former hotel employee showed bosses everywhere that despite a recession, treating employees poorly is a one-way ticket to severe brand damage.

The video has received nearly 3.5 million hits on YouTube, and begins with Joey DeFrancesco handing his former boss at the Providence Renaissance Hotel in Rhode Island a resignation letter. He then turns on his heel and makes a dramatic exit accompanied by a live 19-piece brass band playing triumphant music.


The story that needs no introduction was the op-ed written by Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith and published in the New York Times.

Smith wrote that the firm’s culture and integrity had disappeared and his conscience would not allow him to work there any longer. One particularly stinging line was:

“It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as 'muppets' sometimes over internal e-mail.”

He urged the company to see his article as a wake-up call and to weed out the "morally bankrupt" employees. But far from lining up to collect unemployment, Smith is believed to have landed a major book deal.

Ode to Microsoft

While the majority of resignations to go viral are negative, the latest viral resignation hit is a cheerful look at the mixed emotions most employees feel when they move on.

Representing the bittersweet feeling many have when leaving a job, former Microsoft project manager Karen Cheng re-wrote the Don McLean classic American Pie to farewell her team:

“Gotta listen to my heart it knows,
Time to shake up my status quo.”