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News & Music Contributors
Fri April 20, 2012
5 ways to resign your job in the Northwest
First, there was that flamboyant Wall Street resignation of Greg Smith from Goldman Sachs. Now, a Microsoft resignation video has gone viral, with more than 85,000 plays and counting. It's Karen Cheng’s Microsoft resignation song on YouTube (letters are so last decade).
That got us to thinking – How many different ways have people in the Northwest publicly resigned their jobs? We found many fit into these five categories:
- One: Love you, but I’m moving on
… Karen Cheng’s resignation song is … an ode to her time working on Microsoft Excel — full of inside jokes and sentimental messages for her soon-to-be former team at the Redmond company, as she leaves for a startup. Farewell memos are a tradition at the company, but most of them aren’t quite so lyrical.
- Two: I’m simply too incompetent to continue working for you
While moving recently, I came upon a copy of a resignation letter I sent to an editor about 20 years ago, while working as a journalist in Montana (you can zoom and move the image around inside the box with your mouse):
- Three: The drunken resignation (which you don’t have to be an expert to know is a bad idea)
Here’s a classic as reported in the Seattle Weekly in 2009: Drunken Man Resigns His Grocery Store Job by Writing "I Quit" in Cheez-Whiz
The gist of the story: Around 5 A.M. on November 23rd, police were called to a Magnolia QFC. Apparently an employee had arrived at work drunk. When his co-workers tried to talk sense into him, he started throwing things and calling them names. Then, in what can only be described as a creative way of ditching the ol' 9-to-5, the belligerent man went outside and sprayed the words "I quit" on the store's front window -- using Cheez Whiz.
- Four: I’m stepping down so everyone can go back to work – not because I’ve done anything wrong
This is the most popular form of resignation among public officials. Here’s one from 2010:
Seattle Parks Superintendent Tim Gallagher spent nearly three weeks traveling to conferences at taxpayer expense during a troubling budget time for the department, and the press coverage was intense. Here’s what he said in his resignation letter as printed in the West Seattle Blog:
“As many of you know, I just returned from Australia. It was clear to me upon my return, that the focus of attention was not on the sustainability of the department, the real issue at hand. After careful consideration and discussion with my family I feel it is better to remove myself from the center of the discussion, so instead the focus can be on the long-term financial stability of the department. ”
- Five: My life has turned to crap, and so I’m leaving
Having resigned his office the day before, ex-King County Assessor Scott Noble was sentenced to eight months in jail in June 2009.
Here’s a variation on the theme: “My life is turned to crap but I'm going to act like it isn't happening and that this is a cordial and heartfelt goodbye”:
This story comes out of Portland, Ore.,: Embattled Congressman David Wu – seven-term Democrat from Oregon – stepped down after an 18-year-old woman, the daughter of a friend, accused him of an unwanted sexual encounter. Here's most of his press release:
“Serving as a U.S. Congressman has been the greatest honor of my life. There is no other job where you get up each day and ask, „How can I try to make the world a better place today?
“However great the honor and engaging the work, there comes a time to hand on the privilege of elected office—and that time has come.”