12 Minute Read

5 Best Rage Quit Stories and What We Can Learn from Them

By Mitchell Tillwick:

Do you hate your job? Do your employers lack leadership? Employers who treat their employees poorly may suffer at the hands of a rage quitting employee. No 2-week notice, no goodbye party—a dramatic, sudden quitting. We scoured the internet for the best rage quit stories of people who left their job in a blaze of glory and found the lessons we can learn from them.

That “Partner-Rich” Strut

Not me, but a co-worker had a great ragequit. I was working at a sporting goods/automotive store, with a fairly large staff (around 35-40 people). One of the guys in automotive was gay, not flamboyantly, but it was pretty obvious. He was middle-aged, portly, but an extremely nice guy who was a genius in terms of cars. He had been with his partner for nearly two decades and they were quite happy. However, our new general manager was a total b—-, and she made comments about his homosexuality for nearly a month. He tried not to show it, but I could tell it was hurting him.

Then, his partner’s company suddenly exploded financially, in a good way. Massive bonuses, huge raises, very cool things happening. The two of them decided that they now have the money to move to Vermont, get married for real and basically retire. So at a store meeting, my automotive friend says he has an announcement. He tells us that after many years with our company, he’s retiring, effective immediately. He thanks us all for being good people to work with (we were, he was a cool guy) and that he enjoyed his time here. He then took off his name tag, walked over to the GM, and stood there for a moment. He then held his arm straight out in front of him, and dropped the name tag on the floor. His hand then rotated, arm still out, and morphed into the most perfectly formed middle finger I have ever seen. He then spoke 5 words, very quietly. “F— you, you hateful b—-.” He then turned, and walked out the door, head high and “hater’s gonna hate” strutting.

The rest of us were silent, as the GM turned bright red and stormed off to her office. Then we laughed and cheered.

TL;DR – Gay coworker gets harassed by a b—- of a GM, his partner gets rich, coworker tells GM what she is and walks out in style.

Lesson Learned: The EEOC is a thing. Treat employees right even if it wasn’t.

Hate your job? These people sure do. Read the best #RageQuit stories we found online and the #HR lessons we can learn from them all. Click To Tweet

Uncaught SyntaxError: Unhappy Employee

Someone I worked with quit his programming/IT position by running “sudo rm -rf –no-preserve-root /” on his computer one Saturday while no one was in the office, completely unannounced. They came in Monday and found his computer wiped.

for those of you that don’t know, the command “rm -rf /” deletes everything on a unix computer. No boot loader, no operating system, nothing.

Lesson Learned: Check in with your employees. Especially if they’re quiet, and especially if they’re a quiet programmer.

“The New Policy Says So”

It wasn’t so much a rage quit as a solidarity quit. The place I worked for put in a new policy banning piercings, tattoos or dyed hair. Thing is, it got very selectively enforced. The policy got implemented and one guy with a pierced ear got fired, one girl got fired for too many ear piercings and another was let go for dyed hair. Mind you, at the time I had (I believe) blue hair, someone else had a full sleeve tattoo and another had a pierced nose. I was in a situation where I probably would’ve quit anyway, but a bunch of my co-workers, as well as myself, quit when these folks got laid off for BS reasons.

Lesson Learned: Don’t set yourself up against your team, especially through (emphasis on the quotes) “new policies.”

Panera Quit

When I was 18, I worked at Panera. I had been working there since I was 16 and had gone through two raises to the point where I was making a whopping $7.11 an hour. I worked all the time and was one of the hardest working/longest staying employees. I always came in when they called for extra help. One day I was training a new kid and I asked him how his interview went. He replied, “Oh it went pretty well, and when [the manager] said I would get $7.50 an hour I was pretty happy.” What. So I confronted said manager. She said, “Employees should not be talking about salaries.” So I said, “Well I quit then,” walking out during the super busy lunch period leaving them short-staffed. It felt great.

Moral of the story: working at Panera sucks (although the food is still pretty bomb).

Lessons Learned: (1) Use a pay scale. (2) Don’t pay new hires more than old hires unless you intend to give raises. (3) Only go to Panera for the food.

No one should put up with #employers like this. This is what rage quits look like in the #workplace and the lessons we can learn from them. Click To Tweet

Flyer Guy Furious

I was working as GM in a struggling restaurant – struggling despite excellent business because the owners would do stupid s— like take trips to Italy to source the ‘perfect’ panini press. They also wouldn’t staff properly, I was the only FOH [front of house] staff open to close, 6 days a week, on top of ordering/inventory/other managerial duties. I was wildly overworked, but I sucked it up because the base pay was good, plus tips.

However, to fund their lavish ‘business’ trips, costs had to be cut at the store. They decided to do this by bumping me down to minimum wage for tipped employees – effectively cutting my salary to 1/10 of its previous level. They were also too chicken to tell me until I got my new teeny paycheck and questioned the mistake – ‘oh yeah haha forgot to mention that blah blah cost cutting blah valued team member please work with us through this difficult time’. I had worked for 2 weeks at this new lower rate without my knowledge. Pretty sure that’s illegal, but hey, a lot of illegal s— goes on in the restaurant industry. That’s not when I rage quit, though….

A couple of hours later, I’m fuming and have decided I can’t work for the lower rate, just waiting for the chance to give my notice. They called in a delivery guy who was fired a few weeks before, and start talking about hiring him to do our Facebook posts and handing out flyers around town. Whatever. Then they offer him close to my old salary as ‘Promotions Manager’! WTF? I was running the place for $2.13/hr and you’re offering this dude almost $20/hr to walk up and down the street saying ‘Eat at (Name)’? And yet, it gets worse.

They bring up our negative Yelp reviews and flyer guy suggests asking friends to post positive ones. Then d–cheboss starts laughing and says ‘Hurdur better not ask KnickersUp to post one, it’ll be boohoo don’t eat there, I can’t pay my rent this month because they cut my pay without telling wahhhh.’ I wasn’t supposed to hear it I think, but I was five f—ing feet away, of course I did.

I RAGED! Quit, told them to f— their job and good luck keeping the place open without me. They quickly realized I was right, neither of them knew how to do more than pick up the takings once a week, and begged me not to quit. So desperate were they, they allowed me to tell them exactly what f—ing idiots they were for the half hour my rage burned, and just listened nodding and apologizing. Once I had cursed myself back into calmness, I walked out 30 minutes before dinner rush leaving them with an unstaffed floor and no clue how to even open the register.

God, they were morons. I loved that they actually listened to me tell them exactly how stupid they were. No repercussions on my side, the restaurant industry isn’t known for checking references. The store closed down about 18 months later, surprised it made it that long.

Lesson Learned: Don’t cut costs to make money. Focus on serving customers and employees, and the revenue will follow.

Moral of the Story

Just be a good person. Every employer should be. If your employer isn’t, know your self-worth and ask yourself why you’re working for them. It’s not always clear cut, but you shouldn’t have to suffer for poor management.

Curious how you should manage in the workplace after reading those? Check out Why You Should Imitate Elle Woods in the Workplace and perfecting your work ethics.