quit your job with class.

13 Aug

I rarely, if ever, weigh in on current events. And though I read news like it’s my job, the reason it doesn’t show up on You’re A Grown Man is because it rarely has any connection with the timeless art of mature masculinity.  Recently though, the story of Steven Slater has become big news and is in the process carving a new niche of acceptable behavior for men.  Gentlemen, we can’t let this happen.  Something must be done.

In case you’re not familiar with Mr. Slater’s story, here’s a recap of what we know – not what’s being reported and refuted, what we actually know:  He worked as a flight attendant for JetBlue.  Something (a bag falling, someone was rude, we don’t really know everything) got him mad. Then, he said some angry words on the PA, stole a few beers, and deployed/slid down the emergency exit slide.  He was later arrested for criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.  Now, the country is freaking out over him and going so far as to call him a “working class hero”.  This is insane, not to mention disrespectful to John Lennon.

Guys, at no point did Steven Slater do anything right.  From the moment he allowed his anger to win and then broke the law in some movie-like exit, he was shirking his responsibilities and taking the easy road, or slide, as the case may be.  The way a man leaves a job is not by losing his shiz and storming off as that’s what children do.  And when children have temper tantrums, we correct them – not praise them.  We quit with dignity, we quit without burning bridges, and we quit like Grown Men.

Here’s how you should quit your job:

1- Wrap your head around the fact that you’re quitting. Really, it’s okay to quit a job.  I’m not going to get into all the factors of how multiple jobs will look on your resume, as this is a different conversation for every man.  But what we must know is that very few of us go to work for “the company” and retire with a gold watch after 50 years.  There may be times in your life where leaving Company A for Company B is beneficial.  Or better yet, leaving Company A for Company Self-Employed!  In any event, you’re not disappointing your lineage by strategically quitting a job.  Sometimes, you’ve got to move on.

2- Set a meeting. When it’s time, you’ve got to do it as soon as possible.  Very few realizations will turn your stomach like knowing that you’re about to jump ship (airplane).  When you’ve given yourself the mental green light to be done, be done.

3- Thank your superior and get the hell outta there. There’s nothing else you need to do in this meeting other than say “Mr. Spacely, I have made a decision to leave my position here at Spacely Space Sprockets. I’ve enjoyed this opportunity and it’s been a pleasure working with you.”  Then, shut up.  Now, your job is just to reply – you don’t need to say anything else.  If she asks when you’re quitting, you reply with “I am more than willing to work hard for as long as you need to find a suitable replacement.  I leave it up to you.”  If he asks why you’re quitting, do not take this opportunity to begin trashing every co-worker, business practice, and poorly stocked break room snack bar.  You’re quitting and now no longer have any reason to change the business.  What you need to do is say something about moving in a different direction with your career and then, you guessed it, shut up and get the hell outta there.

4- Make eye contact and shake hands. This is just what men do.  And, in the midst of quitting, you need to be especially respectful, poised, and confident.  Leaving your bosses office with him or her respecting you (even though they may be displeased with you) is one of the hallmarks of a Grown Man.

Grown Men, it’s important that you quit your job with class.  At no point in the story of Steven Slater cracking did he do any of he aforementioned steps and, therefore, is not worthy of our adoration in this arena.  Listen, I know times are hard and many of you are reading this blog while in the midst of searching for a job.  And really, I feel for you – these aren’t fun days.  But gentlemen, at the end of the day, a “working class hero” is someone who keeps his composure, doesn’t steal from the company (the beer, remember?), and quits with forethought and class.

Steven Slater, I hope you’re reading.

7 Responses to “quit your job with class.”

  1. 1bellastager 13 August 2010 at 10:43 am #

    Love this advice!

    -A Grown Woman

  2. acuteconsulting 13 August 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    Great advice! I love the Steven Slater story for its humor, but that does not work in real life.

  3. Layla 13 August 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    Oh, here’s where I disagree with you. I put up with some pretty bad people in my last job, and for three very, very, VERY long years. By the time I quit, I had lost my self esteem, my personality, my sense of humor, gained 10 lbs, hated my life, had a stomach ache every morning on my way to work, cried at work, cried on my way home from work, and was severely depressed. I put up with some pretty horrible things (not without attempting to find recourse, of course, there was none) and it all but destroyed my spirit. I woke up one day, left with zero class (but no grand show) and have never felt better in my life. I know where this guy is coming from (in the sense of being constantly disrespected and being fed up) and I know what it’s like to just snap from it. I applaud him.

  4. Coco 13 August 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    I understand that Mr. Slater probably had to deal with more than his share of abusive jerks as a flight attendant. However, the correct thing to do if you’re well and truly fed up is put in your notice, even if it’s only a week or a few days, and move on to something that doesn’t give you ulcers.

    There’s nothing heroic in sinking down to the level of the very jack wagons you’re protesting. And yes, I DO speak from experience because I have had more than one job that made me cry in despair. Quite frankly, I would never hire Mr. Slater, nor would I want to work with him because of this incident. However, our society being what it is today, I’m certain he’ll ghost write a best-selling book, hit the talk show circuit, or possibly even be asked to host some horrid reality show, and make a dump truck full of money.

  5. Jill 14 August 2010 at 5:30 am #

    Part of being a grown adult is knowing when to leave a job. Unfortunately, I think many people have at one time had a job like Layla (but hopefully not to that degree). It’s a lot like any relationship really- if it’s unhealthy, you have to leave. It’s an essential part of growing up to know that you have to move on from those relationships…whether someone is paying you or not.

    And for God’s sake…be nice to those in the service industry!

  6. Matt 14 August 2010 at 10:17 pm #

    I find it deliciously ironic that now after this bozo’s had a few days to sit at home he holds a press conference where his lawyer says he wants his old job back. Buddy, that bridge is burned! All of those “Hai, u r my hero!!! Way 2 go, Steve!” messages on Facebook and MySpace don’t pay the bills apparently.

  7. Ashley 15 August 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    Excellent reference to The Jetsons.

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