Rude Resignation Letters and Why Not to Write One

High Angle View Of Man Giving Resignation Letter To Businesswoman At Office
••• Audtakorn Sutarmjam / EyeEm / Getty Images

Especially rude and mean resignation letters and videos abound online. Remember “Joey Quits” with five million views on YouTube? It went viral, and 38,000 people gave Joey DeFrancesco a thumbs up for quitting his job at the Renaissance Hotel by handing manager a resignation letter while a marching band celebrated the occasion. An over the top rude resignation letter may seem like a fun and fitting way to end a job, but ultimately, burning bridges isn’t always a good idea. 

Infamous Rude Resignation Letters

  • In a published letter in The New York Times titled "Why I'm Leaving Goldman Sachs," Greg Smith dissed the company's corporate culture as "toxic and destructive" and described how colleagues called their clients "muppets."
  • Andrew Lahde's letter was printed in the Financial Times stating that what he learned about the hedge fund business was that he hated it. He admitted he was in it for the money and took advantage of the low hanging fruit by finding "people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades."
  • Steven Slater quit Jet Blue after 20 years as a flight attendant. When a flyer refused his edict to sit down by swearing at him, Slater made an unforgettable exit by announcing over the intercom that he was done (in addition to a few expletives). He then tore off his tie, grabbed a beer, released the emergency exit chute and slid down. (Incidentally, he received a year probation for criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.)
  • DJ Dave Lee Travis told BBC listeners on air that he would be leaving the station because changes were being made that went against his principles and he could not abide by them.

    Perils of a Rude Resignation Letter

    Keep in mind that everything you publish or put online can come back to bite you later and it may affect your future prospects. After all, what boss wants to hire someone who could potentially make a laughingstock out of him online for all eternity? In 2010, ten percent of workers complained about their boss online – how many of them are still employed?

    Sure, you have freedom of speech to express yourself, but companies also have a SLAPP lawsuit up their sleeve. SLAPP stands for "strategic lawsuit against public participation" and its meant to shut up the company’s critics. While a SLAPP lawsuit stands little chance in court, it's meant to intimidate you and provoke an expensive legal battle. In the long run, your rude resignation is probably not worth the personal, professional and potential financial cost.

    A Rude Resignation Letter

    Not all rude letters are YouTube worthy – even a simple rude letter can result in problems later on. Here's an example of a rude resignation letter - one that you should probably not send.

    Dear Mr. Walker,

    I am writing to inform you of my resignation effective immediately. The three months I have spent working for you have been a colossal waste of my time, and I see no reason to continue.

    Your business is the most poorly run software company I have ever seen, and it is absolutely amazing that it continues to hang on.

    Please send my final paycheck to my home address.

    Cheers,

    Suzette Blanchard

    The Better Way to Resign

    In addition to what you shouldn't do, there are some things you shouId do when you're resigning from a job. If you decide it’s time to leave a job you don’t like, don’t express your anger in a resignation letter. Take a deep breath, and don’t write anything yet. Actually, a good first step to leaving a job you don’t like is to clean up your computer to remove any personal files and images that aren’t related to your job. Then you can give your boss your verbal two weeks’ notice.

    When you’ve calmed down, you can write a formal resignation letter that’s polite and professional. You may wish to offer assistance during the transition time, especially if you’ve held your current position for a long time.

    Finally, even if you’re upset with your boss, you may want to send a goodbye message to your colleagues. There are a couple of reasons to do this. For one, your colleagues may like you and want to keep in contact. Also, unless you have a new job lined up already, you may need to expand your network, and you never know who can help you get in touch with the right people at another company.