Conventionally, people looking to leave their jobs give two, three or sometimes four weeks notice and then clear out.
However, sometimes, workers are simply pushed to their breaking point.
Earlier this month, we asked readers to tell us the most dramatic way they’d ever quit a job.
From throwing heavy objects to filing lawsuits to simply walking out and never looking back, here are the best stories we heard:
Some answers have been edited for clarity.
'I flipped over a tray of breadsticks on a crowded line in a pizza restaurant during their Friday rush hour. I was told repeatedly to clean the breadstick trays, but they rebuked me in a way entirely incommensurate with my errors. So I flipped over a stack of their stinking breadsticks, removed my gloves, extended both middle fingers, and went home.' -- Alexander, New York
'I was working at (a sandwich chain) in the food court of our local mall. I was 16 years old with a great work ethic and I didn't really have anything to lose. My manager started taking advantage of the position by placing all of his duties on me as he walked around the mall socialising for the majority of his shift.
The day I quit, we were pretty busy. When we finally slowed down that day, I decided to take a break around two hours into my shift. I talked to a friend at the counter. My manager had finally arrived back from doing who knows what.
He asked about how things were going and about the food prep. I told him we were getting on it soon and that we'd been busy. He then ordered me to cut some onions. Seeing the expression on my face, a newly hired employee jumped in and offered to do this. As she went to the back, I decided to continue the conversation with my classmate at the counter. A minute later, my manager made the same request -- this time with more emphasis: 'Didn't I say to cut onions?'
My aggravated response was, 'Didn't you hear the trainee say she'd do it?' The last thing I remember was his exact response: 'Boy, don't play with me.'
At this moment I blanked out, said a few choice words I can't quite recall, stormed through the back, threw my apron across the counter, and made it known that the next and last time he'd see me was when I'd return to pick up my check.' -- Anonymous
'I was 19 years old and got my first job as a waitress. No one showed me how to use the coffee machine or mix drinks for customers. I was left on my own. Customers actually helped me to get a hang of it.
After one month, I was supposed to get my first paycheck. They gave me only half of the money and said that they needed the rest for paying their other bills. They even smirked on me for asking for the money they promised me.
Two weeks later, they gave me some more money, but they acted angry that they had to pay me.
The next day, I had a good shift. I finished it up, counted out the money that they owed me from the register, gave the boss what was left, and said that I wouldn't be coming in ever again.
I walked out, leaving my boss standing there, mouth open. My legs were shaking but I also felt extremely free.' -- Anonymous
'My boss slept with my wife at the company's Christmas party. I slept with his daughter. It was filmed and sent to him in an email.' -- Greg, Austin, Texas
'I told off the owner of the business in front of all the vice presidents and the most important customer -- in a classy way.
Backstory: The owner (let's call him Joe) had inherited the business from his much-loved father, and mistreated the still loyal and highly capable work force. A big job was coming up for a personal friend of Joe's, so a top installer and I worked 12 hour days in the field for several days beforehand to complete an existing order.
At six in the morning on the big day, Joe shows up in the alley behind the big job and starts tearing into me. I simply listened to Joe as he carried on and on, as I couldn't get a word in edgewise.
Nobody deserved to be treated with the lack of respect that Joe had for all of his employees. After that, I walked around to the main entrance, where I found Joe, the customer, and three vice presidents shooting the breeze. I told Joe that I needed to talk to him.
He said that it wasn't a good time. I said it was as good a time as it had been out back ten minutes ago. Then I calmly told Joe that it was inappropriate to dump on any employee like that and it was especially terrible to treat his loyal employees that way, as was his habit. For years after that, Joe's employees and I would cross paths in traffic, and they always honked, whooped, and waved.' -- Scott, Northern California
'This concrete business owner and I argued over my salary for one full year. Every time he spoke, he reduced what my raise was to be. He suckered me in to working for him for an entire year, always promising to raise my salary. Eventually I walked up to him and threatened to hit him with sledgehammer as he sat in his car. Then I quit.' -- Anonymous, Illinois
'I planned a vacation to the Bahamas that I didn't tell work about. Right before I boarded my flight, I texted my boss that I wouldn't be coming back. Then I turned off my phone for the entire trip.' -- Anonymous
'The global housing crash was in full swing in 2009. I was 'back-channeled out' of a leadership role that was promised to me. 'A nice guy' who was also on track to be promoted to managing director needed a new key account to justify his promotion. This was the last straw in a string of things I had tolerated as we 'managed costs throughout the difficult economic time.' No more.
I walked in on the weekly managing director leadership meeting, flying in from a project site in the Midwest. I told almost all of them that I knew they betrayed me. I told them I was irreplaceable (at that very critical point in time, also true).
I reminded them that I had accepted salary reductions, while they continued to give themselves increases. I reminded them that they had to teach their rookie favourite (who was also in the room at that point) how to sell and keep his foot out of his mouth at client sites. I reminded them that I never received a rating below a one (which is the highest you can get) ever in my mid-year or annual review in 12 years I'd been with the firm.
Then I proceeded to let them know that they were a 'dozen bridges I want to burn to the ground then pulverize into nothingness' because I will never tolerate that kind of betrayal after being so loyal to them and the logo. I was out of the company about two weeks later with no job in the middle of the housing crash, and it felt great.
Since that day, every person in that meeting room who was on the receiving end of my speech has offered me a very lucrative job on more than one occasion. They were all rejected. Writing this helps me relive that day and it feels good.' -- Anonymous
'I walked into my boss's office for what was supposed to be our one-on-one session. Instead, I handed in my resignation and walked out.
There was too much favoritism and micromanaging going on. During the holiday party, my boss didn't want me to sit with my subordinates. I knew I was not happy with the company culture. So I decided to quit.
My boss called after me, saying that if I didn't give a two weeks notice, I couldn't be rehired by the company. This was fine by me.
I was unemployed for 4 months. This week was my first week back to work at my new place. So far so good. They even gave me a welcome lunch.' -- Chris, Brooklyn, New York
'I was not paid on time and then repeatedly insulted over something that was no fault of mine. So, I patiently waited for the pay day -- on that day I took the money and picked my bag up, hugged my friends, and just left the office! Later, I drafted a very nasty email to the boss and cc'ed everyone in that organisation. I called it 'QUIT.'' -- Arnobi De
'I was working in a pub and was being bullied by one of the chefs. During one tough weekend, the pub landlord went away and said chef reduced me to tears.
My Monday shift rolled round. I was due to be in the kitchen waitressing, but my bully was covering a shift that particular day. I asked a friend at the bar if she would switch with me just so I could let the events of the weekend settle down. She agreed.
I went in for what was now my bar shift. About 30 minutes into my shift, the landlord came down and asked why I was on the bar. I explained what had happened over the weekend and told him that my friend and I had switched for this one shift to let things settle down.
Normally this would not be an issue. People swapped shifts all the time. For some reason, the landlord got a bee in his bonnet about it and started having a go at me. In the end, he told me to get in the kitchen and do my normal shift or go home.
I promptly grabbed my bag. I looked him dead in the eye. I said 'see ya' and walked out. ' -- Anonymous
'I just packed my things, left the office with tears streaming down my face, and never returned again. I had only been working there for a week, but it was a nightmare.
It was a small start up with only five or six employees, but the boss was forcing us all to work overtime every single day, without pay.
I would start work at 8:30 a.m. and not finish until late in the evening. He was very passive aggressive, and didn't provide any training whatsoever.
The whole thing was just a mess, and he was threatening to find other people if we didn't work overtime for free. After one particularly unpleasant conversation where he made me cry, I just packed my stuff together and left. Luckily I found a nice job right after, where I still work today!' -- Anonymous
'I quit during a company training session. The trainer had no idea what we were actually doing. He was jumping around, screaming and treating 30- and 4- year-old people like they were still in kindergarten. It was my first company training and the last one. After that, I went straight to HR and resigned the same day. No more.' -- Anonymous
'I worked at a small veterinary hospital and the head vet, who happened to own the practice as well, made my life a living hell.
She would tell blonde jokes to clients as I assisted her with the animals in the exam room (I happen to have blonde hair). She would make me take daily 'tests' to prove my knowledge of animal medicine.
One day, I burst in to her office and told her that nothing was ever going to make her happy and up until then I had never in my life been made to feel so low and useless at a job before.
I told her that it was her fault that I was quitting and that I hoped she remembered this day forever. I stormed out and never looked back. Three months later, I heard she quit and sold her practice.' -- Anonymous
'I quit after my boss attempted to hit me over the back of my head with a chair. I had told him to 'go f--- himself.'
Background: I worked at a hotel. My boss threatened to fire me when I called him to say I needed to leave the office and he needed to come in because my grandfather was sick. While I sat and waited for five hours for him to arrive, he was off having a nice round of golf with his buddies.
Meanwhile he knew my grandfather was on his deathbed. I was four hours too late to say goodbye. All because my boss wanted to play a round of golf.' -- Mark, Los Angeles, CA
'My favourite job while I was in college was working at a local nutrition store. It had great hours, solid commissions, and a truly receptive client base. My boss, though, was the worst. She couldn't think more than a few steps in advance, often coming in on her off days to complete tasks she couldn't finish, and to micromanage how we sold products.
One day, she came in when we had about 15 people in the store (it was a tiny store). Before she showed up, I was the only one helping everyone. Instead of helping, or even enlightening our customers that she was off the clock and that couldn't ring anyone up, she decided to ignore everyone.
What could have been a top sales day for the region instead turned into an average day. After confronting my manager about this, because I was truly upset, she proceeded to tell me that I was wrong, and that customers knew she was off the clock.
She even went as far as to say, 'Oh I know those guys, they never buy! They always browse!' I lost it.
I ripped out a chunk of a marketing poster we had hanging up behind the counter, proceeded to write a letter of resignation on the back, and walked out of the store.
It was absolutely unprofessional, and I wish I went about it in a better way, but as a very passionate and emotional 20 year old, that wasn't going to happen.' -- Jay, Glenview
I was in a meeting with my boss and a coworker. The coworker blamed me for sending a love note to her husband. She was quite upset and positive I sent the love card to her husband in the mail.
I had only been at this job a year. It was a very stressful experience because of this one employee that told everyone I was 'hitting' on her husband. So in this meeting the boss let me know that she could fire me over this issue. So I did not say a word at all during the whole entire meeting.
Then after I asked if they were done, I stood up, slammed my chair and the door and quietly said 'I quit.'
I went to my cubicle to get my things and then walked towards the door. My boss pushed me aside and tried to stop me for my badge. I threw my badge to the floor and, raising my voice, said 'get your hands off of me and let me leave' then I went home.
Not my best moment but it fits here.' -- Anonymous
'I was delivering pizza on the side (I also had a full time job. On weekends, I worked on call, meaning I sat at home, pretty much doing nothing all day, waiting to get a text or call for a delivery).
This one Saturday, I got none -- no big deal, it happens. When I went in to finish my shift during the dinner rush (not on call) I realised that there had actually been eight deliveries. Instead of texting me, the manager left the store with only on employee and delivered everything himself (he was even out on delivery just then, when I arrived).
So he basically made me sit at home, waiting around for six hours, while he took all the delivery pay and all of the tips that should have been mine.
Since he was out, I made myself my complimentary personal pizza. Then I waited.
When he came back, I confronted him, told him he stole from me, and owed me all the money he made from my deliveries. I told him to go f--- himself, before storming off, knowing full well that he didn't have another driver on shift that night.
Felt pretty good, and I still got free pizza.' -- Anonymous
'I've always wanted understand why the younger generation does not have the same loyalty to companies and organisations as we had when we were younger. I discovered the reason while working at (a popular coffee chain) -- it's the management.
The manager of the store was awesome but the district manager was unbelievable. The day the manager of the store was fired was the day I quit. Sadly, she was fired for not being able to get her job done but she had literally no support from the district manager.
The district manager was gunning for her and to get rid of her. This manager was one of the best I had worked with and for. She had been a long time employee and she loved her job.
So the day she got fired, I got up the next day and arrived at 4 a.m. just to look the new manager in the face and say 'I quit.' Best part was that this was the busiest day in the year for the store. I told her if the manager is no longer there, then I am no longer needed. The new store manager (who was very young) said I was being childish. I replied that that was her opinion.
And I walked away smiling while holding my head high. It felt good to just walk away from stupidity.' -- Anonymous, Calgary, Alberta
'As a marketing director at a national trade show in New Orleans, I fired an incompetent marketing associate back in the Chicago office who had cost my budget $20,000 at the show and lied about it.
My supervisor thought I was wrong and said all I wanted to do was embarrass her. I said, 'If you feel that way then you have my immediate resignation and I'll clean out my office when I return.'
I then left the convention floor.' -- Steven London, Chicago, IL
'My former employer moved my job to another city. They knew full well they had absolutely no grounds to fire me, but, as a recently single father starting over, they also knew that I could not move.
They were offering me a 'generous severance package.' So, I told my boss he was a real piece of work, to which he responded, 'I am?'
I replied with, 'Yeah, and you can go eff yourself, too.'
I then informed the head of HR (who was there at the time) that they could expect to hear from my attorney, and walked out with my head held high. I won my lawsuit. I received an even better severance, they had to pay my lawyer's fees, and a fine.' -- Anonymous
'Luckily I was able to get the theatrics out of my system before I started my professional career. I was young and working as a bartender at a resort in Montauk, NY (a small summer beach town in the Hamptons, for those unfamiliar).
The resort was beautiful, multiple pools, spas, restaurants, dock slips (it was on the harbour) so it attracted a very interesting and affluent crowd. Unfortunately I got stuck working the indoor bar every night from noon to close (roughly 4:30 a.m.). That got very little traffic (so no tips).
I was living for a short time in what could best be described as tenement-style housing provided by the resort at the cost of a monthly $700 deduction from my paycheck. I was essentially netting around $100 a month, which is not sustainable for living in the Hamptons for a summer.
On top of all this, management was terrible. I was the only bartender at the indoor bar. Instead of hiring more staff, my manager decided to take it all out on me, calling me inept, an idiot, yada, yada, yada. Nothing constructive and nothing done to improve the situation.
Luckily, my friend moved out for the summer and let me live with him at his family's beach house. Once the arrangements were made, I quickly found a better paying bartender gig with better hours and better management.
I told the general manager that I was quitting and explained why. Things ended amicably. I was saying goodbye to the other workers when I ran into the indoor bar manager. I was greeted swiftly with a 'why the f--- are you not working?' to which I responded that I was quitting. Then he said 'well then, get the f--- out of my bar.'
I realised that this guy had zero influence on my career prospects anymore, present or future. So I told him that he was a short, fat, balding, loser, that he could go f--- himself, and that his bar and menu were terrible (this is in front of multiple staff and guests mind you).
He stood there speechless.
I turned around and said goodbye to a few more friends and actually got some applause from a some of the guests.
It gets even better. About a week later, this guy got fired. The resort felt so bad about my mistreatment that, despite me quitting, they gave me a comped weekend stay at one of their suites (which I gave to my mum and her friends to use for her birthday in July).
Glad I got this out of the way before entering the real world!' -- Kyle, Ridgefield, Connecticut
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