Things To Do Before You Hit The Proverbial JetBlue Escape Slide

The reason the stories of the JetBlue flight attendant who quit by sliding out of the plane and the hoax about the girl who quit her job with an email picture blast were so popular is they acted out job-ditching fantasied we all share.

Kiplinger throws a wet blanket over such fantasies by tapping you on your shoulder and reminding you that you really should cover your financial bases before you leave your place of employment in a huff. Some advice from a how-to post:

*Build your emergency fund. It could be a while before you land a new gig, so save up at least what you’ll burn through in three months.

*Manage your health insurance. Unless you get yourself fired for gross misconduct, your COBRA will give you 18 months of subsidized insurance. Kiplinger recommends you quit early in the month to give you a few bonus weeks of coverage.

*Sap your flexible spending account. If you don’t use money you’ve placed into a flexible spending account meant as a tax shield for health expenses before you quit, you’ll lose it forever. So hurry up and break your ankle or get that MRI you always dreamed of.

*Decide where to stash the 401(k). Tax penalties mean cashing out is for chumps, so find an IRA in which to roll over the funds.

OK, enough with all the good advice. What’s the craziest way you ever quit a job?

Quit Your Job the Smart Way
(And Save a Fortune)
(Thanks, Laura!)

Previously: JetBlue Flight Attendant Curses Out Passenger, Uses Emergency Slide To Exit Plane And Run Away
Dry-Erase Board Quitter Reveals Herself As Hoax


Edit Your Comment

  1. LadyTL says:

    I once clocked out in the middle of the dinner rush because my manager tried to poison me in response to my having a bad reaction to some perfume.

    • Sneeje says:

      And calling the police didn’t seem reasonable because…

      • CoachTabe says:

        Because it makes more sense to do nothing and then complain about it much later on Consumerist.

        • LadyTL says:

          Because first, like the city police were going to do anything useful and second I am not complaining on the consumerist. I was stating what happened. Try learning the definition of complaining. I already dealt with the problem as I saw fit. I quit.

  2. fundelman says:

    COBRA isn’t subsidized unless you are fired. In fact, at this point I don’t think it’s subsidized for anyone as the COBRA subsidy provisions of TARP have expired.

    You do get a group rate still, but you are still better off getting your own insurance in many cases.

  3. syzygy says:

    How about being mature and professional and quitting with dignity? I have never stormed off in a huff from an employer, because I am not a child.

    By the way, will everyone please stop calling Steven Slater a hero? He is an idiot, and seeing him benefit from his little temper tantrum is sickening.

    • dryfire says:

      He did what a lot of people wish they had the balls to do. Appropriate? No. Entertaining? Maybe.

      Why do you think everyone wanted to believe the whiteboard jenny hoax?

      • Sneeje says:

        First, not everyone wanted to believe that hoax: if it were real, I would have had a similar reaction to syzygy. I don’t care how much of a douchebag her imaginary boss was, her actions would have been childish at best and cause for others to consider her lack of judgment when considering her for a new job.

        And it’s not a matter of “balls” its a matter of acting in your rational long-term interest or acting in a manner that indulges your immediate whim.

    • Murph1908 says:

      I agree. For the most part. But sometimes it’s warranted.

      Like when the new bar manager, who got the job when the old bar manager was fired, kept giving herself all the big money shifts. Me and the other bartender kept getting stuck with day shifts where the tip revenue was 1/4 of what a night shift brought in.

      I talked to her about it. Nothing changed.
      I talked to the restaurant manager. Nothing changed.

      When I came in for a Monday night shift (woo hoo! A Monday night! /sarcasm), and was given the week’s schedule, I saw I was on days all week. I told her if she wanted all the night shifts, she could have tonight too, and walked out.

      I tried to handle it professionally by voicing my concerns to her and then to the manager. But I am not giving this bitch the courtesy of 2 weeks notice, after giving her 2+ weeks to resolve the issue.

      • brinks says:

        Been there. I worked a commission job and we made all our money nights and weekends. My district manager got a stick up her ass and decided that all those money shifts were going to go to someone else. I said see ya.

      • syzygy says:

        Do you think your storming off in a huff changed anything?

        • mechteach1 says:

          Well, it certainly changed things for Murph1908. (Hopefully for the better!)

        • Murph1908 says:

          Who TF cares if it changed anything. She was abusing her position, showing no courtesy to me or the other guy. So I am supposed to work the shit shifts for her for another week, after trying to handle it properly?

          You would have?

          It’s not like I put gin in the vodka bottles or anything.

    • brinks says:

      Have you ever had a soul-sucking customer service job? Where you like your job but it’s the demanding, irrational assholes who just ruin it, day after day?

      All of us that have had a job like that have had a fantasy of just telling everyone to fuck off and walking out. We didn’t do it because we knew better. However, it’s awesome that someone did it, and did it so dramatically. Those of us in a similar industry understand.

      • syzygy says:

        I understand his frustration. Working Christmas retail for four years taught me the hell of customer service. However, there is a difference between fantasy and reality, and I don’t think it’s “awesome” to lose control of yourself. What do you gain? How does it help, other than maybe the few minutes of catharsis?

        • Conformist138 says:

          What’s to gain and how does it help? It lifted the spirits of an entire nation of people really really tired of putting up with nonstop bullshit. The guy is a hero because, in the middle of wars and economic clusterfucks, he made everyone cheer and laugh. Stupid? Yeah, I don’t recommend anyone else do it, but I’m glad that ONE time, ONE guy let us live out all our dreams through him.

    • c!tizen says:

      “because I am not a child” says the guy with a cartoon avatar.

      But in all seriousness, you should quit with dignity, if anything because word of your childish behavior can get around quickly and it may hinder you getting another job. I wouldn’t call the guy a hero either. Quitting your job because of an asshole customer isn’t heroic, but I’ll certainly give him points for making it entertaining.

    • tbax929 says:

      I would never quit that way because news travels fast in my industry, but I would be lying if I said I never fantasized about it. My former job drove me into the deepest depression I’d ever had, and the job market was so bad that finding another was really difficult (in fact, it took me seven months).

      If I’d intended to leave the industry for good, I’d have had no problem recreating the “Fuck you, fuck you, you’re cool, fuck you, I’m out” scene from Half Baked.

    • runswithscissors says:

      Yes we *should* all quit with dignity each time, etc etc. I actually have, both times I’ve quit jobs.


      On the other hand a lot of people are getting pretty damn sick of being held to all these rules of proper decorum and such when corporations have made it crystal clear that they need abide by no such niceties or customs. They can use you and throw you to the curb, screwing you every which way they can as they do it.

      The hypocrisy is what’s getting me down.

  4. fatediesel says:

    You don’t get subsidized COBRA insurance if you quit. You have to pay the full premium amount, and the employer can also tack on a 2% administrative fee. The link properly explains this.

  5. Etoiles says:

    I’ve never actually quit-quit. (I’ve put in notice because I was moving or going back to school or whatever, but that’s it.)

    There was one horrible, toxic, demeaning, awful job that I should have quit but if I did I’d have owed them $500 for my training and I couldn’t even afford Ramen. They fired me instead (only time I’ve ever been fired) and when I walked out and called my parents I blurted, “Great news!”

    I did learn one thing though, which is that if I’m ever in a job that toxic again I owe it to myself to quit. Starting every morning wondering if it would be better to throw yourself under the train than to get on it is no way to live.

    • ExtraCelestial says:

      So true! I had a job where I was having anxiety attacks every morning on the drive there. The days I had off I couldn’t even enjoy because I was so anxious and depressed about having to go back.

      Jobs aren’t “supposed” to be enjoyable. Sure there are people that enjoy their jobs, but it’s a job, they are paying you for a reason. However, jobs aren’t supposed to take an emotional toll on you either. You spend such a significant portion of your life working that you really owe it to yourself to remove yourself from an environment that is that toxic. Never again will I stay at a place like that. No amount of money is worth my mental or emotional health.

    • bishophicks says:

      That’s the test for me: do I hate the idea of getting out of bed in the morning. I’m only on my third job in 20+ years, but that test has served me well so far. No, you’re not supposed to love your job (it’s great if you do, but not common), but you’re not supposed to hate it either. If it gets to the point where your dislike for your job is affecting the rest of your life (lack of sleep, depression, damaging personal and family relationships, etc.) then it’s probably time to move on. It may even be worth the cut in pay if you end up healthier, happier and get along better with friends and family.

  6. buk110 says:

    This is a great idea, let’s as society just reward more childish and vindictive behavior.

    All this does is make people think this is appropriate to do. How about be thankful you have a job, and if you don’t like your job don’t take it out on other people. A poor career choice is no reason to try to “stick it to the man”

    All you’re doing is negatively impacting your fellow co-workers, the company you’re working for and potential clients/customers. Not to mention you’re casting yourself in a perverse way.

    • watch me boogie says:

      I don’t think that this “encourages” people to do anything. People who weren’t going to irrationally quit their job aren’t suddenly going to start. People that will, were going to do so anyway.

  7. Harry Manback says:

    When I quit my first real job (also the first time I really quit a job, all the other times were for moving/school), I made sure to do it in a very professional manner, with 2 weeks notice and by telling my manager to his face. The manager that I gave my notice to is my manager again at the new company and we have a great relationship. He understood all of the reasons why I quit, which I explained to him, even though I didn’t give him a chance to correct them (it was a big corporation, things hadn’t changed in a very long time so I saw no light at the end of the tunnel). Don’t burn bridges, you never know when it might come back to haunt you.

  8. pot_roast says:

    I walked off the job in the middle of a really bad shift at a job that I didn’t like, didn’t need, and when I knew I wasn’t burning any bridges. It was a huge relief. I did feel a little bad for my co-workers. Just a little, since they were a pack of jerks, and I knew they probably had someone in to replace me the very next day.

  9. gerald.saul says:

    Do letters of recommendation still mean something? Should you have your boss or manager write a letter of recommendation before you leave a company or position?

    • Doubts42 says:

      Most employers wont write them anymore. In fact when checking references many HR folks and managers are only allowed to verify that you were employed by the company. Anything else opens them up for frivolous lawsuits.

      • gerald.saul says:

        But do prospective employers pay attention if you have one? My boss has already written one for me in advance of me moving next month…

        • fatediesel says:

          They are a plus to have if you can get them read. Most large companies will only look at the initial application (usually computerized) when deciding who to interview. If you can get to the interview process the interviewer will likely read the letter. It certainly doesn’t hurt, but letters of recommendation aren’t very prevalent anymore.

  10. Speak says:

    Every day I read this site: After reading what other people have to go though I don’t think my job is so bad. I have only quit when I already had another job or was leaving for college. Each time I did it in a professional manner and had good exit interviews.

  11. Guppy06 says:

    “If you don’t use money you’ve placed into a flexible spending account meant as a tax shield for health expenses before you quit, you’ll lose it forever.”

    Now there’s a fantastic reason not to have one to begin with. Long gone are the days where an employee could or should stay with the same employer for decades, even before the economy tanked. So not only would I be gambling that I would spend such-and-such amount of money before the end of the year, I’d also be gambling that I’d still be with the same employer at the end of the year!

    • ahow628 says:

      Alright, I was under the impression that the money in the Flexible Spending Account was yours once it is in there. At least that is how it worked at a job I resigned from in the past.

      Also, the way I understood it was if I wanted to have $520 in a FSA, I would put in $10 a week for the year, however, the company deposited the full $520 on January 1st. So if I quit at the beginning of the year, it was free money. The trade-off is if I didn’t use it by the end of the year, the company got the $520.

      • fatediesel says:

        Companies don’t put the full amount of the FSA in at the beginning of the year. Most companies deposit the amounts taken out of the employees checks every week. While it is true you can spend more than you’ve deposited and then leave the job the company could come after you for the amount you withdrew but didn’t pay, either by taking it out of your final check or suing if the sum was substantial enough.

        • onbehalfofthebunnies says:

          “While it is true you can spend more than you’ve deposited and then leave the job the company could come after you for the amount you withdrew but didn’t pay, either by taking it out of your final check or suing if the sum was substantial enough.”

          No they can’t, that’s the whole thing about FSA’s if you use up more than you have paid in and quit they can’t come after you, just as you can’t go after them if you contribute more than you use. It’s a calculated risk the company takes and usually ends up profiting from.

      • RandomHookup says:

        You are correct. Once you commit to the account, the money is in there even if you leave before fully funding it.

      • CoachTabe says:

        You are correct. If you know you’re going to quit a job in January, bump that FSA way up :)

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      I stopped doing FSA when my company made it a profit center by denying all claims.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      I’m taxed at the highest rate and haved saved lots of money over the years by putting money into FSAs. It’s a very smart thing to do.

  12. Alter_ego says:

    I quit a job at Victorias secret after two days because the main manager, who was not the woman who interviewed me, said I was too fat to work there, she didn’t know why they hired me, and that customers of my body type don’t shop there, so what benefit could I possibly provide? I stayed for the second day of training, because in mass you get time and a half for Sundays, then went in on Monday and quit. She didn’t understand why what she said had offended me.

  13. Doubts42 says:

    I punched an obnoxious french customer in the nose, handed my name tag to the manager and walked next door to have a drink.

    Of course I was only 21 at the time, the job was a second, bonus job, waiting tables at a chain restaurant. The other mitigating factor was that it was 6 pm on thanksgiving, we had been closed for 2 hours, and the cheese eating surrender monkey was drunkenly poking me in the chest and demanding that we prepare him a to-go meal, despite the fact that the kitchen staff had left over an hour ago, and the only other folks in the whole place were my manager, and myself.
    Plus he had spent the last 20 minutes shouting to the other frenchies at the table about how backwards and stupid the U.S. is.

    I would never do that again, but i still smile to myself every time i think of it.

  14. ElizabethD says:


    – Thank your lucky stars you have a job in this frickin’ economy.

    (And yes, I do have one again, thank you. It’s something I’ll never take for granted.)

  15. chaesar says:

    I once worked for a certain novelty toy store chain, and I quit because of how one of our gay employees was being treated by management (I also hated the job but it seemed like a good opportunity) and spent my last three weeks plotting a scheme to acquire merchandise valued at ~$3,000, for free

    did I pull it off? not gonna say

  16. DoubleEcho says:

    I’ve only ever quit one job, and only because it was hands down the worst place I ever worked. I was a computer tech who had to start by delivering PC parts to various companies around the city – if I did this well I would be “promoted” to a contracted tech at one of the businesses they work with. I had just gotten my degree too, so I figured it wouldn’t be long and I’d be doing real IT work.

    Anyways, delivering parts from a van doesn’t keep you very clean, especially when the boxes are dirty and heavy (think large laser printers, copiers, CRT monitors, etc) and you get sweaty. All this in the middle of the summer. Anyways, my boss expected me to dress not business casual, but BUSINESS BUSINESS (sans the suit coat though) and keep myself spotless while doing this. Because, you know, you he had his shoes shined every day and looked sharp so we should too. Also, the owner, even though there was a huge NO SMOKING sign inside the building and no one else was allowed to smoke inside, would chain smoke when he decided to grace us with his presence (He didn’t know shit about computers anyways, so wtf).

    The last straw was when the owner decided to “borrow” the company cargo van for landscaping at his house. It had a plastic floor to it but it was covered with mud, sticks, pebbles and mulch bits. I was expected to clean it out and still perform my normal deliveries. I was given $3.00 in quarters and told to go to a car wash and spray it out. This thing was disgusting, and I had to spend $5.00 of my own money in quarters to get it cleaned and dried. Obviously I’m dirty, and my boss treats me like I just spit in his face or something, berating me to no end. Mind you, I had only been there 3 weeks at this time. Before I left I was told I would be delivering about 30 PCs and monitors to a company the next day.

    One of my deliveries was to a local hospital, and one of the guys there who was a contractor with the company talked to me about my boss. Everyone knew he was an asshole and he told me basically that it wasn’t worth it, and I shouldn’t put up with it.

    The next day I went in wearing shorts and a T-shirt (the boss scowling at me), wrote an email to the entire business (which included the contract workers who all hated him) and detailed exactly why I was leaving. I threw the office keys and my timesheet on the bosses desk and hightailed it out. In another week I had a better job, which got me contacts that led me to my current awesome job.

    The best part was that the boss tried to hold my paycheck for a month and wouldn’t respond back to me when I asked about my pay. He even refused to see me when I stopped in (politely asking about it). So I contacted the Wage and Hour division and had my pay less than a week later, and he wrote me a passive aggressive email that I’ll never delete :) His business crumbled a few years later and the contract techs told me he had to deliver the order himself in his shiny shoes.

    • brinks says:


      I love the big corporate people who are absolutely CLUELESS about their business’ day-to-day operations. I had a job once where I was up and down ladders all day, lifting heavy stuff, and getting filthy. One of the corporate big wigs came in one day and didn’t like how we were dressed, so they changed he dress code from jeans and t-shirts to business casual, and then had the nerve to suggest we wear skirts. Yeah, I’m up and down a ladder all day with customers below me. I am sure as hell NOT wearing a skirt. Clueless asshat…or big perv?

      • DoubleEcho says:

        I had the feeling the business wasn’t going to last long, based on the cluelessness of the boss and the owner. They had unrealistic expectations of not only me but the other contractor techs. Little did I know that place was going to go under that quick.

        I have never had an issue with working or getting my hands dirty. I started working when I was 12 years old and always had some kind of job since then. But yelling and screaming at your employee because he has some mud on his shoes and splatters on his pants, after cleaning out the owner’s mess, can give someone the impression that you don’t know how to run a business or manage employees. And boy was I right!

  17. brinks says:

    Wish I bothered to do any of this before I got fired (for something my fat, lazy boss blamed on me so HE wouldn’t get fired).

    However, just TRY paying for COBRA on unemployment.

  18. gabrewer says:

    I’ve never quit on the spur of the moment, but I do have a dream. My lottery winning scenario goes something like this. I come dragging into the office around 10:30 — wearing shorts, flip flops, and unshaven. I have a cup of coffee or two while looking at personal e-mail and surfing Facebook, Consumerist, etc and then go to an early lunch around 11:15 or 11:30. After a couple of hours or so I’ll mosey back in, maybe play a few games of Solitaire, Bejeweled, or whatever, and then head for home around 2:30 or 3:00. The really funny thing is that this could go on at my office for several days before anyone would think about approaching me to see “what’s wrong” or “if something is bothering me.”

  19. Slatts says:

    Years ago, in my misspent youth, I had a job at a very large convenience store chain (hint: the one with a numbers in its name). I was in high school and could have graduated early but was coasting through senior year with little homework, and college seemed so far away, so I took a part-time job for extra cash. School all day and work all night was exhausting, and I felt like I was working my tail off, but the manager woman took my exhaustion as laziness and constantly berated me.

    I was without transportation, and had to walk over a mile to get there, in the Florida summer heat (adding to the exhaustion, no doubt). So I walked in one day and she let me know that I’d be let go. I snapped — I walked all the effing way down hear in this heat for you to tell me that?! I called her and her mother every name in the book, right there in the store in front of startled customers, then accidentally-on-purpose collided with a display case of beer on the way out the door, knocking it down (with several beer cans bursting), issued a few more choice words, and out the door I went. I was across the street by the time she came out to yell after me, and I gave her the high middle finger and kept on walking.

    To this day, I’m surprised I never heard from the police about this. Maybe she was too embarrassed? I dunno. Not one of my proudest moments, but secretly, deep down inside, in this pseudo-anonymous forum, I’ll admit: damn! it felt good.

  20. JeremieNX says:

    The only serious quit I have ever done was when I did technical/customer support. I started at a decentish wage (above average for the region/industry), then they decided to move to a “pay per customer” model rather than a regular hourly wage. They put up the guise of “rewarding those who are more efficient”. After doing the math, I would have to basically handle about 30% more clients per day just to break even with the hourly wage I started with. Time spent in mandatory trainings/meetings (which often took the better part of an 8 hour day) still “counted against you” as you can’t serve clients while in meetings. On those days, some people made literally $3 an hour. They skirt the minimum wage laws by saying over a two-week pay period it “averages out” to be more than the minimum wage. As soon as I saw the paperwork detailing this new pay scheme, I started finding a new job.

    Anytime an employer wants to eliminate a regular hourly wage/salary and replace it with a “piece meal” scheme the employee WILL GET SCREWED.

    • brinks says:


      I had a commission job where I got paid $150 a week, plus 4% commission on whatever I sold, plus .5% of the store’s total sales. I worked 55 hours a week usually, so I had plenty of time to sell.

      I made less than minimum wage every single week. Luckily, the company kicked in the difference so we couldn’t sue them. In 2 months, I never even earned minimum wage myself. I’d much prefer an hourly wage.