10 Best Resignations of All Time


Sliding to Freedom

Former JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater, who slid down an evacuation chute and into memorable-resignation history, attended the OUT 100 Celebration in 2010. Taylor Hill/Getty Images
Former JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater, who slid down an evacuation chute and into memorable-resignation history, attended the OUT 100 Celebration in 2010. Taylor Hill/Getty Images

No list of the world's greatest resignations would be complete without a mention of Steven Slater, the former JetBlue flight attendant whose dramatic exit down an inflatable evacuation slide made him an instant celebrity in 2010.

Here's how it went down. Slater, a 20-year flight attendant, asked a passenger to take her seat as the JetBlue plane taxied to the gate. When the passenger continued to remove her luggage from the overhead bin, Slater approached her, at which point her suitcase hit Slater in the head. When Slater asked for an apology, the stubborn passenger cursed him out. That's when Slater officially flipped out.

No one caught Slater's tirade on tape, but witnesses say he grabbed the intercom and let loose with a string of F-bombs directed at the passenger and just about everyone else. Grabbing a beer from the beverage cart, he called out "It's been great!" before activating the emergency evacuation chute and sliding away to freedom [source: Newman].

Slater was arrested at his home and charged with criminal mischief and reckless endangerment. He plea-bargained his way out of jail and at last report was working on a book about his mile-high exploits while selling T-shirts ("Let it slide!") to pay off his legal bills [source: Idov].

Author's Note: 10 Best Resignations of All Time

I'll be honest; I don't have a good quitting story. Most of my employment exits have gone out with a whimper, not a bang. In the past, I used to move every couple of years, which was a convenient excuse to quit and start fresh. It was also a great way to avoid hurting an employer's feelings, even if I secretly harbored fantasies of hurting their vital organs. For the past decade, I've been a freelance writer, so if I want to "quit" a client, I just say I'm "too busy" right now. Part of me regrets not having moonwalked out of a particularly boring cashier job in high school while blasting "Beat It" from an oversized boom box. My only solace is that there was no YouTube in 1993, so it hardly would have counted anyway.

Related Articles


  • Agrawal, Rakesh. "The rapid rise and fall of daily deal Web sites." The Washington Post. Nov. 22, 2013. (Feb. 21, 2014) http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2013/11/22/the-rapid-rise-and-fall-of-daily-deal-web-sites/
  • Associated Press. "Number of Americans Quitting Their Jobs Rises, Sign of Economic Confidence." June 11, 2013. (Feb. 21, 2014)
  • BBC. "13 November 1990: Sir Geoffrey Howe resigns." Democracy Live. Dec. 9, 2009. (Feb. 21, 2014) http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/historic_moments/newsid_8186000/8186443.stm
  • BBC News. "Stansted Airport worker bakes resignation 'letter.'" April 16, 2013. (Feb. 21, 2014) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-22168676
  • Butt, Riazat. "Stephen Pollard: Flair in the community." The Guardian. Sept. 20, 2009. (Feb. 21, 2014) http://www.theguardian.com/media/2009/sep/21/stephen-pollard-jewish-chronicle?guni=Article:in body link
  • Cavna, Michael. "Viral video start Marina Shifrin weighs post-NMA job offers." The Washington Post. Oct. 10, 2013. (Feb. 21, 2014) http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20131010/viral-video-dance-star-marina-shifrin-weighs-post-nma-job-offers
  • Fiegerman, Seth. "Andrew Mason's First Record is Not a Joke." Mashable. July 2, 2013. (Feb. 21, 2014) http://mashable.com/2013/07/02/andrew-masons-hardly-workin/
  • Hannan, Caleb. "Drunken Man Resigns His Grocery Store Job by Writing 'I Quit' in Cheez Whiz." Seattle Weekly. Dec. 2, 2009. (Feb. 21, 2014) http://www.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2009/12/man_uses_cheese_whiz_to_quit_h.php
  • Hodgson, Jessica. "Stephen Pollard loses job at Times." The Guardian. Jan. 8, 2001. (Feb. 21, 2014) http://www.theguardian.com/media/2001/jan/08/pressandpublishing.thetimes
  • Idov, Michael. "Steven Slater's Landing." New York Magazine. Jan. 30. 2011. (Feb. 21, 2014) http://nymag.com/news/features/70980/
  • Lappin, Joan. "Don't Cry for Groupon's Andrew Mason." Forbes. March 5, 2013. (Feb. 21, 2014) http://www.forbes.com/sites/joanlappin/2013/03/05/dont-cry-for-groupons-andrew-mason/
  • McCracken, Harry. "CareZone, a Private Service for People Who Take Care of People." Time. Feb. 15, 2012. (Feb. 21, 2014) http://techland.time.com/2012/02/15/carezone-a-private-service-for-people-who-take-care-of-people/
  • Newman, Andy and Rivera, Ray. "Fed-Up Flight Attendant Makes Sliding Exit." The New York Times. Aug. 9, 2010. (Feb. 21, 2014) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/10/nyregion/10attendant.html
  • Rushe, Dominic. "Why I Left Goldman Sachs author is biggest 'muppet' say reviewers." The Guardian. Oct. 22, 2012. (Feb. 21, 2014) http://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/oct/22/muppet-why-i-left-goldman-sachs-greg-smith
  • Reuters. "Margaret Thatcher's dramatic 1990 fall: 'Stabbed in the front.'" April 8, 2013. (Feb. 21, 2014) http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/historic_moments/newsid_8186000/8186443.stm
  • Smith, Greg. "Why I am Leaving Goldman Sachs." The New York Times. March 14, 2013. (Feb. 21, 2014) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/opinion/why-i-am-leaving-goldman-sachs.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&
  • Taibbi, Matt. "The Great American Bubble Machine." Rolling Stone. July 9, 2009. (Feb. 21, 2014) http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-great-american-bubble-machine-20100405
  • WPM I-TV. "Local DJ Quits Live On-the-Air." Aug. 16, 2006. (Feb. 22, 2014). http://forum.dvdtalk.com/other-talk/477761-inetta-moodsetta.html


Not a Whale of a Tail: You Too Can Become a Mermaid

Not a Whale of a Tail: You Too Can Become a Mermaid

HowStuffWorks finds out all about mermaid classes and how to become a professional mermaid.