Quitting with a grandstand play
Who among us hasn’t harbored the fantasy of quitting a job with a BIG, BOLD gesture? Who hasn’t wanted to sweep into their manager’s office, deliver an FU on a platter, and sweep out – all to the silent eye-applause of our approving co-workers? Who hasn’t felt the urge to belt out the opening lines to Take This Job and Shove It, grab their hat, and head for the door?
But what holds us back is that reluctance to burn a bridge, even if it seems like a bridge to nowhere. The niggling sense that what goes around may very well come around. The realization that it’s as much about the job being a bad fit, and about it’s being your time to go, as it is about the a-hole boss and the crappy working conditions.
None of these restraints seem to have harnessed the “I quit” energy of one Joey DeFrancesco, who left his job as a room service waiter at a Providence Hotel by delivering his notice while accompanied by a marching band. And, of course, lest any deed – good bad or indifferent – go unshared, someone recording the event for upload to YouTube.
Now, I have no doubt that the hotel job that DeFrancesco quit so colorfully after 3+ years was not a great one, and certainly not one that this Rhode Island College graduate wanted to spend the rest of his life doing. And it’s entirely possible that the person he reported to was a jerk of the highest order.
Still, showing up the boss, and recording and posting the show-up show-down, suggests that DeFrancesco himself may be harboring a bit of the high-order jerk himself.
As the video shows – be patient: it’s nearly two-minutes in - the boss is not exactly thrilled to see Joey and his pals.
DeFrancesco, clearly relishing the moment, hands over his letter of resignation, which the boss declines to take. DeFrancesco drops it at his feet.
"I'm here to tell you that I'm quitting," DeFrancesco says with a smile.
And with that, the band kicks in, marching out of the hotel with stadium-like fanfare. DeFrancesco walks away with his hands aloft like a champion.
Ah, yes, “…aloft like a champion.”
That is until some new, potential employer becomes the 2-millionth person to view this – the count is already over 1 million – and decides not to take a chance on someone who’s this much of a grandstander. For what Joey may fail to appreciate – he is, after all, only 23 – is that, while every oppressed worker in the whole, wide, world may applaud this gesture, the people who do the hiring tend to be, well, managers. And as much of a jerk as your ex-boss may have been to you, a fellow manager might well pause and reflect on how embarrassed he’d be if some grandstanding, narcissistic jerk did this to him.
Anyway, DeFrancesco claims not to have anticipated the video going viral:
"I thought it would just embarrass the boss, but now it's all over the world and it's insane," he says. DeFrancesco says he's been contacted by various television news outlets -- and earlier this week he wound up being interviewed by a German newspaper about the state of American unions. [The hotel workers had recently unionized, in what was a rather acrimonious battle.]
Oh, come on. Does anyone put a provocative video out on YouTube and not secretly hope that it goes viral, and they end up in “various television outlets”?
Wonder what he’s looking for: Someone optioning this for a movie treatment? Publicity for his band? A book contract? A reality TV-show bid. (He’s a good looking kid. Is Jersey Shore still on?)
Okay. Maybe all he wanted was to have the last word with his putz of a boss.
In the old days, even if someone had brought in a marching band, it would have been a point-of-contact, in-the-moment incident that lived on in hotel lore for generations. I can guarantee that within 24 hours, every hotel worker in the state would have heard about this. But it would have been done without having that putz of a boss (who may be Simon Legree, or just some schnook with the less than glamorous, less than lucrative job as night manager of a hotel in Providence) made into such an object of public derision for all the world to see. (“Hey, I saw your dad on YouTube. Is he really a jerk that everybody hates?”)
Oh, Joey, Joey, Joey. I’m glad your got that new job that’s letting your use your history degree. But I can’t help but feeling that, at some point in your life, you may actually live to regret this.
You’re not Michael Moore, and this ain’t Roger and Me. Your ex-boss may have been a tyrant, but he’s not The Man. He wasn’t – until you made him one – a public figure.
This could come back to haunt you in any number of ways, including waking up some morning and feeling bad that you’d pulled this stunt.
Meanwhile, you’re 23 years old. Time to drop the “y” in Joey and start going by Joe.
Source: Huffington Post.