Making the rounds of social media is a viral YouTube clip of a young woman who worked for a Taiwanese animation studio dancing to Kanye West’s “Gone.”
In the subtitled video, she complains about the sacrifices she has made for the job and what she believes are the misplaced priorities of the company, then ends it with, “I quit. I QUIT.”
The company has since released its own YouTube clip parodying the video, wishing her well and advertising that it is hiring.
The whole thing reminded me of the Steven Slater incident. Remember him? No? Slater was the JetBlue flight attendant who also quit his job in highly public style, back in 2010. In a profanity-laced statement over the plane’s public address system, he said he had been in the business 20 years and was “done.” He announced that he quit, then grabbed two beers and deployed the emergency slide to exit the plane.
Remember him now?
Now, I can’t really compare the actions of Marina Shifrin, the dancing animator, to those of Slater. He faced criminal charges after his stunt, which seemed spontaneous. Hers was planned, profanity-free and didn’t risk hurting anyone. She didn’t even name her employer in the video.
The similarity is in this very public, “take-this-job-and-shove-it” attitude. Shifrin seems surprised that she has become an Internet star. Everywhere the video turns up, people applaud her.
Doesn’t anybody just turn in a letter of resignation anymore? Well, where’s the fun in that?
The thing is, we the public love reading about, hearing about, talking about and watching these last acts of rebellion. Americans love an underdog, an independent spirit, someone to “stick it to the man.” The response of the online audience to Shifrin’s video is overwhelmingly more positive than its reaction to her former employer’s counterattack.
And, despite disapproving frowns from employment experts who said such stunts could make it tough to land the next job, Shifrin said she has no regrets.
“Sometimes I think you need to forcefully close one door in order for another to open a little easier,” Shifrin said in an appearance on “The Queen Latifah Show.” Queen Latifah then offered her a job on the show.
There’s no denying it’s rough out there. Many workers are working more, making less, and watching fat cat paychecks rise while front-line pay stagnates. Maybe that’s why these stories resonate so much with the general public.
What do you think? Should workers publicly humiliate employers when quitting a job? Would you ever quit a job in public fashion? Go to midweeknews.com and vote in our online poll; I’m really curious to see how this one pans out.
Enjoy your MidWeek.