From cakes to bricks to marching bands

An OfficeTeam survey may bring new meaning to the advice "quit while you're ahead." Nearly nine in 10 HR managers interviewed said the way employees quit a job at least somewhat affects their future career opportunities. Respondents also gave some examples of unusual ways workers have quit.

The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 600 HR managers at companies with 20 or more employees in the United States and Canada.

HR managers were asked, "In your opinion, how does the manner in which someone quits a job affect that person's future career opportunities?" Their responses:

Greatly affects it: 33%

Somewhat affects it: 53%

Does not affect it at all: 12%

Don't know: 2%

Managers also were asked to recount the most unusual way they have heard someone quit a job. Following are some examples:

  • "An employee baked a cake with her resignation letter written on top."
  • "A marching band accompanied one guy in his announcement."
  • "The worker threw a brick through the window with the words 'I quit' written on it."
  • "An employee left a sticky note explaining he was quitting."
  • "The individual sent an email blast to all staff."
  • "A worker threw a cup of coffee and walked out."
  • "One employee bragged to his colleagues that it was his last day, but failed to let the HR manager or his boss know."

Some workers went high-tech with their resignations:

  • "One woman created a music video to explain she was leaving."
  • "A worker sent his boss a text message."
  • "One person quit via Facebook."
  • "The employee submitted a message through the company website."
  • "Someone resigned on a video conference call."

A few employees had someone else do their dirty work:

  • "One person made his wife call to say he was not coming back."
  • "The worker sent a text to his colleague and asked her to forward it to management."
  • "An employee's parents let the company know their son was resigning."

Others did a disappearing act:

  • "A person went to the bathroom and didn't return."
  • "One worker packed up her belongings and walked out without a word."
  • "Someone left for lunch and never came back."
  • "A worker stormed out in the middle of a meeting without explanation."
  • "The employee said she was stepping out to buy new boots, but was never seen again."

And one worker took a more direct approach:

  • "He just stood up and said, 'I quit.'"

Click here for tips on handling employee resignations.