I regularly contribute to an Employee Administered Retirement Savings Plan (I buy lotto tickets) because I hate working. It’s not that I don’t like the people I work with or that the job itself is particularly painful, it’s just that life is short and there are any number of things I would rather spend forty hours doing every week, like flossing with rusty piano wire. Due to some poor planning years ago, I will never be able to retire on the peanuts I’m paid. My only hope is to hit all seven numbers on the lottery.
Mrs. HoaiPhai and I occasionally work on our lottery shopping lists. Mine includes mid-engined cars, residential versions of Jumbo Trons, and very heavy camera equipment. My wife’s list includes ovens with built-in soufflé fluffer-uppers, furniture without stains, and a new wardrobe. Oh, and jewelry. Let’s not forget the jewelry. We’d both like a home with a view of something other than our neighbour Larry mowing his lawn when we’re trying to sleep. Near-constant travel to far-away lands with unarmed citizenries and good cuisine is also on both our lists.
There are some people who win millions of dollars and tell the reporters at the gaming commissions’ Bestowing of Riches ceremonies things like, “Yeah, I love my job at the landfill. I’ve always enjoyed watching hundreds of seagulls pecking at last Christmas’ turkey carcasses under the noonday sun. That’s why tomorrow morning I’ll be back at my job as 2nd assistant rakeman at the municipal garbage heap right after I deposit this cheque for $50,000,000 into my bank account.”
I cannot decide what I understand least about these people… the fact that they are set for life and still want to work, or that they like working in the first place.
If you happen to be the winner of a major lottery, have money enough to live the rest of you life without financial worry, and still want to work, I have a suggestion — maybe you should take a little vacation to Vienna and spend some of your winnings on being examined by a team of world-class psychiatrists. If you really need a place to go every day, start your own business and hire some people. Or come over to my house and pay me to show you how to keep busy. As the old saying goes, “A fool and his money are welcomed at my house anytime.”
There should be a law that forces big-money lotto winners to retire. People with seven or eight figures in the bank drawing paychecks when there are so many who really need a job are just plain socially irresponsible.
In my opinion, actually being able to afford the lifestyle and toys you’ve always dreamed of is only half of the reward of winning really big. The other major trapping is being able to quit your job and, believe you me, my wife and I would quit in a heartbeat. We’d never work another day in our lives (as long as the money held out). If I won a large chunk of change the only conceivable reason why I would ever work again is for the express purpose of quitting. I have a lot of experience getting fired and I feel that I can draw on this to elevate quitting to art-form status.
I see little difference between quitting and getting fired. Whenever I’ve been fired, I saw it coming — I had exhibited a pattern of behaviour that I knew was not to management’s liking but I was either unable or unwilling to change. I was ultimately the only one responsible for having been fired. I now recognize that getting yourself fired is just passive-aggressive quitting.
My philosophy is if you’re going to quit, do it in such a way that for years to come the very thought of you will perforate you future ex-boss’ ulcer. Go out with a bang. Become a legend to future generations of disgruntled employees at the companies you leave.
The only thing is that quitting is usually too quick, polite, and rational to be especially traumatic to your employer. Bosses usually get much more wound up with people they have to fire after having endured weeks or even month of the employee’s shenanigans. Therefore, the ultimate way to quit is to get yourself fired for cause. The realization that you have manipulated your boss into dismissing you will compound any trauma inflicted by the transgression itself, and will sometimes eclipse it! To this end I’ve put together another Lotto List… “The Other Way of Quitting”, a guide to getting yourself fired.
Follow the instructions below and savour your freedom. Please note that these exit strategies presuppose that your boss and coworkers are oblivious to your new-found wealth.
- The Office Romance: Bring an inflatable “love doll” to work and romance it right in the reception area. Whether you only make it to first base or “complete the circuit” is entirely up to you.
- The Air of Defiance: On your lunch break, go to a Mexican buffet and eat your fill. Whenever you feel the need to “let off a little steam” during the afternoon, find your boss, “crop dust” him, and then walk away without saying a word.
- The Beauty Rest: Take a nap at work… on or under your boss’ desk, depending on the statement you’d like to make. Wearing those all-in-one pyjamas with the slipper feet built-in would add a nice touch. If you cannot find “feetie pyjamas” in your size, Spiderman PJs will do nicely. Don’t forget to bring your favourite teddy bear and pillow!
- The Tourist: If you’re lucky enough to win the lotto just when your boss is about to go on vacation, try to find out where he’s going and what hotel he’ll be in. Make a reservation there, trying to get the room next to his. If you succeeded in getting a room anywhere near his, complain to the front desk about all the noise he’s making, even if he’s not. Once there, bump into him at mealtime or by the pool. If he starts screaming at you, maybe hotel security will evict him. If you were supposed to fill in for him at some really important meeting during his absence, you’ve just caused him to cut his vacation short!
- The Pager: While your boss’ spouse is in the office, page your boss over the P.A. system saying something like, “Mr. Smithers! Your mistress is on line #2!” If you don’t have a P.A. system at your workplace and you’ve never been introduced to your boss’ spouse, walk up to the spouse and say “You must be Charlene. Doug is always talking about you.” In this case Doug is your boss and Charlene is not Doug’s wife’s name!
- The Music Lover: Go to work each day dressed as a different member of the 70s musical group The Village People.
- The Laws of Nature: Toss a gunny sack full of skunks into the room your boss is chairing a high-level management meeting, making sure the bag is not tied closed so the little bushy-tailed guys can scurry out easily. Close the door behind you and hold it that way. If the door has a window that the people inside can see you through as you’re it holding closed to keep them in the room, wink at them.
- The Raise: At a really busy time when the boss needs you most, ask for a ridiculous raise — something in the order of five times what you’re presently getting paid should do the trick. He’ll laugh, you’ll storm out. Go home and don’t pick up the phone if it rings. Eventually, possibly after many calls reminding you of your responsibilities at the office, he’s sure to leave a message informing you that you have been fired. Don’t return his calls except to leave a message on his voicemail stating that you expect him to have your final cheque ready the next payday. When that day rolls around, show up in your new red Ferrari, doing donuts in the parking lot when you arrive. Someone is sure to ask you where you got the exotic sports car, to which you respond that you found a job at eight or ten times what your tightwad boss was paying and you bought the car with the signing bonus from your new job. Word is sure to trickle back to your boss. Make sure you do a couple more donuts when you leave. Show up every couple of months “just to say hello to the old gang” in a different exotic vehicle.
- Hammer Time: Nail your signed resignation to your boss’ car’s windshield. If you have any company property that you need to return, like a uniform, keys, etc., nail them to the sidewalls of his tires. While this would normally be considered a pretty blatant statement that you’re quitting, employing the Implausible Deniability technique described later will force your boss to utter the words “You’re fired!” and will raise his blood pressure even higher.
- The Early Bird Gets the Pink Slip: Call your boss at home at 3 a.m. and ask him what time your shift begins in the morning. If that doesn’t get you fired right then and there, show up two hours later than the time he told you the night before. Rinse and repeat every day until your boss loses all his hair and cans your ass.
- Romeo: Send your boss’ spouse some flowers and a mushy letter from her “secret admirer”. Be sure to include some clue as to your true identity, such as writing the note on the back of your pay stub.
- Casual Fridays: Come in to work wearing something inappropriate, even for a casual Friday. Some wardrobe ideas for you to consider are a bunny costume, a three-piece suit with a live and very vocal animal duct taped to it, or going in “au naturel” but wrapped in transparent food wrap.
- Sick Days Off: This will take a bit of planning but is well worth it! After you’ve deposited your winnings in the bank, book a fabulous trip to several destinations, like Rio, Rome, The Great Wall of China, and Maui… the more exotic and beautiful the better. They must have landmarks that are immediately recognizable to anyone, even the cretin that is your boss. The thing is to leave on a Friday after work without anyone knowing you’re going anywhere, of course. When you get there, send your boss a photo of you standing in front of the location’s most famous landmark (don’t forget to turn on your camera’s timestamp function with the correct date and time set) with a note written on the back saying that you’re really sick and your doctor said that you won’t be able to come in to work until the following Monday. Be sure to send this photo by a courier that can get it to your boss right at the time you’re supposed to punch in on Monday morning. Then at the end of week one, go to another fabulous destination and do the same thing all over again. After a month, show up at work with your lunchbox and “ready for work”, not that you’ll have a job by then. When your boss tells you you’re fired, tell him you have a note from your doctor, presenting him a “doctor’s note” written in your own handwriting on your travel agent’s letterhead. Prepare to get “high fives” from just about every one of your former coworkers.
- The Faulty Alarm Clock: This is a double-edged plan engineered to not only infuriate your boss but to severely inconvenience a coworker as well. It works best if you work your shift alone, such as the security guard on the graveyard shift, and there is no one else to replace you. Plan “the big day” for a time when you are to relieve another employee who has done you wrong in some way, like snitching on you to the boss and then boss overreacted to what you feel was a minor breach of company rules. It’s an added bonus if the person you’re to relieve has to get home to send a babysitter home, pass their car off to their spouse so they can get to work, go to a second job, or has a hot date or a standing Friday night out with their friends. So here’s what you do… turn off your cellphone, stay at home, and just don’t show up for work. The employee that you’re to relieve will call you on your landline perhaps 15 or 20 minutes after you are scheduled to start work. Answer the call, putting on your best “morning voice” and apologizing profusely. Tell them that your alarm clock didn’t ring, apparently because of a power failure. Assure them that you’ll get cleaned up and be at work as soon as humanly possible, like in about an hour. You sit down and watch some TV, make a meal, or whatever will kill the next hour or so. When you fail to show up, the coworker will call back to see if you’ve left — remember to keep your cellphone turned off and the voicemail on both your cellphone and landline turned on but whatever you do, don’t pick up the phone! After leaving several messages over the course of around an hour, they will have no choice but to call the boss at home, who might be forced to work your shift himself if he cannot find anyone else to replace you. If you think that there is any chance that your boss will show up at your house to try to get you to go to work, park your car on the next block and turn out all the lights in your house. Be sure to post the increasingly frantic messages from your coworker and boss on YouTube and send me the link!
- Implausible Deniability: Become a pathological liar overnight. Deny everything that is true and confirm stuff that never happened, even if there is what amounts to forensic evidence that contradicts your claims. Make things up. Try your best not to smile or use sarcasm. This can either be a stand-alone Other-Way-of-Quitting plan or just a nice added touch following the implementation any of the previous plans.
Once the writing is on the wall and you’re being escorted off the premises by security, make sure you have a few choice parting words your boss will remember always. Don’t settle for some unimaginative string of expletives. Custom tailor your farewell according to what you know about your boss’ failures in his personal or professional life. Hit a nerve. I have my final goodbye ready, which is going to be “Give my regards to your wife and my kids!”. You can use it if you want.
Special Value-added Bonus: With a modicum of imagination, you could use any of the above Other Ways of Quitting techniques to get out of a bad romance or school… maybe even the military!
One more thing, if you do really win the lotto and actually use one of my exit strategies and you derived some deep sastisfaction from seeing your boss pop a blood vessel, send your good buddy HoaiPhai a cheque, will you? I could really use a vacation.
Let freedom ring!