You don't have to take any more guff. You don't have to swallow what they've been dishing out. You are too intelligent, too talented and too noble.
You know who you are.
The renaissance is ON.
Quitting is back.
It's IN to get OUT with a bang.
Forget about the petty things like eating or the rising cost of college for your 17-year-old triplets. It is no accident that the No. 1 song on the country and western charts these days is "Take This Job and Shove It."
One o' these days I'm gonna blow my top
And that sucker, he's gonna pay;
Lord, I can't wait to see their faces
When I get the nerve to say:
Take this job and shove it!
Take This Job and Shove It
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. BMI
This Johny Paycheck song, written by David Allen Coe, has become the anthem for the quitters renaissance.
In the 1970s quitting has not been all that popular. Poor economy, high unemployment and inflation all forced people to hold on to what they had. But now, says sociologist Clifford Clogg, the mid-'70s recession is fading and people who earlier settled for below-skill and below-salary norms are moving up and out now that the recession is receding. And it's no corporate secret that many of the troops are sick and tired and won't take it anymore.
Prof. Gerald Susman of Penn State University, who specializes in organizational behavior, says, "Fifteen to 20 percent of Americans are seriously unhappy with their jobs." In 1976, the first year the federal government attempted to keep accurate figures, almost 200,000 federal workers up and left.
And tomorrow night at Washington's Open University Cal Simmons will conduct a one-time-only seminar entitled "How to Quit Your Job." Even if it's just "to take an exotic trip."
When unhappy and dissatisfied workers don't leave their job, they ask a deejay to tell their bosses off. On one late night shift, WMZQ announcer Carol Parker had 350 requests to play Paycheck's working man's lament.
The renaissance of quitting has some shallow roots that reach no farther than the confrontation politics of the '60s. More recently, quitting has become another manifestation of the assertiveness ethic of the '70s. Gall is good.
But there are deeper roots, for quitting has a colorful history - for the meek and the mighty.
There has always been room at the top for quitters. Diocletian quit the helm of the Roman Empire in 305 A.D. Richard II of England quit in 1399. Napoleon quit twice and then got fired. Czar Nicholas II quit wisely. Edward VIII quit for love. Through the years Americans have built a strong quitting tradition. Many inventors, financiers, industrialists and even presidents became great only after quitting obscure jobs to pursue their ambitions. LBJ quit teaching. Later he quit the presidency. Clearly, if working was important to the American dream, so was quitting.
These days the little guys often have made the best quitters. They have laid the groundwork for the quitters' renaissance. They have quit with flourishes and now form a sort of people's pantheon of quitters:
The foreign correspondent who quit Life magazine by sending a cable to his editors: UP STICK JOB A -- Ward.
The radio newscaster who, after techincal foulups had spoiled his hourly snow, signed off coast to coast with the words: ". . . a DISservice of ABC News."
Today's quitters' renaissance accommodates all kinds of quitters. If your feet are too cold for a face-to-face showdown, you can hire someone to quit for you. Chutzpah Phone Sercice in Philadelphia relays tantrums at $5 a pop, and empathetic proprietor Rachel Borden will quit for you, no extra charge. In San Francisco, Lip Service offers the same commodity - guts. All the quitters' renaissance really demands of us is that we let the boss have it even if an intermediary pulls the trigger.
To slip away silently is to fail. A typist failed recently when she left only a note: "I am not 'good enough' and besides I hate typing . . . I can't stand it anymore . . . I think I'll go sell real estate with my brother-in-law."
The more creative quitters have at their disposal some services for the ostentatious quitters.
BALLOONS. You can float a thousand copies of your quitting notice, pithy and personal. Ted and Mark Chorvinsky of Amusements Unlimited will send you 11-inch balloons, each capable of displaying four lines of copy, for $90 a thousand, plus $100 for the helium. Lighten up your boss with balloons.
TELEVISION COMMERCIALS Thirty seconds of commercial time costs $450 to $600 in the early-evening news, somewhat more at 11. There's a hitch: Community-standards officials at the three network stations might not accept a personal pitch. Try the independents. The greatest modern day quitter of them all, Richard Nixon, did it on the tube.
SKYWRITING. A total of 17 puff letters are available from Aero Associates in Vienna for $150. With luck, your parting shot will sail over the better part of two states and D.C.
And if you don't want to be outrageous, outlandish or outspoken . . . if you'd rather be subtle, Tom Robbins has the approach for you in his novel, "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues:"
You've heard of people calling in sick. You may have called in sick a few times yourself. But have you ever though about calling in well?
It'd go like this: You'd get the boss on the line and say, "Listen, I've been sick ever since I started working here, but today I'm well and I won't be in anymore." Call in well.