Now don’t get me wrong – I’m a great believer in technology. I ditched paperbacks long ago for a Kindle, have an Android and an iOS phone both packed with apps, and am on the management committee for the techUK HR Forum.
However, even I draw the line at an app whose sole purpose is to create a customised text message for employees to send to their boss telling him they are resigning. Yes, it’s true, the “Quit your Job” app has arrived.
The app’s creators invented it because “There’s a lot of anxiety around the resignation process, so we used technology to ease the pain in that moment and make it seamless to break up with your boss.” True perhaps in relation to that brief moment, but one has to question just how “seamless” that break-up would be. Let’s not forget the importance of employer references when looking for jobs in the future. The reference given following receipt of a Quit Your Job resignation text message could be less than glowing.
Purely in the name of academic research, obviously, I downloaded the app and opened it up. Getting straight down to business, the first screen gave me the option of confirming that I am quitting because (a) I’m sick of the corporate world; (b) I want to get rich; or (c) I found a new job.
[Employment Lawyer Critique number 1 - where are options for (i) you are bullying/harassing/ discriminating against me; (ii) you've unilaterally varied my terms and conditions of employment; or (iii) you’ve breached your implied duty of trust and confidence? Don't use this app if you are thinking of claiming constructive dismissal - evidentially you would struggle and only the most brazen and least realistic among us would argue that this fell under the (b) get rich box.]
The next page then allows me to state that I’m leaving to follow my dream to (a) run for Senate; (b) marry to get rich; or (c) dance for money. What about the dream of (i) never having to work with any of you again; (ii) stopping my health from suffering; (iii) working for an employer which actually appreciates me or (iv) getting my life back?
Sadly my attempts to discover the full creative extent of Quit Your Job were thwarted when I refused to give it full access to my iPhone contacts. Perhaps the next page provides an equally broad spectrum of options as to what your now ex-employer can do with its leaving gift and just what would have to happen in Hell before you would consider signing its severance agreement. Perhaps I do the app a dis-service – maybe there is a market for it among those whose grasp of the written word is so tenuous that they are unable to resign unaided, but since they are likely to have been sacked anyway, I do rather doubt it. Even so, it does stand out for me as one of the few apps even less useful for an employee than the “Fire Me” option we mentioned last year.
Personally, however, I much prefer the “resignation via Kanye West video rip off” approach used by writer Marina Shifrin when resigning from her job with Next Media Animation in Taiwan. Not only was it so entertaining that to date over 17 million people have viewed it on You Tube, but it also gave her boss and (no doubt without any coercion whatsoever) his team the opportunity to produce a video response in which his team waxed lyrical about how great a place Next Media Animation actually is.
That said, putting the finer points of your reasons for leaving on YouTube is not really recommended – statistically a bit sticky on the old alternative front, I suspect, even if, in Marina’s specific case, it landed her a spot immediately on Queen Latifah’s sofa.