Worker Revenge

Even in this shitty economy, more than half of Americans want to quit their jobs. There’s a good chance you have four job descriptions open on Monster.com in another browser as you read this. Most of us are overworked, underpaid, and have to answer to a boss that—let’s be honest—is a complete jerk off. There’s a reason for that, to be successful managing people you have to be a prick on some level. Everyone has a different management strategy, and it seems like the one that gets the most results a balance of douchebag, and go-getter. Employees will say, “Yeah Bill IS kind of a dick, but he’s really good at what he does, and he’s right, my reports have been sloppy lately", but Bill needs to be careful.

Friendly advice to those in upper management: If you pay people what they’re worth, and acknowledge when people do a good job (whatever the fuck that means) you can get away with sending passive aggressive emails, making us stay late, and other annoying shit. When you take your bullshit too far, you’re fucked. This is a basic principal that bosses forget. Often times the person getting paid the least, with the entry level job, can still screw everything up really badly, or make you look like the fucker you really are.

Joey DeFrancesco, a former hotel worker, really hated being treated like shit at his job and executed one of the best work exits in the history of organized labor. Joey worked for three and a half years at the Providence Renaissance Hotel in Rhode Island. Many of the employees at the hotel became frustrated with their work schedules, causing them to unionize. Their main complaint was working a late shifts, only to return a few hours later for a morning stint. Like most employers, the management at the Renaissance Hotel got heated when the workers joined a union, and responded by treating them shittier. They started by cutting shifts from several employees, instead of working towards a more amenable schedule.

Joey reached his breaking point and decided he wasn’t going to just quit, he was going to make a real spectacle. He gathered together the members of his brass marching band and went into the hotel through the employee entrance. With the band ready to play, Joey waits until his boss Jared arrives. The moment Joey hands J-Dog his letter of resignation, the band launches into his theme song, “Joey Quits.”

Being a complete asshole to his boss wasn’t enough for Joey, he filmed the entire debacle and put it on YouTube, where it quickly received over a million hits. Despite taking a lot of flack from unemployed detractors, Joey doesn’t think that workers should be taken advantage of because the job market sucks, and thousands agree.

Due to the overwhelming response, Joey decided to take things further and started the non-profit Joey Quits,  launching a site where hotel workers can share their stories and learn more about their rights. The site’s content is posted in both English and Spanish and has grown to past only hotel-centric content. Joey’s former co-workers have said that his initiatives and the attention they’ve garnered, have helped to ease relationships at the hotel, and improve working conditions.

At almost 3.5 million views, Joey’s video is bound to inspire others to act on their quitting fantasies, or at least provide us with more “Shit People Say” videos.