“Take this job and shove it, I ain’t working here no more.” It’s the Johnny Paycheck anthem of the downtrodden employee who is fed up with a poor work environment, low-pay and without a woman. Over the past week there have been some people who quit in spectacular ways.
First, HP CEO Mark Hurd was forced to quit, a JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater quit with some flare and then “dry erase girl Jenny” faked-quit and in doing so, faked out the entire intertube community.
What amazes me is that at a time when the unemployment rate in the United States is 9.5 percent , that’s 14.6 million Americans if you’re counting, people were rallying behind both Slater and “Jenny” for doing what they’ve wanted to do for years – quit in a public, stick-it-to-the-man fashion. In fact, if you don’t happen to work in a plane or have a fake job to quit or fudge expense reports allegedly, bNet has some helpful ways to help you quit.
But it’s not just these three people who have quit recently. If you’ve followed the sports world you know some guy named Lebron James quit on the city of Cleveland. Now, before you say, “he changed teams, did what’s best for him, he wants to win”— it’s how he quit that was spectacularly depressing—choosing to make his decision to quit on primetime cable TV to much fanfare. It’s not like he’s the first to quit on Cleveland. Then there’s the other guy who won’t decide if he wants to quit, but I don’t care for him so I won’t spend much time on him.
And, it’s not just in the sports world that this country is choosing to quit. NY Times columnist, Paul Krugman writes that the federal government is quitting on schools and children, while letting the Nations infrastructure waste away.
Our government at the highest levels has quit trying to help the American people, instead falling back on party lines and passing bills catering to special interest and the ultra-rich. Maybe it’s because the American people have quit on them. In a bit of a dated research, but the last time it was conducted, Pew Research found more than half of America had an unfavorable view of Congress, a 24-year low.
Have we quit on the American dream? Divorce rates for first marriages are 40 percent, 67 percent if it’s your second go around. By the way, America has the highest divorce rate of any country. Americans are quitting on religion as well. Instead of laughing at George and Louise Jefferson who used moxie and perseverance to “move on up” we laugh at handful of pampered kids who subscribe to the GTL way of life.
Gone are the days of sitcoms showing families working together and solving all their problems in 30 minutes (as crazy as that sounds, family civility and understanding is a good thing to model behavior after), instead we watch shows like the Real Housewives of whatever town featuring women of privilege showing America how the rich and ugly live. The American dream isn’t homeownership, finding a life-long companion or working hard and choosing to model themselves after polo games and dinner parties.
Maybe the United States hasn’t quit entirely, but it would seem that with the popularity Steven Slater and Jenny have received, America is celebrating quitting—maybe because deep down inside, we’re all ready to quit and live the good life.