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Sometimes you have to rage-quit your job (we totally get it) but instead of living out the fantasy you’ve been playing over and over in your head of filling your boss’s office with sea cucumbers and dead fish, consider a different approach. We all know that in reality you don’t want to burn your bridges and potentially ruin your future career prospects by making an enemy. So instead of actually doing these things we all want to do when we quit, indulge by reading on.
1. Reenact every scene from the 1990s classic workplace film Office Space.
No matter how tempting it is to take the fax machine equivalent of your workplace to a secluded field and end its miserable existence with a baseball bat, deep down we all know it’s a bad idea.
2. Nail a list of grievances to your boss’s office door like some kind of white collar Martin Luther.
At some point we will all probably work for a boss who makes every project seem like a waking nightmare. And while a laundry list of their bad behavior and habits might be burned into your brain, it just isn’t a good idea to advertise that publicly. Only rookies leave physical evidence.
3. Raid the office supply cabinet and line your pockets with company staplers.
Besides the logistics of finding and wearing a trenchcoat with interior pockets perfect for stashing away a cache of contraband office supplies, you really don’t need that many staplers. Take a deep breath and try radicalizing your oppressed coworkers against the patriarchy instead.
4. Go rogue on the workplace kitchen and sample your coworker’s greatest lunchtime hits.
Invading the sacred space of the communal fridge in any workplace should be a violation reserved only for the heinous circumstances. Instead of plowing your way through the mystery tupperware of everyone in accounting, try upping your lunchtime game to such a high level that all your coworkers will be sorry to see you go (before they have a chance to pick your brain about that guac recipe).
5. Throw an after-hours going away party at the office without inviting anyone who actually works there.
This tactic is possibly one of the biggest middle finger salutes to your workplace, but ultimately not worth the effort. Resist the urge to purchase all the pinatas at Target and focus your energy on nailing that new position you’ve been after so that the next time you want to throw a blow out party, you’ll actually want to invite your coworkers.
6. Rent your cubicle space out to local film studies majors to use as a set for their low-budget indie flick.
Some ideas are best suited to that doc you have for that story you keep meaning to write. Instead of unleashing such a specific kind of hell on your coworkers, consider putting your diabolical creative energy into a new website design or equally productive activity. And if you can’t re-channel that energy—that’s okay too. You’re only human. And it’s time to quit your job.
7. Give your two weeks notice while out on a three week vacation without Wi-Fi.
Unfortunately, a graceful exit—even from a job that is a total bummer—means actually showing up until the end instead of escaping to some tropical locale and blowing through the vacation days you’ve been hoarding for months. A rage vacation is never really a good idea.
8. Respond to emails from coworkers only in gifs from awards shows and links to Whitney’s classic parting-ways jam “I Will Always Love You.”
You know what will satiate this urge and help you keep your professional rep? Discount karaoke night with your friends Whitney, Britney, and Mariah. Invite your most supportive local pals to cheer you on while you let it go.
9. Put all the passwords and information your successor will need in one of those lockbox puzzle games that sadistic relatives buy for kids, and leave it on your cleaned out desk with a note that just says “Check mate.”
Setting up easy transitional materials for the person taking over your job might be the last positive act you can manage in a difficult workplace. Take pride in the fact that having your ducks in a row is good practice for growing your own professional life: You get to keep the positive parts of your job experience and discard the rest.