The Art of Walking Out

Posted by Brandon |

Editor's note: This was originally published as a guest post over at The Art of Getting By. But since I'm am lazy and don't want to write anything new tonight, I will reprint it here for those of you who don't follow any of my links...

I have watched the movie Office Space many, many times. Every time I watch it I wish that someday I could walk into my office in the middle of the day, grab a couple of important things, ignore a boss and just turn around and head out. So imagine my joy and giddiness when this same opportunity presented itself last week.

But first, a little background. I recently moved to California from Seattle with my wife, a new resident physician at the local county medical center. I worked on getting a job for about a month failing to secure even a modest position waiting tables or slinging drinks. So I caved in and went to the dark side...A temp agency. They found me a job as a disposable typing monkey with a humongous entertainment corporation. As soon as I realized just how stifling and depressing corporate life could be, I started searching yet again for something less wrist slit-able.

One afternoon, while skipping out on a lame attempt at a going away party for another temporary drone, I went to a job interview with a small toy company. I knew right then that I would get this job and I started planning my escape from corporate hell. I looked at the calendar and guessed that I would probably start on Monday, the 13th, the week after a quick vacation that I had planned back to Seattle in which I would miss Monday (Labor Day), Tuesday and Wednesday anyway.

Luckily, I got the job the day before Labor Day weekend and I informed my boss before I left for vacation. He asked if I could work that Thursday and Friday after my vacation and I foolishly agreed. I should have known right then that there was no way I would ever work another minute for that company, but being a sad, broke bastard got the best of me.

Thursday rolled in with one of the most gorgeous mornings we have had since moving to California. Having arrived from Seattle at nearly 3:00 AM didn't help things either, but I still thought I would make it into work. But when that first alarm went off, I hit the snooze bar once, then twice and then the next thing you know, six times. By this time I was already an hour late, the sun was beckoning me to the beach and the vision of Peter swept through my mind. So I threw on some shorts, a t-shirt, a ballcap and my flip-flops and headed to the office.

I rolled into my group with a mission: grab my desk toys (I couldn't just abandon a Blackbeard action figure, a set of Cubes and a miniature zen garden could I?) and get out. Nobody seemed to notice anything different about me when I arrived. A few jokes flew about me being an hour late, but other than that, nobody knew that anything was amiss. So I took out a box and quickly started packing up my stuff and I started to notice everybody turning to watch me, mouths widening, eyes bulging and sweat beading on their foreheads. I wrote down my email and phone number for the two people I actually liked working with and then turned, said goodbye and walked out, leaving everybody behind dazed and confused and in a state of shock. I had become exactly what I wanted in this moment: the main attraction. And it couldn't have felt any better.

Sure it was cowardly, sure it was irresponsible, sure it is a poor reflection of who I am and what I believe. But it was also a lot of fun and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I spent the rest of the day body boarding and working on my tan at the beach with my wife. Was it the perfect day? Maybe. Maybe not. You really should try it some time and decide for yourself