It was 40 years ago to the date that Richard Nixon resigned the Presidency of the United States of America. In one of the most shocking scandals in US history, Nixon handled his exit with grace and style. Ol’ Power Nose played the game and he played it dirty. Unfortunately, he got caught. It’s easy to get careless when you’re dealing with Kissinger yapping about China 24/7, ending the Vietnam War, and going toe-to-toe with Brezhnev and his eyebrows on a weekly basis.
You can get careless on the job, too. So maybe you cost your company millions of dollars by getting sued for sexual harassment. Perhaps you told your biggest client that they can take their price gauging complaints and stick them where the sun don’t shine. Maybe it’s a high profile scandal that rocks your company to its very core, resulting in even high level executives having to step down. Or maybe you just got fired. Regardless, having a game plan for resigning in disgrace is just good policy.
Make sure that you schedule your remarks at 4pm on a Friday. The news cycle has slowed down and no one is going to be paying attention to anything other than what they’re going to be stuffing their face with at happy hour. Make sure that the local media is in attendance, send out your own press release. A good example is as follows:
ATTN: Local media
Subject: Resignation Press Conference
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2014
JUNIOR EXECUTIVE SET TO ADDRESS MEDIA AT 4 PM
24-year-old to resign effective immediately after in-house sex scandal
CHICAGO, Ill. – Today, Robert L. Smith of Sectrotrone Partners, Inc. will be tendering his resignation at 4pm in the lobby of the City Gardens business park, building three. Effective immediately, Mr. Smith will be resigning his post as Junior Sales Executive. His resignation comes after recent allegations of indiscretion with a 19-year-old intern. Our in-house counsel will also be available to answer questions, as Mr. Smith has declined to answer or even acknowledge questions from credentialed media.
Upon entering the lobby, hold up a hand to shield your eyes from the bright camera flashes and lights. You will need your eyes to read your remarks and temporary blindness caused by high-wattage lighting required for live television will prevent that. It also helps if you can bring an attractive woman with you. You don’t even have to be dating her, but the press and general public will respect you when they see that you are capable of pulling ass that isn’t an impressionable, naive intern.
Thank the press for attending and let them know that you will not be taking or answering ANY questions. Say it twice if you have to. After thanking them, openly criticize their coverage of the story and note how much pain and anguish they have put your family through. NEVER acknowledge any wrongdoing. Make sure you stare at your remarks for as long as possible before addressing the cameras for the final three words of each sentence. They’re on your time. Let them know it. They should be so lucky to get such juicy headline fodder.
Be courteous and polite. Thank your superiors for giving you such a wonderful opportunity at a great company. Also take this chance to remind everyone how much you did for the company, despite defrauding the company after reporting false sales numbers and boning shareholders out of millions of dollars. Refer to yourself as “successful,” “a wunderkind,” and “cultural pariah.” Use terms like “schadenfreude,” “gotcha journalism” and “slander. ” Call out a journalist in particular, but don’t blatantly challenge them to a fistfight. Just allude to the fact that you wouldn’t mind throwing hands out in the parking lot after.
Some might advise you to avoid profanity, but I say no. Let the F-bombs fly. Go out in a blaze of glory. Hurl an arsenal of highly personal insults at the press scrum and start throwing shit. Really fight for it. They took your job away from you. This is their fault. No one had to know. The nosy, liberal media got their grubby hands on a sexy story and butt-rammed your career into oblivion. It really freaks people out when a buttoned-down, French collar-wearing, respectable, profitable member of society completely loses their shit out of nowhere.
Storm through the gaggle of media, but remember to be polite. Shout “Excuse me!” and “Please move, move please!” This lets them know that you have manners. If you happen to stumble into a rogue camera lens, loudly declare your intentions to press charges for assault. It helps to have a friend (if you have any left) and/or hired security assist you in making a safe and timely exit from the premises. Once you’re out of the building, make sure there’s a town car waiting for you. Book it to the airport and don’t look back. Go to Mexico for a few weeks. You’ll probably encounter media at the airport, and in that case, just do what Captain Kramer would do.