[ To those who wonder why I am posting at Ethics Alarms when it’s 4:37 on Thanksgiving morning, I can only note that when you’re staying in a hotel in Baltimore and hacking your guts out with the world’s slowest moving chest cold, and your wife is asleep and your Jack Russell makes it clear it is either walk him or face the consequences—and with that breed, the consequences can mean anything from an unpleasant deposit in your suitcase or ground glass in your next meal, you’re going to be up for a while. A surprising number of prostitutes out around Fayette Street this time of night….and they were all more interested in Rugby than they were in me.]
When it comes to quitting on the job, there is the Steven Slater method, and then there is this.
Embroiled in various disputes with station management, the news team for ABC’s affiliate in Bangor, Maine (WVFX), Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio, decided to resign on the air, at the conclusion of the nightly news broadcast, without informing their soon-to-be ex-bosses. Normally I would frown at such a stunt as unprofessional, and I expected the pair’s performance to have a “take this job and shove it” flair. It did not. Their tone and execution was note perfect, saying good-bye and thank-you to their audience, community and staff, and barely hinting at any discord behind their departure at all, though one would have had to be a low-information voter not to surmise it. Michaels said afterward that the two had “figured if we had tendered our resignations off the air, we would not have been allowed to say goodbye to the community on the air and that was really important for us to do that.” Here was their farewell Wednesday night:
While the station management could not have been happy with the on-air resignation, it did not reflect poorly on it at all. Keeping any rancor or bitterness out of their farewell was not only dignified and professional on the part of the ex-anchors, but wise as well. They gave potential employers no cause to distrust them, which a Slater-style farewell of, say, singing the Marseillaise and jointly defecating on their news desk might have.
For giving disaffected employees everywhere a lesson in how to say, “Take This Job and Shove It” with class and style, Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio are Thanksgiving Ethics Heroes.
Have a great Thanksgiving, dear readers.
Now the dog and I are going to try to get some sleep.