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The Extremely Topical VICE Guide to Resigning

How to resign like a career politician (or Roy Hodgson) (or Chris Evans).

(Photo via mr.throk)

This article originally appeared in VICE UK.

Happy 'Resign From Your Job Fortnight', everyone, the holiday I did not realise existed but apparently almost every member of the Labour shadow cabinet, the Prime Minister, Nigel Farage, Roy 'tiny sad old owl' Hodgson and Chris Evans have all had marked in their calendar for months, looked forward to with tingling anticipation, and celebrated with aplomb now we're 'doing Brexit'. I did not know also that the accepted course of action once you supremely fuck up is to dust your hands together, quit, and hope someone else mops up the mess. But all of the UK's most powerful men are doing it, so clearly I'm the one in the wrong, here. I guess we're all learning something! On this, #RFYJF2k16! Anyway, here's how to resign like a pro:



As demonstrated by: Nigel Farage, Roy Hodgson, David Cameron, Boris Johnson

How to do it: Farage with his, "actually, life outside the European Union is really very exciting and we've got a much better, brighter future being in charge of our own lives"; Hodgson with his "The transition from the squad whose average age was 30 to now being the youngest in the tournament is both remarkable and exciting for the future of English football"; Cameron's "I believe we have made great steps, with more people in work than ever before in our history, with reforms to welfare and education, increasing people's life chances, building a bigger and stronger society". Essentially, the trick here is to neatly sidestep how you fucked up (plunging UK into continental and economic turmoil; flopping out of an international tournament to Iceland; Torying the country into oblivion with crippling austerity) and focussing on the positive instead. All of this is kind of the basic positive thinking you can learn in half an hour from an old Uri Geller Mindpower tape. Your dad definitely still has one in the car from that time he tried and failed to get a promotion in the late '90s.

How to make this work for you: "I am sad to announce my intention to leave this branch of Maplin Electronics. In my time here I have mastered those off-brand drones you make us fly around the front of the store, figured out how to change the two receipt roll thing you have on the tills, and barely ever told any of the customers to 'fuck off'. I hope you see these qualities in me and mention them in any future references, and not that time a conman confused me with a trick about giving him change for a £50 note and I somehow ended up handing him a grand."



As demonstrated by: Farage

How to do it: Please don't come at me if your favourite bit in all the resignation announcements made recently isn't when Farage, fresh from the most shiteating-grin-made-somehow-into-a-speech address to the European Parliament, spent most of his resignation address telling everyone gunning for the various political vacant positions how exactly to do the jobs they are going for without actually personally going for any of the jobs. There's this bit: "We need a new Prime Minister that puts down some pretty clear red lines". There's the bit where he says we can get back into Europe by complimenting their Mercedes' and vinos: "We need to be lobbying the German car industry and the French wine producers, because next year both France and Germany have General Elections." And then there's the vague, beautiful, evocative threat, of Farage outside the European Parliament with binoculars and a packed lunch, 18 consecutive hours in the same folded fishing chair, twitching in the bushes, waiting for them to fuck up, watching, damp with anticipation for it, breath bated, waiting: "I will watch the renegotiation process in Brussels like a hawk." It's easy to hate Farage – he's essentially a cigar smoke and onion burp in the shape of the kind of a man who really, really likes shooting – but you have to admire him for resigning from a position he essentially invented, taking a pop at an empty Prime Ministerial role and saying that whoever takes it up will, now, thanks exclusively to him, need to be really tough on negotiating in Europe, and then doing a Sting and saying he'll always be watching, whatever happens next. Farage – it's hard to remember, sometimes – is just a bloke, one who's been voted in as an MEP but that's it, he's essentially just a very loud passerby who has somehow convinced the UK to leave Europe, and now he's fucking off now they've done it. His resignation speech even included a nod to how we need to import specialist trade negotiators from abroad because the current Civil Service doesn't know how to do it. He vacates his seat to take up the mantle of Britain's greatest living pisstaker.


How to make this work for you: "I regret to inform you that I am stepping aside in my role as sandwich artist here at Subway. The right candidate needs to be brave, bold, on time, have love for sandwiches, have clear ideas about bread choices, and need to not get their colleagues' fingers somehow stuck in the slicing machine, injuring them irreparably, blood all in the coleslaw, blood in all the salad bit."


As demonstrated by: David Cameron

How to do it: David Cameron's, "I will do everything I can as Prime Minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months, but I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination" is a very David Cameron metaphor, isn't it, because only Tories thing sailing is good, and only Tories attach credo to the idea of being the captain of something, and only Tories say things like "smooth at the tiller!" and "knot off!" and loads of boat stuff like that, and only Tories think of Britain like a big beautiful mahogany ship that can be varnished to a high shine and sailed out of European waters, that captain probably being, fucking hell, Michael Gove.

How to make this work for you: "I am withdrawing from the battlefield of light 9-to-5 back office administration after stepping on the landmine of photocopying my arse after work as a joke but somehow leaving a few A3 copies of my zoomed-in dot on the recycling tray for the enemy forces of HR to find and investigate."



As demonstrated by: David Cameron, Roy Hodgson, Nigel Farage

How to do it: Thing I've learned with resignation speech patriotism is not to lay it on too thick: you're resigning, not trying to fuck the Queen. Cameron: "I love this country, and I feel honoured to have served it." Hodgson: "It's been a fantastic journey, these four years, and it's one I'll look back on and remember with pride." Fazza: "And we need to go global, there is no reason to wait for this, at all." Subtly, slowly, quietly loving the fuck out of Britain.

How to make this work for you: "Thanks for the opportunity to work here at VAPEAGEDDON for the past four months. I love England. Sorry all those canisters exploded that time. I stacked them on top of a hot-running mini fridge and they all overheated. Sorry you got those permanent burns on your leg. God save the Queen. I resign."


As demonstrated by: Roy Hodgson, David Cameron

How to do it: Yeah, you thought Roy Hodgson was just a sweet little old man, didn't you – you can imagine Roy Hodgson nestling into a good squidgy settee and eating three bourbon biscuits off a plate and having a nice feet-up nap, can't you; Roy Hodgson slowly doddering down to the golf course to have exactly one pint with his only mate, who is also called Roy; Roy Hodgson having a cheery little honk on an oxygen machine – but actually, in his presser where he announced his resignation from the England job, he showed that he's still vital, still armed with a razor-sharp cutting edge, putting a sly little boot in to the people who had so underpinned his failure: "I want to thank the media for the support you have given me." Same with David Cameron, doing a wink-wink nudge-nudge version of the wank off hand gesture to 52% of the British public: "The British people have made a choice. That not only needs to be respected, but those on the losing side of the argument - myself included - should help to make it work." What we are learning here is: if you are quitting a job because of someone else's fuck up (the British public; every English footballer for the past four years), find a way to subtly put a dig in. It's the gentlemanly way.


How to make it work for you: "I would like to thank everyone at the call centre for their support, guidance, and friendship, and also to the customers, who managed to make six complaints against me in a ten-day period, triggering the internal tribunal I am resigning before instead of facing up to."


As demonstrated by: Chris Evans

How to do it: What I have enjoyed most about this week is Chris Evans' exasperated 'oh fine FUCK IT THEN' tweet saying he was giving up on Top Gear, because essentially it was a bit like when you were a teenager and you threw strops in front of your parents or friends, dealing in absolutes like, "no, I hate you – AND I DON'T EVEN WANT TO GO ON HOLIDAY ANYWAY!" or "you know what, fuck it – I DON'T WANT TO GO TO THE PROM, HAVE FUN WITHOUT ME" or "everyone hates me – I'M CANCELLING MY BIRTHDAY PARTY", and essentially what you truly wanted as a result of such tantrums, and most often probably got, was for the people it was aimed at to softly pad up to your bedroom, sit on the edge of the bed where you were furiously sobbing, put a single hand on your back and go, "no, no… don't… don't do that. We do like you. We do want to hang out with you." Anyway, Chris Evans didn't get that.

Here's Chris Evans' tweet: "Stepping down from Top Gear. Gave it my best shot but sometimes that's not enough. The team are beyond brilliant, I wish them all the best." You're telling me he doesn't, secretly, want everyone to turn around and say, 'no, Chris! Your brand of car-based anti-banter is Actually Good! Please do keep making Top Gear!" He's put up with months of heckling even before he was announced for the job saying he would be bad at the job. He's dealt with a whole campaign of the media writing the show off even before it aired because he's not Jeremy Clarkson. He's gone through all of that then, five episodes in, quits? No. The deep truth of this: Chris Evans did not want to quit Top Gear, just then. He wanted us to beg for him to keep doing it. And we didn't. We didn't and now he's just tantrummed himself out of his dream job, very publicly, forever.


How to make this work for you: You can't really make this work for you because it's a bad idea, did you not read the above paragraphs.


As demonstrated by: Nigel Farage, Chris Evans

How to do it: To be honest with you the idea of Nigel Farage unchained and unshackled by the UKIP party is possibly more horrifying and dreadful than the idea of him in it, like at least when he is holding up UKIP we know where he is, but now he could be anywhere – stepping out of alleyway shadows with his dark small shark eyes, undulating around you in a darting crowd, or, worse, somehow weedling his way into the House of Lords – and he kept dropping hints to that vague, heady future in his resignation speech, ending on a line that sort of sounds like the bit near the end of a musical where the main character learns some deep, life-changing truth about themselves and, suddenly free, bursts into a glorious song and dance numbers: "During the referendum campaign I said I want my country back', what I'm saying today is 'I want my life back', and it begins right now." At least with Farage's there was a quiet note of hope: Chris Evans' follow up tweet, "Full steam ahead then with Radio 2, CarFest, Children In Need, 500 Words and whatever else we can dream up in the future," was essentially a 'I'm off to Switzerland, lads, and I'm not coming back' note of a tweet: 'I am leaving Top Gear to instead host CarFest, a festival of cars, and do short stories on Radio 2. Do not mourn for me.'


How to make it work for you: "Sandra — thank you for the opportunity to work shelf-stacking shifts at ASDA for the past six weeks. I regret to inform you I am off to pastures new, now, but worry not: the future is bright for me, as I'm going to spend the rest of the summer getting really stoned alone in my bedroom and playing all of the Assassin's Creed games, back-to-back, until I have a bit of a wobble and start thinking I can legitimately survive drops off large buildings if there's enough hay at the bottom."


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