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How to Quit Your Job: An Interview With Mr. Cake

April 29, 2013

Three years ago, Chris Holmes was an immigration officer checking passports at Stansed Airport in England (halfway between London and Cambridge). But he wasn't really. In fact, he was a baker at heart, and he began a bakery from home that he worked on during his off-hours. A couple weeks ago, when he realized the business was taking off, and that he wanted to devote himself to baking full-time, he quit his job at the airport. Not news, right? Well, he gave notice not with your run-of-the-mill resignation letter, but with the cake you see above. A photo of the resignation cake quickly went viral. I checked in with Holmes via e-mail and got the skinny on how his cake-resignation went down, and how things have been since. MYP: What led you to resign, and to resign in this fashion? CH: Working with food is my passion, so I'd been aiming to resign and make the cake business my sole employment ever since I set up the company three years ago. As I was leaving to run a cake business, I thought it'd be fun to hand in my resignation on a cake as a bit of a joke and an advert for my business. I could never have dreamt what a successful advert it would be! Knowing how fond the Home Office is of bureaucracy I took a paper resignation letter with me just in case, but in the event my managers were happy to accept the resignation via cake! MYP: Have you quit jobs this creatively before? CH: I've always resigned from any previous jobs in a more traditional way -- this is the first time I've resigned in such an unusual way. MYP: Most important question of all: What kind of cake was it? CH: Passion Cake -- a spiced carrot cake with coconut, sultanas, pecans and orange buttercream. MYP: The most frequent reaction I hear about the cake is what an amazing job you did with the lettering. Did you get it right on the first try, or was there a whole bakery full of do-overs before the delivered product? CH: I did have to "delete" a few words and re-do them. Didn't require a whole new cake for each mistake, just a sharp knife, a paintbrush and a little water to remove the mistakes. MYP: How did it go over at your suddenly former place of work? CH: They weren't expecting me to resign and they certainly weren't expecting cake! I think they were pleasantly surprised to receive the news in edible format. MYP: Have your former coworkers and employers indeed begun using you for their cake-making needs? CH: I've had quite a few orders from my colleagues over the past three years since I set up the company. I hope that'll continue and that they won't forget about me now I've left! MYP: Were you surprised by the attention you got for your resignation cake? CH: Completely amazed! I don't think anyone could have...

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