Not a particularly extravagant FU Story, but more of a quiet (yet immensely satisfying) one. Sorry for the length!
I worked as an apparel designer for the last five years at a large clothing retailer located in the Midwest. Last January, the brand decides that it wants to be like all the other fashion brands and have fancy-pants NYC designers. They laid off the Wear-to-Work (dressier clothes) half of the design team, but asked them to stay for three months while they found their NYC replacements. Whether they truly thought that geographical location was relative to talent or they simply didn't want to pay relocation costs to the Midwestern designers, I don't know. We were told that the Casual half would be staying in the Midwest. I, being a very cynical person, didn't believe a word they said.
On top of that, my new (NYC based) VP who I reported directly to, was a complete and total sociopath. I don't use that term lightly or in ignorance. She genuinely was. On top of that, she was an HR nightmare and a walking litigation. She told me to tell my assistant to wear more makeup, that I needed to wear lipstick, dress in designer clothing, etc. Our company handbook only says that we can't wear bike shorts, rubber flip flops, or inappropriately fitting clothing. There was bullying, fat shaming, calling other employees "mentally ill" and "stupid." She would constantly contradict herself and blame all of her mistakes on other people's supposed ignorance.
I quietly documented every single statement. I met with HR periodically, which was useless since she was the new golden child, so I quietly documented those meetings as well. I updated my resume and started reaching out to my contacts and advised my team to do the same.
Fast forward ten very stress and anger filled months and I was told my position was being eliminated along with the rest of the remaining design team, but that (in a very cheerful voice) "We'd like to extend your employment for another four months!" They had not hired a single new person in NYC for my department yet. I had anticipated this layoff (they put 10 minute meetings in succession on everyone's calendar the day before... stupid.) and brought all my documentation. I asked if it would be easier to negotiate my severance now or later when the legal documents had been drafted. The HR lady replied, "I don't think there is any room for negotiation."
I pushed the stack of documentation toward her, and replied, "Actually, I think there is." That moment still gives me a thrill, lol.
Needless to say, her face went white, my severance amount was greatly increased, and a legal investigation was initiated against my boss.
Less than two weeks later, my entire team and I turned in our resignation letters all at the same time and walked out of the building with big fat severance checks and job offers from other companies. Almost a month later and they still have not found replacements for my team, and they are panicking. I guess they thought all fashion designers were dumb ding-dongs who would meekly stay for four months while they found our replacements. In fairness, there ARE several designers in my company with debt/no FU money who are doing just that.
Not my team. My team all had FU money saved up, and we ended up not even needing it. I got a job offer four hours after I interviewed. It seems not every company thinks geographical location is directly related to intelligence and talent.