Personally, I would suggest you start looking for a new one becoz if I was your boss, I’d fire you immedietly if I ever found out.
Also, I’d advice against trying anything too silly. Trying to break a CD in your drive is not a good idea. Firstly, you’d have to choose a CD which is okay for them to find in your drive but is not something that is even slightly important. Even if they don’t realise you did it on purpose, you could still get in trouble some how or other if it breaks in your drive and is even midly important (this could include software CDs BTW). Secondly, and more importantly, altho no ones has yet been injured, do you really want to be the first? (And it should be noted I have heard of possibly false reports of equipement being damaged) It’s always possible, especially if you do it on purpose. You could push the button and run away but if nothing happens then what? Try again? Someone may get suspicious if you keep running away from you drive or if they find out you seemingly ran away before you knew anything was wrong. And not to mention you could hurtn someone else or even get hurt when you run away. However, breaking up a CD into pieces probably won’t work. Reason being becoz it would need to actually pick up the CD to try and spin it. Damaging it might work but IMHO, it’s not really that easy to get on to break up even in 56x drives (many reports are likely false and the number of reports is small anyway).
One thing you could try would be to put a piece of loose cellotape or a label or something on a disc in you drive. I had this happen on once (not on purpose) and it totally killed the drive (sticky stuff would appear on the bottom of cds regularly). Glue etc may also work. Altho trying to explain how this happened will be difficult not to mention the fact they could try to force you to pay for it and any cds damaged in the process may also piss them off. abrasives, sand paper etc may work but you will need to make sure it reaches the laser. And once again explaining it will be tricky (altho thankfully, you’re not likely to damage any cds other the one which you stuck the sandpaper/whatever which does not have to be a legitmate cd). Even worse if the thing comes of the CD and goes into your drive.
Some CD readers, even old ones, are firmware updateable. A bad flash will probably kill it altho once again, explaining it will be difficult.
If you really want to know, I can’t think of anything which will not be hard to explain other then the very risky blowing up cd in you drive option (which also requires a high speed drive which seems unlikely given you sick and tired of it, unless of coz, you’re just a greedy idiot who wants something you don’t really need). Perhaps you could try getting them to exchange it with one from another comp (spare will be preferable to avoid making enemies). If you really had a good reason, I suspect you could do something without breaking it. Also, don’t be surprised if they give you back a equivalent drive which they have in store or and even worse one (Especially if you’re just plain fussy).