Irrationally Expecting the Worst

Many people assume that if they try heroin once they will end up a junkie in 10 days. Most of that has to do with the horror stories you hear from various media. You’ll never see some guy on the news telling you about the single time he tried heroin and lived normally ever after because it’s not very exciting. People want to hear about the person with 1000 needle marks on their forearm, lost everything, sold his dog for $2, stole his grandmother’s prized porcelain doll collection and now lives on the street getting laughed at by the same dog he sold.

We often picture life turning out in the way we’re used to fearing or hearing about. Quitting your job without having another one lined up conjures up images of homelessness and sadness rather than the possibility of a better job or just a better life in general. Again, you always hear about the people who lost their job and ended up living in their car wondering if they’ll have to give oral sex in exchange for a cheeseburger. Those stories are meant to entertain and make you feel better about yourself more than they are to properly inform you. Did you guys hear about what that guy did for a cheeseburger? Don’t quit your job, man.

Occasionally you do know the person who lost their job and landed somewhere better but it’s more common to amount this to a fluke. Many would call it, “lucky,” meaning you were more likely to end up in a worse position but the gods decided to side with you because it was a slow day in the Middle East. Who makes these odds? Outside of historical data and science, people often calculate odds using what they’re used to seeing and hearing. A bias is also often included to accommodate people’s feelings.

At my last job, over the years there were consistently people who were fired or basically forced to quit on the spot. Most of my colleagues appeared sympathetic but for the most part took advantage of someone’s perceived moment of shame and downturn to rejoice in their own perceived superiority. The only time I was rejoicing someone’s departure was when I disliked them but even then I was jealous. Now he has a chance, I thought. My other thought was that at least they didn’t have to come here anymore.

As far as I know none of those people ended up homeless or needed to do desperate actions for that cheeseburger. Some went on to better jobs even. When imagination or faith in the unknown is a requirement to move on, the majority play will be to do nothing. If the best laid plans often go awry then why wouldn’t the same occur just as often to the worst unplanned ones?



11 comments on “Irrationally Expecting the Worst

  1. Mr.Johnsons' Unmotivated Cousin says:

    You used the cheeseburger as a reference to Menace 2 Society didn’t you?


  2. I was planning on leaving my job in a month, might go with that plan now,


  3. Mr.Johnsons' Unmotivated Cousin says:

    I can just imagine the news headline, “Mass Exodus Quit Jobs Due To Blog.” I bet you would be so proud lol.


  4. lisa74 says:

    My question is why even use heroin once?!?! I guess for “the experience” but I just have NO desire to even try it…or waste my money on it…..that’s something I don’t get. Since I work at the jail, I see patients every day who have used heroin and meth heavily….I know they more than likely have trauma and have learned unhealthy coping skills and that’s why they are using these drugs…but I still don’t get it….


    • MrJohnson says:

      If these same people in the jail have problems with alcohol would that stop you from drinking?

      Why try alcohol or sex? You can become an alcoholic, get a disease or even worse…pregnant. If heroin had a slogan it would be, “the best feeling on Earth.” Why wouldn’t someone want that feeling? I’m not advising it but I think the reason why people would want to try it is simple…it feels good.


  5. I’m not sure I agree with this universal perception of fear…because desperation, necessity, urgency, self-respect, people or animals depending on you, not wanting to lose what you have, and a host of other reasons often force people into creative survival in ways that complacency cannot stimulate. Fear is one of the best innovators humans have. But, we often don’t know this until the fear kicks in for real. Scary, huh?


  6. MrJohnson says:

    Fear is a great motivator indeed but it’s such an unnatural action to walk into it when you don’t absolutely have to. I think the fear of not wanting to lose what you have is one of the biggest reasons to remain complacent. The thought of ending up in a worst position brings anxious feelings of intense regret and lifelong disappointment. Most or at least many people have friends and family to answer to for their actions. Hardly anyone will accept your plan if it isn’t aligned with linear progression.


  7. Well I guess whether you absolutely have to or not is a very personal choice. I have absolutely had to quit hateful jobs (and other stuff). Yeah, you could survive it, but sometimes even the huge unknown that awaits you is better for your well-being.


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