That was not a comforting analogy.

Me:  She sounds miserable – she said she’s never wanted to quit anything so badly in all her life.  Do you think she’ll actually go through with this?  Quit her residency?

Boyfriend:  No, definitely not.

Me: … Why are you so sure?   If I were her, I would quit.

Boyfriend:  No, you wouldn’t – it’s not worth it.  For example, imagine you’ve just been told that, sometime this week, your employer will cut off one of your toes.

Me:  …Oh my god, I would quit. Definitely.

Boyfriend:  What?  No! That’s the opposite of – okay, see, there’s nothing you can do about it.  In this scenario, even if you quit, one of your toes will eventually be cut off.  It’s uh, it’s a prophecy.

Me:  Then I’d cut it off myself.

Boyfriend:  Also, there’s an alien force-field preventing you from cutting it off yourself.

Me: … Wait, what?

Boyfriend:  The point is, you suck it up and deal, because there’s nothing you can do about the situation.  Residency’s just gonna suck, but unlike unemployment, it’s eventually over.  It’s over really quickly. And in the meantime, sure, you’re going to be really unhappy and say things you don’t mean, like “I want to quit” – but you don’t quit.

Me:  … No. If my boss was going to cut off one of my toes, I would quit.

Boyfriend:  … I think we have different levels of pain tolerance.

Truest statement ever.  (Though I still maintain it’s less about “pain tolerance” and more about “why the hell would you accept somebody trying to cut off your toe?”)

But either way, he’s right about the resident – she’s sticking it out.

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6 thoughts on “That was not a comforting analogy.

  1. I also maintain that pain tolerance isn’t an issue here, LOL.
    I would DEFINITELY quit if I knew my boss was going to cut off my toe. That’s not really a situation where I would be forced to suck it up and deal.

    Although, if my boss offers to pay for my medical bills AND medical school bills after, I’ll definitely think about it 😛

    • Also, imagine all the people you could freak the heck out with one of your toes missing. Like shoe salespeople. Or pedicurists.

      If you are helping someone move a couch, you could pretend it landed on your foot and start screaming. Reach down and take off your shoes, squirting a packet of ketchup from your concealed palm and yell, “You cut off one of my toes!”

      Alternatively, you could use it in difficult talks with your patient. “You think cancer is bad…let me untie my shoes.” or “Now that you’ve seen my pinky-less feet, I’m sure the news I have doesn’t seem so bad.”

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