True story: when I was a lawyer, sometimes I’d leave work and fantasize about jumping in front of a slow moving bus or cab and getting injured. Not enough to be in a life-threatening situation, just serious enough to be put in some ward of the hospital where my doctors wouldn’t allow me to do any more work. I knew just having a “note” from the doctor or being “sick” wasn’t enough. If you could see, you could review documents. So I needed an injury where somebody would prevent my employer from making me do any more work.
And an injury that was serious enough to allow me to quit would have kept my parents off my back. That’s the real business. If I had gotten, say, my left arm chopped off (I’m right handed), I figured I could credibly explain to my family that I had “a moment of clarity” and didn’t want to “waste my life in an office” anymore. Then I wouldn’t look like a “quitter” to my friends and family, and I’d look almost heroic for efforts to overcome my new disability. It would have worked!
I never did it, obviously. Eventually, I realized that quitting my job and dealing with the disappointment of my family and the unfounded perception that I “couldn’t cut it” from my friends was way more intelligent than cutting off my arm. And I think history has proven me right. For instance, I have two arms, which is awesome.
But I thought about it — you think about all kinds of crazy things when you feel overwhelmed with work. It seems like a Brazilian university student took her thoughts a step further. To avoid completing her dissertation, she faked getting kidnapped….
The Daily Mail has the story of Susan Paola Fadel Correia. Apparently her graduate dissertation was due, but she hadn’t finished it yet. So she came up with a scheme:
Susan Paola Fadel Correia, alleged she had been abducted by three men, had her wrists tied and was held in captivity for 24 hours.
She then managed to escape, borrowed a phone from a man passing in the street and contacted her mother Josiane Fadel…
A few days later she confessed that the crime, which allegedly took place in the Para capital of Belem, was a fake.
Police say that she didn’t want to disappoint her mother.
Faking is the weakest option. If Correia had gone on and actually gotten herself kidnapped, that would have been something. You know, send somebody a toe or something.
I kid, obviously.
Do you remember when you are a kid and your parents aren’t home and you do something bad? You break a window or break a vase or drop your little sister down the stairs? You think to yourself, “Oh my God, my parents are going to KILL ME.” And then your parents come home and it turns out, they don’t kill you. They yell or they’re disappointed or they take all the Nintendo cartridges out of your room, but don’t open the system where Legend of Zelda has lived for the last three months. But you don’t DIE.
Part of growing up is disappointing your parents and learning to live with their disappointment. Heck, eventually your parents are going to die anyway. How sad if you only start living for yourself after they die.
If the only thing keeping you in your job or in your school is your parents, that’s a terrible reason to stay at your job or stay at your school. Adults don’t need to jump in front of a bus or fake their own kidnapping in order to not do something they don’t want to do. Adults can stand up to their parents.