WRITING 139: TRUST EXPERTS

I learned this bloody lesson from my dental surgery.

The surgery itself went well. My doctor is a gentle Taiwanese guy, dr. Hsu. He got my two lower wisdom teeth removed in 45 minutes. Except a little noise, he did not inflict much discomfort. Even that noise was not his fault, for I asked to keep me conscious instead of asleep.

What followed was an excruciating half day. Besides anti-biotic, Dr. Hsu also prescribed two pain relieve pills. But I did not buy the pain relieve prescriptions immediately, for two reasons. First, odd enough, I have never taken pain relieve pills in my whole life. This time they also seem unnecessary (I was deadly wrong). Second, I don’t completely trust doctors. Under our healthcare system, doctors have strong incentive to over prescribe medicines.

The result of my distrust cannot be more painful. Since noon, I had been in agony. I tried to distract myself by reading books, watching TV, listening to the music, and even sleeping. But nothing stopped me from felling that non-stop pain.

By the dinner time I had enough. I ran into the pharmacy, got the bills, and swallowed immediately. Ten minutes later, the world returned to peace again.

So here is the bloody lesson learned: trust the experts, even if they may not have your best interest in mind. Yes, they may abuse your trust; but the downside of distrust is even more painful.

Choose the less evil next time.

[20min: 2.20pm–2.39pm]

2016-01-26 05.08.59

[NEW YORK CITY, SPRING, 2015]

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WRITING: WHY I MOVED

Three months ago, everything seemed just fine: Wake up at the same time, jog the same route, stop by the same coffee shop, go to the same office, lunch with the same colleagues, hear the same jokes…

It was just too fine, like Phil lives the same “Groundhog Day” again, again, and again—tomorrow never comes.

That is numbing,  that is suffocating, and that is terrifying. Others may be just fine with it. But that is killing me, bit by bit. I am just that boiling frog: unless jump out, he is cooked, slowly.

In hindsight, that frog cannot be happier about the jump. After all,

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

P1010759

[Jasper, Canada, Oct., 2015]

BLOODY LESSON LEARNED

I will be in CA alone, literally, without any furniture for at least half month. Even though the school generously covers all the moving expense, I screwed things up because of my laziness.

Several lessons are learned from this trouble. First, never assume the world is same as you expected, especially when it comes to issues related to others. I thought I had an oral agreement with the rental office that if I move out this month and they find people to take my lease, my last month rent can be waived. However, a week ago, the rental office told me that I have to move out this month and I had to pay the last month rent, regardless the agreement, because the contract said so. But why did not they object the agreement two months ago? This is largely my fault. I should have read the contract and asked all the consequences, especially the adversary ones, when I submitted the moving out notice. It was them who tricked me into this trouble, but it was me who is stupid and lazy enough to be trapped.

Second, everything takes time. It may be ok to assume away leadtime, but in the real world, leadtime plays a critical role in determining the sequence of events. In fact, the difficulty of scheduling and planning of many business is largely due to the uncertain leadtime. For example, I should have noticed the school and planned my moving much earlier, instead of two weeks ahead. Consequently, I should have gave more flexibility in terms of my moving out time. I could have stayed until the end of July. But why did I offer to move out this month (except the rent incentive)? Had not been the prompt response from the moving company (not the school), I would end up in a much bigger trouble. I even forget a very basic principle as an engineering background: redundancy is always desirable, and critical to the reliability of a system.

Besides the nightmare with my rental office, there are still more trouble to experience: I got to pay three weeks car rental fees and live without furniture for at least half month. If our experiences mean something for our future, just wish I do not have to learn in such hard way every time.