February 08, 2018

Source: Bigstock

Similarly, sports teams are always making “painful decisions” to get rid of a player. The New York Giants made the painful decision to cut Victor Cruz. The Yankees had to make the painful decision not to give Alex Rodriguez all his bonuses in his final year. Painful decisions in professional sports make me feel sorry for the masochistic owners, who bought the teams apparently not knowing that the average career of a baseball player is 5.6 years, the average for a basketball player is 4.8 years, and the average for an NFL football player is a mere 3.3 years. This results in such a revolving door of painful decisions that most billionaire franchise owners end up in pain management programs at the Mayo Clinic.

I’m always puzzled when a city council or a legislature or a jury talks about making a “painful decision,” since the whole purpose of having city councils, legislatures, and juries is to make fricking decisions. That’s like taking a job as a swimming instructor and then saying, “The amazing thing about this job is that I had to get wet every day.” To their credit, you rarely hear an actual judge talk about painful decisions, since they know that’s what they signed up for.

Because what people really mean when they say “painful decision” is…


The unpainful decisions are not decisions. If you’re in a job where every decision is clear-cut, where you never have “lesser of two evils” dilemmas, then you’re not making decisions at all. These painful-decision people are, in essence, snowflakes. They want us to watch them cry and say, “It’s not your fault, you’re not the bad guy, we love you,” when what they should be doing is saying, “I made the decision to fire this guy,” “I made the decision today to close this division of the company”—not we made the decision, but I made the decision.

We don’t care if it was painful.

That’s not real pain.

You want a genuinely painful decision? Oscar Pistorius is born without fibulas and so his parents decide to have a 1-year-old child’s legs amputated below the knees.

Putting a pet down is a painful decision.

Cutting off someone’s life support is a painful decision.

Signing the papers to send a family member to a mental hospital is a painful decision.

The common denominator in all those cases is that you have to hurt somebody you love in order to help somebody you love.

The next time you hear somebody talking about a “painful decision” that falls outside this category, please send them an email or a text that says, “Yes, because you’re a shallow, self-involved sadist.”


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