Paid Vacation


Image: an isolated cabin in a wooded area. It is snowing.

Text reads: You have to stay in the cabin for the entire month of January. You have all the food and water you’ll need. You have enough firewood to keep a fire going until the 31st. You have no access to internet, cell phones or tv. On the 31 of January, you walk out of the door with $100,000. Would you do it?

The first few days are nice. You get a little restless during the second week but the third and fourth week sail right by. January 31st comes and the money is yours. You’re free to leave the cabin but no one has come to pick you up. It’s gotten cold in the cabin because you packed your things and let the fire go out. You were expecting to leave today. But no one came.

That’s ok, you think, they’ll probably come tomorrow. You gather some firewood and relight the fire. The next day you wait. You put out the fire again because surely they will come to get you today.

The next day you gather more firewood and keep the fire going through the day. Water comes from the tap slower and slower until it stops mid afternoon. That’s ok, there plenty of snow you can melt for water. Unfortunately, your food supplies are running low. There was so much when you started staying here but now it’s almost all gone. A few more days left, a week you ration it.

If only you had a phone or the internet but you have neither. You’re cut off from the rest of the world. A perfect vacation, you thought, you even got paid to take it. Does anyone know where you are? How long was the drive up here? Three hours? Four? Can you make it back on foot? In the snow?

You laugh bitterly as you remember what they told you, “On the 31st of January you’re free to walk out the door with the $100,000.” Yep there’s nothing stopping you from walking out.

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