My roommate James had only been on the job for a day when he appeared with a massive bandage on his arm, made from miles of gauze wrapped round and round his forearm.
“What the hell happened to you,?” I asked. “Did you break it?”
“No,” he said. “We were trying to steal a flag from a street light, but I couldn’t hold on. Too wasted. I ripped up my arm on a nail or something.”
He paused for a moment, looking philosophical. “It’s actually really good,” he continued. “I’ll get 70 percent disability for a few weeks, and I won’t have to work at all. I’ll just do some reading, watch TV, and drink beer.”
“You’re lucky you didn't rip out an artery,” I told him.
What an idiot. James had absolutely no sense of responsibility. Once he broke his leg, and somehow, in his pain, he got the idea to scam a construction company. His friends carried him to a nearby construction site. They lowered him into a pit. Then they took away the warning barriers and called the police. James claimed that the workers had created a hazard by not blocking off the pit, leading to his injury. An ambulance came, followed by lawyers, and in the end the construction company paid him off with a $20,000 check. I couldn't believe he got away with it.
“Dude, you've got to be more careful,” I warned. “You could get really messed up. They’re not gonna like paying you to sit on your ass all day drinking beer and smoking.”
“Fuck off,” he said, and lit up another cigarette.