Just Ain’t Worth It

Memba Ben By Memba Ben, 12th Mar 2018 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/v08oxg-s/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

An experience which taught me that sometimes, sweating the small stuff isn’t worth it.

"I'd rather die than let someone rob me" - one of the boys on the block

Seeing that I worked at a casino, working overtime is expected. What I didn’t expect was that it would go long into the night.

On one particular occasion, I worked an eventful evening where it was a weekend which coincided with it being the end of the month. Usually, we’d alert everybody ahead of time that we’d be closing and there’d be no hassles but seeing as it was the end of the month, people weren’t going to cooperate. By the time we managed to chase everyone out and close shop, it was around two in the early hours of the morning and with no public transportation available at that time, I was looking at a one and a half hour walk.

I began my walk, maintaining a brisk pace, keeping to well-lit areas- you know, generally keeping as safe as possible. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean much if the area wasn’t safe to begin with.

When you are used to an area, you eventually come to know which streets to take, which ones can act as double ups and (more importantly) which ones to avoid.
Sometimes those things aren’t mutually exclusive.

While I was getting there one step at a time, I was dead tired. Taking my current route would’ve been that extra hour whereas going through some double ups would’ve saved me a good forty minutes and keeping in mind that I’d still have to wake up early to go run some errands; that would’ve made a world of difference.

The thing was; these double ups were notorious for being dangerous places.

Fuck it

Seeing that it was late, I decided to take the shorter route to save time.Now at five foot seven, I’m not exactly the tallest person on the block but at a muscular two hundred and three pounds, I had the frame to look imposing so I thought that I would be safe…

Turns out I couldn’t be more wrong.

There I was, just trying to get home and minding my own business when I got intercepted by a couple of scraggly, hungry looking guys. They didn’t look as if they had the means to take care of themselves because their clothing was messy and they looked as if they hadn’t had a bath in a while so I figured they must’ve been homeless or so.

One of the guys approached me whilst the other stood beside him as if to block the path. Alarm bells were ringing in my head but (in my arrogance) I figured I could take them. I was preparing to tell them that I had nothing that could help them at that time when the guy standing in front of me reached for something beside his leg and pulled out a fucken machete that was tucked in his socks.

Using the machete, this guy pointed at me in a threatening manner while the other guy began cursing at me to give them my shit or things weren’t going to end well for me.

I hear people threaten to kill me all the time and despite how serious they may sound, I know they are (for the most part) just fucking around.

These fuckers weren’t playing around. There was no posturing, no over the top movements, no grandstanding of any sort from these guys.

Just a deadly cool, calm demeanor that made it clear they were willing to act on their threats.

You see and hear stories about such and think that it would never, ever happen to you and even if you are aware that such situations could arise, you still aren’t fully prepared for when it happens.

I was in that boat. I’ve had to drag people off of each other, get involved into fights, have people stab me and such and I was completely prepared for that. I understood it was part of the job so I conditioned myself that went it was about to go down, that I could handle it the best way I can. But while it a blessing to have learnt such a thing, it also served as a curse in situations outside of work. In my arrogance, I figured that the mindset would automatically cross over to out of work situations and I’d be fine but there was no such thing.

Is this really happening to me?

I was just frozen in shock and didn’t know what to do. I could’ve tried to take them had they been unarmed but now there was a machete in the equation. I could’ve tried to run but there was a high chance that I’d have been eventually caught, which would’ve aggravated the situation.

No solution seemed viable – at least, the ones which I preferred.

Where I come from, things can happen to you but two rules stay the same…
1) You don’t run from a fight
2) Death comes before dishonor.
People try to rob you? You fight them off. Doesn’t matter how bad you get hurt, you fight them off.

You get in a fight against some overwhelming odds? You hold your own. I had those beliefs ingrained into me so you can imagine my internal dilemma when I was faced with a seemingly no-win situation.

Had this incident happened when I was a couple years younger, I would’ve tried to fight them off but on that day, I decided to be rational about it.

I gave up my things without a fight and was instructed to stand in a corner for a bit until I figured that they were gone.

That shit hurt my pride badly. I broke two rules that I grew up with and while there might’ve been something I could’ve done about it, ultimately I chose to do nothing.

That night, I felt like a victim.

But as the years went on, I found myself taking more and more softer view on the way I handled things that night. I could’ve gotten myself killed that night over the most insignificant thing. I have things I still want to (try and) achieve so in the grand scheme of things, would my possessions really have mattered that much that I’d be willing to die for them?


As a weird analogy, it’s sort of the same thing when it comes to circumstances in life. I think it’s safe to say that sometimes, we as people lose sight of the big picture and end up focusing on things that don’t matter.

Don’t sweat the small stuff, things are going to go pear shaped every once in a while. What’s important is that you maintain your focus on the goals you want to achieve. You can’t control life but you can control how you react to it.


Circumstances, Life Experiences, Personal Experiences, Pride

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author avatar Memba Ben
A fan's view on the business of football.

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