An Anthony Bourdain anti-incentive
“Anti-incentives” describe incentives that “help you learn how much you really care about something.” Like Zappos offering their new employees $3,000 to quit. Anthony Bourdain faced an “upside down version” of the anti-incentive early on as described in Kitchen Confidential:
I was rail-thin, shaky, and the first thing I did was ask my old pal Bigfoot if he could lend me twenty-five bucks until payday. Without hesitation, he reached into his pocket and let me two hundred … Looking at me, and hearing the edited-for-television version of what I’d be up to in recent years, he must have had every reason to believe I’d disappear with the two bills, spend it on crack and never show up for my first shift. And if he’d given me the twenty-five instead of two hundred, that might well have happened …
I was so shaken by his baseless trust in me — that such a cynical bastard as Bigfoot would make such a gesture — that I determined I’d sooner gnaw my own fingers off, gouge my eyes out with a shellfish fork and run naked down Seventh Avenue than ever betray that trust.