It must be the heat diffusing the drama from some unknown primary source, but I’ve been seeing a lot of unhappiness from a lot of people at work—batchmates, former interns now surgery residents, seniors called Smoketh, everyone. Some you don’t even need to interact with significantly—one look while they are walking ridiculously fast and they are screaming, in total melodrama, “Crestfallen!” As if work, mingled with heat, stench, and bloated egos around all combine to sap any interest to go beyond moving through the motions. So who better to give advice on how to be happy but me, sertraline-free for more unreliability. So in the spirit of guidance counselors and their unsolicited advice, here are 3 tips:
1. Read comic books and drown self in comic book universe. They are called funny books for a reason, and they don’t deal with very heavy issues--superhero groups being torn apart by a leader getting called on a political mission in his recently rebirthed home planet, a superhero wife being raped by a light-wielding villain, a civil war among former groupmates which leads to the death of a hundred-year old super soldier—not very heavy issues at all. Okay, quite heavy, but they give you something to obsess over. Or if you’re not into superheroes just immerse yourself in some other universe of your liking, be it LOTR or the world of Sailor Moon. The thing is, you need to escape. Yes, indulge in escapism. I’m not being ironic—you have to escape. Indulge in it. You can choose to neglect your work and not come back to reality, it’s all cool, the point is for you to get as far away from the hospital as possible. As far, far away. Faaaar away. Faaaaaar away. Looooook into my eyes—faaaaaar away.
2. Get addicted to some substance. Like coke. For health reasons, the Diet one. Diet Coke. And it should be really, really, really cold. Word was it could cause cancer, but then newer “studies” revealed only if you guzzle tons and tons in a day. It would also help if the substance of choice is not something that fries the brain, like illegal drugs. Because they’re expensive, and that thing about their being dangerous to your health is a valid reason as well.
3. This may be difficult to do because it has to be well-planned, but in that rare moment that you have a total day-off, resist the urge to go to the Planetarium or The Science Centrum, you nerd, you’re no longer in high school. No, damn it, not play Street Fighter even. I know it’s a good game, but your thumb’s calloused enough from all that charting. So in that rare moment of a day-off—no, don’t talk to a counselor, haven’t you talked to millions of patients already that you’re already sick of your own voice???—in that rare moment of a day-off, go to your room and sleep. Not for ten hours, mind you, but for twenty hours. Eventually you’ll wake-up with a throbbing headache—to relieve the headache you have to sleep again. Eventually you’ll have to pee, or eat—do those things fast and sleep again. Foley and TPN only in extreme cases of slothhood.