Dear Dr Tinman: Why do my colleagues detest me so?
Welcome to the first edition of Dr Tinman’s Ignorant Remedies for the Aching Soul.
I am Dr Tinman, life doctor and former stunt car driver with nothing to lose.
I will be writing your new weekly advice column, with the hope of teaching you hapless infants to navigate this labyrinthine needle-pit we call life. I know other advice columns operate with the understanding that their readers are seeking a rational approach. But relationships aren’t built on rationality. They’re built on eternal point-scoring, thinking the way the other person eats sushi is weird and forced viewings of Titanic 3D.
Let’s get something out of the way. I am a real doctor. I have seen various bits of House (seasons one, two and the episode where Cuddy strips in a dream sequence), have used a whiteboard and once self-diagnosed ringworm on my right knee using Google Images.
Like Dr Oz, I use various inappropriate props such as watermelons and hairdryers to patronisingly explain simple medical terms, and I frequently tell strangers on the bus they are terminally ill (which is true - they’ll all die someday and there’s nothing they can do about it).
I did not simply write the letters D and R in front of my name in a cynical attempt to sell more copies of “Dr Tinman’s Guide to Treating Minor Volcano Burns” and “Love, life, fulfilment: Dr Tinman’s guide to common household poisons”. I earned those letters, you accusatory swine, at the expense of $US500 and a 15-minute online course developed and voiced by Dolph Lundgren (“Your patient has a mild fever and signs of respiratory difficulty. He is weak. Crush his spirit and curse his name”).
Were I a lesser man, I would ignore your petty pleas for help and walk the streets hurling bags of leeches at you all (cleanse the blood, cleanse the mind). But I am a warrior of psychiatry - willing to prod and probe until your grey matter covers the ceilings and walls in disturbing, fear-inducing patterns.
But if you start choking on your bag of synthetic peanuts on the plane, don’t automatically assume I’m going to assist you in any way. I will cast my perfect eyes over the length of your very being and determine: (a) If you can be saved at all. (b) If you actually deserve to be saved.
Perhaps, you have condemned yourself to a life of mediocrity. Perhaps you haven’t. If you are the former, then this advice column is for you. Be warned, however, that my unconventional solutions to conventional problems may lead to tears (yours… and a jury’s). But they are undeniably effective.
And so, we come to our very first question.
Dear Dr Tinman,
My co-workers do not respect me. I have tried everything - working harder, staying back late, picking up the boss’ kids from school, bringing in a basket filled with assorted chocolates - but still they treat me with contempt. I feel like everything I do is wrong and sub-standard. What should I do?
Let me begin by saying don’t ever try to contact me again. Do not write to thank me. Do not write to update me on your situation. Your handwriting - formed by a hand riddled with anxiety and self-doubt - is shoddy and visually underwhelming to the point of being offensive. The mark of a true incompetent.
The subtle curves and jagged lines imply a person who is generally unstable and instantly unlikeable. That being said, I am sure you are a wonderful person with many fine qualities who deserves better treatment from your colleagues.
Let’s begin with the photo you sent me (why did you do that? I did not ask for a photo). You appear to be wearing a tie with horizontal stripes against a shirt with vertical stripes. Perhaps this is part of the problem. Are you a 3D drawing, Confused? If we stare hard enough at you, will we begin seeing spiders and giraffes and origami swans emerge from the patterns? Dress bold. Wear strong colours, confident colours.
Try capes, crimson trench coats, large combat boots - anything to intimidate your fellow office workers and take the attention away from your lazy eye.
And lose the centre parting. Centre partings are for two people and two people only: Those kids who yell “Extra! Extra!” and hand out newspapers in movies, and people who only see natural light two days out of every 12.
That’s a good start.
Next, don’t pick your boss’ kids up. Nobody likes a suck-up. Instead, try driving his luxury sedan at a wall, dramatically exiting the vehicle just before impact and walking away coolly as the fireball engulfs everything around you. But call a cab for the kids. Nobody likes someone who puts children at risk, you jerk.
Thirdly, find your colleagues’ weaknesses. They’ve already detected yours. You’re a no-hoper - a sad, miserable man covered in strange rashes and crippled by your inability to navigate basic social situations and operate motorcycles. Find theirs.
Has anyone suffered a marital breakdown recently? Is anyone the parent of a particularly troubled child who has recently set fire to any high-profile landmarks? Is anyone allergic to peanuts or trace amounts of common prescription medicines?
Find these weaknesses and exploit them. Become the monster that once forced you under the metaphorical bed like a whimpering child.
Also, instead of bringing in chocolates, bring in a replica .38 revolver. I recommend the Smith&Wesson Bodyguard with adjustable windage and elevation and integrated insight laser, as there are likely to be aficionados in the group and you don’t want to look like you don’t know your firearms. Only a fool doesn’t know his firearms.
This next part is very important. Don’t do anything with it, or point it at anyone (you don’t want to look crazy) - just keep it in your drawer. But make sure the office blabber mouth sees you put it there. Nothing says superiority and confidence like being led from the building by a crack team of highly-trained police officers specializing in counter-terrorism operations and armed with assault rifles.
I hope these few simple tips work wonders for you and that you cease correspondence with my office from this point forward. Also, try leeches.
Kindest of warm regards,
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