Prescribing job changes for a psychologically healthier workplace
We all know that jobs are tied to our quality of life and perceived self-worth. Our jobs can brings us joy or they may very well bring us much frustration; so much so that our heart rate increases as well as our blood pressure. Or if you are like a past co-worker, the job killed him. Three days before he died he noted as he walked out my office door “this job is going to kill me.” Many had heard him make this prognosis and yet no one really thought it could happen. Right around that same time a fellow co-worker was suffering from kidney stones and I had undergone four MRIs in order to try to figure out what was wrong with my arm and hand. Sadly, none of us had a doctor in common who could see that in reality there was no mystery diagnosis. We were all suffering from being in a workplace that was toxic and unhealthy on a physical and psychological level. Burn out was causing massive internal damage to which the big boss once noted “I don’t know why you are all burnt out, I’m not.” If the triage nurse could have heard such a workplace statement she would have noted in our charts that what we needed was an immediate change of work environment as well as a dunking booth for creeps that make our lives harder. Once my colleague died, I saw the light and prescribed myself a job change. Once that change came and was implemented, somehow the arm pain that I had for over two years went away. It still flares up but the overall extreme pain is gone. This change in health fortune got me thinking, why can’t we just go to a doctor and have him or her write a prescription for a job change that we then take to some Ipad Kiosk and get assigned a new job according to what the ‘script calls for? Is there a science fiction television plot like that? There must be.
- If you are suffering from ennui, then the doctor can write a prescription to become a seeing eye dog trainer.
- If you are suffering from inexplicable arm pain (that probably resulted from working for over 33 days straight), then the doctor can write a prescription to become a singer.
- If you are suffering from kidney stones, then the doctor can write a prescription to be a water taster fro a local municipal water plant.
- If you are suffering from an enlarged ego that you want to tame, then the doctor can write a prescription to be a bike messenger in NYC.
The very nature of work would be turned up on itself so that you are not bending and changing for a job but the job is instead meant to suit your needs. Is this too much of a utopian dream? Or is it instead dystopian in nature? For some, it may be better to have complete free will and be in a sick and hurtful environment. Of course, one can also exercise one’s supposed free will to change jobs if there is such a psychological need. However, considering that the economy has not yet truly recovered despite media protestations, and there are many competing for a few spots, a doctor prescription system may be just what our minds need creating a new kind of safety net in return. There was a time in the mid-19th century as cities rapidly expanded that doctors started to get concerned about the health of the population and started prescribing spa time or sanitariums. Surely, as we are heading to a vast change in technology again, doctors can find time to prescribe job changes.