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Little Workplace of Horrors – Dr. House M.D.

Business & Career

Little Workplace of Horrors – Dr. House M.D.

We do what we must to survive but toxic work spaces and superiors take their toll.

I know I’m usually here with a movie or two, (if you aren’t aware of my M.O. you haven’t read my blogs and you need to revisit them ASAP! But I digress) Recently, I revisited a beloved series of mine, Dr House M.D. I’m sure my 90’s babies can agree, there are moments of nostalgia that draw you back to simpler times and you crave little reminders in the form of series gone by. Don’t get me started on “Friends” it hasn’t quite hit the same since Matthew Perry passed away. Sigh. That’s another series I’ll discuss soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

Season 2 Friends Tv Show GIF by Friends - Find & Share on GIPHY

As always, I’m getting off the subject. Dr House and his little workplace of horrors. Firstly, shout out to Hugh Laurie. I have the biggest crush on him, and I’m always amazed by his American drawl, laced delicately with his British lisp and heritage (can a lisp even have a nationality? Not sure but work with me here.) He epitomises the role of the tyrannical but brilliant boss who can make your life a living nightmare, which he does often and with great gusto.

Dr House is in chronic pain due to a corrective surgery gone wrong. This in itself is rich in irony, as he self-diagnoses his problem too late; only he could have saved himself, but because no one is as brilliant as he is, his fate is left in the hands of mere mortals who eventually screw up. I’m sure we’ve all had that boss, the know-it-all who cannot be told a thing even when there are others with superior ideas and suggestions, their word is the law.

Hugh Laurie House GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

How does House’s team deal with his god-like ego and supremacist complex? Well, Chase outright submits, taking House’s orders as law and never once raises his head, Cameron in the earlier stages of the series, falls in love with House and decides she can fix him. Foreman outright fights back and takes a stand against House whenever the opportunity presents. Which option do we often take I wonder? Not here to cast judgement because people can be nasty, as is seen when House pushes back on Foreman leading him to near-deadly outcomes on more than one occasion. Cameron’s hopes are dashed and she realises she is not Bob the builder, returning to her world disillusioned and somewhat bitter but with closure. (Ladies, side note. As always, you are not Bob the builder so no you cannot fix him! None of this nonsense because it’s the month of love. NO!) Chase is perceived as a wimp but his life continues in a relatively normal manner. We do what we must to survive but toxic work spaces and superiors take their toll.

Hugh Laurie House GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The sad truth is that hurt people hurt others. House is in physical pain and so finds solace in his work. Each patient is not a person, but a diagnostic mystery that provides entertainment until it is solved, after which he returns to his pain-filled existence. More often than not, we enter our workplaces with this unrealistic ideal that we will change the world, or make fulfilling lifelong friendships at work and our 9 to 5 jobs will provide us with a sense of purpose. As House clearly shows, sometimes a job is just a job and you need to emotionally detach, do what you need to, get your money and go home. (So there’s an episode where House takes on the patient of a man on death row, as played by LL Cool J, an epic episode with so many moral questions so check it out!)

House’s toxicity extends to his co-workers as he intends to make their lives his business. He goes out of his way to find out cringe-worthy details about their existence he can use as leverage for their workplace. I’ve had my fair share of those, work spaces where people try to get overly friendly and close in a bid to find your weakness or a position of leverage to one day turn back on you as the blade in your back. House though, goes a step further. He meddles in their private lives, in some instances leading to break-ups or actual death. (Dr Taub, a fellow in later seasons, loses his wife and becomes a baby-daddy to two baby Mamas simultaneously; I know right, how is this not on Netflix? House on one occasion inadvertently leads Wilson’s girlfriend to her death, after calling her to pick him up on one of his drunken binges.)

House’s depravity knows no bounds. In an unfortunate incident, one of his fellows Kutner dies by suicide and House turns his death into a mystery that needs to be solved. He berates his doctors, accusing them of noticing nothing that could have prevented the outcome and worse, accuses Kutner’s adoptive parents of confusing him by giving him their name. It gets tense, but illustrates the levels of toxicity one can experience in their workplace. Outside of that, it also provides interesting diagnostic mysteries, intricately weaving in the lives of the patients experiencing them until they are concluded.

If none of the above provides solace and acceptable platitudes for you as you battle through the trenches of your work, watch House (all seasons are available on Netflix). At least then, you can imagine other people with bosses worse than yours LOL!

Stay Sweet Parekeet,

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