As a part of Dr. Issues’ new “Comic Criminal Emotional Support Program,” some characters will answer questions in an effort to show their willingness to reform their ways and demonstrate a genuine desire to help those in need. After several failed attempts (please don’t mention “Joker Arts and Crafts Hour;” the lawsuits aren’t settled) Here is a smattering of advice from Wilson Fisk. Many of these questions likely have some sort of financial basis since that is Fisk’s greatest area of knowledge, though he doesn’t hesitate to branch off, either. Dr. Issues and Capes on the Couch do not condone any unlicensed attempts at therapy and this is for entertainment purposes only. Dr. Issues will also provide his critique of Fisks’ advice as necessary.
Dear Mr. Fisk,
I am a mechanical engineer earning $74,000 per year at a Fortune 500 company. Although I enjoy the basic daily tasks of my job, I’ve been tapped to take on a product manager role. It’s not exactly in the same division, so I’m apprehensive to to take such a position. It comes with a pay raise, but let’s just say middle management isn’t known to be warm and fuzzy with the staff. I don’t want to fall into that trap. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance,
Mech in Michigan
Dear Mr. Mech,
Your apprehension is misplaced. Your company clearly values you for what you bring to the table REGARDLESS of what division you are in. That is not a perk to be taken lightly! You have become so good they can’t ignore you. However, you didn’t mention what your current rapport is with your colleagues. Do they see you as someone they enjoy working with each day, or are you aloof? Are you reticent to take charge, or are you known to step on toes? Seek that feedback first, and you’ll do just fine in a managerial role.
[Dr I: Good work! Validating the person’s concern as legitimate while focusing on his blind area to encourage interpersonal growth.]
Dear Mr. Fisk,
I noticed that I’m having trouble getting to sleep at night. I toss and turn worrying that my wife is going to leave me, or my kids hate me, or I’m going to get fired this week. I’ve had my job for 16 years, and I have never been laid off even through the bad times. I’ve never cheated on my wife, and our 2 boys seem to adore me (well, the 12 year old thinks he’s smarter than me, but I expect that from a pre-teen). There haven’t been any blow-ups in quite some time, but it still bothers me for some reason. I know this is irrational, but I can’t seem to shake these fears. Help!
Worried in Washington
Although there is little to go on with your situation, I think I can speculate on potential factors that are leading to your crisis, and an applicable framework to move past it. Think of the different areas of your life as a group of balls to juggle. You (nor I, nor anyone else for that matter) are beyond a novice juggler that can keep three balls in the air. Unfortunately, you have more than 3 to deal with: marriage, parenting, work/career, and personal health. Right now, you describe what superficially appears to be 3 of those balls in the air while the fourth (your personal health, be it physical or mental) falling to the wayside. It may seem selfish, but finding a way to communicate to your wife and children that you also need to focus on some “me time” will improve your sleep, decrease your stress, and paradoxically improve your performance in the other spheres. Keep the communication lines open with your spouse so that when one of the other balls drops, they’ll help you pick the rest up.
[Dr. I: I like the ability to recognize the interplay of multiple aspects in a person’s life. But, as Wilson stated, it’s speculative. Before giving such an answer it’s a good idea to get some clarifications from the writer, or at least touch on the follow-up questions that need to be asked]
Dear Mr. Fisk,
I think you are just the man to help me with my current situation. I have not always made the best personal decisions, and I ended up in a financial mess. I have $26,000 in student loan debt, $12,000 in credit card debt spread out over 3 cards, and a car payment of $340 per month. Although I am employed, it’s on a per diem basis now, and I know I need some extra income to dig out of this hole. There’s way more to it that, but to make a long story longer, I’ve battled with depression and anxiety for a long time. I see my primary doctor every few months and he prescribed an antidepressant. He says I should exercise more, but I don’t know where I’m supposed to find the time. I don’t think I can take on extra work emotionally AND exercise AND keep my current job. I know you are a hard worker, and you love to lift weights. Is there any secret to how you managed to get so good at so many things?
Stressed in San Antonio
Dear Bernard C Westford,
I’m surprised you thought you could get away with trying to write to me without giving away your identity. Although you know I care nothing about your other debts, you still have not completed the last job I gave to you (per diem, indeed). Mr. Murdock continues to be a thorn in my side, and all you had to do was take a few pictures after his apartment was vandalized. Shame on you. If I were less reformed, you would have already lost the fingers to type such a message to me. But I want to do some good for you. Here it is. On the corner of West 7th Street and Highland Ave there is a seemingly abandoned car. It needs a new paint job, mostly of gasoline and flames. Do not inspect any part of the car. Do not open the doors. Do not open the trunk. I will know if any of these things have occurred. Your debts may be forgiven. Maybe. Also, you’d be amazed at what strength you can develop with a combination of wall sits while meditating. Core is the true source of lasting muscular strength. If you fail me, I will be sure to test mine on your spine.
[Dr. I: …Where to begin with this? Wilson, this was supposed to be anonymous for a reason. You just threatened a man again. You gave yourself the opportunity for personal gain. AGAIN. YOU’ RE COMMITTING FELONIES AGAIN. Please, can you show some consistency?]
This concludes yet another attempt at the “Comic Criminal Emotional Support Program.” Rest Assured, Dr. Issues does not give up, and if you are struggling through life, neither should you!
Have a great week.