Teamwork, social events and company culture are vital to happiness at work

Clinical Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia (UBC)
Medical Biochemist, Vancouver General Hospital
  • Future Nimmo, Present Nimmo, and Nemo.

  • Nimmos!

  • Non Nimmo

On October 31 2017, Dr. Michael Nimmo, VGH Pathologist, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Autoimmune Laboratory Director, UBC Pathology Residency Executive Program Director, and unofficial VGH Pathology Hallway Monitor, woke up in his Dunbar mansion. As he was riding the elevator down to his kitchen, he made a mental note to install Muzak in his elevator before his housewarming party in early 2018, at which time he plans to invite his pathology colleagues, students, and mentees, to a feast containing his favorite foods – namely sushi, dim sum, curry, and falafel.

As he hurried to his first meeting of the day, he thought to himself, “I wonder what a perfect world would look like.” Before he could come up with concrete answers, he had arrived at his meeting, and turned his focus to cracking jokes at opportune moments (should I use the tent joke today? How about the European joke? The Caesar salad joke?), using the line “From my perspective…”, the word “prudent”, and listening to the important issues discussed.

Before long, his mobile phone was ringing. It was 8:45 AM, and the call was from Ariel Liu, a third-year anatomical pathology (AP) resident. Ariel was in tears, noticeably upset, and requested to speak with Dr. Nimmo as soon as possible. She had already talked to Dr. Tony Ng, VGH AP residency site director, but they could not resolve the issue in question. Although Dr. Nimmo’s meeting was scheduled until 10 AM, this was the first time in his career he had ever received such a distraught phone call from a resident. Given the urgency of the situation, he decided to leave his very important meeting. He rushed back to VGH and ran into the residents’ room to find Ariel. The encounter was captured on video (see video to the right, it is a must-watch)

As Dr. Nimmo returned to his meeting, feeling both bewildered and relieved at the same time, he realized he had just received the answer to his earlier question: he had experienced the ultimate utopia. As he munches on the treats from his piñata, Dr. Nimmo begins devising a plan for world domination.