Transcript of 7th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Katherine Lippard, Wednesday, June 11, 1997 at 4:00 pm.

Ms. Lippard: Hello, Doctor Balis. Are you feeling better?
Dr. Balis: Good afternoon, Ms. Lippard. Much better, thank you. You certainly look radiant today.
Ms. Lippard: You like it? I don't know what got into me. Suddenly, I felt like being nice to myself, so I went shopping. I'm not one of those women who shop for sport. Normally, I know what I want, go find it, and get out. But yesterday, I just felt whimsical, so I went to Saks Fifth Avenue and there this was, right up front! Total impulse. It's not like me to just up and buy the first thing that catches my eye. And this really is colorful for me. The sales girl said it brings out the green in my eyes. What do you think?
Dr. Balis: Now that you mention it, yes. I do see more green in your eyes.
Ms. Lippard: I'm so glad. I've always thought there was green there, but most people just see a kind of grayish-brown. I'm made up of "just-barelys"--I just barely have an acceptable figure; there's just barely some red in my hair and just barely some green in my eyes. I can just barely relate to other women. And I can just barely carry on a relationship with a man...for a little while.
Dr. Balis: But there are things you excel at.
Ms. Lippard: Oh yes, I'm a pretty good business woman. I can balance the books and make a little money into a lot just by thinking and planning. But that's not enough anymore. We talked about this last time.
Dr. Balis: Yes, you expressed a lack of satisfaction with the tangible results of your career.
Ms. Lippard: I'm not sure satisfaction is exactly right. I think fulfillment would be more what I mean.
Dr. Balis: You feel that achieving your position of wealth and status should have made you fulfilled?
Ms. Lippard: Exactly. Well, not this position; the next one: CFO. Which now looks like mine for the taking.
Dr. Balis: Oh?
Ms. Lippard: Yes. I guess I should fill you in. The board meeting went well, better than I expected, actually. Frank and I rehearsed on Saturday before. We spent all day on it and I felt pretty good about it. So as soon as I got through the initial nervousness, I made a great presentation. Of course Major didn't like it--it painted a pretty grim picture. I know that as a stockholder, I'd have to vote against it. So he attacked on several fronts, just like Frank said he would. Frank is pretty savvy. He anticipated many things that Major would say, right down to the wording. So we had answers ready for him, but he's very convincing, very...charismatic. You know, I wonder...
Dr. Balis: What?
Ms. Lippard: Major was so incredibly animated. He couldn't sit still. He talked really fast. And he was sniffling the whole time. I've never seen anyone on cocaine, except on TV. What does it look like?
Dr. Balis: Are you sure that's relevant right now, Ms. Lippard? Why don't we concentrate on what's going on with you?
Ms. Lippard: Yeah, okay. So I held my own against Major, with Frank stepping in only once or twice. I think I looked pretty good to the board. In fact, I know I looked good to at least one of them--Walter Montgomery asked me out afterward.
Dr. Balis: That sounds interesting. Are you going?
Ms. Lippard: No...jeez! He's not even divorced yet, just separated a few months. Besides, he's just another money and power chasing businessman. I've been out with his type before. He'll take me to a swank restaurant where the waiters have phony accents, make a big deal out of selecting the wine, then try to impress me with who he knows and how much he makes. Then, I'm supposed to swoon. And pretty soon, we'll have a weekend in the Wine Country and I'll be his latest prize. Only the truth will be that I'll be bored with him, because money and status is all he is. There's no substance.
Dr. Balis: Uh huh.
Ms. Lippard: That didn't sound good. What do you mean, uh huh?
Dr. Balis: Oh, I was just thinking how well that goes with what you just finished saying about how your own money and status don't satisfy you any more.
Ms. Lippard: It does, doesn't it? Oh status! I haven't told you the best part. Last Tuesday, Frank took me out to lunch, and I finally found out the real reason he made me responsible for this whole project.
Dr. Balis: And that is?
Ms. Lippard: He's grooming me for his position. He plans to retire soon, probably by Thanksgiving or Christmas, and he wants me to take over as CFO. He said this project and presentation were the perfect way to prove I could do it. Plus, it gave him more time to spend with his family, which he says he's been neglecting basically all his life in favor of his career.
Dr. Balis: And how do you feel about that?
Ms. Lippard: Well, I kind of resent being fooled like that. I wish he had told me this when he gave me the assignment. That would have made things easier for me. But I guess if it didn't work out, he never would have told me so I wouldn't have been disappointed. Or maybe he would have decided not to retire after all.
Dr. Balis: Did you tell him about your resentment?
Ms. Lippard: No, I didn't think it would do any good. Besides, the end justified the means. If I couldn't handle the job, I'd rather not have known that I blew my chance to take over.
Dr. Balis: Okay. How do you feel about your impending promotion?
Ms. Lippard: Pretty good, I guess. I mean, it's what I've been working for my whole life. Top of the heap, right? Board meetings, setting my own hours, lots of money, my name on the letterhead. I've never wanted to own a company, or even run one. I like being the one who can make things work. And business is about finance--the Chief Financial Officer is the one who makes it work.
Dr. Balis: So come Thanksgiving, you'll have hit the top and achieved all you set out to do.
Ms. Lippard: Yeah, and at only 32 years of age. Pretty impressive, huh?
Dr. Balis: Very impressive. And what comes after that?
Ms. Lippard: God, you're so perceptive! You can always get right to the heart of the matter. You have substance, Doctor Balis. I need to meet a man like you. You're intelligent and educated--those are prerequisites--but you're also thoughtful, caring, and perceptive. You can talk about more than just spreadsheets and next quarter's earnings.
Dr. Balis: Thank you, Ms. Lippard. I'm not sure that I could talk at all about spreadsheets and next quarter's earnings, though. It does sound to me like you're interested in meeting people outside of your own professional circle. San Francisco is an excellent place to meet a wide variety of people. I get the feeling you've...Ms. Lippard?
Ms. Lippard: Hmm?
Dr. Balis: Are you still here?
Ms. Lippard: Oh, I'm sorry. Daydreaming. What was the question?
Dr. Balis: I was just saying that San Francisco is a good city in which to meet a variety of people. I find it to be an eclectic and exciting culture.
Ms. Lippard: Really? I haven't seen much of that.
Dr. Balis: What have you seen? What do you do with your free time?
Ms. Lippard: Well, I work out a lot. And I keep pretty busy around the house.
Dr. Balis: Is that all? Housework, exercise, and the office? Do you go out at all?
Ms. Lippard: I'm a patron of the symphony. I see a play once in a while. Plus, I go to all of Philip's shows. I've even bought some of his stuff.
Dr. Balis: You're describing a very limited social life, Ms. Lippard. Do you have any friends outside of work and your brother?
Ms. Lippard: Huh! I don't have any friends inside of work! I don't think it's appropriate to fraternize with subordinates. And my peers, as I've said, are boring to me.
Dr. Balis: Let's think about this. You won't or don't want to associate with people at work. You don't associate with people outside of work. You have very little extracurricular activities, and those that you do have are fairly solitary. What does this say to you?
Ms. Lippard: That I need to get a life?
Dr. Balis: Not exactly how I'd have put it, but essentially correct. I suspect that a large part of the emptiness you feel is because you're only experiencing half of life. You're very successful in business--"top of the heap," as you put it. But you're not satisfied with that alone. It's not enough for you anymore.
Ms. Lippard: True.
Dr. Balis: Maybe you can find some satisfaction in your personal life. This, in fact, is where most people find it. The majority of the working world just works to bring home a paycheck. Then they raise a family, go to parties, take vacations. They socialize, they have hobbies, and that brings them fulfillment. You're missing out on all of that.
Ms. Lippard: Hmm. That could be. What should I do?
Dr. Balis: Get out more. Meet people.
Ms. Lippard: Who?
Dr. Balis: People who share common interests. Clubs are very good for bringing like-minded people together. Do you go to parties and receptions for patrons of the symphony?
Ms. Lippard: No. I thought it'd just be a bunch of stuffed shirts.
Dr. Balis: You might be surprised. But if you don't like it, you can always leave, find something else to do.
Ms. Lippard: That's true. You know, Phil's always trying to get me to go to gallery openings and poetry slams and stuff with him. Maybe I should.
Dr. Balis: That sounds good. But try to mingle, don't just stay with Phil. Experience the culture. The art world has some pretty interesting people.
Ms. Lippard: It has some real flakes, too.
Dr. Balis: Certainly. But that's part of the adventure.
Ms. Lippard: Adventure, yeah. I'll have an adventure. You know, I'm going to call Phil tonight. I'm going to have a life, Doctor Balis!
Dr. Balis: Good for you. I'll be eager to hear about it next week. Just be careful.
Ms. Lippard: Careful is my middle name. You should be urging me to take chances, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Well...okay. See you next week, Ms. Katherine Careful Lippard.
Ms. Lippard: Bye.
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