Transcript of 1st Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Logan Marcas, Tuesday, May 19, 1998 at 2:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Mr. Marcas.
Mr. Marcas: Good morning, Doctor Balis. May I?
Dr. Balis: Please sit down. I've had patients say that's the most comfortable chair in San Francisco.
Mr. Marcas: Not bad.
Dr. Balis: Although I'd like to hear what happened from you, I want to be completely open with you and tell you what I've already been told. I got a brief message from Malcolm Spunt about some physical altercation you were involved in, but he didn't go into details. He did tell me that you were required to come to see me and he requested that I write a report evaluating your fitness to continue to perform in your position as Director of Security. But aside from that, I have no knowledge of the incident involved and why you were ordered to see me. Okay?
Mr. Marcas: Fair enough.
Dr. Balis: Good. But before we get into that, can you tell me a little about yourself?
Mr. Marcas: Actually, Doctor, you'll find all that in my SII personnel files. I would very much like to get down to the matter at hand.
Dr. Balis: All right.
Mr. Marcas: Before I'm allowed to go back to work, I must have a written report from you and I must continue this therapy for at least three more sessions.
Dr. Balis: That's my understanding.
Mr. Marcas: Well, I would like to get that report as soon as possible. There were certain projects that I was right in the middle of and that I really hate to leave twisting in the wind. All of them are high priority at Security Operations.
Dr. Balis: I see. Mr. Spunt...he's a vice president, isn't he?
Mr. Marcas: Yes.
Dr. Balis: He mentioned how central you were to some very important changes in the Security Department. However, you can understand that I need to perform an evaluation of you before I can send any recommendation about your return to work, and that includes getting to know a little bit about you.
Mr. Marcas: Doctor, it comforts me that you would be concerned about the quality of your work, but right now, expediency is a priority for me, for the department, and especially for the projects that lay half finished and that are essential to the company.
Dr. Balis: I understand your impatience to get back to work, Mr. Marcas. If you would like to forego the standard introductory part of the session, I can accommodate that. But at some point, I'm going to have to probe into your personal life so that I can make an effective assessment.
Mr. Marcas: Okay. Deal. So what would you like to know first?
Dr. Balis: Well, you seem eager to talk about the incident at work, why don't we start there. Please describe what happened.
Mr. Marcas: You didn't get the incident report? That surprises me.
Dr. Balis: I probably will get the report at some point. But for now, why don't you tell me what happened?
Mr. Marcas: Well, at an assessment report meeting, I was delivering my recommendations to Mr. Spunt and some other department heads. There was an argument between Ms. Wolfe and me, and it escalated. At one point, she was standing in front of me. When I turned to pick up a file folder from the table, she grabbed my arm and tried to get me to face her. I waited for her to release my arm and again tried to get the file folder from the table, only to have her grab me and give me a slight push. That was when I assaulted her.
Dr. Balis: Can you describe the assault?
Mr. Marcas: Yes, I can.
Dr. Balis: Will you?
Mr. Marcas: What relevance does this have towards my evaluation?
Dr. Balis: I need to completely understand what happened between you and Ms. Wolfe. If you're uncomfortable talking about it now, we can wait until a later date.
Mr. Marcas: No, I don't want to do anything that is going to delay your report to Mr. Spunt. I placed my hand on her wrist and twisted her grasp off my arm. With her right arm up and held by my left hand, I punched her in the diaphragm and knocked the wind out of her. As she slumped over a little bit, I grabbed her by the hair and slammed her face into the table. That is the reason Ms. Wolfe is on medical leave awaiting reconstructive surgery.
Dr. Balis: Was there that much damage to her face?
Mr. Marcas: I'm not certain. I was escorted out of the room, and I haven't been briefed on Ms. Wolfe's condition.
Dr. Balis: You seem very matter-of-fact about what happened. Do you feel remorse for your actions?
Mr. Marcas: Of course I do. I'm as shocked as everyone else that I overreacted in such an unspeakable way. What I did was inexcusable, and I feel very lucky that I'm still with the company. It baffles me how I could lose my temper like that. I'm only waiting for Mr. Spunt's okay so I may send some communication of apology to Ms. Wolfe.
Dr. Balis: Why do you think you need Mr. Spunt's approval before you apologize?
Mr. Marcas: It's just the appropriate thing to do. I would rather go through all the appropriate channels at this point. If I approach Ms. Wolfe at this time, it may be taken the wrong way either by her or by the department. I would much rather Mr. Spunt and Ms. Wolfe know in advance that I would like to apologize to Ms. Wolfe before I step forward to do so.
Dr. Balis: I see. You said that you were shocked by your loss of temper. Why is that?
Mr. Marcas: Because it hardly ever happens.
Dr. Balis: You don't get mad?
Mr. Marcas: Of course I get mad, but I never compulsively react to it, and I never react in such an uncontrollable way. Losing control like that isn't good for anyone.
Dr. Balis: I agree. How do you normally take out your aggression?
Mr. Marcas: Normally, I don't ever really have enough to take out. I can't think of a time recently when I was really and honestly mad.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. How about during some of the previous times when you were dealing with Ms. Wolfe?
Mr. Marcas: No. She has never been more than a slight irritation until the other day at the assessment briefing.
Dr. Balis: How is she an irritation?
Mr. Marcas: She's just herself. She constantly questions me whenever there is a decision involving judgment to be made. She tries to implement policy without my consultation. She has had several conferences with Vice President Spunt to reconfigure the management structure so that I have no say at all on what she does with the department.
Dr. Balis: And this is only a minor irritation to you?
Mr. Marcas: Yes.
Dr. Balis: Do you feel that Ms. Wolfe feels threatened by your presence and work in the department?
Mr. Marcas: I couldn't comment on that.
Dr. Balis: Why not?
Mr. Marcas: I'm not a psychiatrist. I've never sat down and talked with Ms. Wolfe about how she feels towards my work or me.
Dr. Balis: You wouldn't even offer a speculation on why Ms. Wolfe is acting this way?
Mr. Marcas: I won't speculate on the actions or motivations of any of my co-workers. That should be a job left to the company psychiatrist.
Dr. Balis: Well, do you think Ms. Wolfe is a bit unsettled by having you--someone from outside and so young--taking a position equivalent to hers immediately upon hiring?
Mr. Marcas: Such is the way of corporate management, though. Because of the workload and the changes that are being planned, the company thought it would be best if two people headed the department. It could have been a very easy transition with the amount of work for which we are now responsible. I don't see why adding on some new help would be threatening.
Dr. Balis: So you don't see your addition as being a threat to Ms. Wolfe?
Mr. Marcas: Far from it, Doctor. I'm just here to help her accomplish the changes being planned. It's a job to be done, not a personal contest.
Dr. Balis: I see. Do you have any aspirations to a higher office?
Mr. Marcas: Doctor, I have the best job in the world. I work with a sharp staff. We have a budget that more than takes care of the resource allocations that are needed. I have a superior manager that is a progressive thinker and seems personally interested in the progress of the company. You couldn't move me if you tripled my salary and gave me the perks of the president.
Dr. Balis: I see. It sounds like you really love your job.
Mr. Marcas: And that's exactly why I'm anxious to get back to it.
Dr. Balis: All right. Well, I didn't realize I had kept you so late. I'm very sorry.
Mr. Marcas: No problem, Doctor. When shall I come back next?
Dr. Balis: How about in two weeks?
Mr. Marcas: So far from now? Do you have anything sooner?
Dr. Balis: Are you that eager to come back?
Mr. Marcas: Doctor, I would like to get past all of this as soon as possible.
Dr. Balis: I see. Well, how about a week from today in this time slot--let's see, that's Tuesday, May 26th at 2 pm.
Mr. Marcas: That's preferable. Thank you, Doctor. I'll see you then.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Mr. Marcas.
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