Transcript of 4th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Mr. Logan Marcas, Tuesday, June 23, 1998 at 2:00 pm.

Mr. Marcas: Morning, Doc. I'm sorry about missing my last appointment, but...well, something came up.
Dr. Balis: Good morning, Mr. Marcas. Next time, please let me know if you are unable to attend your session.
Mr. Marcas: I'm hoping there won't be a next time, Doctor. This is my last session.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. You seem to be in a formal attire again today. Are there still problems with the network?
Mr. Marcas: Nope. I'm just going to a little informal meeting with Vice President Spunt this afternoon.
Dr. Balis: For an informal meeting, you seem quite formally dressed.
Mr. Marcas: Well, Doc, in an environment like SII, I'm expected to dress a certain way. It's part of the whole corporate management image. When Mr. Spunt says "informal," he means that it will be short and most likely private.
Dr. Balis: Does Vice President Spunt often have private meetings with his department heads?
Mr. Marcas: Actually, yes. He does. Most of the time, it's just pulling us aside. Sometimes, if it's more serious, he'll ask us into his office. But that's kind of rare.
Dr. Balis: And do you think this will be in his office?
Mr. Marcas: Most likely.
Dr. Balis: Why do you think that?
Mr. Marcas: Well, like I said, this situation is rather rare. It's not often that there is a physical assault in a full staff meeting, especially with a new manager that has only been on the staff for two months.
Dr. Balis: Do you perceive your newness in the office as the reason for a private meeting?
Mr. Marcas: No. I think it's the situation at hand.
Dr. Balis: What situation is that?
Mr. Marcas: Well, if you could look at the strategic plan that was set out for the Security Department by higher management, a lot of pressure has been put on Vice President Spunt. His two operations directors have been out for a considerable time now--what is it, six weeks? He wants us both back in the saddle as soon as possible. I think that's what he wants to talk to me about. I would assume that Ms. Wolfe has been keeping in contact with Mr. Spunt just as I have.
Dr. Balis: Do you mean Ms. Wolfe has been having private meetings and off hours visits with Vice President Spunt?
Mr. Marcas: I assume.
Dr. Balis: Why do you think that?
Mr. Marcas: Well, why wouldn't I? I doubt that Mr. Spunt would give me preferential treatment over Ms. Wolfe, especially since they have worked together longer.
Dr. Balis: How much longer?
Mr. Marcas: I'm not sure, probably a few years.
Dr. Balis: How do you know that?
Mr. Marcas: During my second interview, I asked how long the other director had been working here, what his or her experience was, what his or her expertise were, and where his or her degree was from. I did a pretty good check on the department, before I agreed to take the job.
Dr. Balis: I guess your security background drove you to carefully inspect your potential surroundings.
Mr. Marcas: No, Doctor, it wasn't that. It was just basic job hunting skills. Doctor, is everything all right? I feel like I'm under the microscope again.
Dr. Balis: I didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable, Mr. Marcas.
Mr. Marcas: No problem. But you seem to be a bit fatigued today.
Dr. Balis: I'm fine. Thank you for asking, though.
Mr. Marcas: Is the company stacking a lot of work on you? I heard that people are kind of therapy crazy out here.
Dr. Balis: Mr. Marcas, please let's return to the subject at hand. I don't think we'll make much progress if we sit here and talk about me.
Mr. Marcas: I was just commenting on your slight appearance of fatigue. I'm sorry if I've made you feel uncomfortable. Please continue, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Good. Anything on the social front?
Mr. Marcas: I finally called Miss California Dream waitress.
Dr. Balis: Good. And how was that?
Mr. Marcas: She's a really nice girl. Energetic, vivacious, bubbly of course.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Marcas: She asked all kinds of questions about my work. I don't think she understood half of what I told her. She is very beautiful, but I don't think she has a grasp on anything that has to do with technology.
Dr. Balis: Well, don't hold that against her. I bet I could confound you, too, if I started to spout psychoanalytic jargon.
Mr. Marcas: Yes, that's true. Part of my job--this was missing from the written job description--is explaining technology. But, I'll say one thing for her--she does seem to have an eagerness to learn.
Dr. Balis: Really?
Mr. Marcas: Yes. She invited me over to her apartment to help her set up her computer. She is having some trouble with it.
Dr. Balis: When are you going?
Mr. Marcas: We haven't set a date yet. I'm still rather pressed for time.
Dr. Balis: Why? Have you been going into the office?
Mr. Marcas: No, I've just been logging long hours in front of the terminal at home. There has been a big push to get some of the final modules implemented in the second level platform. I've been pulling some major hours. But I'm not suffering from sleep deprivation or social ostracization, though.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Mr. Marcas: It's not a big deal. I'm worried that you might be blowing the whole work situation out of proportion. I don't want you to think that my eagerness to return to work makes me a workaholic or suggests that I need to be constantly monitored. With SII's penchant for therapy, I'll probably be back in therapy just because I want to work a couple of hours of over time.
Dr. Balis: Hmm. It's unusual for someone to work overtime at SII. That seems to be part of the corporate culture, too. But why do you think that SII has a particular penchant for therapy?
Mr. Marcas: Well, Lisa and I got into a discussion about the whole network of therapist and psychiatrists in California.
Dr. Balis: Lisa is the waitress that you met?
Mr. Marcas: Yes. We got around to talking about how I'm in therapy, and she wasn't the least bit shocked about it.
Dr. Balis: Good.
Mr. Marcas: Go ahead and say it--you told me so. She said that seeing a therapist is a common thing, especially for corporate management. She said that some of the guys she dated were not even as high-up in management and still they were asked to see a therapist just for job-related stress.
Dr. Balis: Job stress is fairly common, and not just in the high-tech industry.
Mr. Marcas: I know, Doc, I know. Therapists aren't just for lunatics. I overreacted. My fault. I'm rather glad that I got this chance.
Dr. Balis: Really? Why is that?
Mr. Marcas: Well, it really taught me something. Now, I'm not the least bit afraid to come and see a therapist if I have to. I no longer believe that people will think I'm crazy if they find out I was seeing a therapist. I can just go and unload on somebody, and it will not be seen as breaking down or going crazy.
Dr. Balis: It sounds like you really have made progress on that front.
Mr. Marcas: I'd like to think so.
Dr. Balis: Well, I'm ready to write my report. Now that we spent some time together, I hope you'll be able to recognize your potential for exploding in a confrontational situation. And I hope you'll be able to take steps to vent the pressure before it gets to that point again.
Mr. Marcas: I've been thinking about that. It seems that the cold, unspoken tension between Ms. Wolfe and me is the majority of our problem. If we had communicated more openly, I wouldn't have snapped like I did. I'll be making an effort to communicate with Ms. Wolfe on regular basis, even if only by e-mail or memo.
Dr. Balis: I think that would be a very good idea.
Mr. Marcas: So this is our last session?
Dr. Balis: It is, unless SII wants further treatment, or if you do, of course. You are welcome to come back anytime that you think I could be of help to you.
Mr. Marcas: Hmm. Well, I doubt that will be the case. It has been a pleasure, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Thank you. Tell me more about Lisa.
Mr. Marcas: Well...
Dr. Balis: We still have a few minutes.
Mr. Marcas: Well, we've only been out once. It's too early to speculate just yet, but I'm pleased so far.
Dr. Balis: Good. I hope you will continue to expand your social sphere outside of work. Working at SII can be quite socially claustrophobic.
Mr. Marcas: I will. Lisa has some friends she wants to introduce me to.
Dr. Balis: Good. You have all the signs of a classic workaholic, and I don't think it would be healthy for you to isolate yourself through your work.
Mr. Marcas: I hear you--take it easy on the workload.
Dr. Balis: That's right. Try to keep up with your leisure time activities.
Mr. Marcas: The stereo and my horse have kept me busy so far. I have to get them both sounding just right.
Dr. Balis: Your horse?
Mr. Marcas: My Harley Davidson, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Ah, of course.
Mr. Marcas: Doc, I'll do my best. Thank you for your help and your suggestions. If there are other things that come up that are serious enough to warrant the attention of the upper management, I'm sure that they won't hesitate to call you or send you the ever-present memo.
Dr. Balis: I hope that you have enough self-knowledge to notice if something is serious enough to warrant therapy before your employers do.
Mr. Marcas: Hey, Doc, after this...if I notice anything, it will be my name on the therapy request form. Thank you for your help.
Dr. Balis: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Mr. Marcas: I don't think...wait. Here, Doctor. Good catch.
Dr. Balis: What's this for?
Mr. Marcas: I figure that with all the notes you've been taking during our sessions, I owe you a pen.
Dr. Balis: Thank you, Mr. Marcas.
Mr. Marcas: Ah, hell. Call me Logan. I may not be in here again. And, Doctor? Thank you.
Dr. Balis: You're most welcome, Logan. Take care.
Mr. Marcas: You too, Doctor Balis.
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