Psychological Profile for "Joe"

by S.H. Gall

Said individual “Joe” (real name) came to me, guardedly, claiming that job stress was hampering his eating habits and sleeping patterns.

“Joe” is a 61 year old male, Caucasian, with a long history of untreated psychological maladies, most of which stem from a sense of deep inadequacy. “Joe” had early ambitions of being a career soldier, but was unable to meet the requirements for any branch of the full-time military. He subsequently joined the National Guard. “Joe” describes his job history in a somewhat grandiose manner as “freelance janitor,” which seems to allude to long periods of unemployment and welfare checks.

In his thirties “Joe” married a 47 year old woman, “Joan.” “Joan” is, by “Joe”'s terse description, a self-flagellating or at least nascently masochistic woman. He boasts of administering regular beatings to his wife and claims that she enjoyed it. “Joan”, however, did divorce her husband after just 1 ½ years of marriage. There were no children. “Joe”'s current relationship status is unknown, but presumed to be single.

“Joe” is currently working as a security guard for the Federal Building, downtown. He obtained this position through a contact from his sister-in-law, an ex-Marine. Typically, these jobs go to ex-military personnel, and “Joe” is understandably cowed by his “weekend warrior” military status relative to his co-workers. He reports that he more than makes up for this by “being the best” at what he does. [Unfortunately, this seems to translate as being excessively thorough with his duties to the point of being fully inept].

The specific incident which seems to have prompted “Joe” to seek social services is as follows:

“Joe” reports that a certain Federal Building employee, whom the client refers to as “faggy,” department unknown, has been coming through the security checkpoint multiple times a day, after taking his smoking and lunch breaks. Said individual “has a habit” of leaving his pen in his shirt pocket when going through the metal scanner. While no other security guard is bothered by this, since the pen is visible just like a wristwatch or any other accoutrement, “Joe” reports that he “fulfills his duties” by having the employee remove the pen from his pocket, then sending it alone through the X-ray scanner.

The response to this behavior by his co-workers ranges from bemusement to outright shock/confusion. This reaction has caused “Joe” considerable strain. He does not comprehend how his “being the best” at his job is not met with admiration and respect.

Caseworker recommends remedial job training for client and possible cessation of treatment re: job related stress. Exigent psychological problems which appear to stem from client's low self-esteem issues should be examined in greater depth. Caseworker is re-assigning client to a colleague with more room in her schedule. Current caseworker is not able to take on client's history of disorders with her current caseload.


Seth Gall has had work published in China, Canada, and the U.S.  His work has appeared in Word Riot, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Nanoism.  He is S.H. Gall in decomP Magazine, Nanoism, issues one and 27 of SmokeLong Quarterly, Five Star Literary Stories, and Fictionaut.