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What follows is an excerpt of a 2015 transcript of then-HHSC Executive Commissioner Chris Traylor’s interview of Enrique Marquez who was applying for the position of HHSC Communications Director. Mr. Marquez is presently HHSC Chief Program & Services Officer.
(Language advisory: this transcript contains some salty HHSC talk.)
Traylor: Great interview, Enrique! Just one more thing – tell me you’re sorry.
Marquez: Excuse me?
Traylor: Tell me you’re sorry, I said.
Marquez: Uh, okay. Let’s see here, I uh–
Traylor: Listen, Marquez, I want to hire you, but not until I’m confident you’re a great apologizer.
Marquez: Yes sir. I’m sorry.
Traylor: Wow – you do realize that the Communications Director has to be the chief apologizer, right?
Marquez: Yes sir.
Traylor: I hope so. I mean, you used to work at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Association of Business. Jeez, you must have had to regularly mea culpa your ass to a bunch of motherfu--
Marquez: Yes sir, that’s correct.
Traylor: Great, try this. Tell me you’re sorry that my sweet granny died in a nursing home that HHSC was supposed to inspect five years ago.
Marquez: We’re sorry for your loss, Mr. Traylor.
Traylor: Good, good start. Can you ‘personalize’ that just a little? Y’know, make it more meaningful?
Marquez: Sure. How about: We’re sorry, we killed your grandma.”
Traylor: Interesting, yes. But you never want to leave the impression that you might be guilty of something. Remember, you’re not guilty – you’re just sorry. Okay, try it again.
Marquez: We’re sorry, the nursing home killed your grandmother.
Traylor: Can you start tomorrow?
Anatomy of an Apology
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