Case Protagonist Starts Fight in Aldrich Classroom: "I was just tired of all the criticism"

Aldrich 108, MA: Five students of Section Old D were in critical condition on Wednesday after being attacked by an allegedly “fed up” case protagonist. The culprit, Mr. Enrique Patterson, CEO of the Mahwah Hair Depot, had been asked to sit in on a Supply Chain Management case that highlighted his company’s fall from its leadership position in the lucrative New Jersey hair-product industry. The company has since gone under, falling victim to a direct-to-market supplier based out of Cambodia.

While most of the class discussion included standard HBS criticisms and revisionist action planning-mainly critiquing the retailer’s reliance on forward buying and a poorly aligned incentive system-tensions came to a boil after two particular comments. Steve Westerback of Section OD had asked whether Mr. Patterson was “fundamentally able to grasp the five forces” while another student, Kevin Palma also of OD, asked Enrique how he could have “missed the disruptive internet technology that was quietly enveloping him.”

Students on the scene claimed that Mr. Patterson apparently seemed to crack after these two particular questions and vaguely recall hearing the response: “I’ve got five forces of my own I’d like to introduce you to, son.” (Although it is still unclear, it appears the ex-CEO was referring to his fist.) “And you, my Texan friend, I won’t miss this opportunity to disrupt that pretty little face of yours.”

According to eye witness accounts, Mr. Patterson then proceeded to smash the overhead projector into pieces in front of a startled Section D crowd, then made a move toward the unsuspecting wormdeck residents. Several students were pulled from their chairs as the violence escalated.
The class was fortunate to have Section D’s Leadership and Values Representative Chris Jackson on the scene. Mr. Jackson moved quickly to silence Mr. Patterson, striking a blow to the Adam’s apple, then adding a drop kick to the abdomen for “the heck of it.” Mr. Jackson, who recently became the father of his fourth child, offered a comment to the press: “A lot of people think that LVI Reps are soft. Not on my time, sister. Not today, not tomorrow!”

While being escorted away by Harvard police forces, a voice-impaired Mr. Patterson tried to put the incident into perspective: “You try sitting through three classes where all the students criticize you over and over. ‘The internet didn’t make sense in 1997’ they say? My ass! I could have paid those kids in toilet paper to work for me back then.”

“What a jerk”, remarked Christina Okuyama. “I was just trying to get some class participation points by asking him about how he balanced his work and social life. Next thing I know, I’ve got to elevate my head to keep from choking on my own blood.”

While the students of Aldrich 108 emotionally recover from the disaster, Mr. Patterson awaits trial on December 2. Many community representatives and social chairs are already pressuring HBS officials to beef up security on campus by placing U.S. Marshals posing as tech reps in the classrooms. While it is yet to be determined if such measures will be adopted, it nevertheless remains clear that more has to be done.