by The Escaped Inmate
One of the most popular visions of the future is that of Star Trek. We’ve seen several variations on the theme – the original series, the original cast films, Next Generation (and its films), Deep Space Nine and, for the hard(warp)core fans, Voyager, novels and even cartoons. Such remarkable staying power attests to the hold the Trek franchise has on the consciousness of many people. And, as anyone who’s seen it will tell you, more than anything it’s the characters that make Trek work.
Now what does that have to do with The Corporate Asylum? Plenty. All the Trek incarnations were workplaces and this site is about the world of work. I’d like to take a look at some prominent Trek characters (from both the original series and Next Generation) and how they’d fit in today’s workplace.
Captain Kirk frequently pushed his crew beyond what they thought possible. On his watch the Enterprise was destroyed twice, and he caused the destruction of several other Federation starships as well. He was given to shouting and to hamming it up. Lest we forget, he had many romantic encounters interrupt official business – even with some of his direct reports. However, he was quite effective at inflicting heavy losses to the Federation’s adversaries and getting Starfleet some good publicity among people who hadn’t previously encountered it. In today’s workplace, Captain Kirk would be a top sales executive.
Mr. Spock was noted for his relentless logic. He was always calm, even when aliens stole his brain. His skills were always in demand. He could solve nearly any problem on a moment’s notice and rarely questioned authority. Today he’d be in tech support, perhaps he’d eventually reach middle management.
Mr. Scott could fix anything in seconds flat. He would make a big production of it, but he’d get it working just before everything was about to hit the fan. Then he’d go get drunk. In today’s workplace, he’d be forced into rehab.
Dr. McCoy was the most emotional member of the original crew. He’d work hard, but not quietly. He also had a very clearly defined view of his job, as in “Dammit Jim, I’m a doctor, not a miracle worker.” Today he’d be fired for having an attitude problem.
Captain Picard was a very thoughtful man. He treated each day like a voyage of discovery. He’d take the time to investigate any number of interesting anomalies. Today that attitude would make him a venture capitalist, assuming he had the money. If not, he’d probably be a temp somewhere.
Mr. Data, the remarkable android who wants to be more human, has many great attributes – he’s got a great memory, physical stamina, ability to think quickly and logically and eagerness to please. But given his rigorous honesty and forthrightness, he wouldn’t do well at office politics, so he’d probably be frustrated and in a dead end job – probably in a cubicle near Mr. Spock.
Mr. Worf, the mighty Klingon warrior obsessed with Honor, would seek out the most honorable job in the workplace and, finding no job honorable enough to bother with, would go out in a blaze of violent glory. On the other hand, he’d make quite a hockey player.
Counselor Troi, the alien who can feel the emotions of those around her, would have her short trip to today’s workplace come to an abrupt end as she would become incurably and hopelessly depressed.
Captain Sisko, the brave commander who regularly has visions of ‘The Prophets’ who tell him what to do, would be institutionalized just down the hall from Deanna Troi.
The indomitable Q, that being of incomprehensible power who is fascinated by how humans react to being placed in extremely unpleasant situations, would be a director of human resources.
The Ferengi, whose lives are governed by the Rules of Acquisition and for whom profit is the all-consuming motive, would rise rapidly to top management where they would replace all human employees with cheaper aliens.
I guess Star Trek isn’t so far-fetched after all.