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An offer of help

Posted on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 @ 9:51am by Chief Warrant Officer Akina Jrez

Mission: Remembrance
Location: Lieutenant Commander Lam's office

Jrez pressed the chime on Lam’s door and waited for a response.

The distraction was untimely but in a way she welcomed the break from the constant paperwork and maintenance reports, "come in" she replied standing to welcome the guest.

He’d already decided that going straight to the heart of the matter would be the best option here. “Commander, I gather that you’ve been having trouble with some of the enlisted crew. Something about being called at all hours for matters which they should be able to attend to themselves.”

"Well Chief to be honest, yes, yes I have. There's been a frequent disregard for the chain of command and frankly some of them will be reassigned once I can source some experts with Cardassian tech." It had come out as a tirade but thankfully it tapered away at the end and started to sound vaguely informative.

“I’ve spoken with many of the crew about how we can improve operations. The problem is, many of them are new. It’s not only officers who seem to be no sooner here than they’re dead or they’ve been moved on. Sometimes the crew feel like they’re in a rotating door. Responsibilities are shifting faster than they can cope with as we all try to cope with trying to get a Cardassian base operating to Starfleet specifications while seemingly constantly under attack. Then came the destruction of the Arizona. Commodore Aerleon was well liked. The news of his death hit many of them hard. Commander Mason...well, she was a hard one but she was respected. There were few better to have with you when you were staring death in the face.

“What I’m trying to say is that we’re all coping with this as best we can. Take Crewman Apprentice Evans, for example. He joined Starfleet because he wanted a trade. He’s a good technician but his field is computers. Lately though he’s been part of the team trying to get the shield generators operating. Most things he can cope with but throw in something like a magnetic interlock shut-out and he’s out of his depth. What do you do in such a situation? You call in the experts. You don’t question whether it’s morning, noon or night because you’ve got a schedule to meet and time’s tight enough as it is.”

“Commander, I know you’re trying to be understanding and I appreciate that but it’s my job as Command Chief to represent the enlisted crew. Better to bring this to you informally than for it to escalate and things start to get heated. I don’t want that for the crew’s sake and I don’t want it for your sake.”

"I appreciate crew members have various aptitudes however those assigned to this station are supposed to be highly adaptable and some of the best officers and non coms in the fleet. Frankly this isn't a non com issue, once things settle down we can finally get people working in the right areas but for now I can't reassign people as I'm down on manpower by nearly a third with the recent crew losses and reassignment of the Anubis." Sara knew deep down Jrez was just sticking up for those who perhaps weren't that good at expressing themselve but today had been another tough day and the last thing she needed was an NCO giving her a hard time, she took a moment and decided to hear him out, ripping him to bits wouldn't help and would probably get her in trouble.

“I’m not asking you to do much different to what you’ve been doing. Where you see a problem you need to deal with it. That’s your job. I just thought I’d have a word; give you the crew’s perspective. I’d also appreciate it if you kept me informed. I realise that in matters of discipline you have to inform the XO but I’m hoping that it won’t come to that.”

She had never had to bite her lip as much as in that moment but it had to be done, it was off the record and Sara was keen to keep it that way, "Since we're having a quiet word then I'd make this point, if people can't cope with the pressures of this station, enemies on all sides, light years from the Federation perimeter and a spatial vortex leading half way across the galaxy then perhaps, just perhaps this is the wrong assignment for them. For my part Chief, I do need to fix problems as that is my job but its also my job to assign people as I see fit, for now that means we all have to do things we're not happy about but I will be mindful of making support more readily available."

“Thank you for hearing me out. We have a good crew and they do try to be adaptable. That’s why Evans is working on the the shields – he’s trying very hard to adapt. But please keep in mind that none of them are capable of....” he almost said ‘working miracles’ “....shifting straight into a new job and picking it up immediately. They also have their own regulations and procedures to follow. We’ve had some crew here who didn’t need to call you at every sign of trouble because they’d been around long enough to know the ropes. As you said, we’re down by a third and many of those we lost were the good ones because they were at the danger points when trouble struck. One other thing, Ma’am, they didn’t sign on to be faced with enemies on all sides; to face the Borg and Species 8472 at the same time; to be sitting on top of a transwarp conduit that could spew out more of them at any moment. Yet they’re doing their best in the circumstances. For a largely untried crew, they’re doing fine and will grow with the experience. Cut a little slack now and you’ll reap the benefits later.”

"We'll see how it goes Chief, for now we can't let up too much as the safety of the station needs to be secured, but I'll take your point on board." Slack thought Lam, this is a front line installation not a holiday park, it was a fair point really but for now she needed to get things up and running before taking her foot off the throttle.

“I do have one final thing to say.” He pulled out a piece of paper from his uniform trouser pocket. “I’ve spoken with some of my NCOs and compiled a list of names and specialities. These are the men and women you can rely to act with initiative and expertise. Use them to work some miracles for you and to mentor the others and can get a good night’s sleep.”

"I appreciate the gesture, here's hoping it makes a difference. Guess I'll let you know in the morning," she finished with a slight yawn, "talking of which I think I'm going to try and get an early night."

“Then I will bid you good-day, Ma’am. Thank you for giving of your time. I know it’s a precious commodity right now.”


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