Does Picard have Admin Staff/Aides?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Nathan, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. Nathan

    Nathan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I know it is designed for TV, but I'm surprised that Trek Lit doesn't really address the fact that Picard doesn't have an assigned aide(s) on the ship....Picard commands one of the "flagships of the fleet", and you'd think he'd be swamped with briefings, taskers, and other stuff that folks at is command level are required to attend and his time is a valuable resource.

    Heck, it seems anyone as unfettered access to his ready room. Yeah, he may have an open door policy, but not for it be abused.....or say when Picard is meeting with Riker over "Topic Du Jour", how does anyone know that he is tied up with Riker...without entering. Or say someone from the Science Dept wants to schedule a meeting with Picard...how is it done. Guess, you'd think in the books to could be shown more day-to-day operations.

    Even in show, there are a number instances when Troi just walked in without an appt. Yeah, she the counselor on the show, but you'd think she'd have to make an appt with the Captain. Even tho' Doc Crusher and Picard have a unique relationship, but even pre-marriage, it seems she had unfettered access too.

    Hell, I think Ro at one time entered without an appointment to talk to Picard.

    I always thought Vanguard showed more staff "underlings" so it gave it a more feel on how a ship/station operaters.

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    [YT]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_CHMx9UWTI[/YT]
    (couldn't resist, sorry)
     
  3. starburst

    starburst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is something that a Janice Rand type character would have performed, to schedule meetings and make sure the Captain wasnt disturbed when he was busy.

    Im sure for important meetings Picard would simply lock his Ready Room door.
     
  4. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

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    This is really interesting, and indeed a good question. But doesn't it also apply to every TNG-era commander and captain too?
     
  5. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I thought visitors had to "ring the bell" and Picard state "come" - people don't just walk in do they?
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I suspect the original idea was that the computer did most of the work that enlisted aides would've done in a less technologically advanced era. The philosophy of TNG's creators was "Technology Unchained" -- the ship itself was so advanced that everyone aboard it was freed from any need to do menial work and could instead devote themselves to more meaningful and fulfilling pursuits.

    Although I think that to a large extent, it was Troi who mediated between the captain and the crew, although more for personal and morale issues than anything simply administrative. Presumably it was Riker's job as first officer to handle the administrative oversight of the crew, and Data's as operations manager to coordinate their day-to-day efforts and performance.
     
  7. Nathan

    Nathan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, i guess i recall hearing the "bell" ring....and picard stating "come"...but how does he know that its someone he wants to talk to...again, Picard gotta be uber-busy with all sorts of stuff, and wants to see folks on HIS time when it convenient for him....plus, you'd think Riker would have an aide or some sort of support staff (yeah, I get it its the show, but I always hoped the books have the liberty to make it a litte more in depth. Heck, even when they prepare for away missions, you'd think Picard would get mission briefs, not just from the usuals of Riker, Geordi, or Data.....Guess i sorta compare it to an aircraft carrier or a naval ship....the Capt of the ship has a lot of support staff and various functions and no one can just go willynilly to see the boss.

    Not slamming the authors so to speak, but I always wonder with those not serving in the military or have close bonds to servicemembers, or done some thorough research (like Tom Clancy did for his books), do the authors really have a grasp on what goes on.....guess, I know how some have a handle on the hard science of stuff, but I always think it lacks when it comes to how missions are created etc.

    And yeah...most folks I assume what the usual suspects in the stories, so who wants an away team of Riker and 6 other newbies you'd never heard of.

    Again, I referencing Vanguard, I think that was almost the closest in storytelling of the hustle & bustle of a space station or ship.
     
  8. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Part of it has to do with conventions of storytelling. It's more convenient and gets to the point quicker if whoever gets to speak directly with Picard or whoever the captain is rather than dealing with an aide who is juggling a dozen or so things going in and trying to determine which exactly requires the captain's immediate attention.
     
  9. Elias Vaughn

    Elias Vaughn Captain Captain

    Everyone in Star Trek is part Betazoid. This is why Picard never checks who's at his door and it's why the inventor of the Universal Translator is a fraud.
     
  10. Stephen!

    Stephen! Captain Captain

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    Such as that guy that liked to sneak into the offices of Starfleet captains and take pictures of himself sitting behind the desk.
     
  11. Captain Nebula

    Captain Nebula Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Riker is his assistant. And Data, and the rest of the crew. It's kinda their job to assist the Captain. And the computer handles everything else.
     
  12. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No. They only get in if Picard lets them in. That holds true in anyone's personal area (like their quarters), not just Picard's ready room. They can't just barge in whenever they want.
     
  13. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    I'd imagine a fair portion of the TV show parts is that access to the Ready Room area is already pretty restricted. I mean only bridge officers have direct access to that area, so it takes a senior officer to actually be able to bother Picard at all. Presumably whatever Data or Riker could've handled would already have been handled by them, so anything that gets "kicked up" to the point of needing his attention it's therefore worth his while to take it.

    Also The Poisoned Chalice made note that people who don't want administrative staff can get by without one, even one working at as high a level as Presidential Chief of Staff. (This would, of course be utterly impossible, even today.) Presumably "secretary" programs are of sufficient quality and intelligence they can handle these things quite well.
     
  14. Wally

    Wally Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Also remember these people we are seeing on TV are really the half dozen or so senior officers on the ship. I really doubt the 1000+ rest of the crew would have unfettered access of going up to the bridge and ringing his bell without an appointment.
     
  15. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We've seen Wesley do it.
     
  16. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    Well, but remember when Picard's living his "Lieutenant Picard" days in "Tapestry" he basically never sees the new captain and has all his concerns and everything routed to either his immediate superior (Geordi?) or to Riker/Troi who do the crew evals.
     
  17. rafterman1701

    rafterman1701 Commodore Commodore

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    I think the "open door" policy is just a storytelling shortcut. In world, I would think most officers would know that they follow the chain of command. You talk to your department head and your department head routes it to Riker or Data. I doubt many junior officers just go to the captain. Remember Lower Decks? Maybe Picard should have an assistant, though. But certainly the power structure is well known so no one will just go to Picard without permission. Even though I could walk upstairs to see my CEO, I wouldn't. I know to talk to my immediate boss.
     
  18. Nathan

    Nathan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    R-Man1701,

    Yeah, I see your point about the CEO on the floor above you, but I still think if you had the cajones (or lapse in judgement LOL) to go upstairs, a secretary/aide, would have stopped you before you even go to his or her office...plus I think on some floors/rooms they are key coded so "Phil from Marketing" or "Nick in the mailroom" can't up to the CEO to bitch/visit with the boss.

    Just saying, yeah, I see how TNG is a Paperless Society and the computer works wonders, but even with Riker & Data handling the stuff for the rest of the crew....even THEY need admin support.

    Yep, it prolly boring in a book (or TV show) for that matter showing the admin/day-to-day functions....but I always groan when reading how the meet with the Federation Pres, how it seems Picard is never pre-briefed, or the behind the scenes work that goes on.

    Heck, when a Admiral or General come to visit a base, a ship, or a work order, there is tons of pre-briefs, work being done, and even when the DVs (Distinguished Visitors) come, there are TONS of briefings that has to be done....unless Picard just reads everything by PADD and calls it a day!
     
  19. Warp Rider

    Warp Rider Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Like what some others have said, it's a shortcut for storytelling purposes. Though some of you may enjoy the realism being show with the day-to-day duties via aides in those books, to the average/ casual reader it would slow down the story a little too much. To the point of them wondering what was the point? Why are they telling us the same information over and over again? So in some ways it's a good thing and in others it is not.

    Having a scene where some nobody tells their department head a plot point, then we follow this department head who goes to his boss to tell him the same thing. It would get really redundant and boring. Now I'm not trying to knock anyone down here, I'm just saying what it would feel like to the casual/ average person reading/ watching this book/ tv show if it were presented in this way.

    Maybe I'm looking at this wrong and it wouldn't be exactly done this way... I don't know, but that's just how I'm seeing it.... at quarter to six in the AM here... >_> lol
     
  20. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What happens if Picard just sits there or is having a crafty tommy tank? Do they just hang about outside?
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013