Lesson 021: King of their domain
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 5/1 ('Redemption Part II')


Riker needs information from the Quarter Master of the Federation Surplus Depot.

When contacted by Riker for the information, the Quarter Master is totally uncooperative and tells Riker to first make an appointment to submit his request for information.

Riker is stunned by the response and not sure what to do. Counselor Troi tells Riker to use a more genteel approach with the Quarter master, for the Quarter master considers himself the king of his particular domain and expects to be treated as such.

Riker quickly hands off the assignment to Troi.


It is abundantly true that there are quite a number of paper pushing clerks in every organization with delusions of grandeur for their limited assignments, who will always take every measure possible to do the least amount of work themselves while managing to hinder the progress of others as much as possible.

These characters are usually also the first ones to complain and express their dissatisfaction if they do not get cooperation from others. These sloths of the workplace are an unfortunate reality with whom we all have to contend at times, either as co-workers or as customers.

Whether it was due to ill-parenting or just a plain loss of all redeemable virtues in their personality, these people usually entrench themselves in their sloth-like behavior in large form due to some kind of misplaced job security that protects them from job dismissal.

In the public and private sectors, jobs are often so well protected, that management has very little power in replacing these people. Reprimanding and admonishing these people only fuel their obnoxious behavior even further.

Heaven help the poor individual who ever needs anything from these people. As threats are ineffective and common decency is totally unknown to these people, Troi's approach, however distasteful to us, of 'smoozing' them, may be our only alternative.

Their shield of uncooperative invulnerability can usually be brought down by targeting their fragile egos with false praise and platitudes, both of which, as Troi knew only too well, are the most favored sustenance for their insecurities.

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