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The Comment Box

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Jean-Luc eyed his senior staff gathered around the conference room table.  “Any questions?”

“A comment box? Really, Jean-Luc?”  Jean-Luc gave his Chief Medical Officer a wry smile. “I’m afraid so, Doctor.  Command has decided it will help to increase morale if people feel able to leave anonymous feedback to all departments. Naturally, as the flagship, we have to be the Guinea pigs.”

“Query, Captain. Guinea pig?”

“Figure of speech, Data.  It means they are going to try the concept out on us.” 

“Will there be a comment box outside the Ready Room? I’ve got a comment about this idea...”

Beverly!” Jean-Luc tried to admonish her, but it was difficult as she had only voiced the same opinion he had.  He held his hands out in a ‘what can I do?’ motion.  “The boxes will be mounted this afternoon.  Crew members and non-crew residents can leave their comment on a chip and deposit it in the  box.  You will all be expected to monitor your department’s comments and bring them to my attention if you feel I need to be made aware.  Command wants to trial this for one month. Now, any more questions?”  Everyone shook their head.  “Dismissed.”

Beverly stood and instead of leaving the room, walked towards Jean-Luc and placed her hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry, Jean-Luc.  I just don’t like the idea of someone trying to tell me how to run my Sickbay.”

“I know, Beverly. I feel the same.  If people have a problem with the way I run this ship, they are more than welcome to speak to Command about being transferred off.  Frankly, I would prefer the transfers over this.  Still though, we must do as we are commanded.” Jean-Luc reached up and squeezed her hand.  “Dinner tonight?”  Beverly nodded before slipping out of the room and back towards Sickbay.


Beverly strode into Jean-Luc’s Ready Room after he commanded the door to open and slammed a PADD down on his desk.  “Not nice enough?!  I’m not nice enough? They’re in Sickbay, not a hotel. Do they think I’m their mother?”  Jean-Luc grinned at Beverly. “Well, you are Wesley’s mother....”  he noticed Beverly’s glare and chose to pick up her PADD instead to study. 

Doctor Crusher and Selar need to smile more.  They may have a point about Selar, but I’ve never known you to not be smiling or nice. Where did this come from?”

“Last week I wasn’t entirely friendly to a group of crewmen who went spelunking in the holodeck and came to me with injuries.”

“I see.”

“They turned the safeties off on the holodeck.  Who does that?!”  Jean-Luc frowned.  In that case, Beverly’s annoyance with her patients was understandable since they could have prevented their own accidents and could have prevented her from responding to an actual emergency.

“Right, well, that’s understandable....what else is there?” 

“What else?  Oh Jean-Luc, keep reading.”

Sickbay is too cold.  Sickbay is too hot.  The sink in exam room two doesn’t have water, only sonic.  The gowns are ugly.”  Jean-Luc pushed the PADD away. “Oh, this is just ridiculous Beverly.”  Beverly smirked.

“So what do yours say?”

“I, uh, haven’t looked yet.”  Beverly strode over to the door and pressed the button to open the door. “May I?”  He nodded, and she stuck her hand in the small box attached to the wall next to his Ready Room door.  She came away with a half a dozen chips.  “Ok, Jean-Luc, let’s see what people have to say about you.”  She inserted the first chip into her PADD and snorted. “Oh...Jean-Luc.  You’re too bald!!!”  She dissolved into a fit of giggles.

“I’m what?”

“Yep. Captain Picard is too bald.  Surely he could get some hairplugs or maybe a rug?”  Jean-Luc self consciously ran his hand over his bald pate.  “Too bald?  Is there such a thing as being bald enough?”   Beverly grinned and looked up. “Well, I like you bald.” 

“Thank you. What else is there?”  Beverly inserted the next chip. “Hm. Someone’s written an entire diatribe over how you conduct your personal life,” Beverly continued to scan the message, trying to see if there was anything constructive in the three page long comment. “Oh, here we go. They said they’re going to jump ship and it’s all your fault.”

“My fault?”

“ are the Captain.” 

“Yes, but Beverly. Surely people don’t....they can’t that much about what I do in my personal life, can they?”

“Hm.  You and I don’t fight enough.  There isn’t enough conflict. We’re the most boring couple in Starfleet....oh, and I should cheat on you.”  Jean-Luc raised an eyebrow. “Remind me to throw a drink in your face tonight in Ten Forward.” 

“If you’re cheating on me, shouldn’t I be the one to throw the drink?” 

“No.  It would mess up my hair.”  Jean-Luc snorted. “Perhaps I should see Mr Mott about a hairpiece....”

“Don’t you dare.  Oh, look, that’s cute. They’ve brought up Jack.” 

“Jack?  Why?”

“I dunno. I guess we should fight more about Jack, too,” Beverly read on. “Oh it seems they would like for us to publicly confirm that I cheated on Jack with you and Wesley is your son.”

“I see,” Jean-Luc steepled his fingers.  “Is there anything actually useful on those chips?” 

“No.  Just more ways that you should be running the ship.  Looks like a bunch of people who wish they were in charge.   I wonder what everyone else’s chips say?” Beverly inserted another chip and let out a very loud laugh. “This one isn’t for you, but apparently Will needs to shave the beard. Can I tell him?” 

“No.  You know, Beverly...I think this idea of being able to leave anonymous comments isn’t such a good idea.  People are going to hide behind the fact that they don’t have to own up to these comments...and none of this is actually useful.  I’m going to get rid of the boxes and tell command it was a bad idea. “ Beverly nodded.  “Good idea.  We don’t need this kind of negativity hanging around the ship.” She leaned across the desk and gave him a quick kiss. “Right.  I better get back to Sickbay and remove my box from the wall. Dinner in Ten Forward tonight?”  Jean-Luc nodded. “Well, I’m still going to throw a drink in your face! “

Jean-Luc groaned.