Posted by: cordy74 | March 16, 2009

Redshirts and the Economy

It is difficult to get away from the subject of how bad things are in the economy and the job market. These problems are all around us. You cannot turn on the radio, television or internet without seeing the latest numbers concerning unemployment or foreclosures. How about if we look at certain aspects of our current troubles through the lens of science fiction?

Think about where you work as the starship Enterprise (original television series model NCC-1701 – not one from Next Generation or the later movies).  Think of your department as a landing party from the Enterprise.  Finally, imagine  yourself and your fellow employees as members of the landing party. If you’ve never seen the original Star Trek series you probably don’t really know how the landing parties worked. Let me fill you in.

The Enterprise comes into orbit above an obscure planet with some sort of mysterious problem about which the ship’s sensors cannot give any information. The only solution is to send down the what? That’s right, the landing party. Good for you. It shows you are following along. Now the landing party would typically consist of some of the higher ranking officers of the ship as well as several security officers.

As an aside, the color shirt you would wear as a crew member was based on your position on the ship. Yellow for Command. Blue for Science and Engineering. Red for Security. Hence the term: Redshirts. Unfortunately, the landing team would almost always encounter a dangerous phenomenon that would invariably kill off one or more members of the landing party. Typically the Security detail would take the brunt of the attack and also be among the first to die.

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork let’s apply the Star Trek analogy to the workplace. Late last year the landing party on our starship came across a planet named Economy. The planet Economy had run into some mysterious trouble from a creature, unknown at the time, that has since been named Recession. As soon as the landing party came into contact with Recession the inevitable happened: the Redshirts were taken out.

In my company, as with most, the Redshirts were the contract and temp workers. The first wave of the attack took them out mercilessly. At this point I don’t think many landing parties still have any living Redshirts. Here we are four months later and we just got word of more layoffs. It seems as if Recession has already killed off our entire landing crew, hijacked the shuttle, traveled back to the Enterprise and is either devouring the rest of the crew or is having its way with them.

Let that be a lesson to you.  Don’t ever turn your back on a Recession.  The next thing you know half your crew is missing, the other half is knocked up with alien babies  and your ship has been stolen and is being used in a string of intergalactic convenience store robberies.


  1. You forgot the best part of watching Star Trek as a teen age male. The green three boobed alien females! Ours was named Stimulus, and just like the majority of those alien chics on TV, she turned out to be just a distraction by the villian.

    Live long and prosper!

    • I am so mad at myself for not taking my post to its logical conclusion. Thanks for dragging it across the finish line for me, bigred!

      I may have to give it a little more thought and write another post further comparing Star Trek to our economy.

  2. James Kirk for president!

    • And, uhhhh, Uhura for VP? That should satisfy everyone, shouldn’t it? Or better yet, let’s pick Sulu for VP! From the trailers he looks like he’s going to kick @$$ in the new movie.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s