I never like doing a Performance Development Review for any of my staff, but this forthcoming one is going to be the hardest.
It's for Seven Of Nine.
I mean, how can I do a PDR for a Borg drone?
Still, Starfleet rules are that all members of the senior staff should have a PDR by the Captain. As Seven has declared herself a member, she has to have one.
I wait in my office, have a big drink of Klingon bloodwine to numb the headache, have a stress pill and ask Seven to be bought in.
She strides in.
"You wanted to see me, Locutus?" she says.
"Yes, Seven" I reply, "Can you call me 'Captain' while we are here, if you don't mind."
"If that is what you wish, Locutus." she declares.
I sigh. I haven't started yet, but am already tempted to have another Klingon bloodwine. I resist, as I would probably pass out. This is something that wouldn't look good.
"Now, do you understand why we are here, Seven?" I ask her, "We are here to discuss your performance and attitude on the Enterprise. Every member of the crew has this done, and the one now happens to be your first since you joined us."
"I know all about Performance Development Reviews." Seven tells me, "The Borg Queen conducted them with each of her drones."
I look amazed.
"Really?" I say, "How did they go?"
"Much the same as they do here." she continues, "The Borg Queen gets her file out and talks to each of us about of performance in the Cube, whether we've assimilated enough people for the quota."
"What would happen if the Queen thinks a drone has not performed up to quality?" I ask curiously, "Does she reprimand them?"
"Of course not!" Seven replies, "They get deactivated."
"Did you ever worry that would happen to you?"
"Never!" Seven says defiantly, "I was always top in the Cube assimilation performance charts; the Queen said I was her best drone."
I feel a bit fazed at that. I look at the files.
"Well, Seven" I say, with a slight smile, "Let's get back to your Performance Review. We don't do such drastic things as deactivate people."
"I should think not, Captain Picard" she replies tersely, "The Borg Queen will assimilate you if you do."
Trying to use a sense of humour with a Borg drone is clearly the wrong thing to do.
"Now then, Seven," I say, with my 'in-charge' voice in gear, "Taking a look at your time here, you did very well recently while helping Doctor Crusher and myself out of a difficult situation. You proved to be a good member of the team there."
Seven remains expressionless as I continue.
"I think you need to work a little in your attitude to other crew members, though. Many have said that you adopt a superior and threatening tone towards them."
I ought to know; she does that with me, as well.
"It is perfectly natural" she replies, "The Borg are superior; the Borg are supreme!"
"You see, Seven" I say, "What you need to do is be a little nicer to people; smile at them more, say a cheery "Hello" in the corridor."
"Do you want me to smile at them even when I'm threatening to assimilate them?"
Time for the Klingon bloodwine.
"I think that's all for your Performance Review, Seven" I say, as I get the bottle out.
Maybe the Borg Queen did things right with her technique after all.