Captain Picard has sent me to an Assertiveness Training Course, as he thinks I'm too nervous in what I do.
Of c-course I am!
All these aliens attacking us, t-transporter malfunctions, a Borg drone on board. It's a w-wonder we're still in one piece.
"Don't worry, Reg." says Deanna, "Just go along and you'll be fine."
"T-that's alright for you to say, Deanna." I reply, "I just d-dont think I can or want to be assertive. I get very nervous when people shout at me. They always seem to."
She smiles and sends me in the direction of Holodeck 2, where the training is being carried out.
I enter the holodeck, and there is a large man there; the sort that could probably beat up Lieutenant Worf without any problem.
"So you're Barclay?" he says loudly, "You do look a weedy speciman, don't you? Well I'm Argos, and I'm going to make sure that at the end of this Assertiveness Course, you'll be a tough individual. Right?"
"Err...if you s-say so, sir." I reply.
Argos looks disgusted and continues.
"Right, Barclay" he says, "In this first scenario, you are in control of Engineering; there is going to be a Warp Core Breach in a few moments. Tell me what you are going to do?"
A simulation of the Engineering Room comes to life, and everyone is looking panic-stricken, running here and there.
"Everybody!" I say to them, "Would you m-mind leaving the s-section, as we're going to have a b-breach in a while."
"MORE AUTHORITY, BARCLAY!" shouts Argos.
He is making me more nervous; as I try and urge everybody to leave the Room, the scenario suddenly vanishes.
"What happened?" I ask.
"The ship exploded while you were dithering away, Barclay." replies Argos, "The Enterprise has been destroyed while you have asked people nicely to leave. It wasn't a garden party, or asking a girl to dance. You should have thrown them out then tried to get to the problem via a Jeffries Tube."
"I might have got killed." I protest.
"But you would have saved the ship, Barclay!" shouts Argos, "Now let's see how you get on in this next scenario."
The holodeck changes, and a replica of the Enterprise Bridge appears; all the staff are there, except Captain Picard.
"In this scenario, the Enterprise is about to be invaded." says Argos, "Let's see what you do; you are the Captain here."
While I sit in the Captain's chair next to Commander Riker, Seven and two other Borg drones appear on the Bridge.
"Surrender and prepare for assimilation." states Seven.
"Err...we surrender" I say nervously.
Argos looks livid.
"What kind of assertiveness is that supposed to be, Barclay?" he shouts, "Stand up for yourself!"
The program runs again, and Seven orders us to surrender.
"Err...we will not s-surrender" I tell her.
"Then you will be assimilated first" replies Seven.
I think carefully.
"In that case, I surrender." I say.
The program stops and Argos looks near breaking point. I've never seen a grown man cry before.
"Did it not occur to you to get yourself assimilated as a diversion, while Riker managed to press the self-destruct with Data so that the ship would explode during the Borg invasion?" he asks me through his tears.
"No." I reply, "I have n-noticed that I seem to get killed in both scenarios, though. It doesn't seem to pay being assertive, Mr Argos."
"You're missing the point, Barclay," he tells me, "What you are learning is...oh I can't do this any more. I give up. I'm going to teach Flower Arranging instead."
With that he walks out...
"How did you get on with your Assertiveness Training, Reg?" asks Deanna.
"It was alright, I think" I reply, "But I don't think the tutor was the right one. He said he wanted to move to a different area of training afterwards."
"That's too bad." Deanna muses, "Starfleet need to be sure they have the right instructors for the job, otherwise how will we ever learn anything?"