The Daily Tar Heel
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The Daily Tar Heel

In fifteen days, my commander has scheduled the invasion of two small planets. In ten days, he needs my logistics report on his desk. Why then, in Zorg’s name, does he expect me to read about this random third planet’s demographic shifts from the year 5700 to 5902 in the meantime? 

Back when the ship launched, Commander Gulpgorf gave us a list of articles he wanted us to read before each crew debriefing, along with the dates of logistics reports, weapon system maintenance reports, final invasion days, everything. Call it a syllabus, if you will. Fine, we all respect a space commander with a fine-tuned sense of schedule. 

But wow, with the due date fast approaching for this report, doesn’t Gulpgorf know what priorities are? A little over a week left before the due date and, in meetings with the space crew, he acts like he actually believes the team is reading the attachments in his emails. 

Logistics reports take time, after all — so many numbers to find, make sense of and, most importantly, format. Numbers on our side, like ships and personnel and pounds of food, and numbers on their side, yadda yadda. I have to research the local traditions on the planets, write about their systems of language, and really look into anything that may impact the invasion timeline and progress. Although most of the things I can find on Wikipedia, I had to go to the unit’s library — I know, ew — to get a "book," which is kinda like a Wikipedia entry but rectangular and made out of paper.

At first, his emails were sort of interesting. I mean, the list of stuff he wanted us to read was pretty alright. Sometimes, when I wasn’t out partying with Cassandranian aliens or when I was staring at the blank page of my logistics report and feeling very procrastinate-y, I’d skim one of his essays or whatever. But I have to say, once I actually started the logistics report, I never once so much as opened his emails. I’d walk into one of those meetings and not know if we were talking enemy fighting styles or Gulpgorf’s young adult fan-fiction — nothing, nothing prepared except carefully rehearsed nods to pepper in here and there with some added eye contact for effect.

To make it worse, I’m really expecting to get a pay grade bump from these reports, but by Zorg, I can’t tell if Gulpforf is keeping in mind these meetings when making my final recommendation for promotion. Should I be reading his emails, and like, participating? Does he care more about that? Or am I right to focus on my report? If only things were as straightforward as they were at my college back on Earth.

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