Know What I Learned From Star Trek? There’s Still HR in the 24th Century

I have a startling confession to make: I like Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I know. You’re shocked.

While I was a big fan of the Star Trek movies, I wasn’t a big fan of the original series. But The Next Generation? Yeah, that got me going.

So they have the entire series up on Netflix and I’ve been going through it a few episodes at a time. All of the campy goodness is just great. I watched an episode last night that made it clear that HR obviously exists well into the 24th century.

A 24th century reprimand

First of all, some context for all of you who aren’t Trekkies.

In the 24th century, within the Star Trek universe, Earth is part of a Utopian alliance of alien worlds called the United Federation of Planets. The series takes part during a relatively peaceful period where everyone’s needs are taken care of. Nobody is hungry, there aren’t supply shortages, and nobody worries about getting paid.

Basically, the people who work on these faster-than-light starships are there because they just want to be there and they are enriched by their work.

In an episode in the final season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge disobeys an order from Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Captain Picard takes La Forge into his office and reprimands him, telling him (and I’m not joking), “This incident will have to be filed in your permanent record.”

What? HR in a Utopian society?

Here was my response to my wife while we’re watching this:

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Me: @#$%&!# HR?

Her: What?

Me: HR! There’s HR in a Utopian 24th century!

Her: (more laughs)

Look, I love HR, but if Earth does turn into a Utopian, peaceful society, I hope nobody has to be working in the HR office at the United Federation of Planets.

The was originally published at Lance Haun’s (Life Between the Brackets) blog.

Lance Haun is the editor of TLNT. He first joined ERE Media in 2010 as community director and contributing editor for TLNT, eventually becoming editor of our sister publication SourceCon and an occasional contributor at ERE. In between his first and second stint at ERE, he spent seven years as a consultant, writer, and researcher for The Starr Conspiracy, a B2B marketing agency that focuses on the HCM market. Prior to 2010, he worked full-time as an HR leader and moonlighted as a freelance writer and blogger. You can reach him directly at lance@tlnt.com.

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