Lens of History (32)

STEC Archives, Print Document Division
Curator signature: Jer
Format: Textual Record
Object: Excerpt from Memo no. 5, Personnel Division (3rd Revision): General Advice Pertaining to Fairies
Date: Unknown


So, I’ve heard from some folks that fairies are “difficult” to work with. Here’s a few tips. Hope they help.

Fairies respond very well to clear, definitive instructions. 

Generally, the fairies that are working on whatever project you’re on tend to be naturally or natively good at that task. You aren’t getting the new guys, after all, these are the equivalent of experienced chiefs and NCOs. 

With that being said, a fairy’s thought process is a little more simplified than you or I. Generally, they appear to lack the ability to prioritize efficiency. I’m sure you’ve all heard of the stories where some fairy engineering teams tried to build entire warships when all you needed was a turret ring or an armor plate. We got situations and places where going hog wild is great. Your job is NOT one of those. 

Don’t say, “I need Part X, please.” Tell them, “I would like to have a part that is designed for X, preferably of design Y, with these numbers and these dimensions. Here’s something I had in mind. What do you think?”

In most cases, this is sufficient to keep them on task. 

PAY ATTENTION TO THE DAMN BOARDS (A special note from YOUR FAVORITE [Coffee smudge – title not legible])

Yeah yeah, they speak in that happy chirp language thing that only shipgirls understand. I know. That’s why we’ve got designated boards for them to communicate to you. Pay attention to words, because fairies usually do NOT (I repeat, DO NOT) communicate in the English language. Pictures seem to be their preferred way of getting meaning across. 

Your fairies are generally far too polite to communicate (forcefully, that is) what their needs are. Pay attention to what they want or need. Yes, I know they can probably materialize it into existence. Why they don’t do it and instead make sure the “commander” allows it is beyond your paygrade and mine. 

If you can’t tell what’s being drawn (not an uncommon observation), tell your fairy to try again. I’ll be honest. You aren’t getting the artistic guys. Plutonium reactor cores look pretty damn similar to apples, for starters. 

* If there’s enough demand, we may, in the future, create a general guide to things that fairies tend to want. Drop this form back to my office with your name signed and we’ll check back with you in a few months to see if it’s something worth doing. 

Fairies that are assigned to you generally do not prefer to materialize

This one’s a bit less obvious considering how helpful our little guys and gals generally are. Again, you’re working with specialists. Just remember that fairies aren’t perpetual motion machines and do need to rest to recharge their magic or powers or whatever it is we’re calling it these days. If a fairy isn’t visible at their assigned stations, chances are they’re dematerialized.

There is no need to call to them – in my years of working with fairies these guys and gals aren’t the slacking types. There’s always going to be a few hanging around and all you need to do is sit tight for a minute for them to show up.

In other words, if you need maintenance, janitorial services, someone to deliver you a sandwich, whatever. Drop a line. We designed your workstations with this specific matter in mind so don’t be afraid to push the green button. 

You are in charge of your fairy team (and your own) work schedule

Fairies as a rule also don’t really rest if they’re fixated on something. If you’re noticing your fairies napping around your work station, you should probably be giving break orders. A lot of senior researchers tend to split the fairies into two teams so the project can proceed on a night-day cycle. Give it a shot if you want. 

When in doubt, communicate

I know there’s a tendency for people to think, “eh, I can’t really understand them, so maybe they don’t really understand us either.”

This is true to some degree, but it never hurts to try. Believe it or not, you actually don’t need to dumb your words down. Speak as you would to a well-intentioned colleague, but feel free to use terminology or jargon consistent with your field of work.

Motivated fairies are some of the finest beings you’ll ever work with. Believe me. 

If there’s a failure to communicate, let us know

In general, failing to communicate tends to result in fairies simply not showing up to work on your specific project. Most of the time it’s simply because they aren’t made aware of what they need to do (see point 1). If you have a case of an empty office, let us know and we’ll take a look. 

Chances are we know about this already. As you know, we routinely repurpose old hardware, and decommissioned MERLIN satellites are no exception. The singularly most important thing any of us can do is to make sure our base is operating smoothly. We’re aware of what’s going on, but a detailed report from the responsible party is generally a lot more helpful than what we can observe remotely.