Hello TrekMate family I’m a recent new subscriber to a lot of the podcasts on the TrekMate network; I’ve been steadily listening through the back catalogue of series reviews and discussion shows and in one week quite by accident four shows and their hosts had mentioned how impossible it would be to get on a holodeck were such a device to exist.

It got me thinking, how tough would it be?
Would you always be left out and never get to enjoy all the holographic delights on offer?
Is it just a toy for the lucky few?
It soon dawned on me that actually these miracle entertainment systems might be more available than you think…

Firstly I’m going to base this on the Enterprise D, with over 1000 crew on board it’s the most overpopulated ship in the franchise to-date and the ship with the most democratic workforce. After-all the right amount of gold pressed latinum could bump you up the list on a holosuite at Quarks and on Voyager time devoted to leisure would be divided by a lack of power resources and a smaller crew.

Secondly I’ll say that I work shifts, night shifts to be precise, nothing quite sucks more than having a body clock out of sync with the rest of the world except for one aspect; when I want to get out-and-about in my time off everywhere is so much quieter as the majority of 9-5ers are stuck behind their desks trying to figure out why their spreadsheet formulae keeps crashing or why Doris from accounts keeps messing up your monthly pay packet.

So 1000 crew members, but wait that’s not true, on board are non-Starfleet children and spouses, as a father of two who barely sees his spouse due to the aforementioned shift work my priority in my “off duty” time is to spend it with them when all our times align not go galavanting off to 1920s Chicago with Picard’ Dixon Hill fantasies. Time for selfish recreation is severely limited. So for arguments sake let’s say there are 100 people on board unable to accommodate a holo-adventure into their routine.

900 to go; now the “D” requires around the clock staffing, assuming they work to a 24 hour day and that Starfleet holds to Western health and safety employment laws no crew member works more than an 8 hour shift. This means three shift periods a day, if we assume it’s an even split that’s 300 crewmen working whilst 300 are sleeping and 300 in their free time.

300 souls aboard contending for holo-pleasure. The “D” has three holodecks, so that’s 100 crew per room per downtime, let’s assume also the ship works to a 5 day working week to 2 day weekend. Now when I’ve been working the last thing I want to do in my spare time is leave the comfort of my own house and get entertainment when I can read a good book, relax to music, or indulge a hobby. If we see holodecks like a trip to the local cinema that’s a treat for the weekend so only 2 days a week I might go to the holodeck. And let’s also assume a unspoken etiquette that you can’t book more than one holo-session a week. So now only 50 crew are eligible on my holo-treat day.

50 crew looking to get holo-time. If we also treat holo-decks like a squash court at a gym then time slots can be booked for an hour. I have 8 down time hours to chose from, although let’s allow 3 hours for breakfast, showers, dinner, weekly sub-space communiques with your family back home and those annoying weekly chores. So now there are 5 hours that free crew members can book their holo-fun. 1 in 10 crewmen booking the same hour you choose.

10 crew now chasing that holo-ticket, as with lots of entertainment technology not everyone can enjoy the wonders of this new age contraption. My eldest son is unable to see 3-D tv/movies due to a lazy right eye, what if our alien comrades require more sleep cycles, I have many friends of religious/cultural persuasions who cannot indulge certain pastimes on account of offending their deity/cultural norms OR might have a phobia of certain enclosed spaces. Studies show that 1 in 8 people are agoraphobic. So if we extrapolate and say that 2 crew cannot use the holodeck at all, that leaves 8 of us after just one hour a week.
8 crew looking to holo-party, but oh wait what’s this La Forge needs your report on the technobabble diagnostic you performed last week and you need to put in overtime to get it done, not to mention Data has his classical music recital mixing the distinct styles of Vivaldi and Titalia at eighteen hundreds hours that you can’t miss because Shay’una that foxy Half-Orion from Stella cartography will be there that you’ve been dying to impress her, Keiko is also running a “botany for beginners”, there’s Dr Crusher’ Theatre Workshop where Barclay’ Cerano De Bergerac is quite something to behold, Worf has requested you attend Klingon Tai Chi on pain of death (and he isn’t being metaphoric) and Troi requires you report for your bi-monthly psych evaluation.
Given all this you might be lucky to fit in holo-distraction once a month. If that’s a four week month on average that’s a 1 in 4 chance you might conflict with a crew member. But wait the other day Ensign Ricky died of **insert away team death scenario** so his slot is free too.
1 in 3.

3 crew after a holo-fix. But it’s Nurse Ogawa’ birthday at Ten Forward, you don’t really know her but lots of people do they are serving nuclei peptide chocolate cake and Guinan’ has a new cocktail from Phycus II that’s to die for.

You’ve got your holo-dream, oh nuts it’s out of order after holo-Moriarty tried to take over the ship, guess you’ll have to wait for the new firmware update to correct the fault, well that’s that for another month but I hear Cmdr Riker brought back this great game from Risa you should check out, it’s amazing and it’ll mean you don’t have to talk to Wesley now he’s back from The Academy.

What level are you on by the way?
….. I’m on ****ahhhh*** level 47….

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this:
@rider_coattail
www.ridingcoattails.simplesite.com
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