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Psychological Eval - BACKPOST

Posted on 16 May 2015 @ 6:06am by Commander Jayla Kij & Lieutenant Avery Stuart Ph.D.

Mission: Boarded
Location: Stuart's office
Timeline: TBD

Another Psych eval? It seemed to Jayla that she had to do these every month, even though she knew it was really only once a year. Well, may as well not dawdle. Get it over with quickly.

Reminding herself that she should be real, she made her way to the counselor's office. Finding the door open, she poked her head in and tapped on the door frame with one fist. "Hi," she said cheerfully. "Lieutenant Stuart? Or do you prefer Doctor?"

Despite purposely leaving the door open to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the ship, Avery was startled at first to hear someone greet her. She was engrossed in her reading and temporarily forgot that if she could see and hear others, they could see and hear her. She looked up and smiled, "Avery, actually. Please, come in."

"Avery, then," said Jayla coming into the office and offering a hand to the other woman. "Doctor Jayla Kij. But, you can just call me Jayla, if you like. Or Jay."

"Jay," Avery tried out with a smile. "I like it. May I get you something from the replicator, Jay?"

"No, thanks," said Jayla, grinning. "I'm good."

Avery didn't want anything either, so she returned to sit across from Jay. "So, how do you like the Black Hawk so far?" Stuart was aware Jay was the second CMO since she began her tenure not long ago. Will a she was curious what the new doctor thought of her new surroundings.

"It's great," replied Jayla, grinning even wider, if that were possible. "I mean, I've only been here a day, but even so. Everyone's incredibly friendly and helpful."

Avery smiled. "I know you've only been here a short while, but how does the Black Hawk compare to your last posting? The USS Frost, was it?" She wondered if Jayla's enthusiasm was consistent with her personality overall, an indication that her last posting didn't provide as many friendly people, or perhaps was just indicative of being posted as CMO for the first time in her career.

"Oh, it's just as great as the Frost," said Jayla enthusiastically. "Of course, nothing can compare to the Impala, but then, I was working under my mentor, so..." she shrugged, grinning yet again.

"Oh? Was your mentor responsible for your decision to come here?"

Jayla shrugged. "She encouraged me to take it," she replied. "I probably would have anyway, but I ask her about almost everything big like that."

"Why do you suppose that is?" Avery wasn't presuming anything, but she found the admission interesting.

"Probably because I respect her opinion," said Jayla. "I mean, if she'd have said 'no, don't do it, Jayla, you're not ready,' I probably would have hesitated. In fact, I might have heeded her advice. I guess what I meant is that if she'd have just said, 'I have no opinion, make your own choice,' I'd have taken it."

Avery found the response interesting. It seemed she was looking for permission to make her own choices. "It sounds like you're working on your self-confidence, and are self-aware enough to admit it. That's refreshing," Avery added with a smile.

Jayla considered that for a moment. "I'd never thought about it that way," she said, grin growing once more. "But, yeah, I suppose that's true." Her eyes sparkled as her grin reached from ear to ear. "That's why you're the counselor, I guess!" she laughed.

"Where do you suppose your struggles with self-confidence come from?" Avery asked.

"I don't know," answered Jayla. "But I would hazard a guess that it's because I don't ever remember making a decision without someone else's input. First it was my sister- she's eleven months younger than me- then Saraja- my mentor. Although, I don't know that I'd say I struggle with it. I think I just prefer to get other people's opinions."

"Sometimes the people we love and the people who love us think their input is required to prevent us from making mistakes," Avery offered with a nod. "Unfortunately, even if they don't say or do anything to make us believe it out right, constantly getting unsolicited advice can send a message that undermines our own sense of competency. On the bright side, serving as CMO will be a meaningful proving ground for you."

Jayla grinned again, eyes shining brightly. "I've never been a CMO before," she said cheerfully. "But, everyone seems to think I'm capable, so I guess I'll give it a shot." She added a wink and an even bigger grin- if that was at all possible.

Avery wasn't sure what to make of Jayla. Was her cheerfulness a mask? "Forget what other people think. Do *you* think you're capable?" Her demeanor in that moment gave Scott the sense she was trying to downplay the significance of the job.

Jayla shrugged, considering. "I suppose so," she said. "I mean, I know what has to be done and how to do it. And I don't mind ordering people about. So, I suppose I think I'm capable. I just never stopped to think about it."

That answer surprised Avery. She understood not everyone was interested in earning rank and position once they joined Starfleet, but she expected if someone was offered a leadership position in their career field, he or she would naturally consider whether he or she was a good fit, especially in a position where good leadership literally meant the difference between life and death. "I know you've never served in a department head position before, but I'm wondering what sort of leadership roles you might've been given while you were in the Academy?"

"Just the typical stuff," Jayla replied. "I was team leader during mock triage drills several times- but we all do that. And of course, I had some command classes. All doctors have to take them."

"What was all of that like for you, personally?" Avery was struggling to get a good read on Jayla. She noted the doctor pointed out common leadership experiences for all those trained like herself, but she neglected to share any personal information. That said, she didn't get the sense Jayla was deliberately sidestepping her questions, just that she wasn't used to sharing any information about her inner life.

Jayla shrugged. "I guess I didn't think about it much at the time," she said. "It's just what everyone did at the academy so it's what I did. I suppose I must have done well because I got good marks and the instructors seemed to like me. It's just one of those things you just don't think about, I guess."

"Do me a favor and look back on it now," Avery suggested. "What do you remember about those experiences? Perhaps you remember things you were good at and not so good at, or times when you were really scared or particularly confident?"

Jayla bit her lip and thought about it for a moment. "I can't say anything about the academy was frightening," she said finally. "I was terrified during my cadet cruise when most of the medical staff were injured in an accident and I was put in charge of triage. Can you imagine a 26-year-old medical student having to take over and sort through doctors' and nurses' injuries?" She shivered at that.

"Oh, I know," she quickly amended. "I was really terrible at bridge training. Or, well, I thought I was. I got good marks in it, but I was so uncomfortable! Everyone kept asking for orders and throwing suggestions at me." She shook her head as if to clear it. "I hated it," she finished.

Jayla's answers gave Avery a better picture of who Jayla was as an individual and Stuart was pleased to get a better read of her. "I can imagine your bridge training was interesting," Avery replied, imagining she would feel much the same way. "Your cadet cruise was definitely not average."

"Definitely not," laughed Jayla. "It was about as far from average as you can get. But, I learned a lot and I think it was good for me."

"In what way do you think it was good for you, specifically?" Avery wondered if Jayla would offer something more personal or something expected, like it taught her general leadership skills or something similar.

"There's nothing like throwing someone into a crazy situation to teach them how to be in charge," she replied. "It was also good to practice keeping calm in a stressful situation."

Avery smiled. "That's never a bad skill to know. I have a feeling it will come in handy far sooner than we realize."


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