It's not as organized as one may think

All over the Imperium, and also beyond its borders, companies of various structures and sizes make the unknown known. They bring life to desolate worlds, and create trade where there was once only conflict and war. These are the aims of many companies throughout the known galaxy in Traveller, but how do they do it? Do the board members and leaders of these firms really know what they are doing? Sometimes it may seem that way, but more often than not, they really don't. This is not to say that every person who runs these firms are fumbling idiots, rather it is to say that these people don't know what is actually happening all of the time.

Take the megacorporations for example. The definition of this corporate giant reads: "Staggering in size, these organizations are so large that no one person can know everything they are concerned with at any given moment." So just what do they really know, and how do they find out what actually happened? Sometimes the truth will not surface for days or even years.

In the adventure "Without A Trace", taken from The Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society No. 18, a bulk- ore carrier owned by Lamarck Minerals, LIC disappears. The company had several suspicions about what may have happened to the vessel, but the truth remained a mystery. Even the loss of a single file or a box of materials can remain a puzzle for months.

Small companies may not be as apt to misplace something as will a huge megacorporation which owns fleets of trading vessels. A 50,000 ton freighter may be only known as a number to the upper echelons of the vast company. A person will accept the fact that it is virtually impossible to lose a vessel so large, but when playing the odds, and unlucky number will eventually arise. One must realize the vast distances which the vessel may travel in a year, and then reconsider that it is actually possible to "misplace" a starship.

It is possible that the vessel or file was actually never lost except on paper. Paperwork is probably the most common culprit in business snafus. A large company which owns assets in several sectors must keep track of everything from bulldozers to paperclips, and then know where the bulldozer is at all times. Through the stacks of paperwork which an employee must sort through, the bulldozer may never surface in the company records again.

Communications prove to be a grave problem for business. Bad news that is vital to a company's survival may not reach the office until it has taken serious financial losses. The Imperium, controlled by a great governmental structure with no equal, has the same problem. News of a war sparking on the fringe will not reach the capital for about one year; by that time, the war could be over and won, or lost. With 11,000 member worlds spanning 700 parsecs across, one can realize the problems presented in logistics.

Sometimes a business problem will arise from a simple accounting or managerial mistake made by an employee. Though it is rare to witness, it is not unlikely that a person who owns a firm knows nothing of running a business.

Business crime can cause big trouble for a corporation's future. An employee may be out to make a fortune by stealing company funds, or another company may be out to steal supplies. During tax time, an individual may skip a few decimal places or miss a digit, causing even more problems.

Business, in all it is made up to be, is not the perfect ay to earn money and make a living. But how else do you live? Whether or not the intentions are legal, business is what makes the universe spin and thrive. No matter how confused or unorganized matters get, business has always survived. Through the turmoils of wars and the Long Night it has lasted. One thing is sure: business is business - unpredictable.