Spot the Rando [Fiction]

"One tip for you, newbie:" Tam boarded Emphasis barely a day ago and this was the fifth "one tip" Cutter offered so far. He ended sentences with colons, a prelude to some bit of wisdom.

"Look at your crew. If you can't tell who is a rando, it's probably you. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course."

"Thank you, sir." Tam said. 

Cutter smiled and turned back to his station before Tam interrupted. "However, I *know* I'm randomly assigned." 

Company policy stated that captains could only select 50% of their crew. Even those selections were filtered through a complicated runoff algorithm. Every captain wanted the top scorers from each class, but the company found profits dipped if talents were too concentrated onto one ship. Hyper-competitive high performers fell into groupthink or had too limited a set of life experiences for the novel problems faced by a typical ship. So half a crew was randomly assigned from all classes. Crucially, no individual knew if they were selected or assigned.

All HR records were kept tightly sealed at executive-level clearance. Ideally, mixing crews like this meant high scorers couldn't get too smug, since they didn't know whether they had been posted to an esteemed ship on merit or by chance.

In practice, this made some crews constantly play a guessing game of "spot the rando." A simple error would instill doubt about whether a crew member earned their post.

Tam preferred to circumvent this game altogether, removing any doubt. Tam was a rando.