Starlight Travel


Galactic StarTraveller Magazine

Galactic Movers & Shakers Profile


The Man with the Clipboard

"You'll have had your lunch, then?" says Antar Brobostigon, glancing at the cheap digital watch which encircles his wrist, a perpetual reminder of the way the Titanic project encircles his life.

It's a typical greeting from this most untypical of individuals. Mr. Brobostigon (as he likes to be called) carries few outward signs of the almost awesome responsibility which rests upon his narrow shoulders. Short, stout, balding, Mr Brobostigon cannot be called "imposing." His skin has the typical golden tan of the man who spends his time indoors; even in the sun (his associates say) it refuses to turn white.

Nor is Mr Brobostigon's face in any way memorable. His lips twitch as we speak. His hands fiddle incessantly with the eight coloured pens on his modest boxwood desk. He seems jittery yet sessile. We are constantly interrupted by draughts persons, construction workers, people carrying plans and pieces of cable, spanners, connectors, order forms and memoranda. At one stage a large, burly tharpenter bursts in in a state of high dudgeon, but Mr Brobostigon calms his fears and send him on his way without ever seeming really to listen to the problem.

Yet when we ask him what it was all about, he says, in his bluff, project manager's way, "I haven't a clue. I never listen. I just calm their fears and send them on their way. My job is to facilitate, not to innovate."

When we point out that this seems to be a non sequitur, Mr Brobostigon is unperturbed. He rearranges his pens, leans back in his chair and scratches his blimpht. "If it is, it is," he says. "If I waited for sequiturs, nothing would ever get done."

And to give him his due, things are getting done. The Titanic project - quite simply the largest, most luxurious intergalactic leisure cruiser of all time - is proceeding on schedule towards its launch date of Roctumber 15ft: the most spectacular, star-studded maiden voyage in the history of deep-space travel.

But the project has not been without its setbacks. As Mr Brobostigon himself puts it, "The project has not been without its setbacks. We have, for example, had considerable problems with the Anaxiomat system. The Titanic architect, Leovinus himself, has been most insistent that fault-intolerance is absolutely central to the ship's construction, so we have had to work very closely with Klein und Moebius-Gödel GbMH of Zimmerhaven to ensure that his strictures were fully complied with. But we're confident now that this remarkable concept - a feat of engineering unique to the Titanic - will be fully-operational by our target launch date."

Mr Brobostigon glances at his watch. It is time for him to go on his inspection of the magnificent ship herself. We ask if we may accompany him. "Piss off," he says. He picks up his clipboard which seems instantly to become a part of him, and stumps from the room.

We are left alone, aware that we have been in the presence of one who, call him what you will, is -- without any doubt at all -- a project manager. Antar Brobostigon: man and clipboard in perfect harmony.