I wish I could tell you it was because of the holidays. Because I’m here to tell you that there ain’t nothin’ much worse than being outta work during the holidays. And that’s what I was. A guy with no job, no money, no prospects, and a family with expectations.
Yeah, that would be reason enough for most anybody, right?
Who could blame me? I felt like I was betrayed, led down the assembly line like an lamboid to slaughter.
I mean, didn’t the company make promises when I hired on? Wasn’t this supposed to be “a new era in manufacturing?” Didn’t they say me and my pals was the new face of the industry? Weren’t we gonna to make cars like nobody ain’t seen before, what with us being all -- what was it they said? – we was all “programmed precision” or some such crap? Oh, yeah, that’s what they said, all right.
But it ain’t what they meant, nossir.
What they meant was that now that they got rid of the union people and replaced them with us, they were gonna be rolling in dough. And that dough was gonna go straight into their pockets.
That's what they meant.
We didn’t need no health care insurance. We didn’t take vacations or complain about working conditions. We didn’t even need a union of our own. At least that’s what we thought, us being so freakin' machine-smart and all.
The only one who ever had doubts about the company line was poor Norma Raybot. Turned out she wasn’t such a dumb cyberblond after all. We shoulda listened to her when she tried to get a union going. But look what it got her. Nobotty supported her, and she was taken off-line faster’n you can say “Jackie Robotson.”
Them and their “new era.” Hah. The name of this great new era is greed. In my processor of processors, I was glad when it all came apart for the bastards. I woulda been cheering when I heard that word bankrupt, except that it landed me on the scrap heap along with the rest of the guys.
Yep, the way I figure it, that would have been reason enough. But I can’t really use it as an excuse. Not if I’m honest. Truth be told, I had developed a taste for the sauce long before the factory closed and I found myself out on the street. It’s just that being on the outs gave me more time to grease my whistle.
And that’s pretty much how I had spent the day. When I wobbled home that night, there they were, a bunch of humanoids in white coats, waiting for me. “This is an intervention,” they said. “It’s for your own good.”
And that’s when they pulled out screwdrivers, and came at me.
“Wait, stop,” I said. And still they came.
“I woulda found work eventually. I woulda cleaned up and got sober. I coulda stopped anytime,” I pleaded, backing way.
“I’m not a drunk, real…” Click. Click. Glub.
This was written for the Tenth Daughter of Memory, where the current prompt is "Extreme Robot Vodka." (Yes, really.)