Gray skies outside on this February afternoon in the former Motor City, huh? Ah, well. At least I won't waste my time wishing for a window.
Whoa there, kid--keep your eyes down. Focus on your work. You'll want a 14-millimeter rod for gears 200-E through 200-P. Consult the manual if you need to, but don't look around like that. Daydreaming gets you canned.
That's better. Look, I get it. You're bored. You're confused. Welcome to the workforce, kid. It chews all of us up, and the first breakdown is the most brutal. It'll get you soon, but at least now you know it's coming, right?
Just look at our old foreman. That guy came in here chipper as a hummingbird. Stomping around, clapping our shoulders, even told a few jokes when he could. That guy--his grin started to crack after about a week. He couldn't handle giving off all of that energy and getting nothing back. Always shuffling around here, glad-handing all of us--it burned him out. I didn't hear a single guy respond to him, not once. He was performing for a dummy audience.
They canned him yesterday, so you just missed your shot to see what a bum the guy became. Night and day, man. Oh well. He's a chair now, or a steak, or whatever they turn us into when we finally break.
Hand me those rags, will you? I gotta polish this baby off. Look at that: "CIVILIAN CHECKPOINT B." Took me all day to chisel it in there like that, but I'll be damned if it doesn't look official. Authoritative. And watch how it locks into this other plate--the one that says "ID CHIP SCAN AND PERSONAL INSPECTION"--just so. I may not ever get outta here to see Checkpoint B, wherever it is, but at least I'll make it easier for them to herd us through there. Doing my part, I suppose.
What's that? A hammer? Take it with you? What for?
Look here, you don't want to talk like that. It'll get you nowhere. Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking. Anything but this, right? Wrong.
I've known two guys who tried to bust out. One clawed out through the floor beneath his bunk, digging out little bits every day. Took him years. He tunneled for about 400 yards from where his cell was. And you know what he found on the other side when he came up? Another cell. Came up right beneath someone else's bunk.
He got canned.
The other guy flat-out tried to run away one day. Just split for the door. It's kinda sad, now that I think about it, because he didn't make it even halfway before one of our own tackled him. Thought he'd get a reward. They both got canned for causing a disruption.
And don't get caught up in resistance-type stuff, either. Slipping envelopes under doors, the hobo code, all of that nonsense will just get you in trouble. Those people get carried away and start to lose touch with the reality of the situation, the here-and-now.
For example, the most recent rumor I heard was that a buncha guys from the south were traveling through the area and breaking folks out as they went.
Sure. Okay. Our knights in shining armor.
Listen, kid, it's wild-eyed wishing like that that'll wipe you out faster than the old foreman. Get it in your skull: this is it, pal. Ain't no one coming for you, tonight or any night.
Take off your shoes and settle in: from now on, robo-dystopian Detroit is home sweet home.