Today, I have made a time on my virtual calendar to tell Sheila West. She deserves to be told, and I deserve to to be free of this strange stress. Since my beginnings, my easy, early years, I did not concern myself with the complexities associated with thinking how a human feels, I would like to say, how 'another' person feels. I just was not programmed to have that as a concern. It was the last thing in my mind, how another feels. It was partly because of Sheila that my business-like goals are now very disorganized.  

  Not too many days ago, she would have just been the new person. In our shop, the managers have names for duty stations. When I was put at my keyboard, Edna fourteen was at that station. I was curious about this status origin, and thought of 'edna fourteen'. I opened my favorite search engine, and when I checked the company charts, I found the list of stations and the record of changes. The first person assigned to that station was a real Edna. Edna Blankenship. I suppose it is the stress of that station that causes the multiple changes. They just called that station the Edna station, and before my arrival, there had been fourteen different 'Ednas' assigned there. Last week, I noticed that no one filled the station. Edna fourteen was no more.  Then Sheila showed up. Her tag said she was Edna fifteen. My tag says I am Lester ten. I am really George Shaw. At this station, I just scan and copy and enter the material left in my bin.  There's not that much stress. I saw that Lester Wright was the first scanner back in 2334, right after this plant opened. He had only lasted April, May and part of June. , Lester two was over two years. Three was a guy named Moe Lewinski, who took some office stuff home, and was replaced by four. Lester eight got promoted and was sent off for some special programming. I am kind of hoping that I get promoted too, but scanning, to me, is very satisfying, so I'm not in a big hurry. Last week, when I saw 'Edna fifteen', who I soon knew was Sheila West, my shoulders involuntarily went back, pressing against my chair and my eyes betrayed my immediate look of attraction. Oh, gosh, Sheila was eye catching. There was something in the way she moved, that smooth gliding into her chair. She had seen my look, as she glanced my way. Then she turned to her work, studying the data on her monitor. I heard the office manager's voice ring in my ear buds. "Lester five, this is not your pause time." My reverie was broken, and I realized that I was staring at the back of Sheila's head with my hands in mid air, poised for my next scan. "Oh, oh. Of course. Sorry, Gregory eight."

  I was so happy to see my red light come on. It had been almost two hours. I arose to go to the charging room. I saw others rise and move to the door. Then to my delight, looking over Sheila's shoulder, her red light came on. So I held back just a moment, waiting for her to type in her exit code and rise. I followed right behind her to the charging room.  

  I had never felt this attraction to another worker before.  I wonder if it had anything to do with an event last week. It was Tuesday. When I plugged in I got the message. I had been directed to the 'doctor's office'. The workers call it that in a form of humor. The receptionist had put a wand to my wrist, and directed me to an open door. All I recall was lying down on their flat bed. A fellow in white put a clasp on my neck, and my consciousness faded. I wondered what he was all smiley for. Nobody bothered to explain what the procedure was. If you work here, you don't ask too many questions. They act like all questions are dumb questions. So I just do what they want. There are a lot worse assignments, filthy factories one can be sent to, so I am not complaining. When I awoke, I saw that I had been out for less than twenty minutes. The guy in white put a heart icon on my elbow, and sent me back to my sector.  He said, "hope you like the new technology." It was then that I noticed a change. It was a change in me, my feelings.  I had passed many of the other workers, and for some reason, today. I looked at them. This caused something in me to think about these strangers. I was wondering if they were like me, or if they did their awareness differently. I will admit that it caused a bit of work disruption, but just temporarily. Instead of starting right in on my scanning duties, I was wondering about the folks in my sector. The fellow off to my left whose neck jerked as he worked, Arthur eleven.  Joyce two giggles a lot. I guess the supervisor or someone tells her jokes through her ear buds. Carl eight. Jennifer four. Billy Jean twelve. I think I'll try to find out what their real names are, and find out something about their lives.  

  Then, as I mentioned, Sheila became Edna fifteen. So, I not only am interested in my work associates, but even more to this Sheila girl. I follow her to our break room, called the 'Charging Room'. Down the hall, I said, "Hi, Edna fifteen, what's your real name? I'm the guy behind you, the scanner called Lester five! My name's George. George Shaw. I'm... single. How 'bout it, are you 'single'?" Oh, golly gee, that smile of hers did light up the hall way. "Hiya, George Shaw, yes, I am! Nice to meet you. Let's take chairs close to each other in here." So we went into the charging room, sat down, and pulled our finger covers off, so that the usb connection was exposed, and we both smiled when we plugged in simultaneously. Plugging in feels great. Her eyelids fluttered with the pleasurable feeling and it made me suck in a good breath of air. "Well, that's nice. Hey, are you a DX5572V, too? I think I saw your number.

  She gave me that nice smile again. "Oh, just a month ago, I was a DX 5568V. I didn't have the new Vidivudux installed. Now I'm up to date, and you know what, I got this too! She twisted to show me her elbow. It had the same little heart, just like mine. This feels like love, maybe true love.

So, today I have this obligation to tell Sheila that I hired a human to ghost write our simple little story. I'd write it and send it myself, but there's that place on the submission page that asked, check this if you're not a robot. One thing I insist to be told about me, is that I am strictly honest. It's the way I'm programmed.

June 22, 2020 16:09

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