“Mr Smith,” says the voice on the other end of the line. It was the man from HR. “You should be proud, you’ve been offered the job.”
“Which job?” I ask. I’d interviewed for two.
“Cog,” he says, “Cog Grade II. with luck and hard work, I’d expect you could be promoted – maybe to spoke, gear, or possibly even wheel.”
I could barely contain my excitement. I’m not the kind of guy who is a crazy risky sort – so this was big time stuff.
I mean, I’d been a wheel before. But I was never a part of the The Machine. It’s entirely different when you’re part of the machine. You go from spinning uselessly to actually being a part of something bigger. Something more. Something magnificent.
‘What is the machine?’ you ask.
It is nothing less than the culmination of human ingenuity and design. It is a massive organization filled with cogs like myself. And it churns and grumbles and grinds and produces, well – anything. The most remarkable part is how it fashions itself. You see, me being a cog is no guarantee I’ll always be a part of the machine. The whole system is literally geared to making itself cheaper, more effective and more elegant. If I can stay a cog, I’ll be proud. It would mean that I’m better, smarter and more useful than ever before.
But – just for a second – imagine that I can somehow graduate – perhaps, in my wildest dreams – to something like a regulator – I should be doubly proud! In a machine that is always shedding parts, substituting cheaper ones or adding and then improving pre-made modules, such personal growth would be incredible.
I can already picture my first day on the job. I’ll show up and they’ll show me my actual physical place in the machine. They’ll show me how I fit on the gear and how I’ll interface with other cogs. It will take me a while to get used to it. But after a few months I’ll have it down – and after a year I’ll be the smoothest, best-calibrated cog ever.
I’m really looking forward to it.
Of course, being a cog in The Machine isn’t everything. The best part will be telling other people about it.
‘What do you do? ‘
‘I’m a cog.’
‘Oh, really, where at?’
I can’t even imagine their answers to that! Women will fall for me, men will be jealous and children will idolize me.
It’ll be sweet.
“Are you there?” asks the man from HR – on the line I’d forgotten I’d been holding.
“Yes, yes,” I answer, enthusiastically.
“Do you have any questions?” he asks.
“Just one,” I reply, “When do I start?”