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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A very short fiction about the future of jobs in the world. But is it really going to remain a fiction?

Submitted: February 18, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 18, 2017



The setting is a local watering hole in mid-town, it is not fancy bar, so far as bars go, but it has a relaxed atmosphere. The owner and full time bartender knows almost everyone that comes through the door. And those older people that live within walking distance seem to gravitate to it for a drink and to socialize; often after dinner.

This particular evening happens to be a Wednesday, just after seven, and there is no one in the bar except for Pete and some homeless Vet sleeping in the far back booth.

The front door opens...


"Hay Pete, give me a beer and a double-shot of that Rot-gut whiskey that you have behind the bar," said the man laughingly, as he walked in.

"You got it Al," Pete replied as he twisted the top off the beer bottle and slid it down the bar in Al's direction.

Al caught it in transition and took a big swig, then Al sat down on a nearby bar stool.

Pete poured the double-shot and then walked down to where Al was sitting, "There you go Buddy," Pete said as he sat the shot-glass down on a bar napkin that seemed to come out of nowhere.

Al pulled some bills out of the front pocket of his 501's and tossed them on the bar.

Pete fumbled through the bills and fished out enough to pay for the drinks, then headed to the cash register; when he returned he laid some coins on the bar next to Al's remaining bills and said, "There you go buddy."

"Cheers!" Al said, and downed the shot of whiskey.

"It is a sad, sad, world," Al told Pete. It is going to hell in a hand-basket and no-one can see it coming; --- correction, no-one wants to see it coming, Pete.

My grandmother was right; the Blind lead the blind better than the sighted."

"How is that so?" Pete questioned.

Al took another sip from his beer and replied, "Jobs my friend, before the next 30 years are up the US will lose 40% of its blue-collar jobs to robotics; that is 40% more than we've lost already. Think about it, when was the last time you saw a Gas-Station Attendant?

Just think, I've worked in manufacturing my whole life, well over 40 years. I've had seven different jobs in four different industries during those years, but they are all gone now. One of those jobs doesn't even exist anymore, thanks to a machine.

The last factory job I took on, I served a six year apprenticeship to gain the title of a skilled crafts person, but now that is gone too; off to Asia it went"

Pete replied, "They say that they are going to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US."

"Those are assembly jobs that they talk about and there won't be many of those coming back to the states; the labor costs are just too high.

No, the politicians talk a good game, but that is all they do. And Blue-collar people want to believe that we can go back to yesteryear, but we can't. The ship has sailed and there was no round-trip tickets issued."

"What do you mean by assembly being different that manufacturing?" Pete questioned.

"Assembly jobs are not manufacturing jobs. Assembly is like the sprinkles on top of the Ice Cream Sunday, or the lime in a Rum and Coke. Assembly only accounts for a small fraction of the labor in any manufactured product; it is just the frosting on the cake," Al replied. "I need another beer Pete."

Pete went to fetch another beer for Al and when he returned, he replied, "That sound pretty scary Al, a real doomsday scenario for some. So I guess it's a good thing I inherited this bar from my folks, at least I'll have a job that lasts until I die, or reach retirement age."

"Are you going to retire at 65 Pete, or are you going to stretch it out some?" Al asked.

"Oh, I hope to retire at 65, only 25 more years. Then I want to sell this bar for a hunk of change and move to Florida.


Flash forward 12 years.

Pete's place is closing because most of his customers were older and most are not around anymore. The younger people don’t care for the Old School bars, so Pete is out of business and out of work.

No, Pete couldn't sell the business, but the land was worth something, not enough, but something. And the property, well, now it will become a parking lot for the new bar and dance club.

A new bar, very trending, just opened and all the drinks are ordered and paid for from mobile devices; the bar-tending is done by interactive robotic arms.

The disc-jockey is a programmed interactive holographic display that takes requests and dances whenever the music starts playing.

Bouncers? --- Don't even ask, it's scary. 


© Copyright 2018 JE Falcon. All rights reserved.

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