On my first glorious day of employment at XYZ, my new manager gave me a pretty extensive tour of the main building at the plant, and the area that I was to begin working in. The only thing that I can really remember almost verbatim that he said was, "This XYZ plant is a city unto itself! Almost everything that we need we can practically make here ourselves. If we need a 'thingamjig', we can build it. If we can't build it, we can at least design it...", etc., and he proceeded to show me all the places where they could do such things. He was very excited, and proud. Back in those days, it was still a company to be proud of for its accomplishments. I tried hard to look impressed. I was also debilitatingly shy way back then, so I didn't say much anyway, I just nodded like a good future drone.
I wasn't really interested in macho industrialism at the time (I learned to appreciate it later). I just wanted a decent wage job that would last long enough to get me out of that town for good. Industry is fascinating of course and the workings of manufacturing plants, very much so. But I'm ahead of myself. That day was my first day (of many, many, more unbeknown to me) as a tiny insignificant cog in the workings of a giant megalomaniacal machine. A machine that would chew me up and spit me out without blinking, like many of my coworkers. And like everyone else who didn't take "Butt Kissing 101" in college, I never knew that I was supposed to supply my own knee pads for any job that I was to hold, for every person of any authoritarian persuasion that I would have to deal with -- be it coworker or supervisor. I did not know that I was supposed to leave my integrity, morals, and honor at home either. If not for the grace of God, I would have been completely destroyed on more than one occasion, but I'll tell those stories later. Oh yes...there are stories.