For meeting someone supposedly so important, we just went to this small room that didn’t look like anything special. There were a couple cushioned folding chairs and a table, and that was about it and stuff. We sat down and my dad closed the door and we waited.
“You nervous?” he said.
“Idk, should I be?” I still didn’t really know what I was doing there, or what this was all about.
Just then, the lights dimmed and stuff and music started playing or whatever. It was the intro to Us and Them by Pink Floyd, and I was all like yesssss.
After a minute, suddenly there was a hologram of this random-looking symbol that showed up kind of floating on the other side of the table. I realized then there were little holographic projector dealies hidden in the walls and ceiling.
The symbol went away, and there was like… the Wizard of Oz and stuff? Like from the old ass movie or something. Except there was no Dorothy or the robot guy, and no ugly lion or whatever. It was just the weird like all alien-looking face of the wizard. And there were like flashes of fire and smoke and stuff. It looked totally legit as hell and was timed perfectly with the music. It was actually sweet as hell.
“Sweet,” I said out loud.
“Totally,” my dad said.
The singing part of that song kicked in (which rocks), and I started to feel like I was frickin’ tripping, cause like the Wizard of Oz on the hologram was singing and stuff…
“Us and them
And after all we’re only ordinary men
Me and you
God only knows
It’s not what we would choose to do”
The Wizard stopped singing, but the music kept going in the background, and then he talked to us. Me, I guess.
He was all like, “Yo, dude. How’s it hangin’?”
“Uh, alright I guess. You?” I said.
“Can’t complain. Can’t complain,” the Wizard alien-looking hologram dude said. “Hey, thanks for coming out here. Great to see you and stuff. You liking it so far?”
“Uh, yeah. I mean, it’s fine.”
“Cool, cool. So, what can I do ya for?” said the Wizard.
My dad jumped in, “Well, we were, uh, kinda hoping you could help us figure out what’s next for for Matty here.”
“Got it. Coolio. Gimme a sec to review the files,” said the Wizard. His eyes light up and stuff while he did that.
His eyes went back to normal.
“Okay, let’s see. Well, we’ve actually got an opening that might be compatible…”
“That’s great,” said my dad, looking over at me and squeezing my shoulder.
“It’s in your work group even, actually,” said the Wizard to my dad.
“Whoa, awesome,” I said. “What is it?”
“Well,” said the Wizard. “We’ve identified a workflow issue in certain retail areas that we need to throw bodies at until we find a better solution.”
“Lucky,” said my dad. “That’s how I got my start too. So what would the job be exactly?”
“Our electrical shopping cart system is broken. So they aren’t able to return themselves to the store like they should be after customers finish shopping. They end up stuck in unusual places, and so…”
“So,” I interrupted. “The job would be pushing shopping carts?”
“Basically,” said the Wizard, and there was another flash of fire.
“What do you think?” said my dad, looking at me.
“How much does it pay?” I asked.
“Money,” said the Wizard, and the song switched to Money by Pink Floyd, “as you may know, does not work the same here as it does in the outside world.”
“So I hear,” I said.
“But,” said the Wizard. “It would work out to something like… $10.75 an hour in your dollars.”
“Whoa,” I said. “That’s a twenty five cents an hour raise from Walmart!”
“Totes,” said the Wizard. “Plus you could watch films or play games or whatever you want during overwriting sessions.”
“You mean… nanites?”
“Yeah, bro,” said the Wizard. “Though, we have other systems besides nanites if you prefer. But pretty much everybody here works on overwrite, except when protocols call for manual mode for some reason. It’s just more efficient.”
My dad was nodding like crazy. “It’s awesome, Matty. You’ll see.”
Hm, I thought. I could make more money than I was making back home, and I could frickin’ play video games while doing it? I didn’t have to think about it all that hard.
“Well, sign me the eff up!” I said.