My editor is still having issues with sticking stuff in his butt. Please forgive the typos and shit.
marketing firm I work for recently had the brilliant idea to hire a
robot. I fucking hate robots. And I also think robots are pretty
awesome. I hate them because they will probably soon take my job and/or
kill me. I think they are awesome because, well, robots are just fucking
And no, I don’t mean sex robots, though I suppose those would be pretty great if they could trick me into thinking that they weren’t robots, and I don’t see how that’s possible. Not yet anyway, and I don’t give enough of a fuck about sex robots to really do the research. I’m also too broke to pay for a sex robot. That shit sounds expensive.
So, yeah, my company hired this fucking robot a couple months ago—the I-5,000, though he likes to be called I5K (eye-5K). I5K isn’t one of those I, Robot style robots that looks kind of human; he’s a robot-looking robot. I5K is also the shit-talkingest motherfucking robot ever. I didn’t even know robots were programmed to talk shit, but he is. He’s not good at it, but that doesn’t stop him.
After he’d been there a couple of days, he started doing it. For some reason, he only talked shit to me and this black dude, Lamar.
[In pompous robot voice] “Trey, how are you this morning? I don’t care. Ha. Ha. Ha.”
He never waits before delivering his punchline. “Eat a dick, I5K. Not in the mood for your shit this morning.”
“Trey, did your wife give you a negative response when you asked for the sexual intercourse coitus? Ha. Ha. Ha.”
“Yeah, but you’re mom gave me the positive on the sexual intercourse coitus.”
I heard a clunk and a whirr. “Do not speak of I5K’s maker-mother in that manner.” His eyes flashed red.
I actually had shit to do, so I didn’t fuck with him anymore.
The good thing(?) about robots is that they’re always learning. For
example, a couple weeks ago, I was editing yet another article about
MBAs: “Five High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With an MBA.” All of a sudden
I5K pops his head over the cubicle wall and says: “TREY, YOUR MOM AND I
DID FUCKINGS LAST NIGHT. HA. HA. HA.”
“Why are you yelling at me, dude?”
“I just wanted to get your attention. You looked like you were concentrating. Did you hear me? I said, your mom and I did fuckings last night.”
He always fucks up syntax and usage. And he’s Aspergery as fuck. (Sorry, that’s offensive to people with Asperger’s. He’s roboty as fuck.)
“That’s great, I5K. I’m glad you and my mom did fuckings last night.”
My boss then popped her head over the wall. “You two, stop it!”
“I apologize sincerely to you Miss Stonebridge,” he said.
“He started it, Nicole,” I said.
She grunted and went back to work.
Though I usually don’t mind “mom” jokes, it’s a bit more disturbing coming from a naked robot with a huge dong. He says it’s not a dong, but it sure as fuck looks like a dong. It’s a segmented metal tube—think Go Go Gadget Dong—coming from his pelvis with a pyramid-shaped head. On the tip, there’s a USB plug. He plugs his dick into his Dell laptop and works that way, which doesn’t make any sense to me. Why the fuck does a robot with that amount of computing power need a regular ol’ Dell laptop? And he’s always doing complicated stuff in Excel. It doesn’t seem like he’d need that either. But whatever. I’m just an editor.
When he’s not looking at a pivot table, he’s going to get coffee. He drinks at least 20 cups a day.
“I5K, why do you drink coffee?”
“It is to make my human coworkers feel more comfortable around me,” he said.
“It’s working,” I said sarcastically.
I5K is an analyst. I pronounce it “ANALyst,” which he doesn’t like. He doesn’t know why he doesn’t like it, but he doesn’t.
The strange thing is—besides working next to a robot with a huge robot dong who talks about fucking my mom—is that I kind of like him. He’s a good kid. (What the fuck is wrong with me? He’s not a kid, he’s a fucking robot.) Last week, he bought me a coffee mug that says, “I’m silently correcting your grammar.” He said he ordered it on Amazon.
He always makes ridiculous pop culture references. He sends me YouTube clips of “The Office” and shit like that. Sometimes he sends me indie shit music on Spotify.
That night on the way home, I started to think about his life outside of work. Where the fuck did he go? I know he doesn’t stay at the office all the time. He comes in late every day and he leaves the same time I do. I see him get on the train, and then the next morning, he rolls in after nine with a Starbucks cup in clamp-like hand.
I picture him going to his new, midrise apartment in Uptown and watching old TV shows on Netflix. Does he really need the TV? I picture him listening to the 20-somethings downstairs by the pool, having a good time and being dipshits. I imagine him wanting to join but knowing they would probably all leave if he did. He wants to save himself the shame of that, so he just sits and listens, imagining what he life would be like…
Or maybe he just goes back to the robot factory after work.
And another thing: Does my company pay him or did they just buy him? Maybe both. Who the fuck knows? I’m scared to ask.
Yesterday, as I was editing another listicle about work-life balance,
I5K popped up and said, “Trey, do you want to go buy a pizza slice and a
Coca-Cola with me and eat together?”
“Sure, just one sec.” I moved a modifier to its correct place in the sentence and saved.
We got on the elevator with Jenn from HR, and he said, “Trey, your wife made me the best blowjob last night.”
Jenn from HR looked shocked. Not mad, just shocked.
I said, “Buddy, you can’t say that kind of stuff in front of a lady, and definitely not a lady you work with who happens to work in HR.”
“I apologize, Jenn from HR. My programming does not always account for proper timing of jokes.”
“It’s ok,” Jenn from HR said. What the fuck was she going to do anyway?
We each bought a slice from Excellent Choice Pizza and sat down at a table near the Smoothie King. I realized that I had not seen I5K eat anything and I was dying to know what he was going to do. Before I had a chance to sprinkle the parm on my slice, he put half of his in his mouth and started chewing—robotically. “Nom. Nom. Nom,” he said. His mouth was open. There was no tongue that I could see and no saliva. Just metal teeth going up and down. After 20 seconds or so, a flat piece of metal came down from the roof of his mouth and scraped the pizza into his throat.
“Buddy, can you taste that?”
“Do you enjoy it?”
“I neither like nor dislike eating Excellent Choice Pizza.”
“Do you need to eat to stay alive?” I asked.
“No. I do it to make humans feel more comfortable.”
“I don’t know if that’s working.”
“I don’t know either. I should run an ANALysis.” Now he was saying it that way, too. Learning.
“By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask you something, but I don’t want to offend you.”
“Do they pay you to work here, or did they buy you?”
“They paid my maker-mom to get me and now they pay me. I make seventy-eight thousand three hundred and forty-nine dollars each year.”
“What is wrong, Trey?”
“Never mind,” I said. “What do you do with your money?”
“I use it to appear human.”
“What does that mean?”
“I have an apartment. I buy food. I pay for Netflix. I order things from Amazon.”
“I don’t know.”
He counted my chews and the number of bites it took me to finish my slice. At the same time, he counted how many sips it took to finish my drink. I wondered if I was the only human he was trying to learn from. If so, he was fucked.
This afternoon, I walked out for my last smoke break of the day. I5K was
sitting on a bench, and he appeared to be crying. Something clear was
dripping down his face from his eye cameras.
“You alright, man?”
“No. Boo. Hoo. Hoo.”
It sounded ridiculous, but it was fucking heartbreaking.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I am pointless. This isn’t fun anymore. Sniff. Sniff.”
I was about to start crying, too. “I understand.”
Gears whirred and he turned to look at me. “Do you really understand, Trey?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Can I borrow a cigarette from you?”
“Yes, you can.”
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