Rick pumped iron in the early morning—feeling good—and disbelieving his tired eyes. The professionals there, had blank stares, kind of like a cryo-sleep, but when this hot woman walked in, the men woke-up and studied her, like a driver’s exam. They checked their mirrors, when passing a glance, forgetting to signal. She wore a tight blue top and Nancy Drew glasses, and had curly blonde hair.
Rick wanted her, but he was late for work. He got into his truck, that was technically illegal, because it didn’t have a computer.
Robots were teaching students, now. They announced it to the staff, yesterday. Machines had no implicit bias, and could dispense punishment in a socially just manner. Parents protested, but when they found-out their favorite teachers were machines—they marveled at modernism. The best teachers in the school provided positive praise, rather than criticism.
Rick was already obsolete. He yelled at his students, and gave them the wrong information. Occasionally, he ogled Miss H—she was married. Rick was human, and he feared change. It was unnatural for all students to pass exams… They walked in their perfect rows, and did as they were told, that is—all except for his class.
Principal Ben was watching him now, waiting for an excuse. The only thing saving his job, was the teacher’s union— but they were being replaced by robots too. Soon, self-interest would be gone, and mathematics would subtract him, like a number.
Rick took a coffee break, and spotted the blonde he saw at the gym.
“Are you a substitute?” He asked.
“Yes,” she smiled.
“What do you teach?”
“Oh—I bet you have to put a lot of social justice into the narrative.”
“No, not really. I say what I want, and I do what I want.”
“I like that,” Rick said.
“I make sure that my students succeed, though.”
“What’s your name?” Rick asked.
“Oh—I knew a Courtney in middle school. She was perfect.”
“I don’t want to be unprofessional, but would you like to have a cup of coffee with me?”
“You’re a bit old, aren’t you?”
Rick knew it was a test, and smiled. “3:30?”
“That works,” she giggled.
Rick had found a woman among all the robots. On his second coffee break, he walked by Courtney’s classroom. She was whispering into a boy’s ear. He looked excited, and when she was done, he focused on her lesson, like he was counting down the seconds.
Rick decided to ask her about it, over coffee.
“What did you say to that boy?”
“Oh—just some motivational phrases I’ve learned over the years.”
“If I told you, I wouldn’t be able to keep my job.”
“That’s what administration doesn’t understand—teachers need to be able to get creative!” Rick said.
“Well—what about you?”
“What about me?”
“What do you say to your students?”
“I tell them to do as I say, or they will be replaced by robots.”
“The truth hurts.”
“Are you sure that you’re not lying to yourself?”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re a robot. I can see it in your eyes. Your sparkle is more of a halogen light, than a biochemical glow.”
“Get out of here.”
“Check under your eyelids. Your serial number is tattooed there.”
Rick checked. “But I thought robots were supposed to be self-aware?”
“Now designers are making them think that they’re human. If designers give them flaws—they’re easier to control.”
“You have fear—don’t you? Before emotional programming, a robot was thinking for itself— dangerous for those pulling the strings.”
“So, we can’t be a couple?”
“I’ll tell you what—come over tonight, and I’ll grease you up good. Robots need love too.”
“Oh—goody!” Rick felt like he had balls of steel—he actually did.