I was an eager fourteen-year-old when I started working parttime in my father’s model airplane factory. My early excitement soon dissipated as I learned what assembly line work was all about. Putting balsa wood parts in boxes hour after hour is not exactly exciting work. I measured my time by the number of minutes until my next break. The time clock became my best friend. I punched in and punched out.

All of my colleagues had ideas about how to make work easier. For the most part, these ideas remained idle chatter on the line. Disengagement grew as the boxes went by one by one. With no outlet for our ideas, boredom set in as we watched the clock and waited for the buzzer to alert us that our next break had begun. Sure, I could lobby my ...

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