The workers sit on wooden stools, without backrests, as 500 computer keyboards an hour move down the assembly line, twelve hours a day, seven days a week, with just two days off a month.
Every 7.2 seconds a keyboard passes each worker, who has to snap six or seven keys into place—one key every 1.1 seconds.
The assembly line never stops. The workplace is frantic, monotonous, numbing and relentless. Each worker inserts 3,250 keys an hour; 35,750 keys during the official 11-hour shift; 250,250 a week, performing over one million operations a month.
Workers are paid 1/50th of a cent for each operation they complete.
DFW: I'm on leave this year. I'm auditing a class but I'm not
teaching. The class I'm auditing is a real bitch but somehow I'm
holding on at a high C or low B.
GVS: What's the class?
DFW: It's ah, it's advanced tax accounting, which is a long story and
you probably don't want to know about it but it's wa-a-a-y over my
little noggin'. It's a Will Hunting class.
GVS: Oh my God.
DFW: 35 pages of incredibly dense, you know, CPA stuff at night and
then you get tested on it the next day.
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