They perch on the curb in front of the factory, like so many rail thin crows exuding smoke from their haggard beaks.
They've been here.
They've been here a long while.
The plant's been sold a half dozen times and they remain, like old fixtures too awkward to replace.
They've no clout, no sway, nothing to flaunt really they're as easy to fire as the next man.
This crucible of industry has made them hard however, and surely as the sunrise they will endure long after the ruddy faces of freshly hired youngsters have ceased to infringe upon this perfectly maintained bastion of gloom.
I'll be one of them before too long, another shambling clockwork robot fueled by cheap cigarettes and cheaper coffee.
Perched on the curb waiting for retirement or death.
If you're lucky enough to retire that is.
Most folks aren't.