The Flies of GTI

Flies are disgusting.  Is there anything beneficial to their existence?  Nothing comes to mind.  Kind of like mosquitos.  A result of “The Fall” and evil personified.  A slight exaggeration (but only slight).

I work at a local factory (called GTI) that makes plastic parts for certain Honda vehicles.  I never thought I would have a factory job, but it’s really been a good experience working there.  There are three departments on the production floor:  Injection, Paint and Assembly.  They all have their own section of the plant, but they all share the same building space.  As a result, the air moves freely from one section to the other.

And so do the flies.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the normal behavior of flies.  They’re usually skittish and very hard to sneak up on.  And when they land, they move around like they’ve got a permanent sugar rush going on.  Have you noticed that flies seem to have a “sixth sense” about them?  I noticed one flying around the kitchen the other day.  My eye was tracking the fly in the air the whole time I was moving for the fly swatter.  Even as I began to grab the handle of it, though, I watched the fly’s behavior change before my eyes.  It was like it immediately knew what I had just put in my hand.  I could almost hear its communication link in my head:  “Bandit 1 to Tower, Bandit 1 to Tower.  I’ve got a bogey at five o’clock and he’s coming fast.  Taking evasive action.”  That fly promptly went into camouflage mode and disappeared before my eyes.  I hate flies.

The flies on the production floor at GTI seem to always be the shiny green ones.  Like this:

The behavior of these flies is odd, to say the least.  Sometimes the fumes from the paint lines waft their way out to where we are in Injection.  And when that happens, it’s pretty noticeable.  So I can’t help but wonder if it’s these paint fumes that alter the behavior of these green flies (for that matter, maybe it’s the paint line that makes them all green, too).  It’s odd, but when these flies approach, it’s like you can hear them coming.  A drone in the air that gets louder with a sudden “plop” as it lands in front of you or on your shoulder.

I had a conversation with one once.  I was on the line, checking parts as they came down the belt.  Suddenly I heard the low, droning sound of something heavy flying through the air and saw a big green fly plop down on my shoulder.  I looked down at it.  It was looking up at me.

“Hey,” I said.


“Why are you staring at me?”

“Know where I can get some?”

“Get some what?”

“You know.  The Stuff.  Everyone around here is talking about it.  I hear it’s pretty good.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.  Get off me.”

“Awww, come on, man, hook me up.  I gotta have some.  I came a long way for this.”

“I shouldn’t be talking to you.  You’re causing a scene, Freak.  There’s nothing to see here.  Move on.”

“Yer bringin’ me down, man.  I’ll make it worth your while.”

“You’ve got nothing to offer me.  I’ll swat you if you don’t get your shiny green butt off my white shirt.”

“The hospitality around here stinks.  Fine.  By the way, dude, your deodorant is giving out.  I like that.  Catch ya on the flip side.”

A day in the life of a factory worker.  Can’t say it’s boring….