The following document was filed by J.S. Cambry (ABD), bioethics student on January 24, 2423
Transcript: Partial Recorded Conversation, 10/22/2415
From the L. Keith Collection, Record # AND83-A35
H. Lee: Can you detail what your job entailed?
J. Meno: [laughter] Which one?
H. Lee: Sorry. I should have been more specific. Can you take me through your first few jobs?
J. Meno: Sure. I started in intake and processing. Bringing the kids in to the examination rooms, entering in data—sex, age, home site. You know, demographic stuff.
Then, I was moved on to testing. Everyone got trained in administering all three tests and interpreting results, but we all had a test we favored. I liked the Dahl test. I liked seeing what the kids could do. A lot of the others—including some of the ones who stayed in testing and started in on research—didn’t really have the patience for it. They, I mean, not all of them, but a lot of them, they misunderstood what the kids were doing. Not intentionally, I don’t think. But most of the assessments that come out of the Dahl are probably wrong. Anyway, I manned that test for about eight months.
After that, a slot came open in training. I interviewed for it and got in. A lot of the initial work was just maintenance. Making sure the gilders worked correctly, making sure the arena was properly cleaned, doing repairs and a little first aid. It wasn’t glamorous or anything, but you got to watch the training runs. With a lot of the Bs, you can tell, there’s at least some investment there in making the movements—no matter how stupid—something beautiful. Not sure if that’s genetics or not, but watching them perform was pretty spectacular.
H. Lee: What about the trainers?
J. Meno: No one is going to the shows to watch the trainers.
H. Lee: Okay.
J. Meno: After that first tour in the arena, I got moved indoors to the prelim training.
H. Lee: What’s prelim training?
J. Meno: It’s for the new kids that are brought in from the plains. We would spend about 30 to 60 days with them, teaching them the most basic acrobatic skills that they’ll need in performances. Some of them took to the training really well, and after 30 days one of the junior trainers would take over with them.
The kids who didn’t take to the training as well would get another 30 days with us. After that, they’d get transferred regardless of how much they’d progressed. The kids who can’t learn or refuse to cooperate usually end up in the viewing rooms. WorldEducate will tell you that this is a pretty good life for them. It’s not. But I guess they’ve got the pseudo farms now and started allowing some tech and agri education after the first of the suicides. I don’t know how much difference this is making. My guess is not much.
Anyway, I liked working with the kids. At that point, they want to be around you, want to hug you, want to make you happy. They work hard, try to do everything you ask of them.
H. Lee: That’s a trait that changes over time?
J. Meno: It differs from kid to kid, but a lot of them—a lot of the kids I worked with as a senior trainer—they had been pretty beaten down. They would do what you asked of them, but only because they knew that there would be repercussions if they didn’t.
H. Lee: Did you ever have any misgivings about what you were doing?
J. Meno: As a senior trainer?
H. Lee: In the prelim training.
J. Meno: Not in the first few years. But you would see things, hear things from some of the other trainers. In my first year doing prelim training, there was a trainer I was working with who would often doctor some of the reports.
H. Lee: These were the preliminary notes?
J. Meno: Right. The other trainer had been there longer than I had. He had been working out in the arena, but something happened, and he ended up back in prelim training. On the reports, he would… deemphasize particular traits. We fought about it a couple times before he just stopped consulting me. For a while, I went into the system corrected his reports. I didn’t want him to get fired.
H. Lee: What sorts of things would he deemphasize?
J. Meno: Anything that made a kid seem in any way special or unique. Anything that would mean a kid would be in any way singled out by management. Anything that would mean that a kid would be treated differently.
H. Lee: Did you know why?
J. Meno: Not at the time.
[Recording ends here]