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Alex Hubo, a walking robot with an expressive face resembling Albert Einstein, dances during the Wired Nexfest festival in New York, Sept. 28, 2006. - 

KAI RYSSDAL: Manufacturing jobs are harder to come by than they used to be. Look no farther than the U.S. auto industry if you need confirmation of that one.

But the service sector is expanding more than expected. The people who keep track of that — a group called the Institute for Supply Management — said today the service sector grew in January for the 46th straight month. So if you've looking for work there, your odds are probably pretty good.

Commentator Moira Manion's been reading "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells, which prompted these thoughts about workers of the future.

MOIRA MANION: Do you have problem employees? Do they call in sick, complain, get pregnant, or just not do the job the way you want it done? Well, Morlock BioTech has a solution for you!

Hi! I'm Bambi Eloi, and I'm a genetically altered employee! Morlock BioTech creates workers who lack the protein in the brain responsible for free will. I was born with a biological aversion to unions, benefits and minimum wage! The very idea of a paid vacation gives me the dry heaves!

Since I'm completely unable to make a decision, I'll do whatever you want, however you want it, whenever you want it! I'm also sterile, so you won't have to worry about maternity leave!

I'm violently allergic to paychecks, so you only have to pay a modest, weekly fee to my parent company. [whisper] I can't have money, because the side effect of having no free will is an addiction to shoes, handbags and celebrity magazines. (That actor Jason Isaacs who plays Lucius Malfoy is dreamy, isn't he?)

All of my BioTech brothers and sisters are made in America. We're the solution to illegal immigrants and outsourcing abroad. We come in all colors and languages. And in the event of a natural disaster, like a hurricane, tsunami or avalanche, we're completely edible!

This is Bambi Eloi, telling you to call Morlock BioTech and order your perfect workforce today.

. . . Well, I'm not telling you. I'm genetically altered so I can't do that . . . ow, brain hurts, ow . . .

RYSSDAL: Moira Manion is a writer and a service-sector worker in Minneapolis.