Factory of Lies by Nick C Hutchinson takes us inside the bottom rungs of the Great American Furniture Company of Wisconsin, where the hardest battle for the lowly-paid hourly workers is to survive and keep their jobs. The senior levels of management and the middle rungs of supervisors within the Wisconsin factory are held by “The Good Ole Boys Network” who are more concerned about feathering their own nests and protecting the multitude of perks they have garnered for themselves to be terribly interested in such things as worker safety, efficiency, and labour relations. In fact, efficiency is inimical to the supervisors, who know inefficiency is what drives the need for overtime and more money for them to line their back pockets with. Into this environment comes Nick Knight, a navy veteran who is looking for a stable and secure job to keep his head above water in difficult economic times. When he attempts to address the problems he sees in the workplace, he quickly learns it is better to keep your head down and your mouth shut if you want to keep your job and your income.
Nick C Hutchinson has used the fictional environment of the Great American Furniture Company of Wisconsin to highlight what is doubtless a problem that faces many of the working class in America. They see the corporate big-wigs paid their massive salaries and bonuses, while they have to survive in dangerous, unhealthy and sub-standard conditions, for a mere pittance. Factory of Lies does this exposition extremely well. In Nick Knight we have a well-educated, well-travelled, and erudite man who is concerned not only for his own long-term health, but those of his compatriots. Factory of Lies is a story that was begging to be told and it is easy, as a reader, from any strata of the working community to identify with the poor, put-upon grunts on the factory floor, whose every day’s work is a struggle. I particularly liked the way the author identified that clique group that exists in every work place who somehow seem to be above the rules and the regulations and just cruise along while the grunts do all the work. This is a scathing representation of factory life in America and sadly, it is probably very indicative of reality. This is a good read.