My thanks to Nick for the extensions on this multi-part assignment. At the time it seemed like a a great spot to jump in on the SSG again but it just goes to show that I had no idea of everything else that was going to come up in the meantime.
It's with no small bit of irony that I'm using Boxboy's "Overtime" as a title and starting point. Most of this is still in the "very sketchy" phase, mostly because with each new step of the various assignments I kept getting better ideas - so much so that I now have to do a lot of re-focusing and trimming. So any and all help is definitely appreciated!
What happened immediately before?
Narrator (whom we'll call "Joe" for the time being - could be either male or female and still deciding on whether or not to use first person and also still deciding whether or not he / she will function as narrator) had just been formally introduced to the "new guy" ("NG" for discussion purposes), to whom the song is addressed. Joe's boss has asked Joe to take NG under his wing and to show him the ropes.
What's about to happen?
Joe is about to go on a monologue of his favorite topic - overtime. Over the years, no one in this factory has put in more overtime than Joe. By learning just about everyone else's job in the plant, Joe has been able to sit in on any shift at a moment's notice and does so at every available opportunity. In fact, he's turned down numerous chances for promotion because he wants to stay on an hourly wage rather than a set salary. He makes more money that way. By working between sixty to seventy hours any given week, he's been able to provide a lot for his family - summer home, college educations, everything that his spouse or kids wants is simply a matter of clocking in the overtime.
Who is there?
Essentially it's just Joe and NG, but the scene takes place on the assembly line. The setting is a late 1960's / early 1970's state of the art factory (still deciding on type but not sure it matters) where easily at least half the adults of the town (as well as the surrounding towns) are employed. It's noisy, but not so much so that anyone wears protective ear gear (a mistake). Safety placards as well as motivational posters fill any available wall space. Conversations, such as they can be, are usually shouted between next-door neighbors on the assembly line.
Why is this happening?
This is the sticking point. Originally, Joe simply enjoyed working overtime. It helped him to do better for his family. But now there are all sorts of other possible scenarios worth exploring and there's no way to fit them all in such a way that will be worthy of a listener's attention. So, here are a few of the current front-running "whys:"
1) Joe works overtime because he truly does not enjoy being at home. At work he has status and a bit of a mystique but at home he's surrounded by strangers, people he spends practically no time with since he's working 'round the clock whenever possible. As P.D. James might write of him, "Joe just isn't comfortable around strangers."
2) Joe has unintentionally passed along a legacy that goes totally against his actions. He works to show his family he loves them. They, especially the children, are learning that love means being away from your loved ones, having as little to do with them as possible. This will certainly affect the entire family's interpersonal skills later in life, not to mention their own family dynamic.
3) Joe has unintentionally given his family the total opposite impression - instead of feeling wanted and cared for, they feel ignored, or worse, bought.
It's certainly possible to weave aspects of each scenario into the narrative, but I think the song will be a lot stronger if I provide it with a sure focus rather than a scattershot approach.
1: time in excess of a set limit: as
a: working time in excess of a standard day or week
b: an extra period of play in a contest
2: the wage paid for overtime
Synonyms of "overtime" are few and far between. Most deal with sports:
For "overtime" or simply "time" -
chime, climb, crime, dime, grime, I'm, lime, mime, prime, rhyme, slime, thyme
NOTE - Silly as it sounds, never would have thought of "I'm" which will be great for possible internal rhymes. Thanks, Nick!
For words ending in "ine" sounds (hey, if it's good enough for Randy Bachman, I'm certainly not above using them):
brine, dine, fine, line, mine, nine, pine, Prine, Rhine, shine, shrine, sign, sine, spine, stein, swine, thine, twine, tyne, vine, whine, wine
align, aline, assign, benign, cloud nine, combine, confine, consign, decline, define, design, divine, enshrine, entwine, high sign, hotline, ice-nine, incline, land mine, malign, opine, plus sign, recline, refine, refine, resign, stop sign, street sign, strip mine, supine
disincline, dollar sign, minus sign, realign, reassign, recombine, redefine, redesign, river Tyne, silver mine, sparkling wine, sulphur mine, table wine, wine and dine
For whatever it's worth - Neighbor rhymes with labor
Rhymes for "work:"
cirque, clerk, dirk, irk, jerk, Kirk, lurk, murch, perk, quirk, shirk, smirk, Turk
bank clerk, berserk, desk clerk, file clerk, Grand Turk, knee jerk, mail clerk, room clerk, shop clerk, town clerk, young Turk
booking clerk, filing clerk, hotel clerk, overwork, postal clerk, shipping clerk, soda jerk
Okay, hopefully this catches me up for the moment! Now the rest of the fun begins.