"Facility Girls" as written by and Marc/ball Almond....
She's a secretary in the daytime
A modern Venus
On the eighth floor

She's a secretary in the daytime
A bright young thing
With a promising career

She's got the ability
She's got the facilities
She's got the ability
She's got the facilities

She's a secretary in the daytime
A model beauty
At the typewriter

She's a secretary in the daytime
A smile at the boss
And she's doing fine

She's got the ability
She's got the facilities
She's got the ability
She's got the facilities

She's a secretary in the daytime
She's a secretary in the daytime


Lyrics submitted by MaskOfSanity

"Facility Girls" as written by David James Ball David Ball

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Facility Girls song meanings
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    My InterpretationThe way I see it...

    From the short version of the song, we can gather she is a secretary who gets by at work mainly due to her good looks and figure. She's perfectly competent at the job, yes, but the reason she gets ahead in the job is purely because she is physically attractive in a male-dominated workplace. "She's got the abilities, she's got the facilities"- a 'facility' is something functional, so the 'facilities' in question are, to put it bluntly, her dirty parts. "A smile for boss and she's doing fine"- really she doesn't need to work hard, because she's treated well on the basis of her physical beauty.

    Now onto the 12" elaborations...
    "And she's dreaming of Terry, a mechanic,
    sometimes working 8 'til 10,
    It's so rare she ever sees him,
    And she wants so much to see him again"

    We can gather from this that Terry is not her 'boyfriend' as such, he is a man with whom she has become acquainted and fallen in love with, but she hardly gets to see him due to his long work hours and does not know if he feels the same about her. Why specify that Terry is a mechanic? Possibly because his job is a manual one and this may indicate Terry does not particularly excel in the brains department, plus a mechanic is a typical 'alpha-male' job, and we've already established that the girl in the song is viewed as a pure sex object by most, i.e. treated in a misogynistic manner. We also need to raise the question of how she became acquainted with Terry in the first place if his working schedule prevents her from seeing him- most likely a one-night stand and we can gather they had a sexual liaison of some kind.

    "She's a working girl now, and Mummy lives so far away,
    So She bites her lip,
    she knows that Terry will be calling soon one day."

    Aha. So she's a 'working girl'? Of course what will spring to mind here is that she is a prostitute. Of course Marc could just mean 'working girl' in the literal sense, but this is a Soft Cell song after all, so women on the game is what we've come to expect. This could also answer the question of how she came to meet Terry, i.e. he was a client. What we can gather for sure at this point is that she is very young and has probably only recently left the family home, and has no close friends or family to turn to so she lives in a fantasy world where her impending relationship with Terry is everything to her. And she 'knows' he will be calling soon one day? Most likely to pay her for sex once again.

    "I'm thinking of you in some-one else's arms,
    I'm thinking of you in some-one else's eyes,
    You're everything I like and everything I despise. "

    She feels uncomfortable with the thought of Terry with another woman. He is 'everything she likes' i.e. she has idealized him, but he's also 'everything she despises', i.e. a misogynist just like the people at her day job.

    "Playing your games with your innocent eyes,
    I try hard to smile through all of your lies,
    That start to hurt me, hurt me"

    Perhaps when Terry visits her for his illicit sexual liaisons he tells her he loves her, gives her what she wants to hear. She knows he is lying but tries to turn a blind eye to it to maintain the fantasy, but deep inside she is starting to hurt.

    "She found a message on her typewriter,
    It said that she was just a normal girl,
    They also felt she was a human being
    They said that she was a facility"

    This verse is pretty cryptic but what I gather from it is that she's been left a message on her typewriter by an employee at the office she works at telling her how the other employees view her... i.e. she's nothing special despite the rewards she gets at work, she's just a normal girl, but they see her as a 'facility' i.e. a sex object, so they keep her on for this reason. Who left the message then? It could be Terry playing games again, or maybe just a muted colleague who wants to convey the truth to her- possibly also indicating that rumours about her sex work have spread around the office?

    "Dream, dream, dream, dream,
    Shhhhhhh, Goodnight"

    She feels no escape from the dire lifestyle she leads, i.e. serving as a mere sex object in both her day job and her night work as a prostitute, so her only escape is by retreating into her dream world where Terry, in reality just another client, is in love with her.

    IMO one of the best Soft Cell B-sides!
    MaskOfSanityon August 21, 2011   Link

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