Frankly, the thought of sitting on an assembly line mindlessly inserting tab A into slot B all day is horrifyingly dreary.
I have done mindless tab A into slot B, and I've done careful hand-fitting of a board I just stuffed onto another board, on an assembly line. Tab A into slot B is indeed awful. But it paid better than washing dishes. Stuffing boards and mounting them to another board paid better and was more involved, and I enjoyed the precision aspect of it. Not what I would call bad or awful or boring. The stench of solder is something I miss, and reminisce about when I have to solder something these days.
I wasn't always an IT guy. Well, I was, but as a hobby. I had a day job with the gov't, and it paid shit, so I moonlighted at a local computer customization shop, where I was stuffing the aforementioned boards. This was in the early-mid 90's. Batches were typically around 2500 machines, all done to the same spec.
One morning they padlocked the gates, and bolted a sign to them: Closed with no notice. Call xxx-xxx-xxxx for your next instructions.
Yeah. Tossed out like so much garbage. One week's pay as severance. The work, we later heard, was sent to Malaysia.
Would I go back to factory work? Y'know, if I was making things I have an interest in, yeah, I'd do it. Watches. Cars. Yeah. Hand-made audio amps. Even if it *is* only bolting the hinges to the body, or only doing a few steps of a larger assembly.
But what do they make where I live? Hot air, bad music, awesome food. But manufacturing jobs? Heh... no. Perversely, a previous IT employer of mine just moved into what used to be a major Motorola factory. That IT employer has nothing do do with manufacturing of any kind.
What I'm trying to say, is that there can be pride in assembly work. I've felt it, and if you look at enough factories you'll see other people with that pride too. It's not all mindless tab A into slot B. Some people get to make something out of nothing more than sand, fire and molten metal. I would love to do that.