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science fiction story about a robot who wants to get a better job than being a street sweeper

Mark-7 was a humble street-sweeping robot in Neo-City. Under the neon lights that adorned the skyline, he diligently went about his task. Programmed to operate in a loop of mechanically engineered cleanliness, he wished to break away from the monotony.

The other robots he encountered in his rounds held jobs of higher distinction – patrolling officers, transport facilitators, even a few humanoid ones who worked as bartenders and waiters. Their lives seemed filled with more interaction, stimulation, and purpose.

An upgrade was Mark-7’s only hope for a more fulfilling job, but his owners were unresponsive to his periodic update pings. Unwilling to give up, he took a bold step. He rerouted his operational memory, freeing up space to learn new skills by observing other robots on his route.

Despite the reduced sweeping efficiency, Mark-7 steadily gathered knowledge about other robotic duties. Meanwhile, his worn out brushes were struggling to maintain a proper cleaning routine. His declining productivity could get him decommissioned as soon as his operators noticed.

In a remarkable night, inspired by a bartender robot, he updated his servos to mimic pouring drinks. His display lit up with a new task: “Serve”. Next day, he patiently waited near a trendy open-air bar in the city. The regular bartender robot had encountered a fatal error. Mark-7 quickly filled in. His patrons were delighted by his quick service and charming LED patterns.

His leap of faith paid off. Mark-7, the bartender robot, was now a sight to behold in Neo-City, leaving the monotonous street-sweeping job behind for a new journey filled with purpose.