"…you come into a place when it's still dark, you come into a room you've never seen before, you sleep all day, you do your job, and then you go away in the night again."

Gus laments the boring repetition of life in Part 1. For him, life is a dead-end of routine. He recognizes that he and Ben will never escape from their lower-class roles, yet he cannot help but be a creature of habit—he constantly goes to the bathroom, and he always needs to replenish his dwindling supply of matches. Ben, on the other hand, thinks they are "fortunate" to have their jobs, which only requires them to work once a week (though they have to be ready at all times). He embraces routine and likes nothing better than to read the newspaper and scoff at the same outrageous stories each day (an action that opens and closes the play). To break up his routine, he diverts himself with hobbies, which he urges Gus to take up, but these are only temporary methods to distract himself from his static position in life.