Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Vending Machine

Like most large companies we have vending machines on all the floors. These glass boxes with dollar slots exchange your hard earned cash for a cracker jack sized goodie. Sometimes they don't give you the treat you requested and other times they give you nothing.

These are computerized machines. These are not the old-style machines that take a few coins and allow you to pull a lever mechanically connected to a column of snacks. The offspring of the old machines are hot-shots with LCD panels and soft buttons. You give your dollar, push the buttons, and the computer panel releases the stick of gum.

One time I deposited my quarters, pressed the buttons and it said my selection was invalid. I pressed cancel but it wouldn�t give my quarters back. Thinking that more quarters would somehow fix it, I tried again. I had no success and became poorer by the minute.

Just today, while getting coffee, an associate deposited his dollar for a small box of cookies. The cookie box dropped and landed in the tray upright, thereby blocking the door! Who thought of this bright idea? Making the box large enough to jamb the door took a lot of foresight.

He started to shake the machine, or I should say attempted to shake the machine but it wasn�t budging. Others came in to help out but in the end just stood around staring.

Finally I fetched a long spoon, stuck it through the door, dislodged the box, and became a hero for a day. As a reward, there were cookies all around.

Change is inevitable, except from vending machines - Unknown