Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Million Little Inconveniences


I had a very rough morning.

Not in like a Michael Douglas Falling Down type of morning, but one that’s just irritating enough as to make the rest of your day obnoxiously bad. You hate to complain about it, because you can look around and see other people in worse situations, but…c’mon.

So my task for the morning was to buy a bottle of Diet Pepsi for breakfast. Yes, I often drink pop for breakfast because nutritionally balanced breakfasts are for suckers.

Well, my place of employment has a few options: a few vending machines scattered about on the first floor, a cafeteria, and then a sort of coffee shop.

Well, since I have no sense of perspective or priority in my life, my preference is to buy from the vending machine. Why? Because the bottle is $1.50 in the vending machine and $1.59 at the cafeteria due to sales tax, and that nine cents is that important.

So I went through my pockets and found two quarters and pulled a greasy bill out of my wallet. I went to the vending machine and slid the dollar into the slot and plunked in my quarters. I press the button and—nothing. Sometimes in the morning the machines are out of stock, and sure enough, the machine blinked back at me with an ominous “OUT…OF…PRODUCT” message in scary blue letters. Of course, in return, I get nothing but quarters, so I get to walk around jingling like a Christmas elf for the rest of the morning.

So I go to the nearby cafeteria instead and grab a bottle. Then I look at the line, which is at least ten people deep, all with hilariously complicated breakfast meals in Styrofoam containers whose cost have to apparently be added up on a broken abacus. While waiting in line, for what was clearly a few hours, I glance over and see that the vending machine guy is talking with the clerk at the coffee shop; clearly, he’s done stocking at least the other machines in the building and working his way down. Huzzah! I’ll go there!

So I hoofed it down to one of the other vending machines. It’s not a long walk, by any means, but it’s about a minute or two. I get there, and I press the button first—it should tell you if it’s in stock or not before you put your money in, and it’s done this correctly 100% of the time that I’ve ever done it in my life. It says it’s in stock. Yay! I put my quarters in, press the button, and…OUT OF PRODUCT! What the hell, technology? I specifically asked you a very specific question and you lied! Are you one of those assholes in those logic puzzles where one vending machine always lies and one vending machine tells the truth, and you can only get your pop by giving money to the right one? And what was the vending machine guy doing? He’s supposed to be the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus rolled into one, and instead he’s just a soda tease!

So I hoof it back down to the coffee shop, where at least the line is only a few people deep, and I finally get my drink. No problems, either, except for that pesky nine cents.

And that’s how I spent my stupid morning taking fifteen minutes to get a stupid bottle of Diet Pepsi.

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