Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The karma of the vending machine

Enzymes on the run
Every once in a while, I get peckish, a feeling of wanting something, maybe anything to eat just to sate a craving or a hunger.
I am not one given to snacking, nor am I a vulture that eats between its meals. A workday would be a breakfast of oats, a few biscuits and lots of tea until when I get back home for a proper meal that almost always puts me to bed before I have to get up at 11:00 PM for my pills.
Working it out
On Friday, I had sworn to spend the weekend at home, but a thorny problem as I left work meant I spent my time swotting into the witching hours trying to understand the whys and wherefores of the conundrum at work. When I seemed to make some headway, I decided I would be at work the next morning to try out the possible solutions and catch up on a number of elements I felt I could close out.
Arriving at work, an uppity security guard reclining in his seat tried to put officious obstacles in my way, only courteousness held me back from delivering a needed putdown, though as I signed in, I measured him by asking if he was the chief security personnel for the weekend, he replied in the affirmation and that invariably put him in his place.
A chocolate jackpot
The day brought heavy rain and great results, at least, I achieved most of what I came in to do before a taxi cab came to take me to the station. At the station, I decided to get a bar of chocolate from the vending machine. I put in a pound coin and once I got my chocolate I was given some change of £1.70. My luck, I thought, so I told the station master and pocketed my jackpot.
Monday came and I was leaving late, so a colleague offered me a lift to a major station where trains are more frequent than the local station in the town where I work. The newsagents had close because it was already after 06:00 PM.
Stuck against a fall
I bought a ticket and walked up to the platform which was a good walk away from the station master’s office. Feeling peckish again, I decided to get a packet of crisps from the vending machine at the station. Again, I inserted a pound coin and made my choice. The dispenser whirled and the packet of crisps got stuck at the lip of the dispenser where it should have obeyed the law of gravity and fallen into the chute where I could have retrieved it.
There was nothing I could do to retrieve my quarry and a notice on the vending machine indicated none of the station staff would be able to help if I had problems, the only option left was to call a number and give a machine reference.
The karma of the machine
The number being a premium rate number would suggest if I called I might well end up spending well over a pound in calls to determine whether I would get a refund or a service engineer would be sent out to fix the problem. On balance, the trouble wasn’t worth more than the pound I had apparently lost. Since that packet of crisps was the last in that row, there was no point putting more money in to get the next packet of crisps to push off the earlier packet of crisps.
I made do until my train arrived well aware of the fact that I had just been a victim of the karma of vending machines. Winning big and losing some.
C’est la vie.


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