Warren Buffet made his first steps towards fortune by being stingey…very stingey. He also had a predilection (which he maintains to this day) for soft drink.
These two elements also happen to make up the gist of this story.
Following the consumption of a chicken pie, and with a particular hankering for fizzy drink, I set off to the vending machine. Vending machine VA13071 to be precise. A would-be patron was having issues in front of me and so I should’ve known something was amiss, yet I strolled up and attempted to make with my goods – much like my previous depiction of the vending machine/human interaction. All seemed well at first, the machine taking my two dollars, only to refuse any additional coinage past this initial offering. Realising the refund button was stuck fast, I flicked it clear and assumed I had taken a right turn off Struggle Street into Booyah Boulevard.
Alas, the initial 2 dollar sum disappeared from all calculations and displays. I had suddenly lost the tenuous connection of ownership over the coin, being out of sight and reach as it was. In actions increasingly more befitting of some lower creature (read chimp), I repeatedly cursed and struck the refund button. All to no avail.
Pissed, I put in the next 2 dollars that would secure me my fix; afterall, I had to have just rewards for the fruits of my labour, journeying all of 6 flights from office to the notorious VA13071.
Phone number and vending ID obtained and locked in a mental vault protected by a high-tech system of bitterness, I set off to ring the Multinational Corporation that was robbing the poor (me) to pay the campaign costs of wannabe fat cats in Washington (albeit somewhat indirectly).
2m 53s later, I was locked in, recorded for all eternity in a row of an ever growing database of whingers, scammers and tight-arses who have sparred with modernity and lost; a potential black-listee for future complaints regarding this bohemeth of all things fizzy and sweet.
However, as I stated to the lovely lady who assisted me with my enquiry, it’s about the principle of the matter. Nevermind the fact I used the company phone to call a 13- number or indulged myself in a few ‘work’ minutes to scribe this fustian diatribe…
Update – Skill machine or Vending Machine? The end result’s the same.
You think I would’ve learnt. But no! Less than 24 hours after concluding the episode above, another vending machine within cooee of my office had stolen my money. Well acquainted with protocol, I was on the phone quicker than a drug-free Marion Jones could run a hundred. So checking the post next week will be fun, with no less than two cheques arriving at my abode containing $5 of my own hard earnt shrapnel. Blacklist, here I come…