Colin Timothy Gagnon (sacredspud) wrote,
Colin Timothy Gagnon

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Running on autopilot

Okay, show of hands: How many of you didn't know that I drink too much coffee at work? Uh huh. Interesting.

So our coffee vending machine requires that you enter a three digit code to get a drink. The rightmost digit specifies additives -- cream and sugar. The next digit to the left specifies the type of drink, and if the leftmost digit is 1, the machine gives you a large cup rather than a small one. I always punch in 1A3:
1 Large cup of
A regular coffee with
3 no cream or sugar.
Pretty simple, huh? Try it sometime when you're desperately in need of caffeination.

I came downstairs this morning and had just absentmindedly punched the 1, when I noticed a handwritten note on the front of the machine that read "OUT OF LARGE CUPS." No big deal -- just get rid of the 1, right?

Wrong. There's no way to cancel your request for a large cup. I assume that after a specific preprogrammed amount of time the machine cancels an incomplete code, but I decided not to wait around, so I pressed the A and 3 buttons, and hoped that the coffee would be dispensed into a smaller cup.

It wasn't.

I quickly looked around for a paper cup that I could shove into the machine, but none was in sight so the coffee poured straight into the drain. A couple of girls on their break laughed at me as I sheepishly reapproached the machine and entered A3. I did that thing people do where they're embarrassed and they exhale loudly while smiling, looking down and shaking their heads.

"Oh, we're not laughing at you so much as we're laughing at the situation," said one of the girls.

"Yeah," said the other one. "We've been in here for ten minutes and you're the forth person who's done that."
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