Again, today, we are going to talk about something that has been bothering me. It isn’t as important, or routine changing, or essential as our toilet paper discussion from a few weeks ago (although one could argue this leads to many-a-encounters with the toilet) but it’s still something that needs addressed.
While the toilet paper issue affects us no matter where we go, this concern affects us only at work and a select few other places. Let me set up a scenario for you: You’re at work, you already had lunch and you need a little pick-me-up snack to get you through the rest of the day waiting for someone else to post something on J Beanie. Or, you get to work early without having time to eat breakfast and you need a quick breakfast snack as you try to control your anticipation and excitement for the newest blog entry from J Beanie himself.
What do you do, what do you do? You go to the vending machine of course. Good old vending machine will give you just want you need. You get up from you desk and hustle over to the vending machine, doing your best to avoid a conversation with any of your co-workers. You get to the vending machine, hold your change in your hand and stare at the machine, a la Kevin from The Office. You are so excited to make your selection. You look across the first row, nothing worth while. You move your eyes to the second row, again, nothing worth purchasing. On to the third row, nope. Fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh; all with nothing worth your hard earned change. Panic starts to set in. You quickly look back over the rows thinking there has to be something, anything you want. Your heart rate increases and you feel the palms of your hands become slick with sweat as you struggle to hold your change. Then you see something. A snack that may just qualify as worthwhile. You quickly fumble your change around then check and recheck what letter-number combination your soon to be snack is listed under. Finally, you get the snack. You pull it out of that door that you have to push in and it barely fits through crushing it slightly as you pull it out. You take a look at what you just overpaid by at least 50% for and realize, “why did I buy this?” You take this thing back to your desk, open it, eat it and it wastes a few minutes of your time, but you don’t enjoy it. Not at that price, not for the selection and not for that product.
Something needs to be done about vending machines. If yours at work is anything like the one at my place of employment, you know this situation all too well. The vending machine situation needs to be addressed on three fronts: Quality, quantity and price.
QUALITY – This is the most disturbing of the problems with vending machines. Why do vending companies think we want to buy off brand potato chips that the only logo on the bag is words that say “Potato Chips.” Let’s just take a look at what there is in the vending machine today.
Salt & Pepper Chips, Cheetos, Fritos (chilli cheese), Friday’s potato skins cheddar and sour cream, Crunch ‘n Munch Buttery Toffee, Cheez-itz (white cheddar), pretzels, PopTarts (blueberry), Ritz peanut butter cracker sandwich, BK hot fries, Combos (cracker/cheese), M&M (peanut and plain), Snickers, peanut butter crackers, Crunch bar, Butterfinger, Fiber One oat bar, Chocolate Skittles, LornaDoone shortbread cookies, Starburst, Chuckles, Trail’s Best Twin Hot Sticks, Oreos, Planters unsalt peanuts, Hostess Cupcake, HoneyBun (lemon), Mini Muffin (bran), Suzie Q’s, Big Red, Juicy Fruit, Peppermint, Five Flavors.
Let’s address some of these.
Fritos – good selection, if they were the normal ones.
Friday’s potato skins – just because they are good at the restaurant, doesn’t mean you should try and put that flavor on a chip and stick six of them in bag.
Crunch ‘n Munch – does anyone under 70 eat toffee?
Cheez-itz – love the cheddar ones, but white cheddar? Just get the normal ones please.
PopTarts – I didn’t even know they made flavors other than S’mores and chocolate.
BK hot fries – ????? What are these things???? I’m pretty sure they have been in there since I started working here with no one ever buying one.
Combos – get the good flavors.
Fiber One – really? That’s the “healthy” bar you are giving us. Fiber?
Chocolate Skittles – Skittles are fruity. We already have Chocolate Skittles. They are called M&M’s.
LornaDoone – again, does anyone under 70 eat shortbread cookies? Is that even a real cookie?
Trail’s Best Twin Hot Sticks – I think this is suppose to be beef jerky but what a name.
HoneyBun – cinnamon please?
Planters – salted please?
And the Peppermint and Five Flavors thing, yeah, that’s all it says on the package. I think they are suppose to be mints and like a LifeSavors thing but I could wrong. It might just be a roll of five random flavors.
QUANTITY and PRICE – Why on God’s green earth should I have to pay 50 cents for a bag of six chips when the same bag cost 25 cents at the store? Why should I have to pay 50 cents for five sticks of gum?
All this doesn’t even count my complaints about the pop machine: 65 cents for a can of pop?!?!? Who the hell has 65 cents on them? If you use a dollar, what can you do with the 35 cents left over. Can’t get a bag of chips, can’t get another pop. You have to save it, use another dollar on something else, then you may have enough change to use it on another pop/snack.
One more complaint about the vending machine. I hate the guy who comes up to you when you are making your difficult selection and says “what are you getting?” or “you should get this.” Dude, leave me alone. Let me make my selection in peace. I’m already pissed off I’m buying something here I don’t need you to annoy me even more. What does whatever I buy have to do with you anyway?
The vending machine business is almost as out of control of gas prices. We can’t do much about gas prices since we need to drive. We can’t do much about the quality or selection or price of what we get out of the vending machine because you are going to get bored at work at some point and the vending machine is something to do. You are going to over pay for something, complain about it, but do it again the next day.