Thursday, January 22, 2009

dangers of vending machines

Yesterday at work, I was heating up my 100 calorie Kettle Korn* and there was a guy in the kitchen who was imploring me for advice on how to retrieve his dangling candy from the vending machine. His selection, a king sized Snickers, was stuck and he was trying to be Professional about it, but he was also on a conference call and clearly forgot to put his phone on mute before walking to the kitchen. So he's whispering and half-pantomiming to me, to demonstrate that he's already tried reaching up the delivery chute (impossible) and shaking the machine violently (not strong enough). I think at one point, he was hoping that I'd agree to join forces and we'd pick the dang thing up and shake it like a pinata.


image from TeamKitty's Flickr stream
Which made me wonder... is he asking my advice because I'm the only one here? Or because I'm the fat girl who has probably been spurned by this machine before? In either case, he walked away exasperated when my only suggested solution was to buy the candy bar directly behind it, which will then deliver 2 into the chute. I guess the 85 cent suggestion was a bit too outrageous, so he hustled out of the kitchen, mumbling to his conference call attendees about record quarter earnings in the billions. Ahem.
That was when I noticed the sign taped to the machine itself, which was a letter from the vendor explaining they wouldn't be offering any products with peanut butter in them, due to the recent recalls. It was understandable, but also I had to wonder: who is this letter for? Isn't the point of a vending machine to have anonymous food distribution? There's a reason why they don't just hire people to sit in your office kitchen all day selling snacks. And the same reason why the vending machine is everyone's diet trap - you can go, get what you want, and nobody knows. And part of this anonymity agreement is that we, the consumers, don't know anything about you, the vendors. I was raised inside an office building. At 3, I had my own cubicle (no kidding!), and I have never ever seen anyone leave a request on the vending machine "more stale donuts please!" or "Good job on placing the Twix! I got 3 from one dollar!" or heard of anyone wanting to contact the vendor about anything other than 1) danglers [see above] or 2) the machine ate my money. So it just seemed weird to me that they would feel that they had to explain why there weren't any Reese's in the racks.
Also, I saw this on the Toothpaste for Dinner blog today and had a good chuckle:
If you keep up with news, you might have seen that the FDA sent out warnings that industrial peanut butter might be contaminated with salmonella. Salmonella contaminating spinach is one thing, but I never find myself in the middle of the day, eating a couple spoonfuls of spinach because I forgot to have lunch at a reasonable time. It was a couple days before I found out the salmonella was limited to the industrial stuff. (Connosseurs know that the best stuff comes from the grind-your-own dispenser at the health food store.) Those two days were like... You remember how on 9/11 there were a few hours when nobody knew what was going on and we thought we were actually getting attacked by an extensive, organized terror network? It was like that, but for peanut butter.

*I really kind of hate when manufacturers change the letter C, to fit some 'kooky' scheme involving K's

1 comment:

styro said...

So the peanut butter dog biscuits they recalled are totally the kind we feed the pigdog, and when it came on the news, Allen looked at me and I looked at him and we both looked at the Pigdog. We were like, "Well, if he was gonna get sick, I reckon he'd'a done it by now." So fuck it. Eat up, lil' buddy!

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