11.21.2006

Intimidation

Machines always have their way of intimidating me. You might already know this if you have read my previous post :)
Recently I got another fair dose of drama.
The tool: A vending machine
The task: Buy a packet of chips
The payment method: Slot where coins should be inserted

Yeah, it all seemed pretty simple but the havoc started when I put in the coins and punched the correct number for the chips and the packet began to slide out of its holder. It slid and slid and slid to the edge and there it stopped. I waited for a second, then another but the packet wouldn’t budge! Now I had put in a full 65 Euro-cents into the slot and converted to rupees that would be roughly 39. I did feel like leaving that to a waste. So I went to the machine and started hitting it, then kicking it. But nothing happened. Then a brain wave struck. What if I get the packet behind it to slide? Then this one has to fall out to make way. But here was a slight problem. I did not have the requisite change to put into the slot again.
I went up to another Indian I know here and explained to him the funny situation I was in. He came to rescue me as most men are bound to when they see a damsel in distress! He also banged and kicked the machine to no avail. Then I asked him in a small voice whether he could put in another 69 cents. He did but not before I explained the concept and reason to him. He was impressed with my level of thought and immediately put in the coin and punched in the product number. The second packet began to slide. It slid and slid and slid very close to the first one. And then nothing happened. We both waited for a second then another but nothing really happened. We couldn't believe our luck. Even the second packet was caught with the first and the guy was nodded an emphatic NO when I suggested I DumbC to try for the third packet. We stood around there wondering what to do.
I thought this was what the management of a company might feel when products don’t get deliver what is expected by customers.
Boss: "Should we just ignore the 69 thousand euros we have invested or we should we somehow try to get this product out?"
Boss' Right hand man: "Yeah ok there are bugs."
Boss' Left hand man: "We can solve them with another version of the product."
Boss: "Invest another 69 thousand euros."
After a few months
Boss' Right and left hand men: "Now both are stuck. Hmmm".

In the meantime a few people milled around us, clucked their tongues and sympathized that the machine made a fool of us.
"Oh you know these things never happen to us"
"Yeah but you know sometimes it happens to others"
!!! grrr
After smiling sweetly at them, blinded by rage both of us kicked the machine with all our might and both the packets came stumbling down.
Happy Ending!
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