I recently worked for a company that had an on-site cafeteria. It was a nice perk, especially on cold winter days when you had no desire to be outside, at all. The food was generally good, prices were reasonable, and the staff in the kitchen was friendly. Then, one day, all that fell apart. Someone who made more money than me and therefore had superior decision making skills, decided we needed a healthier menu and less human-to-human interaction. A new system was set up where all interaction was done through a kiosk. There were several items that were available all the time, like candy bars, pop (or soda, depending which region you’re reading this from), and sandwiches. During open kitchen hours you could order hot food. It was supposed to make things faster and easier. mmmhmmm….
I avoided the new setup for quite a while. I figured I’d let all the kinks get worked out. After about 1-2 weeks of the new system being up and running I decided to check it out for breakfast one day. Below is my sarcastic take on my first experience…
As you are all well aware, our cafeteria was recently taken over by machines. Ha, kidding, only half of it was taken over by machines. There are still people wandering around in the other half of it. This new and ‘improved’ style of dining has been going on for 2 weeks now. I have graced the machines with my presence a total of 3 times. Each time I have left wanting to punch the machine in its little glowing face. However, that is not the point of this e-mail. Today, I wanted to share a helpful hint with you.
How to order a breakfast sandwich:
1. Approach the machine with caution. You never know what kind of mood it may be in that day.
2. Locate and Select the ‘Breakfast’ tab. A page full of colorful buttons should appear. Try not to press all the colorful buttons.
3. Decision time! Each button offers a brief and inaccurate description of what you’re about to order. For this lesson, let’s order a Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Croissant. Naturally, no button exists for this exact order. So now, time to put on your thinking cap. A button appears for Brkfst Sand w/ mt. Be a risk taker, select it!
4. Brkfst Sand w/ mt is now showing in your selections menu with a price that seems accurate. So, the selection says ‘w/ mt’, but how do you select which kind of meat? You haphazardly click on ‘Bacon- 1 sl’ and $.70 is added to your menu. You instinctively know that isn’t right. No one pays that much for a slice of bacon. Click ‘Void Item’ and confirm that yes, you do in fact want to remove that over priced slice of pig from your breakfast selections.
5. Remember, your thinking cap is still on from earlier. It kicks in to high gear and you realize that your selection says it comes with mt, which you’re assuming is hopefully meat. You really shouldn’t have to select a separate item. You just have to hope that one of the humans on the other side of the wall take time to ask which kind of ‘mt’ you want. It’s worth taking the chance.
6. Next, below the ‘brkfst sand w/ mt’ button you notice one that says ‘Add Cheese’. Well, there aren’t any abbreviations there, so it makes sense to click that. Ca-ching! $.70 more is added to your total for the additional dairy on your sandwich.
7. Your order now shows you want a ‘brkfst sand w/ (mystery) mt’ and ‘cheese’. This will cost you one bar of gold and all your spare change. Insert payment, but only after making a big display of it for the security cameras so there is no doubt in their little technological minds that you paid.
8. Proceed into the kitchen to retrieve your order. Beware, this usually results in an awkward moment where the remaining humans stare blankly at you. It isn’t often a human enters their world. Finally one of them comes forward, but not to talk to you, they’re only approaching closely enough to get the slip of paper from their computer that tells them why you’ve entered their area.
9. Remember to be patient as they decipher your order. They are, after all, only humans and not fully able to read and understand computer talk. Lucky for you, they realize that while you did order ‘mt’ you didn’t let them know which kind you want. You request bacon and that seems to be acceptable.
10. You notice a nose scrunch as the rest of your ticket is read. The helpful human lets you know that you don’t have to select cheese as a separate item, because the sandwich already comes with that. Oh. Your thinking cap must not have been fully charged. It didn’t pick up on the silent ‘cheese’ within brkfst sand w/ mt.
11. You then realize that you have overpaid for your brkfst sand w/ mt (now bacon) and (silent cheese). You think about asking for a refund or credit, but remember that the human doesn’t have access to money, just food. A refund would have to go through the machine that can’t even spell full words. You can’t really expect it to give you an accurate refund, can you?
12. After a few more awkward moments of standing there your brkfst sand w/ mt is ready for you. It looks surprisingly good, and much like a Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Croissant that you used to order when you had direct interaction with the humans. Aren’t computers amazing?!