I’ve been at my current job for close to a year. By and large, it’s a fine place to work. We have your occasional birthday cake celebrations, few and far between doughnut days, and sometimes an office party with heavy apps and drinks to go around. But there was one thing that I took for granted at my old job that I now miss more than I realized: the office vending machine.
Sure, I don’t need to visit a vending machine everyday, but they’re meant to stave off the 4:00 PM munchies when you realize you’re starving and you have another couple of hours before you can eat dinner without feeling like you’re embracing the Early Bird Special way of life. As I sit here in my cubicle, I realize that I have gone through my stash of snacks. My box of Cheez-Its was mysteriously raided the other day and I’m still coming to terms with my loss. I used my last bag of Boy Scout popcorn that was in my desk in a fit of craving sodium and fake butter. I have no Swedish Fish, no M&Ms, no tasty impulse buy pastry from Panera waiting for me in the fridge. I have nothing.
The office vending machine is a perk that you don’t know you’ll miss until it’s gone. Sometimes, I would count the spare change I found scattered in the bottom of my purse and go downstairs to see what snack fortune lay in wait for me. Would I go “healthy” and get the bogus raisin and peanut-laden trail mix? Would I go the complete opposite direction and buy a pack of Oreos, giving a silent “fuck it” to getting thin for the summer? Would I experience a Costanza moment and lose my preciously-earned Twix that would not fall from its perch? Visiting the vending machine wasn’t just a timekiller or excuse to leave my desk, it was an exercise in decision-making skills and instant gratification.
Some of you will say, “Should have come prepared.” Yes, I should have. But with a Vegas weekend so close I’m within 24 hours of my flight to check in, I coasted this week groceries-wise and just had a general lack of ambition for bringing snacks to work. Sometimes you can luck out and find leftovers from a catered lunch to get you through, but alas, no such luck today.
So what do I do? Get another cup of coffee to artificially stave off my hunger and guarantee that I won’t fall asleep before midnight tonight? Make a mad dash (in heels) to the Publix shopping center that’s diagonal from my workplace? Ghost my cube for the weekend and go to the bar next door for happy hour and some snacks?
Those of you who have a vending machine or a plate of snacks provided in your break areas, grab an extra bag of chips or banana today. Appreciate it while it lasts, or you might end up like me; snack-less and hungry..
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