“And this is the most popular room in the building,” Horatio, HR Director of FeauxChem, told the new hire. The new hire did not yet have a name tag, so Horatio did not know the person’s name or department nor did he care. The door was pushed open to reveal the vending machine room.
The new hire’s jaw dropped. There were soda machines, junk food machines, health food machines, flavored water machines, plain water machines, brightly colored machines, more subtle machines; it was a cornucopia of vending machine options the likes of which had never been matched. The new hire stepped to the center of the room and swirled around, eyes closed just soaking in the splendor of limitless options. Never again would a bagged lunch left on the counter at home be a destroyer of days; there were more than enough options at the office.
“This is glorious!” The new hire said.
“Yes, yes, it is quite something,” Horatio no longer felt anything other annoyance, a side effect of the SPHR certification.
“Do we have time to pause the tour for a moment so I can try out one of the machines?” The new hire asked.
“Knock yourself out,” Horatio said, glancing at his watch and sighing.
The new hire paid no attention to the grumpy tour guide; it was vending machine time.
He pulled a five dollar bill from his wallet, straightened the corners and put it in the machine that held Granny’s Classic Cookies in the D3 spot. Eyes wide, drool threatening to escape from behind closed lips and hope in his heart; the bill went in and his hands moved to the button pad.
The bill was returned.
“Curses!” The new hire shouted.
“Did it refuse the bill?” Horatio asked.
“Yeah,” the new hire’s said. If Horatio could still feel, he would have felt sympathy for the plight of his coworker.
Horatio pulled out his phone, tapped a few buttons and looked to the new hire, “two minutes and this will all be fixed.”
“What happens in two minutes?” The new hire asked. There was no answer for two minutes.
The vending machine room door swung open.
“Right on time,” Horatio said. “New hire meet Ameline.”
“Hi, I’m,” the new hire started. Ameline grabbed the five dollar bill from his hand and showed him her palm, ending any conversation. She waved her hand toward Horatio to tell the new hire to stand away. The new hire obeyed.
“What’s her deal?” The new hire asked.
“She has a name,” Horatio snapped, “and Ameline is the Chief Product Officer. But more than that, she speaks to these machines. No one knows why, but whenever Ameline and Ameline alone uses the vending machine, there is no issue. Some say she was born under a Harvest Moon and lightning struck her doctor while they were standing at a vending machine. Some say her name means vending. Whatever the reason, Amelie has a supernatural ability to make this room work. When there’s a problem, she fixes it.”
The New Hire did not remember this from the company website. As Horatio’s story ended, a bag of Granny’s Classic Cookies was slapped into his hand.
“Cookies, right?” Ameline said in the form of a question, knowing full well the new hire wanted the cookies.
“You are amazing,” the new hire said, opening the cookies.
“She’s the regular office hero,” Horatio said; he wanted to smile, but it had been too long. “Thank you for your assistance. We’ll see you at the meeting,” he said.
Ameline nodded and left the room. The new hire ate a cookie. Horatio waited. It was awkward at best.
Between bites, the new hire tried to break the weird silence. “Is there anyone to call for printer help?” he asked joking.
“I’ll be sure to get you Blanca’s extension,” Horation said.
Thanks for reading!