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From my desk in this nice centrally located London office if I look left I can see the grandeur of Christopher Wren's masterpiece St. Pauls cathedral. Then I look right.....
It's the dreaded vending machine, which conatins the office staff's daily fixes of coffee, tea, chocolate, soup, soda, dregs, and gooey stuff. I often hear it grumble (a warning perhaps?) when I walk past it the to water cooler. I have actually tried the various beverages that are dispensed by the machine in times of absolute desperation, and have of course been disapointed on every occasion. I seem to remember that something I had once tasted remotely like dishwater, but I'm afraid I couldn't describe the tastes of the other beverages except to say that they were disgusting.
Even plain water is dispensed with brownish tinge. Ewwww!
The worst (and last) experince I ever had with the vending machine was the one where I pressed a button on the machine and the dreaded "code 12" flashed on the screen. A "code 12" error means that the bucket under the drip tray is full. The deal in our office is that if you are the person who gets the "code 12", then you are handed the key to the machine and expected to empty the sludge bucket inside. Let me tell you, this was one of the worst experiences of my life, and when I poured that gooey filth down the sink it made me retch. Take my word for it and stay away from those horrible machines!
Thankfully there is a kitchen on another floor in our building where I can boil my water in a real jug and pour it into a porcelan cup, over a nice fresh earl grey tea bag (no loose tea available I'm afraid). Phew!