We now have this dreadful vending machine in front of City Hall, defacing the front of the elegant 1907 former bank building and offending everyone who cares about such things. It might be tolerable if it did what we were told it was going to do, but it doesn't.
It was supposed to take all forms of payment--credit cards, debit cards, even Apple Pay. It doesn't. It accepts only paper currency. It was supposed to save the City money by eliminating the need to employ people to sell the trash bags. It hasn't. The trash bag sellers are still there, and today, I was grateful for that.
In need of a blue trash bag this morning before the garbage truck made its rounds, I went to the vending machine to buy just one small bag to meet my immediate need. I parked the car in front of the machine and got out, with a dollar bill and two quarters in my hand--$1.50, the price of one small bag. Studying the machine, I could find no place to insert coins. There was only a slot for bills--$1, $5, $10, or $20. So, I went back to the car, pulled a $5 bill out of my wallet, and returned to the machine. I inserted my $5, tapped in the number of the item I wanted, and waited. Coins dropped--three $1 coins and two quarters--but no garbage bag dropped. The wretched machine had taken my $1.50 but wasn't giving me a bag!
Fortunately, one of the unkept promises of the machine allowed me to go inside City Hall (it was now a few minutes after 9 a.m.) and use one of my newly acquired $1 coins and the two quarters to purchase a trash bag from a human being. Happily, I managed to get my trash at the curb before the garbage truck came around.
COPYRIGHT 2017 CAROLE OSTERINK