Vending machine anxiety? I can help.
I’ve got a system. And a strategy. Read on.
After leaving my office, I emerge from the stairs and look straight, then left, then right.
If someone is at the machine — or worse, if a line has formed — I turn right, act natural, and exit the building.
If someone is hovering approximately two feet away and it’s unclear whether they are contemplating a purchase or waiting for the elevator, I walk straight, act natural, and exit the building from the back.
If the coast is clear, I perform my transaction as fast as possible, then look left then right then left again before I attempt the bend & reach.
Even worse than the singular bend & reach is waiting for your credit card to “authorize” while a line begins to form. Then, if the card finally authorizes, you must perform your bend & reach with an audience.
Here is my strategy.
Bend & Reach Strategy
Even if I am alone at the machine, I employ the following in the event that someone suddenly appears down the hall. In a busy college building, this is always a possibility.
Channel a grand plie from ballet dancing. If you’re not familiar, or it’s been a while, here’s a tutorial:
Modify the plie. Turn your legs inward so your knees are in front of you but maintain the posture. Keep the entire torso and derriere in a straight line. Move quickly — quicker than the ballet dancer shown above.
Retrieve your purchase. (Tip — it’s best to study the machine door in advance to know how to work it. Going in uninformed increases the risk of a line forming and generally drags out the bend & reach.)
Return to standing position using relatively the same motion and speed.
While on the subject, here are a few other everyday vulnerabilities:
The Coffee Shop Name Call
Especially when your drink is of the pumpkin variety.
The Single Restroom Door-Hold
The Neck Pillow
Thanks for reading! Does the bend & reach produce anxiety in you, too? If not, what does?
If you enjoyed this post on vending machine anxiety, you might like this one on small moments in Houston, TX
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