Here we go again.

This morning, as I pulled into the parking lot of the building where I work, I saw the same old sight as I’ve seen in countless days in the past. And there it was, the usual gathering of police cars and ambulances near the main entrance with their siren lights ablaze. Normally this would be a startling sight, but in my case, not only was I unimpressed, I was annoyed.

I parked my car, gathered my lunch bag and began walking past the crowd of gawkers that had gathered in the parking lot. They too seemed to know what was going on. One person even asked me, “Again?”

“Again,” I replied with a sigh before continuing my walk.

Once I entered the building, I saw everyone working at their desks as usual despite the commotion. They too seemed to know what was going on but still carried on with their duties anyway. Phone lines carried loads of conversations with clients, printers whirred and the keyboards clicked to fill spreadsheets and documents with endless lines of data, all while ignoring the paramedics and police officers standing near the break room that bore the source of the morning’s chaos. Only a handful of employees stood nearby, snickering while sipping from their cups of hot, fresh coffee.

“Excuse me, coming through,” I said as I brushed past the police officers and paramedics standing around the break room as I worked to reach my locker and eventually the time clock. After I put my lunch bag away in my locker, I turned around to see who it was this time. And there he was, my coworker Adam, standing cramped inside the vending machine while grinning uncomfortably while the paramedics worked to open the door to free him. I could barely hear him as he tried to mutter some pathetic excuse as to why he had to climb inside the machine in the first place, probably to try freeing that package of mini-donuts he so craved every morning.

Then my boss entered the break room and walked up to a sign with a number written with a dry-erase marker. After one disgusted glance at Adam, he erased the number and wrote in its place a large red zero before making a hasty exit. And there it was for all to see, the sign that read DAYS SINCE ANYONE GOT TRAPPED INSIDE THE VENDING MACHINE with the red zero to reset the count.

The previous record was 3 days.

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