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Coffee break at work: what type are you?
Coffee break at work: what type are you?

Six vending machines of snacks and coffees have become so futuristic that they recognize the faces of the patrons, in the meantime blasting up to 114 (!) combinations of drinks, we can say the same of the users par excellence, the coatti of espresso coffee, the serial munchers of crackers, the convicts of the tea-flavored drink, aka the office workers?

Have they changed too or hasn't time scratched them?

What are today's behaviors and rituals of daily socializing in the face of the increasingly technological coffee machine?

Let's see them, role by role.


Obviously we start from the top, from the maximum level. Too bad that he, the manager, almost never goes to the coffee machine, where he could meet the crowd, no. He, if he goes there, is only to accompany some welcome or most of the times unwelcome guests (see Guardia di Finanza, among other things, all handsome guys, fit as gym workers once were before they looked like old-style financiers)).

Or if he really feels the need for a coffee, he gets up alone, takes his spare drink and sadly takes it to the office, where he will consume it alone and in peace, perhaps with biscuits brought from home. Indifferent to the sirens of news and technology, he enjoys the privacy offered by the private office, leaving the simple pleasures of the senses to the other peons at the coffee machine. Noblesse oblige.

vintage coffee break
vintage coffee break


The official is already a more social animal, albeit always selective. He goes to the coffee machine, and he also goes there in company, but only with his peers, that is other officials, strictly senior. In small groups of two or three people at most, the officials go to the coffee machines talking almost exclusively about work and not paying too much attention to what they consume, usually simple coffee or tea.

For them, the 114 different flavors of drinks offered by the newest distributors are useless. Accustomed to reasoning efficiently and in patterns, they do not easily change their mental structure, even if they only have to decide whether to change the espresso coffee for the long one. Snacks not received: after all, we are waiting for the management, right?

vintage coffee break
vintage coffee break


Here we start having fun. The intermediate picture to coffee goes there, often and happily, and delights in the company not only of drinks, but of more full-bodied "topics". For him, the facial recognition of the machine would be a bit of a problem, have you ever seen that the lazy machine, instead of keeping his beautiful photo for himself, turned it to his boss, perhaps along with an ominous count of visits?

In any case, the middle management, unlike executives and officials, does not disdain to use solid, full-bodied snacks, salty chips as well as a slice of tart. However, its drinks remain mainly liquid and to drink in company in the break area, an area that is cheerfully enjoyed much more than those malmostoses of officials and managers. It is his right, and he knows it. And rightly benefits from it.

vintage coffee break
vintage coffee break


Out of delicacy we do not define who "the others" are, but we have all already understood: who is not a manager, an officer, or a manager.

They come in herds.

To legions.

Compact and homogeneous as one man.

Never ever, never, never alone, except to satisfy a sudden thirst or a sudden attack of hunger.

Having them in front of the coffee machine is a real misfortune, because before they have all been served, in about a minute per delivery, you have time to retire with the new limits of the Renzi government.

And as if that weren't enough, they talk, shout, laugh, about their own affairs, about the little ones, about sleepless nights, about the neighbor, about the weather, about holidays, about all human knowledge.

They eagerly serve everything that modern machines can offer, from the barley cappuccino, the ultimate exotic still for many company machines, to the sandwich with omelette, the great classic of the highway that is also strong in the company. From focaccia with toma and speck to the classic sandwich with ham and cheese, no better defined.

They go on the classic, on the substance, as well as on the work - which are mostly fanned out - leaving sweet or crunchy snacks or various pussies to the officials, who carry out the corresponding part of work.

vintage coffee break
vintage coffee break


And then there are the outsiders, the transversal ones, those who form a group of their own, a bit like the 5 stars, of whom they share the Taliban rigor and arrogance. They can belong to any of the aforementioned groups, but they are radically distinguished. Often they are women, and generally they are pain in the ass: lethal pairing.

Here are some human types:

vintage coffee break
vintage coffee break


The coffee from the machine sucks him. This, mind you.

Not to mention the tea-flavored drink, that sinister traitorous braggart that real tea doesn't even know where it is at home. He, taking advantage of the fact that many machines today may not have facial recognition (and fortunately) but often have a very welcome drink called "hot water", consumes only and exclusively that.

You bring tea from home, of course Earl Gray and, if it is particularly tingy, even the cup, where you pour the freshly dispensed hot water - horror - into the plastic cup. To him, the machines are of no use, neither new nor old.

For him, a personal electric kettle would be enough to plug into the socket under the desk, which he repeatedly asked his boss to obtain, always receiving a firm denial due to the damned laws on safety at work.

For him, the machine is just a treacherous stealer of money, a dispenser of junk and a bomber of his health.

vintage coffee break
vintage coffee break


If someone goes to the machine alone and is not an executive, it is for sure - if not a gourmet (given the average but not excellent quality of the comfort goods supplied by ours), - at least a good fork, a pleasure-seeker, someone who loves savoring food and drink, and there is no denying this little pleasure I miss in the workplace.

He goes alone to the break area where he chooses the drink. As a good connoisseur he is habitual because he has already seen that, if the tea sucks, the barley cappuccino is honest, and does not change. Just as the type of snack to dip into it doesn't change.

He already knows that the slice of tart of an unknown brand is much tastier than the famous tegolino, and he tastes it sweetly: he takes his cappuccino, perches himself in one of the stilts-seats often present in the break area and sinks the fragrant slice with pleasure in the hot drink.

He doesn't look around, he doesn't talk, he doesn't make social relationships at that moment.

If you happen to be near, unwary, looking for company, don't expect his attention. Indeed, if you want to know, you just annoy him. For him, the machine is a dear friend who dispenses things not as excellent as his mother's cooking, but still honest and able to give him five minutes of well-deserved serenity.

Don't bother him.

vintage coffee break
vintage coffee break


He only takes almost coffee, and out of necessity because if he could ever take that nauseating soup that the machines pass off as the exotic drink.

But if it is necessary to come to terms for the coffee from the machines, on pain of being without a nerve stimulant at all - and in offices there is a need for it like bread - not so for snacks.

Those concentrates of poison, those attacks on health so full of unsaturated fats, of palm oils, of slow-release complex carbohydrates, of simple sugars that make the glycemic peak jump, of powdered eggs of who knows what category, of powdered milk, also that, coming from China, of ham full of who knows what polyphosphates inside or, even worse, maybe even gluten.

Aaahggg !!!, real killer of our time in his twisted mind (and maybe ours is not even celiac, but you know, gluten free is cool, as a vegan).

If taken by hunger, indeed, by a slight appetite, he eats only the squares of Parmigiano Reggiano in packets! Or walnuts, always in packages. Thus forgetting to swallow, along with the walnuts, a good shovelful of sulfur dioxide as a preservative. But he is happy as well.

And above all, he can bore his colleagues with a ham sandwich in hand with his lessons of low philosophy and collected news, who can't wait to bite away from his health sermons.

For him, the machines are attackers of our health, and should be abolished. Except then find it in the bathrooms attached to the mortadella sandwich.

vintage coffee break
vintage coffee break


To this list we must dutifully add those who, unfortunately, hardly ever go to the vending machine: secretaries and new hires.

The former, in order not to run the risk of missing some important phone calls to pass to the boss while their mouths are full of bread and ham, the others out of a just awe as a new employee as well as for the image of efficiency they want to give of themselves, at least at the beginning of the employment relationship.

They will have time to go abundantly once they get through to the next level, when they will make extensive use of it instead.

And you, workers employed in large or small businesses in our cities, do you recognize yourself in one of these categories, or do you have any suggestions?

But above all, if you are not employed or hospitalized, do you really use the machines, however futuristic ?.

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