Five Everyday Technological Devices That Never Seem To Work Properly

technologyHumanity deserves a pat on the back. After all, it has come a long way from living inside caves and rubbing two sticks together to not die of intense cold. Sometimes, humanity also needs a punch in the face for its inability to ensure that even the simplest gadgets run smoothly–and these five mechanical annoyances crack their knuckles and strike on an almost daily basis.

Vending Machines

Operating a vending machine is like voting: your choices always demand more than they’re actually worth, promise more than they can actually deliver, and give your hard-earned money back in the most questionable ways possible. The automated road to pain begins when you stand in front of the machine and realize that everything it has costs more than retail. When you finally muster up the strength to pull a paper bill out of your wallet, the darn thing doesn’t accept it. You try again. And again. At some point, presumably when you’re done cursing every single one of your high school bullies, the machine finally relents and takes your money. Unfortunately, sometimes the item doesn’t even fall through the hatch properly, or gets stuck on a hook and stays there, forever taunting you with the sweet promise of fizzy diabetes fuel that’ll perpetually be out of your reach. We haven’t even talked about how the machine (resentfully) returns your money; some machines don’t have covers for the change slot, and so your coins come forcefully flying out like bullets of concentrated hatred for all mankind.

Oh, and sometimes the machine just plain won’t work. Fun times.


ATM stands for Automated Teller Machine, which means it exists to spit out money. It can also mean Annoying Technological Menace, because it also exists to spite you. These sophisticated machines are either broken or out of money about half the time, leaving you with no option but to look for the next one, which ALSO happens to be either broken or out of cash. Sweet, isn’t it? Add that to the perpetually present threat of other people hacking your account (which is apparently a lot easier than it sounds) and grabbing your money before you even remember you still HAD money in the first place.

Coffee Machines
Everything I hate about coffee machines can be summed up in a haiku:

Need your caffeine fix?
Spills and “out of order”, boo
No coffee for you

Yeah, I’ll go make my own cup, thanks.

Hey, remember the last time you had such a hassle-free printing session that you actually picked up your clean, crisp pages and sniffed every bit of their sweet, inky goodness (which turns out to be a bad thing, but whatever, YOLO, as kids say these days)? Yeah, me neither. Maybe it’s because you’re a well-adjusted person who doesn’t get a kick out of olfactory titillation, but it’s also probably because there is no such thing as a hassle-free printing session. We’ve managed to fly long distances in gigantic metal birds and send snarky comments to complete strangers from across the world, yet we still can’t build printers that consistently print things properly on the first try. Papers that jam so violently that the only thing they’re good for are peanut butter sandwiches, streaks and blotches that make you wonder if Jackson Pollock invented desktop printing, and error messages that require at least two college degrees to decipher are problems that should be a thing of the past by now.

We’ve become so dependent on computer systems right now that it’s not even funny. From VoIP to gaming, computers have shown us the many great things we can achieve with modern technology. Sadly, computers have also shown us an entirely new array of problems we could just as easily find ourselves tripping over. Let’s start with viruses – bits of malicious code that punish you for doing things like opening e-mails from generous Nigerian princes. It doesn’t help that for every computer virus that gets resolved, two show up to laugh in our faces, eventually adding up to a total of “Earth’s entire population doesn’t have enough fingers for this nonsense.” Hell, we already have enough problems to fix without outside interference, with unintelligible errors, system crashes, and seemingly arbitrary reboots happening almost every other week.

It’s a wonder these things haven’t gained sentience and gotten together to discuss their world domination plans. Or maybe they already have, which is precisely why they seem determined to make us want to end ourselves.