I've discovered an underground market thriving on the third floor!
I work in an office building. It has all the edifices you would come to expect from such a place. Cubicles, bathrooms, buzzing fluorescent lights are as common here as they are in most suburban office buildings. The building also sports a cafeteria complete with (free) soup and salad bar, tables and chairs, and coin-op vending machines. Most basic lunch or breakfast items can be procured from said vending machines. Apples, bad sandwiches, and V8 are enclosed within a sliding-door, carousel styled machines while pop and candy bars are available from the more common chute machines. While these items are marked up a good 10-20%, I would not argue that the items are not too egregiously priced. Especially considering the trouble that goes into stocking and maintaining said machines.
On the sly, a co-worker snuck out of our pod, disappeared for about five minutes, and reappeared with a bag of peanuts. I looked at the peanuts with a sense of awe and confusion. How did she get peanuts, I asked myself. The vending machines never have them and the direction she snuck off in was opposite of the caferteria. Something was afoot.
"So, where'd you gets the nuts?" I asked.
"Oh… you know." She said, gesturing wildly.
"No, I don't. I want nuts."
"There is a place… on the third floor… many things for sale."
So, it turns out, I discovered there is black market thriving on the third floor. It turns out this market offers candy, muffins, oatmeal and even bags of popcorn for $0.50 a piece! Colorfully decorated kiosks sports edible food items of all make, variety, and sweetness. Astounding! I find it fascinating this cultural phenomena can spring up in such a small sampling of people. This small, self-contained sample of humanity a black market has sprung up to meet a need that the polished, beeping vending machines are not meeting. I investigated.
I think I could successfully argue that this kind of behavior is Marxist in its origin, and perhaps not a market based on the acquisition of capital at all. The goods offered at the third floor market are sold at, what appears, to be no profit at all. I don't have access to the trade organizer, to confirm this however. My inquires have resulted in reports of mystery and intrigue concerning one Hilda VonBruglezot, I have been advised to drop my line of investigation.
I have, however, looked into the employee handbook to determine if my purchasing a poppy-seed muffin or a Kalashnikov rifle from one of the many dilapidated kiosks could be considered grounds for dismal, but the section on "Black Markets" is also mysteriously missing. Could it be that Hilda is involved? More investigation is necessary. However, I did discover that while the company has strict policy against facial hair of any kind, you can sport a beard for religious reasons. Sometimes it's nice to be a contractor. I can sport my rebellious and unruly goatee without having to convert to Judaism.