So, our new coffee machine arrived on Friday. It's not actually for this campus but for the new building to which half the group (including myself) is relocating in the next few weeks. A picture of the coffee machine can be found here and is rather key to the story. Shown in one of the images are the two coffee bean hoppers which hold the beans before grinding.
Now, for political reasons we were not allowed to set up the machine here and use it before we finally make our move to the new site. However, it needed to be comissioned and so the 'engineer' came round to show us how to do everything. This of course involved making coffee, and hence filling the bean hoppers. Everything went well, the engineer left and we then had to pack the machine away. My boss, whom I am being to trained to replace as he moves up into the rarified world of project management, decides to try and empty the bean hoppers. However, he doesn't read the instructions first.
After unlocking the first hopper he tries to lift it out and instantly realises that the bottom is not sealed (obviously to provide access to the grinder). Thus he tries to hold his other hand under the hopper whilst lifting. Alas, there is not enough access to allow this, and as he lifts beans spill out everywhere, but mainly in the inside of the machine. D'oh!
Then to compound his error he repeats the mistake with the second hopper, but this time is so concerned with trying to get the hopper horizontal as quickly as possible he breaks the seal between the grinder interface and holder thus providing the beans with another means of escape! The beans got everywhere (even in my raccoon wounds!) and as the section was not a sealed area they get in and around the wiring to which we have no access. It's a good thing that beans aren't conductive! The next half hour was spent with vaccuum cleaners and tweezers trying to extract as many as possible.
Bad design flaw? No, not really, for upon examining the now empty hoppers, it became apparent that there is a little sliding door on the base of the hoppers to prevent just such an eventuality from happening. Just goes to show what happens when you move upstairs.