The Free Buffet

Imagine…

  • A room where you get food for free!
  • All you need is you need to bring your own special table w/ chairs, or a special tray.
  • The tables cost anywhere from $10000 to $50000, and come in 2 seats, 5 seats and 7 seats and all have wheels.
  • The 1 person trays cost anywhere from $200 to $2000.
  • Once you buy that table or tray, you can roll or walk it in to get your free buffet.
  • You cannot store your table in the room; you must bring the table home after you’re done eating.
  • You can eat 24/7.

What am I describing?

If you can’t guess, let’s get to more specific stuff:

  • The buffet is subsidized by the government (on taxes).
  • The room is 12m X 12m (144 m2)
  • The tables are anywhere from 4.5m X 1.5m (6.75m2)  to 5.5m X 2m (11m2)
  • The trays only occupy the area of a standing person (about 4 people can fit in 1 m2)
  • Therefore, if the room had only tables, only 13-21 tables would fit at a time.
  • There’s a very long lineup, because of the shortage of space.
  • The gov decides to triple the area to 432 m2, so that all the tables waiting in line don’t need to wait.
  • But all that does is bring in many more tables, and the line gets even longer.

Guess now?

No?

  • The gov now understands that expanding the room space does not reduce the line, so the gov seeks other solutions.
  • It notices that almost all tables have only one person sitting on them, even when the table has seating for 5 or 7.
  • People refuse to share tables because they think as their tables as “their property”.
  • The gov decides to make 1/3 of the space in the room “High occupancy” area, where you must have at least 2 people at your table to be able to sit there. (trays are allowed in the High Occupancy areas)
  • People start to realize the time you can save time by “tablepooling” (letting someone else use your table with you)

Surely now you can see what I’m talking about.

Still can’t guess?

  • Trays must stand, and people don’t like standing while eating, so the tables don’t switch to trays.
  • Table people have always outnumbered the tray people at least 20:1.
  • Table people think of tray people as “free eaters” because they don’t need to wait in line.
  • Growing anger is directed from tables to the tray people, and the table people start throwing food and swearing at the tray people.

And I’m finished.

I’m sure you can guess by now.

Post your answers in the comments, and say how far you went till you were able to guess.

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