As we started walking to the recital hall, we saw a man walk up to the same parking permit machine. I told him, "It doesn't work!", but he just walked up anyway and proceeded to buy a permit! He was a student at the college. Seeing that the machine was not out of order, we returned, and after reading the instructions, bought our permit.
What was the problem? As it turned out, to buy a permit, you first have to push a button (any button) on the parking permit machine. This activates the bill reader. It clearly says this on the machine in large print. Why didn't I initially read it? I believe there were two reasons: First, I was in a hurry. Second, vending machines usually don't work this way. Typically, you first insert money and then you make a choice. If you try to insert money and the machine doesn't respond to it, the most likely reason is that the machine is out of order.
I told another friend at the recital about this problem, and she said she couldn't figure out how to use it either.
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