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    A long time ago, in a place far away, there was an office. The office did not, for various reasons, buy instant coffee. Some workers in that office got together and decided to institute the “Coffee Corner.” A member of the Coffee Corner would buy some instant coffee, and the other members would pay them back. It came to pass that some people drank more coffee than others, so the level of a “half-member” was added: a half-member was allowed a limited number of coffees per week and would pay half of what a member paid.

    Many years ago I worked in the Global HQ for Whole Foods Market as a network engineer/admin. Two guys who are still good friends of mine years later also worked there.

    We disdained, in our youthful ways, the free coffee in the breakroom upstairs and would regularly go down to the coffee bar in the actual store (the world HQ was built on top of a Whole Foods Market). We’d rotate who bought the round of coffee and thus the “coffee economy” was born.

    We still, and this is nearly twenty years later, have the coffee economy going. When two or three of us are out together it is unthinkable that we individually pay for coffee; we still (jokingly) keep track of whose turn it is. There are complicated and only half-defined ratios of beers to coffees for when we go to a bar and, at least once, I got a surprise coffee when a friend showed up with a joke that he was paying back a debt from 2002.

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      I used to work with two guys that had a fun way to manage this. Everyday one of them would bring two coffee drinks to work, giving one to the other. He would role 3 $N sided dice (i forget what they were), and would pay $X if he rolled triples. The $X was coffee cost * odds of the triple roll.

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        A stateless solution that (probably) converges on a small error over time. Brilliant!

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          It was never about the money (both were comfortable), it was purely for the game of it.

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        I bought a bunch of old national pre-euro coins with the face motive of a beer mug, worth around 2 euros each, to circulate among friends as “beer tokens.”

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          Might be fun setting this up with a RasPi and an RFID/NFC reader to badge in/out certain things (assuming your office has badges/keyfobs/whatever)

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            If I would have been the volunteer, I’d have also chosen AWK. For some reason beyond logic I do like working with AWK.

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              Sounds like you haven’t ever tried implementing graph algorithms with AWK ^^

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                Nope :-) Mainly tools helping me w/ various tasks of my life as an admin. And I can’t put my finger on it but I just enjoy awk’ing away

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              and the payments file after run the script… how is it updated?

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                I think it’s a ledger that is being updated manually.

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                  After the script runs, you empty the payments file, move the output on top of the old members file, and (if I was doing it now, and not 20 years ago), git commit the result.