It’s a situation most vending machine users have been faced with at one time or another. Y’know, you put your money in, make your choice, hit the button, and watch helplessly as your purchase gets stuck on its way out of the machine.
In an effort to dislodge the item, you might give the vending machine a nudge. Or bang it with your fist. Or even give it a gentle push.
Indeed, Robert McKevitt of Spirit Lake in Iowa attempted all of the above when, while at work in a Polaris Industries warehouse last fall, his 90-cent Twix bar got stuck on a spiral hook, leaving it dangling above the delivery chute. But despite his efforts, the stubborn candy bar just carried on dangling.
Not to be defeated, solution-focused McKevitt glanced across at his 8,000-pound forklift and had the inspired idea to give the vending machine the shock of its life in an attempt to free his paid-for Twix from its clumsy clutches.
According to the Des Moines Register, the 27-year-old allegedly drove over to the vending machine, lifted it a couple of feet into the air, and promptly dropped it onto the concrete floor. This move was apparently repeated six times, “by which time three candy bars had fallen into the chute.”
McKevitt, however, claims he used the forklift merely to move the machine back to its original position following his earlier shakes and shoves – quite a different story to the one offered by a supervisor who confronted him following his run in with the machine.
McKevitt got his Twix, but five days later lost his job for the vending machine violation.
In a ruling that became public just recently, a state administrative law judge said that McKevitt could not have access to unemployment benefits because he’d “demonstrated a willful disregard for his employer’s interests.”
To rub salt in the wound, McKevitt told the Register that his former workplace has since installed a bunch of new vending machines, presumably ones that work properly.