Justin writes about vending machines here and here. My thoughts on the subject:

When you put money in those spiral-powered vending machines you’re not buying candy, so much as you are gambling for the chance of getting candy. Sometimes it pays out, sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes it pays out particularly well. The odds are good anyway, compared to slot-machines.

At the Amazon warehouse I was particularly good at shaking loose refreshments that were barely being held by the mighty spirals. Usually I only attempted this when the machine hadn’t paid out on my coins, though there were others who would periodically shake it down just to see what they could get. It was my opinion that the spirals should have been rotated an extra 45 degrees to increase the machine’s reliability.

Years ago, at another job, there was one Coke machine that would often offer up 2 cans if you hit the button twice quickly. I was pretty good at getting the second can and would always give it to whoever else was in the break room.

Once while waiting for someone in the lobby of a hostel in Amsterdam. I put a guilder into a machine, and selected my candy, the spiral rotated, and the package didn’t drop. I restrained myself, thinking it would be fairly ugly-American to beat up on a Dutch vending machine. I went back to my seat and waited for my friend, sulking.

Categorized as Before

1 comment

  1. There was this time I went to the vending machine in the second floor to get a particular fruit drink that I’ve enjoyed since I was 12. The re-vendor was ahead of me, restocking the cans and taking the change. I went, deposited the money and pushed the drink. Out came a can of Iced Tea. I stared puzzled, wondering how that happened. The vending guy sighed, having just seen me get the wrong product, re-opened to investigate, and saw nothing wrong. He then inserted the change needed, and gave me the fruit drink that I’ve enjoyed since I was 12. I gave the Iced Tea to my suite-mate. It was a good thing he was there, or I would have had to drink the Iced Tea instead of the fruit drink that I’ve enjoyed since I was 12.

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