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July 17th, 2006


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01:37 pm - strange things are afoot at the circle k
I just put a buck twenny-five into the Wheel O' Death vending machine in our break room.

I opened the little window and retrieved my bottle of juice product.

The vending machine display then flashed "WINNER" at me, and it gave me back my five quarters.




Ohhhh-kay, he intoned slowly, money in hand, while backing away from the crazy machine.

(30 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:jodied
Date:July 17th, 2006 05:46 pm (UTC)
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Never look a gift horse in the mouth?
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From:derspatchel
Date:July 17th, 2006 05:52 pm (UTC)
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I AM NOT USED TO SUCH A SUDDEN WINDFALL
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:July 17th, 2006 05:56 pm (UTC)
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I'd complain, but hey, free grapefruit juice. And on the hottest day of the year, no less. At this point I'd sell the souls of all those around me for another delicious drop of FREE JUICE.
[User Picture]
From:ticket_monkey
Date:July 17th, 2006 06:03 pm (UTC)
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Waaaay back in undergraduate school, there was a vending machine which would, if you manipulated it correctly, not only dispense back your change but a jackpot in quarters and dimes. Completely cleaned it out every time, to the tune of $1-$3 per go. The secret was closely guarded and there was an honor amongst thieves to put the money back into the machine so others could reap the benefit as well. 'Free' candy bars were doled out like, well, candy.

For an entire spring break I subsisted solely on Symphony bars and Captain's Wafers from that machine.

A couple of months later, the vending company got wise that they were running through massive amounts of product with no profit from that machine, and replaced it. By that point, though, we had done permanent damage to our teeth, our figures and our complexions.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:July 17th, 2006 06:35 pm (UTC)
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You were lucky to have a vending machine what gave out free Symphony bars! I loved those things but can see how overkill would just do you in.
[User Picture]
From:fancycwabs
Date:July 17th, 2006 06:11 pm (UTC)
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$1.25 for juice? I hope you got more than six oz. for your hard-earned moneys.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:July 17th, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC)
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Fifteen POINT TWO fluid ounces of deliciousness! Yee-haw!
Keith - (Anonymous) - Expand
Re: Keith - (Anonymous) - Expand
[User Picture]
From:trysha
Date:July 17th, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC)
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well, at least you don't have our vending machine.

The bill taker is somewhat broken.

Sometimes it will refuse to take the bill, and sometimes it will just eat it.

You can cause the machine to reset the slot by unplugging and replugging it in.

About 25% of the time, this process will cause the machine to refund your dollar.
About 25% of the time, this process will cause the machine to give you an extra dollar bill for free.
About 50% of the time, this process will cause you to want to punch the machine.

The stats are entirely accurate. I counted!
[User Picture]
From:earljr
Date:July 17th, 2006 07:34 pm (UTC)
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One of the more popular vending machines on campus occasionally spews forth Sacajewea gold dollars instead of quarters.

Best marketing gimmic evar!
[User Picture]
From:akubiak
Date:July 17th, 2006 07:34 pm (UTC)
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The vending machine at my local tennis club is wacky like that. Periodically, you get a bonus beverages. Once I stuck in a dollar for a water and received two bonus powerades (flavors blue and red). Dude, three beverages for a dollar.
[User Picture]
From:signsoflife
Date:July 17th, 2006 07:44 pm (UTC)
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I. . .
I actually think that's pretty rude. Gambling against your knowledge and consent!
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From:clawdia
Date:July 17th, 2006 08:08 pm (UTC)
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My favorite thing about this post is that you called the machine the Wheel Of Death and I knew *exactly* what you were talking about it. That's what we call it here too!

Mmmm, Juice!
[User Picture]
From:samethreechords
Date:July 17th, 2006 10:42 pm (UTC)
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That happened to me exactly once before. Never again. Freaked the hell outta me, too.
[User Picture]
From:doctor_sentence
Date:July 17th, 2006 10:43 pm (UTC)
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On my year out in Germany I came across a passport photo machine that didn't actually take the photos, and merely refunded twice the coinage inserted into it.
I decided against relying on it to supplement my grant, and got my photos elsewhere.
From:lno
Date:July 17th, 2006 11:59 pm (UTC)
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That would make me love my job.

Well, for about ten minutes.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 7th, 2006 02:37 am (UTC)

Vending Machine Winners

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I used to fill vending machines for several years, including those Wheel of Death machines that vend cold foods. The computer controllers in some machines have an optional feature to give free product after so many numbers of vends and the display flashes "WINNER".

So getting a free drink or sandwich once in a while is a fun treat. I hope you enjoyed your freebie.

Most vending machines also have the ability to be set for what is called Free Vend so that everything is free. The display usually flashes "NO MONEY REQUIRED" or something like that (I forget exactly). For some reason, that has a tendency to confuse people, too. I had a couple of locations that would have scheduled free vends because the employer would pay the tab or the cost would be split between the employer and the vending company. It's kinda nice to get free coffee at holiday time, etc.

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