Man Fired For Using Forklift To Get Candy From Vending Machine

He claims the 'machine was trouble'

I want candy
Admit it, you've put money into a vending machine, seen a candy bar make its way almost to the front of a row, and then get stuck. You probably did what the rest of us do and gave the machine a nudge, hoping to dislodge the reluctant treat so you could get what you paid for.

So, you probably have some sympathy for 27-year-old Robert McKevitt of Spirit Lake, Iowa. He got fired for trying to wrest a candy bar from a vending machine, according to the Des Moines Register. Then again, he did use an 8,000-pound forklift in the process.

McKevitt was on the second shift at a Polaris Industries warehouse in Milford, Iowa. "It was about halfway into my shift and I had a few extra minutes," he told CNN. "I was going to the restroom and the vending machine was next to it. I was going to grab a candy bar and then go to the restroom."

McKevitt told the Register that he deposited $1 into a vending machine. All he wanted was a 90-cent Twix bar. All he got was nothing as one of those spiral metal bars turned, sliding the candy bar forward until it reached the end and ... got snagged and held in mid-air.

Talk about being betwix and between.

Then McKevitt tried the civilized approach, inserted another dollar, and found that the machine stopped working. He tried rocking the machine. Again, nothing. Nada.

So, McKevitt escalated the situation – literally. He got a forklift. Here's where versions of the story start to diverge. McKevitt told CNN that he used the forklift to move the vending machine back into place, saying it was a few feet from the wall and "was a safety hazard."

But according to a ruling from a state administrative law judge that was made public last month (apparently the incident happened last fall), McKevitt allegedly lifted the vending machine two feet off the floor and let it drop. At least seven times in all, in the Register's account.

He retrieved three candy bars from the machine after all was said and done. A supervisor confronted him, according to UPI. Five days later, the maker of snowmobiles and ATVs fired him.

How this all unfolded publicly is that McKevitt applied for unemployment benefits and didn't show up for the hearing on December 16, according to the Register. He was denied, with a judge citing a willful disregard for the interests of Polaris Industries.

"That machine was trouble," he told the paper. "They fired me, and now I hear they have all new vending machines there." Insult upon injury. Then again, at that point, maybe the machine needed replacing.

Image: Flickr user Chapendra
Tags: fired
Erik Sherman

Erik Sherman


Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman

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If he will vandalize the vendors equipment, he'll no doubt vandalize his employers equipment as well. They were right to fire him.
(Doing thousands of dollars of damage over a candy bar is jaw-dropping childishness)

February 26 2014 at 4:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Is this a 2nd person to do this in a week, or is the author of this article (Erik Sherman) a dumbass and posted the same article twice?

February 25 2014 at 5:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Is this guy allowed to breed?

February 25 2014 at 5:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I get my money back from the vending guy when the machine at work stiffs me. It seems to make a lot more sense than trashing the machine and then getting fired for it.

February 25 2014 at 2:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Jim Castro

Stupid over a $1.00 Now go apply for Health Care for your family. You think that candy bar was a problem


February 25 2014 at 1:27 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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