Man fired for trying to shake vending machine candy loose with a forklift

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Man fired for trying to shake vending machine candy loose with a forklift

By Phyllis Stark. CREATED Feb 26, 2014

An Iowa man was fired for trying to retrieve a stuck snack from a vending machine . . . with a forklift!

“Robert McKevitt of Spirit Lake was working the second shift at Polaris Industries’ warehouse in Milford when he decided to break for a snack last fall,” reports the Des Moines Register
“He says he deposited $1 in a vending machine, selected a 90-cent Twix bar, and then watched as the candy bar crept forward in its slot, began its descent and was abruptly snagged by a spiral hook that held it suspended in midair.”
Frustrated, he put in another dollar, but the machine didn’t budge. After exhausting the customary stuck vending machine protocols—banging on the side and trying to rock it back and forth—McKevitt, 27, did what any reasonable person would do. He “commandeered an 8,000-pound forklift, according to state unemployment compensation records.”
“He reportedly drove up to the vending machine, lifted it two feet off the concrete warehouse floor — then let it drop,” the Register reports. “He allegedly repeated the maneuver at least six times, by which time three candy bars had fallen into the chute for his retrieval.”
When confronted by a supervisor, McKevitt allegedly explained—in what we’re sure was a reasonable tone—that he was simply trying to get what he’d paid for.
Five days later, he was out of a job.
Then things get worse for him.
“In a ruling that became public last month, a state administrative law judge denied his claim for unemployment benefits, saying McKevitt had demonstrated a willful disregard for his employer’s interests,” according to the Register.
McKevitt, meanwhile, claims he never lifted and dropped the vending machine. Rather he explained to the Register, “after shaking the machine to retrieve the elusive Twix bar, he used his forklift to move it back in place against the wall.”
His excuse?
“That machine was trouble,” he said.
Phyllis Stark

Phyllis Stark

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Phyllis Stark is the Digital Executive Producer - National Content for Scripps Media.