January 09, 2005

Unhappy vending

Okay, Gawker. You may have an insider at Conde Nast letting slip that James Truman is leaving the organization, or that the Conde Nast cafeteria is changing its hamburger buns. Big whoop. I've got a scoop on a totally "inside" story: three Conde Nast employees robbed of their hard-earned money thanks to a careless oversight by a company insider. Read on for the boring story that I managed to come up with a seamy-sounding lede for!

As you know, the Conde Nast building is very posh, and therefore every floor is stocked with a snack machine that offers both candy bars and soda. (This is New York, man! No room for separate candy machines and soda machines!) The sodas are dispensed from the bottom of the machine...


...and are stored behind this latched door just above.


Every so often, however, the guy who refills the machine will not latch the soda cabinet solidly enough, and the door will fall open, hitting the Plexiglas front of the machine.


This means that if you want to buy, say, a package of Pop-Tarts...


...you will be thwarted.



Here's a better look at the mayhem behind the door.


But wait! What's that down at the other end of the machine?


Apparently this luckless would-be snacker would've been left unfulfilled whether the soda latch had failed or not.


Now, I took all the previous photos on Thursday morning. (The pictures of the non-screwed-up vending machine were taken of a different machine, for comparison purposes.) On Friday at half past noon, I still had my camera in my backpack and was thus able to document that another person had failed to notice the wall of soda that lay between snacks and gratification.


At this point I really thought the story was over. But four and a half hours later, I discovered that poor observational skills had struck again.


Here's a sorta-panoramic shot of the full catastrophe.


I just have no idea how people manage not to notice a massive obstruction in the middle of a vending machine. I mean, unless you have memorized the fact that a Twix bar is C5, you need to actually look through the window of the machine before typing in your candy bar code, at which point one would imagine that the pile of sodas would become evident. (Especially since, as you'll note if you look at that last picture again, the Twix bar -- and the Snackwells cookies, for that matter -- are dispensed from directly above the trouble area.) Mysterious. Perhaps low blood sugar causes tunnel vision.

Posted by Francis at 03:34 AM | TrackBack

Now THAT is comedy. I wouldn't bet against the refill guy doing that on purpose and then setting up a small spy camera to monitor the ensuing hilarity.

Posted by: Tyler at January 9, 2005 08:56 AM

Ha ha ha -- I've seen this happen all the time here! Though on some floors soda and candy machines are separate, FYI.

Posted by: Nas T at January 10, 2005 10:33 AM

Those must be the fancy floors. I bet the New Yorker gets both.

Posted by: Francis at January 10, 2005 10:37 AM

Good job. That's worth a Kit-Kat and a Mountain Dew for that report.

Posted by: Kevin at January 10, 2005 11:10 AM

It's an evil plot by the Conde Nasties to make everyone in the building thin!

Posted by: PoohBear at January 10, 2005 01:32 PM

Actually, my brother-in-law does this all the time. He looks after 120 machines a week and every once in a while will leave the soda window open on purpose. All the snacks that fall into the open window are no longer counted as inventory, so he can pocket them, as they have been paid for.

Posted by: Reslo at January 10, 2005 03:28 PM


Posted by: kate at January 11, 2005 09:23 AM