Plunderin’ Vikings

Sometimes I’m curious if certain businesses understand the concept of supply and demand – particularly the notion of “demand.” In other words: if something sells out in a short amount of time, wouldn’t you assume that it was something worth restocking? Would it sell out if nobody wanted it?

At the relay center we are blessed to have a company called Viking Vending fill our two soda machines, one for cans and one for bottles. Our bottle machine is brand new: it holds about the same amount of bottled beverages as the two it replaced, and when it was delivered we stood around in a circle marveling at the new and varied selection of drink stuff enclosed inside.

It truly was wonderful. We now had our choice of Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew or Dr. Pepper (regular and diet of all varieties,) Sierra Mist, the obscure Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi – even Gatorade, Red Bull, or Dole juices for those who shied away from soda. The crowning jewel in this collection, for me at least, was Diet Cherry Coke.

“Hooray!” I thought. “I can get some tasty diet soda at work anytime!”

I was so wrong.

It took only three days for the Diet Cherry Coke to run out. I was not dismayed – I figured that a great seller like that would be replaced in no time.

I came back later that week to find something else in it’s place. Sunkist.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I said to myself (and, coincidentally, the others in the break room.)

Where is the logic in that? The best selling soda in the entire group is replaced? Wha??

Viking still had yet to pull out all the stops. In the upcoming weeks, I switched my soda of choice to Diet Sierra Mist. This would be no problem; I assumed I’d just substitute this for my Diet Cherry Coke until it returned.

A few days later, I looked again. The Diet Sierra Mist was replaced — replaced with regular Sierra Mist. More specifically, a line of Sierra Mist with one bottle of Mountain Dew Code Red placed in front of it – rendering the bottles of Sierra Mist worthless lest you purchase the Code Red first.


Also, two more holes had opened. Both were soon filled with more Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi and Sunkist, two sodas that so far nobody has purchased in their first spots.

We’ve got only one spot each for Dr. Pepper and Diet Dr. Pepper, but we’ve got two spots each for Sunkist and Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi? Are these guys morons? Or did they only have six bottles of Diet Cherry Coke in the entire warehouse – the six in the machine when it was delivered?

I am so distraught about this.

I need help.

This was lovingly handwritten on September 16th, 2005