We were at a rest area near Baker City, Oregon on Monday and Jeremy tried to buy something from a vending machine. It ate his money. We were hot and annoyed and travel-weary; it felt right to be petty and call the maintenance phone number listed on the machine.
A nice lady answered and, after collecting information about the location of the malfunctioning machine, assured me that she would send a repair guy out there within a few days. And in that moment, in my mind I was like, "um, my concern is not for the integrity of the vending machine and its ensured successful operation for future travelers. My concern is that it ate my money and I am now two dollars poorer than and still as thirsty as before."
What I said out loud was, "what about my two dollars?" I felt SO PETTY in that moment. And yet.
She said we could stop by the bottling plant (?) ourselves to collect it, or they'd mail it. I gave her my parents' address. For all I know, she wrote it down and then immediately threw it away. We may never get that money, but at least we saved future travelers the annoyance of having their two dollars stolen. I mean, probably. Maybe vending machines at rest areas are all a racket. Who knows?