Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Boredom: A Photo Essay

One day, Brett decided to put on every harness he could find. Roger approved.

He then decided to clip in backwards.

And away he went.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Buckets of Beer and Touch Screen Trivia

The Hexagon Lounge, the Park's bar/restaurant, was a popular apres-shift destination during the winter seasons. One of the main draws was the Bucket of Beer. It retailed for $5 and was composed of five random bottles left over from Beerfests past. Sometimes there were gems stuffed in there, but more often, the bottles were merely (or barely) drinkable.

In addition to the cheap beer and good company, the bar had a touch-screen trivia machine. While my fellow drunks would watch football or try to best each other on the virtual skier video game, I would feed dollar after dollar into the machine. I soon became the reigning music and TV trivia queen of the Hex.

One evening, I walked in to find several members of the Park's security staff belly up to the bar. Ed, an older gentleman, was looking rather morose. When I asked what the matter was, he told me nothing. A few minutes later, he spun around on his stool and exclaimed, "You know, I don't have much. I've got a shitty job, no girlfriend. All I had was my TV trivia high score. And YOU took that from me!!"

Damn! I had no response to that. Ed spent the rest of the season trying to best my high score, though I don't think he ever did. In any case, the trivia machine, the ski game, the left over beer, and rest of the Hex perished a couple of years later, when the entire lodge burned to the ground.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I Dream of Mickey

I hope we're not giving the impression that it was all fun and wacky hijinks in polyester over there. We spent a lot of time being flat out miserable. It was usually brutally hot, everywhere you wanted to go was uphill both ways, and there wasn't even a comfortable staff lounge to eat in. You either had to eat in the cafeteria with guests who ignored that fact that you were on your lunch break and asked you a million questions, or you ate in the dank, dark "Pizza Cellar" that had all the charm of a dungeon. The only air-conditioned place was the office, and you only got to eat in there if you were on good terms with the O.B. (Office Bitch) and nobody else was around. (Note: Most of the O.B.s were lovely people who got their titles based on the fact that they worked in the only place that wasn't stifling.)

Sometimes, whilst in the depths of despair, we'd compare our lot to that of our bretheren in better theme parks.
"I heard at Disney they actually wash your uniforms for you."
"Yeah, and they make more than minimum wage."
"You know what I heard? I heard at Disney, they have this underground tunnel system so you can walk through the park to your position without being stopped by customers and then yelled at for being late."

It was pathetic, like something out of Orwell. We were like these overworked farm animals and Disneyworld was freakin' Sugar Candy Mountain. I mean, how depressed do you have to be to speak longingly of working for the Mouse?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Shake it off

One afternoon, I was working an Alpine Slide mid-station. Located near the bottom of the slide, the main purpose of the position was to assist riders who crashed on the way down. Radio traffic was slow for the day but that was about to change.

One of our special needs employees was working at another mid-station higher up the slide. He called over the open channel for the slide and shouted that he had witnessed a park patron urinating off of the chair lift which carried people to the top of the slide. (Bear in mind that the slide ran UNDER the lift.) Brett, the ride supervisor, asked, "did you actually see him going?" To which he answered, "No, I saw him shaking it off!"

The patron was confronted at the top of the slide, he response was that he needed to relive himself but neglected to do so before boarding the chair lift. The top ride attendants were dumbfounded by the man's honesty.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Dance of Work Joy

In addition to demonstrating how tremendously psyched we were to be at work that day, this photo also showcases the unflattering nature of the Park's uniforms. Those shirts? Poly-cotton blend. I don't recommend wearing them outside all day during high summer. Or ever, really. They're fucking hideous.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Action Never Stops

Here's another Park commercial from the 80s.


Prominently featured are the Aerodium and the Rock & Roll Show, both of which could be heard from the mid-stations on the Slide. The Aerodium was run by a crazy German guy who liked to yell things like, "Up, Up, UP! You fly first class!" over booming dance music. The Rock & Roll Show how was an oldies musical revue- Doo Wop, 60s Girl Groups, etc. sung with ENTHUSIASM. Fun for the whole family! If your family is boring.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

After the rain...

...came the task of drying the track of the Alpine Slide. The track was a slick fiberglass, so the job was tricky. How did we do it? Well, as you might imagine, the process was impressive and well thought-out.

First, we went to the Lost and Found and grabbed whatever beach towels had been left there by guests. Then, we rode the lift with carts and towels in tow. Once at the top of the slide, we positioned ourselves on the carts with one towel in front of us and one behind. Finally, we took off down the slick fiberglass track, doing our best to go slowly and avoid tangling the beach towels in the runners of our carts. (I think we steered with our knees.) And I believe we prayed, as well. Yes.

After one particularly violent storm, I was about halfway down the track when I had an almost very nasty run-in with Nature. I was so busy concerning myself with the fact that I'd already worn my beach towel bald so that it wasn't absorbing any more water, and that I was gradually picking up speed--very nerve-wracking, that--that I failed to notice the flock of wild turkeys just parked there on the tracks in front of me. What to do? I threw the useless towel aside, pulled up violently on the brake, all the while shrieking, "TURKEY! TURKEY! TURKEY!" at the top of my lungs. Well, these clever turkeys must've known I was talking about them, so they flew out of my path at the last possible second, in a very Hollywood-stunt-turkey manner.

Turkeys on the tracks, baby. What a great job.