Friday, July 25, 2008

That's Not in the Handbook

When I tell people I worked at the Park's Bungee Tower, one of their first questions is always, "So, how many people died on that ride?" When I tell them none, and that there were rarely even any injuries on the ride, they are both dubious and, dare I say it? Disappointed.

We would often assure nervous patrons that they were at one of the safest rides in the Park. Which isn't necessarily the most comforting thing they could hear, based on the Park's reputation, but it was the truth.

Over the course of my tenure at the Park, I worked in 6 different departments. The only time I ever received any real training when I worked at the tower. It was certainly the only time I ever received a 20-page manual detailing standard operating and emergency procedures. Everything on the tower was checked and double checked every morning before we opened. Three people checked each patron's harness before they jumped. We kept logs on cord use and retired them promptly. There were rules, and we knew them. Which isn't to say that we always followed them ourselves:

To be fair, the manual didn't specify that you COULDN'T jump from the tower strapped into your snowboard, but it's probably safe to assume that it would have been frowned upon.