Gaijin Smash

6 Circles of Hell

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on July 10, 2007

(By popular demand, here is the editorial about my worst job ever–ride operator at a Six Flags amusement park. As this editorial has nothing to do with Japan at all, it will probably be moved to Outpost Nine in the immediate future. Also, this is Part 1 of 3.)
Work sucks. That’s pretty much a given. The vast majority of us probably wouldn’t work if there was some way to just magically make money while sitting on the couch and watching Knight Rider reruns all day long. Unfortunately, there isn’t, at least not that I know of. Sometimes, you get lucky and you land a job that you actually like and don’t mind working. That’s awesome. But then, at least once in your life, you get a job that doesn’t just suck–no, it transcends the very concept of suck, bringing a whole new level of pain and suffering into your life. For me, this Job of Divine Suckosity was a ride operator at Six Flags, Marine World* in Vallejo, Ca one summer.
*Apparently, the park has since been renamed “Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.” New name, same brand of crap, I imagine.
But Az, you say, aren’t amusement parks places of fun and happiness? How could a job there bring so much misery and suffering? Grab a Snickers, because I’m about to educate you, and yes, you’re not going to be going anywhere for a while.
I worked in an area near the bay. A long, long time ago this place used to be called Marine World Africa USA and was mainly an animal theme park. There was a stadium near the bay which featured a dolphin show. However animals just ain’t what they used to be because the park wasn’t doing too well, especially with Great America not too far away. So Six Flags came in and began introducing more rides and roller coasters. Flipper and his pals were given das boot for a Batman Water Show. There were about three carnival-type rides behind the Batman show, and it was this area to which I was assigned.
You know though, however much I might complain about being a ride operator, it could have been worse. At least I wasn’t Batman. This wasn’t the Adam West Batman either, with the blue and gray pajamas and the drawn-on eyebrows. (Seriously, go take a look–we complain about nipples on the Schumacher Batsuit, but West had drawn on eyebrows. Holy Maybelline, classic Batman is a Japanese girl!) We’re talking Post-Burton Batman. Heavy, black rubber. I imagine this would be hot in any situation, but try to picture wearing this suit in a hot summer day in the California valley…Yeah.
There were three shows–11AM, 2PM, and 5PM–something like that. There’s one part in the show where Batman exits the stage and Bruce Wayne debuts. While Bruce is on stage Batman has to cross over to the other side of the stadium, which meant that he would run behind the stadium, which was right in front of one of the rides I regularly operated. As the day went on, you could see it taking its toll on poor Batman.
11AM Show
Kids: Hey look, it’s Batman!
Batman: Hey kids! I’m Batman. Remember, always stand for truth and justice, and eat your vegetables!
Kids: Cool, thanks Batman!
Me: Man, Bats sounds a lot like Superman these days…
Batman: Okay, I’m off to fight evil! See you again kids!
2PM Show
Kids: Hey look, it’s Batman!
Batman: (running considerably slower) Hey kids. I’m Batman. I’d love to talk, but I gotta run, Gotham needs saving and all.
Kids: Wow! Good luck Batman! Kick some ass!
Batman: Yeah, sure, bye-bye now.
5PM Show
Kids: Hey look, it’s Batman!
Batman: (Dragging what’s left of his oven-cooked remains behind the stage.) Yeah, yeah, I’m Batman, shut the fuck up and get out of my way.
Me: Okay, THAT’S the Batman I know.
The other problem with the Batman show was that it featured a soundtrack that sounded like 1960’s Batman meets porn. “It’s BAAAAAAAAAATMAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNN! WA-NA-NA-NA-NA-BOW-CHIKA-WOW-WOW!” I was subjected to this musical turd twice a day, six days a week, and I can safely say that had this not been just a summer job, at some point I would have stolen the Batman suit, and while wearing it, gone on a rampage at Six Flags headquarters, leaving a trail of blood and despair behind me until (if) I was finally stopped.


In this area, there were three rides that we were assigned to. By far the best was the train. It was a simple little tram that ran along the perimeter of the bay. The driver pretty much just pushed the lever forward to move the train. The second man sat in the back and made sure nobody started throwing things, projecting any bodily fluids or randomly breaking out into musical numbers. And that’s about it. There were no safety harnesses or anything like that, and the train pretty much loaded itself. The only real obstacle was that sometimes ducks would cross the train tracks, so the driver would have to stop the train and wait for them to clear out so that we didn’t cause irreparable psychological harm to all the kiddies by mangling Huey, Dewey and Louie. The park even gave us a water gun to help get the duckies moving. And c’mon, how great was this? Just sit on a train as it circled around the bay, with the breeze keeping you cool in the summer, and occasionally you get to super-soak a duck. Fucking awesome.
The second ride was the “Around the World” Ferris Wheel. If Lionel Hutz was still around, he’d sue Six Flags for fraudulent advertising because this was a pathetic little ferris wheel. “Around the Cul de Sac” would have been far more appropriate. This “ride” wasn’t necessarily bad, it was just tedious. As we had to load each car one at a time, it took forever to load and unload. The actual “riding” portion was only two to three revolutions, so all in all, it just wasn’t worth it. The ferris wheel always had a decent sized line though. I guess for the kids who couldn’t handle the big boy roller coasters and the parents who were getting tired of having their intestines turned inside out. For us ride operators, aside from the tediousness, there wasn’t much to hate about it. No unwanted body fluid spills (usually), no safety restrictions or harnesses, just load em up and send em round.
The wheel did at least give riders a nice bird’s eye view over the park. Not that there was much to see. Actually, I take that back. There was at least one bonus attraction that came with the ferris wheel. It was located next to a sea otter habitat, and at the top of the wheel, riders could look down into the habitat. On certain nights…when the moon was out and there was a certain hint of magic in the air, there was a very special show at Six Flags Marine World. I was operating the wheel, with a young girl as my second/backup. As I was rotating the ride, in one car, a mother was trying to cover the eyes of a young boy who seemed very excited.
Mother: (As the wheel is going by.) How many more iterations of this ride are there?
Me: Well, one or two.
Mother: Can you perhaps make it a bit shorter?
Me: Is there a problem?
Boy: The sea otters are loving each other!
Me, Girl: ……..?
Mother: It’s quite inappropriate for children. (Her car goes up to a point where conversation is now impossible.)
Girl: Do you suppose that boy meant the sea otters were having sex with each other?
Me: That’s what it looks like.
(Their car reaches the top again.)
Boy: Yeah! Go boy, go! Jump! Jump!
Me: What the fu-…
Girl: Man, I wanna see some sea otter sex!
Me: Well, just get on the wheel then. I’m not stopping you.
Girl: Sweet. Gonna see me some otter sex.
(The car comes back again.)
Mother: Is this ride almost finished?
Me: One more spin ma’am. Sorry about that.
Boy: All right, one more spin! Sea otter porn is so cool! I hope they’re still doing it!
Mother: Quiet you.
(Their car reaches the apex.)
Boy: Aw man! They’re sleeping now.
Girl: Damn, that was fast!
Me: C’mon, cut the man a break. He’s had a hard day doing tricks for people. Let him sleep. Let him sleep.
(The car comes back–time to unload.)
Me: Thank you for riding, and I’m very sorry about the extra show.
Mother: No no, I guess it’s just a part of nature, right?
Boy: Mom, can we come back tomorrow? And ride this ride?
Mother: Even if we did come back tomorrow, there’s no guarantee that THAT will happen again.
Boy: Aw, why not?
Me: (quietly) I agree with the kid.
The third and final ride, the pain-bringer, was the Starfish. A carnival ride, it’s a big disc that just spins around while gyrating on an axis. It was for this reason that we lovingly nicknamed the Starfish the “Puke-O-Matic 9000.” Given the wave movements and the rotations, that alone would be enough to have those with weak stomachs feeling a bit uneasy. But remember that this is a theme park–people have been shoveling funnel cakes and synthesized hot dogs and hamburgers and horse troughs of Diet Coke down their gullets. Their stomachs are already screaming, “Man, what the FUCK are you doing to me?! If you want to kill me, just drive a knife through me, spare me the slow and agonizing death!” And THEN they get on a ride that was designed to specifically induce vomit … stomachs are more than happy to oblige, and out comes the happy spew.
One of the MANY hidden job descriptions of an amusement park ride operator is that if a guest on your ride vomits … yeah, you’re the one who gets to clean it up.
Despite having other rides with fantastic drops, twists, turns, and Kobayashi Maneuvers, the Starfish had the reputation of being THE puke-ride in the park. Despite that, my whole first month, I never had to deal with any barf incidents. This was by no means a coincidence–I got really good at watching people’s faces as the ride went through its spins and gyrations. If I saw someone with even a HINT of puffer face, I stopped the ride and got them off immediately. You might think that this is interrupting the good fun of the other passengers, but I ask you which is more important–a three minute interruption in your ride, or hot acidic chunk of half-digested funnel cake smacking you in the face and ruining your summer polo shirt. I rest my case.
My Barf Sense was excellent. It got me through the whole first month and a half with zero incidents. But then one day, karma would come back and give me a swift punt right to the ass.
I came in to work one day for the afternoon closing shift, relieving some girl before me. I stood at the controls as she finished this iteration of the ride. As I stood there, I noticed something suspect in the corner of the ride area.
Me: Hey, what’s that over there?
Her: Over where?
Me: Right there on the left. In the corner, don’t you see?
Her: (pointing) Right there?
Me: Yeah, that’s it. What is that?
Girl : I dunno.
Me: Isn’t that…that looks like…isn’t that…a puddle of vomit?
Girl: Yeah, probably. (ride finishes) Well, I’m off-work now, catch ya later! (leaves)
Me: You bitch.
But wait, there’s more! On that very ride she finished, not one, not two, but THREE people got off and vomited. One of them got right off the ride and hurled immediately, this time in the right corner. One guy, bless his good heart, tried to vomit into a nearby trash can, but was only half-successful. One person got quite a ways down the parkway before finally just spewing right in the middle of it. So I’ve been at work for a grand total of five minutes, and aside from the normal suckitude of standing in 100+ degree heat to operate this ride, now I’ve got to clean up four separate puddles of puke. This job sucks monkey ass.
Normally, the Starfish is a one-operator ride. Sometimes though, we’re afforded a back-up, and this day I happened to have one. Seeing as how none of the barf was actually on the ride itself, we couldn’t close it down for clean-up. One of us would have to stay and operate the ride, while the other would go and clean up the spew. I played paper-rock-scissors with the back-up, and seeing as how I lost, I was forced to stay behind and continue operating the Starfish. No, that’s not a typo, the winner was the one who went to clean up the vomit. That’s just how bad operating the Starfish was.
The two puke puddles near the ride were easy enough. We had a solution we called “kitty litter,” which I think was just sawdust or something. It dried the vomit out, which let us sweep it up later. The garbage can incident was harder, as half of that puke was actually streaming down the can. Mr. Backup has to get some napkins and water and actually clean that off by hand. Theoretically, the parkway vomit should have been easy too. Theoretically.
But there’s something you have to understand first. The parkway is made of gravel. And this is the hottest part of a 100+ degree day. And the Parkway Puddle was the last incident that Mr. Backup got around to. Summer gravel is basically a frying pan–and then you had the vomit, the remains of some sugary synthesized gooey crap, chewed and sent down a digestive tract, where the stomach acids just began to break it all down until the Starfish send it, in its half broken-down state, rushing back up, where it was allowed to be COOKED AGAIN on the gravel for at least 10 minutes.
I shouldn’t have to tell you that this was the nastiest thing to have ever existed in the history of time.
Mr. Backup goes out to take care of it and as he closes in on it the stench nearly knocks him the fuck out. I’m not even joking about that, he staggered backwards as if he’d been hit by a Level 2 Corkscrew Blow or something. The stench was just that powerful. He motions to me–“C’mere, you gotta see this, this is a real ham-and-cheeser!” FUCK YOU I’m not going out there, that shit nearly killed you, and now you want me to experience it too? Fuck that shit son.
Mr. Back-Up comes back to the Starfish. His intention was to let the kitty litter soak up the puke for awhile before going out to sweep it up, but as it turns out, he didn’t have to sweep it up at all. All the people walking on the parkway, oblivious to the rancid puddle of regurgitated crap and sawdust beneath them, walked right through it, kicking it around to the point where it was just scattered about everywhere on the parkway. I dunno, maybe it’s a good thing people aren’t looking down when they walk? I think it wouldn’t hurt to look sometimes though, especially when it means avoiding nasty shit on the sidewalk.
Me and Mr. Backup watched this with a certain sense of poetic awe.
Backup: Look at em. Just walking right through the nasty ass spew.
Me: I guess ignorance really is bliss.
Backup: Oh man, look at that guy! He’s got a nice pair of Nike’s on! Even with the kitty litter I wouldn’t want to subject my Nike’s to that shit.
Me: And there’s a woman with heels. But why the fuck are you wearing heels to an amusement park anyway?
Backup: Oh no, wait, no, look at this–it’s a woman with a baby stroller–and she’s heading right for it!
Me: C’mon, look down, make a turn, stop, something, anything, for the baby man! For the baby!
Backup: No, she’s going straight, she’s gonna!
(The woman pushes the baby stroller right through the parkway vomit.)
Both: OH! NO! Not the baby! Oh!
The ‘Fish did have one redeeming quality. During the last part of the ride, it returns level to the ground, and just goes into a power spin before finishing. This power spin, essentially, is one huge fan. Now, the ride is programmed automatically–all we operators do is push the “Go” button, and keep our foot on a pedal designed to stop the ride if there’s no pressure on it. We found however that if we took our foot off for a split second and replaced it, we could switch the controls into manual. During the power-spin, it was easy enough to pull this trick to get the ride into manual, and then spin the ride for an extra minute or two for a pleasant cooling effect. Now, I know that in essence, this is subjecting 40 people to unnecessary centrifugal G-forces just so I can stay a few degrees cooler in the sun. I know, and I don’t give a flying fuck. It’s really flippin’ hot, and if I have to use you for my personal air conditioner, then I will. Nothing personal.
Most people didn’t even notice the extra length in time. Some people did, and thought it was awesome. Only a handful were suspicious about it.
Guest: (woozy) Man, that final part seemed longer than usual.
Me: Really? Huh, that’s weird.
Guest: You guys haven’t done anything to the ride, have you?
Me: Nope, it’s all automated. We just push the button.
Guest: Man…I’m feeling kinda loopy…
Me: We’re not really equipped to handle vomits here, ma’am, but if you’d like to stumble over to the Looney Tunes Seaport, the suckers–uh, I mean, the staff there would be happy to clean up your vomit or anything else that may emerge forcefully from your body.
Kids: Hey look, it’s Batman! Hi Batman!
Batman: Fuck you, and the horse you rode in on, you insolent little shit pieces.
Me: Man, only 5 o’clock? I’ve still got 6 hours left on this shift.
As this is getting long, I’m going to stop here for Part 1. I have yet to cover what really made this job suck–stupid people. You can look forward to that in the next installment. Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel.

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62 Responses

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  1. Anonimo Mexicano said, on July 10, 2007 at 2:47 am

    This sounds almost as bad as my previous job, bellhop. “Almost”.
    Now i never want to have kids, and i hate pools.

  2. Jester said, on July 10, 2007 at 3:10 am

    That is pretty horrible. Though currently I work in a cookie shop in a mall next to a Toys R Us. Sucks sheer ass.

  3. Shinkada said, on July 10, 2007 at 3:36 am

    “Fuck that shit son.”
    Well, for the few people who were still suspicious of whether Az is a large black man, there it is.
    Great entry, I read your stuff because you’re damn funny, not because of some window into Japanese culture. You really have the stuff to be a comedian – I’m not sure how you deal with stages and audiences, but if it’s not too bad you really should give it a shot.

  4. Osaka said, on July 10, 2007 at 4:27 am

    That was one long post.

  5. sylido said, on July 10, 2007 at 4:48 am

    Azrael is so fresh and clean 🙂

  6. El-Ahrairah said, on July 10, 2007 at 4:48 am

    Those of us who have worked for more then a day in the service industry can truly understand the constant thriving shit-fest that stupid people can create. I worked for krispy kreme a few years back, and people where always telling me that it would be “fun” and “easy”.
    Fuck them….
    No matter how easy the crap was, listening to 400 lb ogre women bitch about sprinkles 8 times a day just isn’t worth the paycheck. Also, why is it that people seem to forget how a public a restroom works and just shit ON and NEAR a toilet? And those where the chicks man…
    I still have an urge to Tiger Knee people in the jaw when they talk about getting doughnuts.
    Anyway, good post. Brought back repressed memories.

  7. Mayhem said, on July 10, 2007 at 6:16 am

    No matter what you turn your hand to Az, you make it absolutely fucking hilarious. The Sea Otter sex just about pushed me over the edge here in terms of tears streaming down my face :p
    Looking forward to part 2, where the suck will inevitably come in. My other half works the service industry as well (Quizno’s) so I get plenty of tales of asshat customers and dipshit employees at her store…

  8. Laafje said, on July 10, 2007 at 6:49 am

    Oh my.. now I truly understand the horrors that Six Flags workers have to go through.
    I always wondered why they never look happy. And now I’m talking about Dutch Six Flags workers, I can imagine it’s even worse in America. Rain all day is probably better than boiling sun all day.
    And of course, most important, more stupid people ( no offence, Americans ). But I believe we’ll hear about that in the next post.

  9. Fëaluinix said, on July 10, 2007 at 9:01 am

    (from the Wikipedia article on Six Flags Discovery Kingdom)
    Past Rides/Attractions
    * Starfish – A circular ride located near Ski Stadium. The ride was removed after two accidents sent people to the hospital after being thrown from the ride. The ride area is now used to display Toyota Vehicles.
    So that’s fun.

  10. C said, on July 10, 2007 at 9:18 am

    El-Ahrairah: I think you found it was only the women because they’re generally disgusted (probably cause people DO shit on the toilet) of sitting on a toilet, so they do some sort of aircraft bombing run and slightly miss.
    and then other women do the same! it’s a never-ending circle 😦

  11. Anonymous said, on July 10, 2007 at 9:32 am

    I have had the horrid almost poetic pleasure of working in the service industry…….my whole fucking life! Probably the worst was working in a deli at a grocery store. The rotting food, the stupid ass customers,the greasy bust your ass five times a day floors, and being the only male in the department the perverted old ladies talking about sex and fondling certain vegetables as if they were their first prom date. I cannot stress enough that while entertaining they were not terribly attractive and on more than one occasion while making bad penis jokes would look directly at me. The token young man. What? How does your longing for the cock involve me you crone? You sure as hell aren’t getting mine! I never felt like running in terror so much as in that job.

  12. Anonymous said, on July 10, 2007 at 9:32 am

    I have had the horrid almost poetic pleasure of working in the service industry…….my whole fucking life! Probably the worst was working in a deli at a grocery store. The rotting food, the stupid ass customers,the greasy bust your ass five times a day floors, and being the only male in the department the perverted old ladies talking about sex and fondling certain vegetables as if they were their first prom date. I cannot stress enough that while entertaining they were not terribly attractive and on more than one occasion while making bad penis jokes would look directly at me. The token young man. What? How does your longing for the cock involve me you crone? You sure as hell aren’t getting mine! I never felt like running in terror so much as in that job.

  13. GringoDownSouth said, on July 10, 2007 at 11:32 am

    This post seemed a bit long and I’m still not exactly sure why it was such a horrible, horrible job. You should watch “Dirty Jobs”, now THAT guy goes through some extreme situations.
    Very entertaining, though, and funny as always. I’ll be looking forward to part II.

  14. Eclipse said, on July 10, 2007 at 11:33 am

    Az man, I’m your brother in pain. I worked at Six Flags Astroworld here in Houston (obviously before it shutdown). But if you wanna talk barf, I have 2 words for you… Texas Twister. It was basically a corkscrew only roller coster with loops. Dubbed by us operators “Apallo 13”. Remember how in the movie when the guy takes a piss and looks at it float into space as it spirals? Same effect, just chunkier. Same 100+ degree heat, but with 100% humidity too. Although it was a sort of awesomeness when puker became the pukie. That, at least, we didn’t have to clean up.
    Zero

  15. Daan said, on July 10, 2007 at 11:36 am

    Bwahahaa! That was absolutely hilarious!!! Looking forward to part 2!

  16. commodorejohn said, on July 10, 2007 at 11:57 am

    Oh, wow. I remember visiting when it was still Marine World Africa USA…it was a lot of fun back then. Sorry to hear it’s just another friggin’ amusement park now.

  17. Anonymous said, on July 10, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    I love your posts, but this was one of the more well-written ones. Can’t wait for the conclusion.

  18. Anonymous said, on July 10, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    I love your posts, but this was one of the more well-written ones. Can’t wait for the conclusion.

  19. Kohaku said, on July 10, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    *wiping the tears away*
    Thanks Az….yes, all service industry jobs suck ass. I was a manager at Blockbuster (no I did NOT give anyone late fees….although I wish I had),worked in the ATL airport (the things Ive seen….*shudders*) but I worked in the cafeteria at UNIVERSITY…THAT is a fucked up job….literally making over 500 pizzas a day……on the upside, I never had to clean up vomit…..looking forward to part 2.

  20. Colin said, on July 10, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    I will say that as bad as my job (waiter) can be sometimes, at least I’ve never had to clean up vomit. I get all kinds of drinks and salad dressings spilled on me every single shift, but you get used to that after a while (which is depressing to realize). And I completely agree about the Batman suit; I always wondered if whoever had to wear those costumes at amusement parks were employees who had done something incredibly horrible to deserve it.
    Oh, and Kohaku: I was a CSR at Blockbuster, too, before I took this job. The worst things about the Blockbuster job were 1) stupid people, though we used to screw with their heads, 2) stupid co-workers (since it is almost impossible to get fired from Blockbuster unless you’re stealing stuff), and 3) the fact that the Blockbuster corporation seems to be run from Bizarro World (seriously, are they all mentally retarded? Because that would explain so much). Quick Blockbuster-related story, because everyone I tell this to seems to enjoy this one:
    It’s my first day working at Blockbuster, and I go to help the very first customer I’ve ever helped. I go through our whole usual spiel, ask them for their card, scan it (with our craptacular scanners that haven’t worked right since 1994), and then I see that the guy has a $16 late fee (this was back in the days when we were still charging them…I was there for a while). So I tell him, “sir, you know you have a $16 late fee,” “yeah, yeah, I know” and then the guy takes his backpack and drops it on the counter.
    I’m pretty sure the sound that thing made as it hit the counter will be the last thing I hear before I die. It was this odd metallic thump-CLANG sound that confused the hell out of me until he opened it up. The bag was FILLED-not half-filled, not mostly-filled, COMPLETELY filled-with nickels. He then proceeds to start counting out $16 worth of nickels on the counter as I stand there with a total deer-in-the-headlights look. Remember; this is my first job ever, my first day, and my first customer. I have NO idea what the hell to do. Luckily my manager bailed me out, but…wow.

  21. Scytrin said, on July 10, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    As an employee at Paramount’s Great America in Santa Clara, I feel you. I recently changed departments from rides to plumbing, just so I would have to deal with less shit on a day to day basis.

  22. Nick said, on July 10, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    Dude, I was a game host at Six Flags here for 3 months. I know ENTIRELY what you’re going through. Except I had to deal with stupid people AND their money. A 10-20lb money belt..khaki pants and TWO shirts in a hot and humid Kentucky summer. People seem to lose the ability to READ when they enter amusement parks. Seriously..I had a BIGASS sign like 3ft above my head that described EVERYTHING..how much it costs..what you win..and all sorts of other junk. 90% of the people (no joke on that) didn’t read the sign..about 5% of the remaining 10% read the sign and asked me anyway. I loathed this job with an extreme hatred.

  23. chaosrainz said, on July 10, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    “Despite that, my whole first month, I never had to deal with any barf incidents. This was by no means a coincidence–I got really good at watching people’s faces as the ride went through its spins and gyrations. If I saw someone with even a HINT of puffer face, I stopped the ride and got them off immediately.”
    Early training to develop kancho spidey senses?

  24. J said, on July 10, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    “Level 2 Corkscrew Blow”
    Fancy yourself a Dudley player, Az? 😄

  25. Fabrune said, on July 10, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    Wow, I almost busted a gut laughing at this. I really should stop reading this blog while I’m at work, ’cause it’s only a matter of time before I burst out laughing in front of my boss. I co-worker just caught me.
    Hmmm, after reading this humorous, yet pitiful, tale of theme park servitude, does this mean that you have found a whole new level of appreciation for theme park/entertainment workers? Or are you scarred for life and never visit theme parks and such anymore?
    *This blog is awesome. This is my first time in three years of readership that I’ve commented.

  26. not a doktor said, on July 10, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    “at some point I would have stolen the Batman suit, and while wearing it, gone on a rampage at Six Flags headquarters, leaving a trail of blood and despair behind me until (if) I was finally stopped.”
    nah-nah-nah-nah BLACKman

  27. Lissou said, on July 10, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    Yeah that sucks. Although my mother, as a doctor, had to spend her first 3 years in the hospital as “the newbie” (or one of them at least). in other wortds, she was still studying and wasn’t a doctor yet. I think you can guess who they’d call to wash the vomit (or what went out from the other way), to clean a hobo that needed some part of them to be sewed up, all that while having 20-hour long shifts and being paid minimum wage. I didn’t mention the “cleaning the blood” part, because it was easier and didn’t stink.
    Oh, also… If you have someone who throws up in a close space, like, say, a waiting room, I’m sure you can guess what will happen to the other people, especially if you consider that as they are in a hospital, they’re probably already feeling sick… so yeah, one person throwing up would easily mean 10 people throwing up.
    I’ll never understand why people want to be doctors -_-‘. (Although i’m not blaming them. i nead people to heal/cure me, and someone has to do it.)

  28. Gorm said, on July 10, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    Yeaa any job dealing with the public sucks.

  29. Gabe said, on July 10, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    Aww, now I have to listen about stupid people being stupid?
    Now that just sucks, I mean how can I ever find sick joy at Az having to deal with the lowest common denominator?
    How will I ever enjoy this?

  30. Mutch said, on July 10, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    You talk about karma kicking you in the ass alot. Im no expert but doesn’t that mean it repaying you for bad things? Is it really karma or some other cosmic force?

  31. Anonymous said, on July 10, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    damn Az i can relate, mini golf, go karts, delicatessan, and radio have all taught me about pain in the ass customers.
    and i’ve only had to deal with pukers once thankfully.

  32. Anonymous said, on July 10, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    damn Az i can relate, mini golf, go karts, delicatessan, and radio have all taught me about pain in the ass customers.
    and i’ve only had to deal with pukers once thankfully.

  33. Anonymous said, on July 10, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    lol Az I’m from San Jose, so I actually know about the places you are talking about.

  34. Anonymous said, on July 10, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    lol Az I’m from San Jose, so I actually know about the places you are talking about.

  35. DunnDeegan said, on July 10, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    It gets worse than cleaning puke in the heat. Sweet. This makes me feel better about my job tenfold. Although, I do enjoy talking to my brilliant co-teacher for 8 hours a day.
    Start of conversation:
    Her: “Some teachers saw you and your friends on the weekend.”
    Me: “Oh yeah, who saw us?”
    Her: “SAUCE???”
    Me: “Yup, Sauce! have a good weekend!”
    Not much longer now…

  36. Jake Campbell said, on July 10, 2007 at 11:37 pm

    I’ve noticed that a job where you clean up other people’s messes ( a lawyer, a restaurant dish-washer, a janitor ) makes you get a good sense of hatred for humanity pretty fast. Was that how it was for this job?

  37. Q said, on July 10, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    Haven’t been on your site for a few months now, last time was probably somewhere around the end of last year. And I’d like to say your writing has REALLY improved.
    From an average of 3-4 chuckles per posting we’re up to a full scale coffee-dip-for-my-boss’-expensive-plasma-screen per posting (I’ll send you the bill) with an added bonus of potential pants-pissing hilarity.
    Keep up the good work!
    (Az’s Note: Thank you.)

  38. Sol said, on July 11, 2007 at 12:19 am

    I always wondered who had to clean up the vomit…
    I once went to an empty amusement park with some cousins, and since there were no people there- well, very, very few- imagine a ratio of two operators per customer that day- and to allivieate thier boredom, or perhaps to give us few customers a treat, the operators let each ride go on for 20-30 minutes. I went on one that sounds like the Starfish. *shudder* Worst half hour ever. We had to hang on to the bars in front of us- old, old ride, no seat belts, and I was small- and I was so so dizzy. I wanted to yell to get off, but was afraid that I would throw up.
    When the ride stopped, I got off, and the operator helped me to a bench while my cousins went off to the next ride, telling me, ‘it was fun, no?’, and pressing a lollipop in my hand. I was too woozy to answer, and after about twenty minutes I threw up (in a trash can). I saw the reason for the lollipop then, and now knowing that the operators are the ones who clean up vomit, the reason I was carefully positioned next to a trash can while my cousins gleefully went on to the next ride becomes clear. Trauma, trauma.
    Ah, memories.

  39. LoR said, on July 11, 2007 at 12:53 am

    My only high school job was as a courtesty clerk (bagger/janitor/gofer) and later a cashier at Kroger. The high school students worked evenings so we’d get the pleasure of cleaning the store. Most of it was just running a mop or broom over the store and men’s bathroom, but the women’s…
    One of the most horrifying sights I’ve ever seen. The toilet and top of the seat was kinda splotched with red and brown shades from afar, which was gross enough, but then you lift the seat and look at the bottom of it… “HOW THE HELL IS THAT FULLY COVERED?!”

  40. J-hoosier said, on July 11, 2007 at 8:09 am

    “I think it wouldn’t hurt to look sometimes though, especially when it means avoiding nasty shit on the sidewalk.”
    This is why I slouch when I walk. It’s easier to make sure I don’t step in dog poo or whatever the hell else some jerk has left on the sidewalk.

  41. Matt said, on July 11, 2007 at 10:49 am

    You haven’t had a shitty job until you’ve had a job actually dealing with shit. McDonalds + Playland + non-toilet-trained kids with no diapers = the entire staff playing “pass the buck” until some poor manager gets landed with the job of cleaning the shit up.. So much for “ascending the corporate ladder” at McDonalds.

  42. RecurveHawk said, on July 11, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    I remember Marine World and Great America in Santa Clara… I grew up in between the two parks in the East Bay. A friend of mine used to be a ride operator at Great America and she also told me all these horror stories about cleaning up puke. My hat off to you for surviving crappy jobs and telling some of the best stories! I don’t think I could handle amusement park rides anymore, the last time on a spinning Starfish-style ride a few years ago made me really desperate to find a toilet or other barf receptacle…
    Suddenly being a pesticide chemist in a factory in the slums next to the dog food factory with engineers who didn’t understand metric units and a senile co-worker who was a walking safety hazard (he’d drink tap or de-ionized water with a beaker that he had just done an arsenic analysis on earlier no matter what we did or told him!) doesn’t sound so crappy!

  43. Shaun said, on July 11, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    you know at least you got paid, in my worst job, when all was set and done, I found I LOST money doing that job, combine that with the fact its something i’m really unconformable with (door-to-door salesman) the job was like rocky using your ball sack as a speed bag.

  44. Prodigal Priest said, on July 11, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    “The ‘Fish did have one redeeming quality. During the last part of the ride, it returns level to the ground, and just goes into a power spin before finishing. This power spin, essentially, is one huge fan. Now, the ride is programmed automatically–all we operators do is push the “Go” button, and keep our foot on a pedal designed to stop the ride if there’s no pressure on it. We found however that if we took our foot off for a split second and replaced it, we could switch the controls into manual. During the power-spin, it was easy enough to pull this trick to get the ride into manual, and then spin the ride for an extra minute or two for a pleasant cooling effect. Now, I know that in essence, this is subjecting 40 people to unnecessary centrifugal G-forces just so I can stay a few degrees cooler in the sun. I know, and I don’t give a flying fuck. It’s really flippin’ hot, and if I have to use you for my personal air conditioner, then I will. Nothing personal.”
    I would’ve done the same exact thing in your shoes 😀 . No harm, no foul.

  45. nanja monja said, on July 11, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    “I dunno, maybe it’s a good thing people aren’t looking down when they walk? I think it wouldn’t hurt to look sometimes though, especially when it means avoiding nasty shit on the sidewalk.”
    They would have looked down if they were french! We have so much disgusting stuff to avoid when walking on the streets here ^^

  46. Justanothermom said, on July 11, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    Wow, there’s a lot of us from the Bay Area reading this blog! I grew up in Santa Clara County, and lived in Los Altos, Milpitas, Sunnyvale, Cupertino and Mountain View before moving to So Cal.
    You say they got rid of Flipper and his pals? Say it ain’t so! Does that mean they got rid of the seal pen as well? I used to love to go to the sardine/minnow vending machine and get “goodies” to toss to them from the bridge.
    BTW, Eclipse? I don’t think the humidity you had to deal with was much different than what is experienced on the Northern California coast. Nasty stuff!!!!
    Someone commented that it’s now called Paramount’s Great America. When did it change? I remember it being Marriott’s! (P.S. – I loved the view from that double-decker merry-go-round!)

  47. Wayland said, on July 11, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    “Das boot!” – Beerfest

  48. Shamie said, on July 11, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    My worst job = Dishwasher at a truck stop diner. Smelly fat male truckers hitting on me, people blaming ME for the gas prices, not being a dishwasher and being more like a dishwasher/janitor/cashier/prep-cooker/hostess/waitress and not getting tips, being hit on by the 43 year old fat male cook who still lived with his parents, working up to 35 hours a week during highschool and with NO BREAKS. Loaaaaaath.

  49. Patrick said, on July 11, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    Ah yes, the service industry. I worked in the cafeteria at my dorm in college. So they weren’t giving me money, I still had to clean up their messy shit. Especially the fuckers who liked to pour their drinks out on the tray, soak a stack of napkins in ketchup and Kool-Aid, or any of the other number of gross shit they pulled.
    I eagerly await the second half.

  50. Adalric said, on July 12, 2007 at 3:34 am

    I really don’t get the way people act sometimes. Think about it; look how many replys were from people that work or worked in the customer service industry. It’s hard to not get a job in that line of work in life. Now, if you have a sense of respect for other human beings, I’m sure that most people will try to minimize the agony deposited on the unfortunate employee. After all, most of us have been on the other side of the counter, right? Yet we still get the jackasses, who have probably done the same job we have, making our days miserable. Never ceases to amaze and disgust me.

  51. Anonymous said, on July 13, 2007 at 7:59 am

    Damn man. i used to work at marine world as well before it turned into that animal kingdom bullshit. I was a ride operator/cleaning bitch for the ride Boomerang. Anyway that ride was always down for repair so I spent the majority of my summer cleaning the damn thing. As you described it so well, it went beyond suckage. I got so little hours that I actually LOST MONEY instead of making it.

  52. Anonymous said, on July 13, 2007 at 7:59 am

    Damn man. i used to work at marine world as well before it turned into that animal kingdom bullshit. I was a ride operator/cleaning bitch for the ride Boomerang. Anyway that ride was always down for repair so I spent the majority of my summer cleaning the damn thing. As you described it so well, it went beyond suckage. I got so little hours that I actually LOST MONEY instead of making it.

  53. FlyingFish said, on July 14, 2007 at 12:04 am

    I lived in the vicinity of Marine World back when Six Flags had nothing to do with it… moved out around 1990, came back to visit in 2003 or so and checked out the place to discover the coasters had taken over. I miss the orcas…

  54. Rachel said, on July 15, 2007 at 1:07 am

    HAHA! Wooow.
    Let me tell you something, Az. I’m fourteen years old, and a few weeks back I was hired as a summer student at my dad’s copyright firm working in the library updating books and pulling files in the basement. (A.K.A. “The Dungeon”.) The people that named it that weren’t kidding. One day, as I was peacefully filing papers for my boss in the nice quiet library, she comes upstairs and tells me that another summer student has taken the week off, so now I have to do her job AND mine. WOW. So anyway she takes me down to the lobby and instead of pressing the “down” button for the other five elevators (which were beautiful), she pushes this other little button on the opposite wall. All of a sudden the sixth elevator opens and we step in. The walls were covered with these ratty old blankets, and the ceiling was covered with mold. (This was quite a surprise for me, considering the comparison between this shithole and the nice chrome-plated elevators on the same floor.) So we get down there, and we’re walking down this hallway lined with like, white steel doors :S To me it looked alot like a bunch of storage units, but anyway. We walk in one of the wretched doors and theres these two thirty-something guys sitting there eating sandwiches and their both looking at me and my boss like, “WTF?!” So all she says is, “You will now be working for these two gentlemen on top of working your shift in the Library.” So she leaves and these guys are looking at me, and one of them says something like, “Here are some files, put them in numerical order throughout the filing system, then go get the no-finds from Janet.” And I’m just like, “Well what do you guys do?” And they said “We go get some lunch.” So they leave me in this creepy place with the lights flickering, and I’m listening to the radio while I’m doing my job and the DJ starts talking about ouiji boards, and at this point im scared shitless.
    Let me just inform you, I quit that job the next day. Which is a shame since I was making $10.00 an hour.
    Oh well, at least there wasn’t any vomit involved. [Well, almost none ;)]

  55. Amega said, on July 15, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    I work at a Red Lobster as a waitress and hooooly shit the messes people make. I run a 3-table section most days, and today I had 2 simultaneous tables with children. It was a shower of snot-covered napkins, french fries, and pieces of cheddar biscuits by the end of their meal. Which, if it’s your section, you have to clean.
    It blows.

  56. daredesho-? said, on July 17, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    mae no yatsunimo comment shitawatashidesu ♪
    e-mail machgattemashita, suimasenn. (-_-;;)
    otter sex, haha. zettai kimazuishi. meccha az kawaisou x_x demo cho- omoroi!
    another awesome post, az daisuki! x]

  57. Dave D. said, on July 18, 2007 at 1:04 am

    Dude, good article, I didn’t even mind that it wasn’t japan related, it was still hilarious. Oh man, super soaking ducks? That’s my new life goal right there.

  58. Sam Penninpaw said, on July 22, 2007 at 4:40 am

    We who were employed in Amusement Park Hell salute you!

  59. Anonymous said, on August 5, 2007 at 3:22 am

    Hey, I actually live pretty close to that park! And that place…it’s been renamed to “Discovery Kingdom.” I loathe that name, but seeing that it hasn’t been about the animals in a decade…*le sigh*

  60. Anonymous said, on August 5, 2007 at 3:22 am

    Hey, I actually live pretty close to that park! And that place…it’s been renamed to “Discovery Kingdom.” I loathe that name, but seeing that it hasn’t been about the animals in a decade…*le sigh*

  61. Cho-Gaijin said, on August 14, 2007 at 1:02 am

    Balrog’s got one hell of a hit, don’t he?

    If you’re keeping yourself cool, but having to clean up vomit all day, it’s kinda a trade-off, I think.

  62. Some Punk Kid said, on June 6, 2008 at 1:03 am

    Damn! I went to that place so many times from when I was two to now. I’ll let you know that I’ve been on that ride and never puked. xD But wow… I’m never going to work at an amusement park!


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