A Rollercoaster Of Emotions

, , , , , | Right | February 18, 2021

I’m a ride operator at an amusement park. Most coasters require a height of 4’0”. It assures that the rider will be safely secured through the ride. A little girl comes up with her mom and I notice that she’s extremely small so I kindly ask her to exit the train before take-off and stand against the measurer to make sure she’s riding safely.

Me: “Hey! Could I have you take a quick stand against the post here to check your height?”

Mother: “Don’t do it.”

She looks away from me.

Me: “Hmm, all right, ma’am. I’ll just need to measure her to make sure it’s safe for her to ride. Otherwise, I can’t let the train take off.”

Mother: “I said no! Get out of my face!”

It’s 104°F out, I’m in full “cowgirl” attire, and I’m just trying to get through the day. I’m sweaty, I’m tired, and I’m annoyed. I have my dispatcher release the hand bars and everyone sighs. The woman pulls hers and her daughter’s back down. Again, I have them released.

Me: “Ma’am, we can do one of two things. I can measure your child and we can move on from this, or I can shut down the coaster, call security, and have you escorted from the park.”

Mother: “Get off the d*** train, go stand on your tippy-toes like I told you, and hurry up!”

The child is very visibly about a head too short to ride.

Me: *Talking to them both* “I’m so sorry, but it doesn’t look like you’re quite tall enough! We can have your adults take turns and I can help by getting you in through the exit to a ride of your choice that you can safely ride!”

My life flashed before my eyes and all I saw was the child’s mom jumping out of the train and straight at me. She grabbed my hair, started yanking on my suspenders, and screamed like a wild woman. I had to literally kick her off of me for trying to keep her kid safe!

Eventually, security got there and pulled her away and escorted her out… through the employee back lot. I’d say I was surprised, but it’s even more surprising how many people put their kids at risk for a short ride.

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