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Spray Away From The Customers

, , , , , , , | Right | June 24, 2022

I work at a theme park. I’m stationed at the bumper boats, and it’s very close to closing time.  We have twelve boats total. Our bumper boats have squirters that are very easy to accidentally trigger. I’m the only person working the ride because my partner was pulled to help with sweep. These are my last few customers before I can sign out and go home. This is all one big group.

The bell rings, signaling the end of the round.

Me: “All right, people, let’s come back to the dock! Please stop spraying!”

Most customers are coming back to the dock and being patient with me as I run around and hook up their boats as quickly as possible. One customer cannot figure out how to direct her boat back and is just spinning in circles attempting to navigate.

Me: “Miss, please let go of your ‘go’ button! I can help you get back!”

I’m raising my voice slightly as she’s a fair distance away and the motors can be loud. A kid sprays me.

Me: “Hey, can you please not spray me? I don’t enjoy being wet.”

I get sprayed by another kid.

Me: “Hey, let’s make sure our hands are off our spray buttons, please!” *Raises my voice* “Okay, miss, can you point the arrow on top of your engine at me?”

The customer starts spinning in circles again and I’m slowly losing my patience as it’s ten minutes past close and I have a wet shirt and pants from sprayers.

Me: *To a different kid* “Okay, kiddo, can you hop out of your boat? I need to go get the person out there!”

The kid hops out, and I get in with our retrieval rope, grab the boat, and pull it in. I then start unloading boats, talking to myself in German as that’s the language I turn to when annoyed. I am speaking very quietly.

Me: “All right, you guys, have a wonderful night!”

The mom comes over to talk to me.

Mom: “Hey, where would I find your manager?”

Me: “Uh… I’m not quite sure. I could probably call him for you, though.”

Mom: “Yes, please.”

I call, get told he’s “backstage” (employee area), and relay this to the mom.

Mom: “Okay, and what’s your name?”

Me: “[My Name].”

Mom: “I’m going to report you to your manager. I cannot believe you were cursing at my kid. She only speaks Spanish, and she got scared when you yelled at her!”

Me: “Ma’am—”

Mom: “You need to be more respectful. We paid good money to be here, and now our night is ruined because you had an attitude!”

Me: “Ma’am, I apologize if that sounded like cursing. I was simply talking to myself in German, as that’s my native language. Also, I didn’t mean to yell at your child. I wanted to make sure she could hear me, and I assumed she could speak English as we are in the US.”

Mom: “That’s still not okay. Where is the employee area? I’m going to talk to your manager.”

I give her directions, struggling not to let my voice waver and not show how much she’s affecting me. She leaves with her group. I ask the remaining five or so kids in line to wait for a moment while I take a breather and get a drink of water. The dad of these five kids, who’s been waiting near the exit, comes over.

Dad: “Hey, are you okay?”

Me: “I’m fine. That was just my first negative customer experience.”

Dad: “You get off after our group, right?”

Me: “Yes, I do.”

Dad: “Would you mind walking me over to the employee area, as well? I know that you were doing your best to be patient with that group, and she had no right to yell at you like that. I’d like to reverse her complaint.”

Me: *In shock* “Uh, yeah. I can do that.”

I turned to the kids with a smile on my face that was actually genuine this time.

Awesome Dad, if you’re out there, thank you so much for looking out for that sixteen-year-old girl that night! You honestly made my entire week so much better.

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