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The Seasoned Old Newbie

, , , , , | Working | January 4, 2023

In my college years, I worked in a souvenir shop in a large theme park. I had seven seasons under my belt when I took a gap year to live and work in the USA. The summer after, I returned to my old job.

Every new employee got a basic course in hospitality in their first few months, and I had already had mine. To my surprise, I got a call to do my hospitality course. Apparently, my gap year made me a new employee. I considered not going, but it was paid and I had nothing better to do, so I went.

The guy teaching the course made us all briefly introduce ourselves — name, location in the park you worked, and age. Everyone was a newbie. Then, he came to me.

Me: “I am [My Name], I am twenty-four, and this is my eighth season.”

Trainer: “Why are you even here?”

Me: “Don’t know, but yeah.”

The trainer takes a breath and smiles lightly.

Trainer: “Do you mind if I use your experience?”

Me: “Not at all.”

I then spent the next hour or two both playing the employee dealing with Entitled Jerks and playing the worst of Entitled Jerks. I had a blast, and those real newbies got a proper taste of what they could expect.

And This Is Why They Have To Check

, , , , , | Working | January 3, 2023

I was looking for a snack at a popular theme park. I am very allergic to cocoa butter, which means all chocolate products (both dark and white). One of the snack shops had a peanut butter cupcake that looked wonderful, and as it’s often difficult to find peanut butter treats without chocolate, I was interested.

Me: “Does that cupcake contain chocolate?”

Server: “No.”

Me: “Thank you. I was just checking, as I have an allergy.”

“Allergy” is often a keyword; as soon as they hear “the A word,” they immediately go for the ingredients manual.

Server: “Nope, no chocolate, ma’am.”

Me: “And there’s no white chocolate in the frosting? I know they sometimes do that for texture.”

Server: *In an annoyed tone* “NO, ma’am. As I said, there’s no chocolate.”

Me: “Okay, sorry for bothering you. I just need to make sure.”

Server: *Sighs* “If you would feel better, I’ll get the manual so you can see for yourself. Just yellow cake, eggs, flour, oil, peanut butter, and jelly.”

Me: “Oh, okay, great! I’ll take one, please. Again, sorry to bother you.”

Server: “Oh, and there’s also an Oreo cookie in the center.”

It’s Just A Toy, Dude. Get Ogre It.

, , , , , | Right | December 21, 2022

I work at Disneyland Paris’s Disney store. I’m on a Wednesday morning shift in the off-peak season. A grown man enters the store and walks around the store while showing signs of distress or frustration.

Me: “Can I help you find what you’re looking for, sir?”

Customer: *Rudely* “I want a Shrek [toy], and you’d better fetch it quickly! I’m [some kind of important Disney person]!”

Me: *Gently* “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t get you a Shrek toy because Shrek isn’t licensed under Disney.”

The dude gets visibly angry and treats me like I am an idiot.

Customer: “It’s an animated movie; therefore, it’s Disney!”

Me: “Sir, Disney isn’t the only studio to make animated movies. Shrek comes from Dreamworks.” *Trying to jog his memory* “Did you see the Disney logo and castle at the beginning of Shrek?”

This was my mistake.

Customer: “OF COURSE, I DID!”

It took two team leaders and a manager to explain to him that he wouldn’t find Shrek anywhere around here and his best shot was at the nearby mall.

I’ve never seen a grown-up man so erratic and angry for such a silly reason. He was fuming!

Hats Off To Such Karma

, , , | Right | December 18, 2022

I was a ride operator at a theme park. We had rules about loose items, but they only said that if a loose item flew off, the park was not responsible for the loss.

One day, a man got to the front of the line wearing a hat.

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but I’m afraid you’re going to have to remove your hat and secure it. It could fly off your head and you could lose it.”

Hat Man: *Mockingly* “‘You’ll have to remove your hat!‘ Look, kid, I’m older than you and smarter than you, and I don’t take orders from snot-nosed summer workers. Me and my hat will be fine.”

I raised my eyebrows as high as they would go, gave him a prim look, and shrugged.

Me: “Well, okay, then.”

The coaster took off with the Hat Man riding along. It should be a surprise to no one that the wind swept his hat right off his head. If luck had been in his favor, it would have just fallen to the ground, but no. The hat was blown directly under the coaster cars, jamming his hat under the wheels. The coaster was brought to a rather hard stop.

Supervisors were notified, mechanics came, and they had to help the trapped people off of the ride. When the man was told that his hat was jammed under the wheels, he flipped out.

Hat Man: “Are you kidding me?! My hat is a collector’s item! You’d better get it back to me in one piece or you’re going to be buying me a new one! My lawyer will be involved!”

The man received his hat back all right, but it was torn in pieces because it was so badly mangled by the wheels.

I told my supervisor that I had warned him about not wearing it but he had ignored me.

The Hat Man was not happy to get both ears full of how it was his own fault entirely that he had lost his hat and that the park was not responsible for lost items. The higher-ups in the park told him that they were willing to let him off with a lesson learned about his hat, but if he wanted to ARGUE, he COULD be made responsible for any and all damages to the coaster due to his negligence. The superiors were sure that the courts could happily subtract the cost of his hat from the millions of dollars worth of roller coaster his hat could have potentially damaged. (Obviously, one car and a small section of track was not the full cost of the entire coaster, but it was a good scare-him-straight warning.) They also said they would be happy to charge him personally for the lost revenue due to the coaster being closed down.

Hat Man shut up and slunk off, and the coaster was down for a while as they checked to make sure everything was okay. The rules changed within a day or two so that the rules were safety regulations and staff had the authority to override a non-compliant guest of the park and refuse to start the ride until items were secured.

You Know You’re Grasping A Language When Autotranslate Kicks In

, , , , , | Working | November 16, 2022

A group from work decides to go to a major theme park. [Coworker]’s native language is not English, but he knows it well enough that he’s very comfortable speaking it. I am learning his native language, so he often throws random non-English words or phrases into conversations to give me real-life practice.

As we are waiting to get into an attraction, [Coworker] leans over to me. 

Coworker: *In his language* “How long do you think this wait is?”

Me: “Not long, I hope.”

Manager: “[My Name], your language skills are getting really good!”

Me: “I’m trying.”

Manager: “I have no idea what [Coworker] just said.”

Me: *Confused* “He said, ‘How long is the wait?’ You didn’t hear him?”

Manager: “You two have been spending too much time together.”

Coworker: *In English* “Why?”

Manager: “He said whatever he said in [His Language] and you answered in English.”

[Coworker] and I look at each other.

Coworker: “I don’t remember.”

Manager: “It wasn’t English.”

Coworker: “Good work, [My Name]! I don’t even know what language I speak anymore, but you got it!”