My Day Working at Six Flags
During the middle of the summer last year, my fraternity was invited to accompany two other organizations for a fundraiser at Six Flags. It was a one day job oppurtunity, and we jumped onboard a few days before the date arrived.
I mean, who didn't want to work for Six Flags?
Needless to say, they really put us to work! I remember saying that my job on the New Jersey Turnpike wasn't as much work as Six Flags. It wasn't a bad experience; my friends and I still talk about it to this day. We did get paid, and they let us ride any attraction for free for the rest of the day.
I guess the best thing that came from this experience was the amount of respect I gained for Six Flags employees. A lot more goes into making sure you get that full six flags worth of fun than most people realize. So the next time you think about giving the guy operaying El Toro a hard time, just for kicks, I want you to keep that in mind.
Until you see it from the inside, you won't really know all the trash employees have to go through just so people can have a day that's six flags worth of fun.
Our scheduled day to work at Six Flags was a Saturday, and we had to be there early. Instead of pulling in the front, we were instructed to ride around to the back, where all the employees and buses were unloaded. Aside from the people preparing for the day ahead, the park was empty. It was a weird feeling, but it didn't last very long.
We met up with the other half of our group, and we walked into a sort of waiting area where we sat until given furthur instructions. We goofed off until a Six Flags attendant rounded us up and brought us to get our uniforms.
This is where the fun started. As temporary Six Flags employees, we were required to wear a bright, highlighter yellow shirt, a black apron, khaki pants and a beige hat with the theme park's name on it. All the girls with long hair had to tie it back. We were also given a map / brochure that we had to have on us at all times, in case a park attendee had a question. The whole getup was a little strange, but it wasn't that bad.
After we were suited up, we had to wait to be told where we were working. Instead of working one of the rollercoasters, they put us on serving and cleaning duty. It makes sense though, because having one-time employees working major attractions is a big liability. Unfortunately.
Anyway, we were split into two groups, one to serve and clean inside the mess hall, and the other to work outside. I was in the group that went outside.
The first order of business awaiting us at Six Flags was to spray clean and wipe down a series of picnic tables. Easy enough. Then we had to clean up the area where the refreshments and fruits were going to be served. And then we had to wipe down the food area. The heat started to kick in at this point, so things got a little more...interesting.
Once those tasks were done, we were briefed on how to handle the rest of the shift. Around brunch time, they were going to start bringing in guests to eat for an all-you-can-eat buffet type of affair. It was our job to replace food that was running out, maintain an organized flow of traffic, refill the juice dispensers with ice, and help people with any concerns they had. It sounded like a lot of work, and it was. But we had actual Six Flags employees alongside us to help us out.
When the people came in, they came in swarms. The area we were in went from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood to Super Bowl Sunday. They came in flocks, and it was right to work when they got there. I guess the trickiest part was refilling the food in a timely manner without burning yourself on the trays. Nobody ended up getting burned, which was good, but things got a little sloppy with the ice refills. One of the bags got dirty, and some of the dirt went into the juice, so we had to remove that entire canister, and keep the whole operation moving.
Most of the hot food was being stored in these mobile, heated containers. We would have to go back inside the mess hall to get other food like bread and pasta. It was funny, because as members of both groups passed each other, we'd relay just how hectic the job was, and how aggrivating some of the people were.
This frantic pace continued for a couple of hours until we were able to take our break about 2/3 of the way through the day.
Eating lunch let everyone reunite and catch up. Ironically, we were eating the same food we had been serving. Everyone's story was the same: lots of work, lots of people, very quickly. But if it wasn't for that, then I wouldn't have these vivid memories of working at Six Flags, now would I?
After we ate, we had to clean up everything. I don't know how, but I ended up in the kitchen washing dishes. Boy was that an experience! I thought washing dishes with a dishwasher was bad. There was this whole elaborate process that we had to abide by in order to clean the silverware properly. There was this huge machine we had to use, just to dry the stuff. And then we had to hang it up on a rack. It was me, one of my frat brothers in the kitchen, and this kid that worked at Six Flags part-time. I asked him how he could put up with all the work, and he said he loved working there. Guess I just wasn't used to the workload.
Eventually, our shift ended, and it was time to make sure the money was right. This took a lot longer than it should have, because the Six Flags guys thought we took a longer break then we were supposed to, when we ended up taking our break later than we should have. So we were all sitting in the mess hall, negotiating for a good half hour before the situation was resolved, and we were free to leave.
As an added bonus of working there, we were allowed to stay in the theme park and ride whatever rides we wanted to. I think everyone was too tired to take up that offer, but it was a nice gesture. All the people in my car left when I did, and we came back to Central Jersey to sleep the rest of the day off.