For the past three summers I have been a parking attendant at Michigan's Adventure. For those of you that do not live near enough, also for those poor, deprived souls who are simply ignorant, it is Michigan's finest amusement park.
Prior to working here, I thought Michigan's Adventure was a glorious park. Had I not worked there, I'm sure I still would consider it worth the $23 that it costs to pass through the turnstiles. That said, this rant has nothing to do with the park. Don't get me wrong. I hate the goddamn park with every cell in my body. There is a good chance that I will eventually rant on other things the park does wrong. Yet, there is just something that I had more than the park itself.
I hate the customers.
Ok. You're right. I don't hate all the customers. Yet, I hate damn near every one of them. Luckily my job is to interact with people.
I just turned 20. I only work at an amusement park so I can start saving money. It's not like I'm a billionaire and I work at an amusement park to fulfill some life long dream of bringing others joy. The money I make goes into my bank account. Then, it goes out of my bank account to help pay for college.
The only reason I work this job is to make money. It is as simple as that. My job would be cake if it wasn't for the customers. I would sit in an air-conditioned booth all day and read some Salinger.
Just because I'm selling you a ticket does not mean I'm your friend. I am not your pal, bud, buddy, amigo, compadre or anything of the sort. My name is not chief, boss, scout or anything like that. My name is Chris. You can call me Chris or sir. Maybe both, but definitely not anything else.
It also does not mean I want to hear your life story. So what if you drove from four hours away and you're staying at a campsite down the road? If you're not inviting me over to the campsite to get piss wasted with you and your 16 year old daughters, then I don't want to hear it.
Yeah, I will ask you how you're doing once in a while. Sometimes I am friendly. Whenever someone you don't know asks you how you're doing you ALWAYS SAY GOOD! No stranger gives a shit if you're having a bad day. Oh, so the kids were loud the entire trip? Well, here's your ticket have a goddam good day with a shitload of other screaming kids. It is life. What am I going to do about your bad day? I will only wish that it doesn't get passed on to me.
If I'm going to go out of my way to greet you, then at least greet me back. It's called courtesy. It's not too hard to squeak out an audible "hello." Seriously, I do it every day of the week; it's simple. Nodding your head, blatantly ignoring me, handing me the $7 without responding, yelling at your wife, yelling at your kids, puffing on your cigarette, wrapping your fat cheeks around a sandwich, and talking on your cell phone do not mean the same thing as "hello." Well, at least not in the English language. Assholes.
You are not special. Thousands of people come into the park daily. There is no way for me to differentiate between you and them. It is nearly impossible. I will not be able to recognize you if you come back in a couple of hours to pick up your kids. Yes, I did see a Ford Taurus with a blonde girl driving come through. Ten came through in the past hour. Yeah, if I see your tall, white, blonde son drive through I'll be sure to tell him that his mommy is waiting near the water slide with his towel and sandals. Then, I will most likely request some oral from him. Seriously, it is only fair.
It's nice when you pay for the car behind you. It is even nicer when you pay for several cars. It shows that you're thinking about people other than yourself (something that I need to try out once in a while.) Yet, it does not make my day to tell them "ugly people get in free today." Saying things like that makes me out to be an even bigger ass than I already am. Also, it could get me fired. So, just pay for your damn friends, or let them get it themselves. Do not make me taunt them. If I will do it myself if I deem them worthy.
It is alright to flash me. Though, I will not let you in free. However, when flashing me, please consider several things: Are you overweight? Are your breasts nice? Do they look like breasts or just bags of skin? Are you a female? Would it be legal for me to view them if they were posted on the Internet? Is there any chance of me seeing these later tonight? Ok, so then can I see them just sometime in the future? Do your nipples look decent? (those are kind of just icing on the cake)
Also, if you're a guy asking to flash me, do not be perturbed when I send back a homosexual response. I am not gay, but I would have sex with you just to make you feel like an ass.
I get paid regardless of whether you come in the park or not. However, that does not mean I will let you in for free.
No, today is not half price day. No, today is not college discount day. No, you are not friends with the manager of the park. No, you cannot go in and look for your friend. No, you have the pay the full price, not just $5. No, you can not pay me when you leave the park. Yes, the roller coasters are running. No, I do not know what the weather is supposed to be like today; you should have looked before you came to an outdoor park. Yes, I will call security if you just do not pay. Yes, I do hate my job. No, I am not having fun. Yes, this little booth is air-conditioned. Yes, you have to pay the $7 for parking, and then you'll have to pay another $7 when you come back later today. No, I cannot make an exception for you. NO, YOU CANNOT PARK FOR FREE!
It does not make my life easier to hear bullshit about how people do not want to pay for parking. It also does not brighten my day when someone makes a wisecrack.
Our park mascot was Snoopy.
"Hi, I'm friends with Snoopy. Do I get in free."
I'm not a goddam idiot. Stuff like that is not funny. Your kids may enjoy it. Your wife may also enjoy it. I do not. Please and thank you.
Without spending too much more goddam time discussing just some of what pisses me off. Here is how I wish every conversation went:
Hi. $7 for parking, right?
Yes sir, $7.
Here you go.
Thank you very much. Have a great day!
It is as simple as that. Whenever you're paying for anything, try to make it as quick as possible. The cashier does not want to start a meaningful relationship with you. There are also people waiting behind you.
If your interactions with a cashier leave you feeling empty, and unsatisfied, then you need to either: get a significant other, adopt, visit old people, or get a pet. Do not ask me the weather if I am selling you something. I do not care.
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Copyright (c) 2000, 2004, David Erik Nelson, Fritz Swanson, Morgan Johnson