Theme Park Employees From Around The World Share Their Worst Stories

Theme Park Employees From Around The World Share Their Worst Stories

For you and me, it's an awesome day of loop-the-loops, merry-go-rounds, and funnel cake. But for the folks who work at amusement parks, there's a whole bunch of stress and strain. Wherever there's a crowd of people having fun, you can bet there are a few people in that crowd who are looking to cause trouble.

Theme park employees recently took to the internet to open up about their worst workplace stories. Some are gross, some are funny, some are downright tragic. Settle in for a wild ride.

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32. That's Honestly A Terrible Idea

I worked on the Dueling Dragons at Universal Orlando when in college. For those who don't know, the Dueling Dragons were two separate coasters that "dueled" and had several near misses with each other. They were pretty unique at the time and were super fun.

As you can imagine, Universal told people to empty their pockets before they rode so that their phones and stuff wouldn't fly out and smack somebody on the other coaster at 60mph. Of course, may times people would ignore this because they're lazy and stupid.

I was working one day when the ride shut down completely. Change had flown out of someone's pocket and hit a guy in the eye, leaving him blind in that eye. The tragic part... the guy was already blind in his other eye. Now the guy is 100% blind.

They didn't duel anymore after that, and the ride was left permanently much lamer.

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31. Nobody Checked?

I was working the first shift opening the park and doing dry runs with a roller coaster. Well... when the train came back there was an obvious impact dent on the front car.

It turns out one of the groundskeepers had headphones in and was listening to music while working through his shift. He died instantly when the car hit him. The following week was a nightmare. To this day, I still don't think they have found all of him.

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30. Just Doing My Job

I once had to height-check a girl who was both mentally and physically disabled. This is just as she was about to get on the ride too, because someone else previously didn't bother to check her height to begin with. So I politely asked her and her carer to come and check her height after lots of "no, no, no, no!" As luck would have it, she wasn't tall enough, of course.

She didn't take it well and started screaming, saying she's going to ride no matter what. She finally left her seat after about 10 minutes (which is an eternity in rollercoaster time). I mean, I know it sucks but I'm just doing my job. How would I feel if something happened to her on the ride?

At this point, I'm just relieved that she's finally going, but as she's walking through the exit, she turns around and screams, "I HOPE YOU DIE". So that was nice. It was hilarious but still soul-crushing at the same time. Also it was my birthday. I quit not long after.

Working at a theme park is just as bad as retail in my opinion: when things are going well and running smoothly you barely get spoken to or noticed. But when things happen which are out of your control, suddenly it's your fault.

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29. I Can't Even Imagine

I operated a few different roller coasters during my fun-filled summers at this amusement park, but most of my horror stories come from one ride in particular. The train was one of the ones that you had to step into, with a lap bar restraint.

On one particular day, it was over 100F and the ride had been running as usual for most of the morning. As we were loading the train, a guest came up to me to say that there was an awful smell coming from the front car, and my stomach immediately dropped. Usually with these types of complaints, we’d find that the previous rider had one too many slushees before riding and had lost their lunch. Gross, but we were used to cleaning that kind of stuff.

I started approaching the front car and immediately called for my coworker to direct everyone out of the train and back into the line, and to call our supervisor to close the ride. Instead of a normal puke situation, I found a greenish-brown liquid spread all throughout the front car, from the seat down to the floor. Whoever was the last person to ride the ride had soiled themselves and hadn’t bothered to tell anyone about it.

Cleaning human waste is one thing -- it’s absolutely disgusting but it can be done. But trying to clean it up in 100+ degree weather, off of the floor of a car where you had to kneel down and stick your head into the car to reach the very front, is a situation that I never would have imagined even in my worst nightmares.

The ride was down for the rest of the day, and it took over an hour to clean everything out of the car before we could start really sanitizing it.

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28. You Have To Be Careful With Chemicals

A few years ago, someone made some kind of mistake when chlorinating the wave pools and accidentally created a bunch of chlorine gas. 26 people had to be taken to the hospital.

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27. That's Just Rough

Nothing scary ever really happened at the rides I worked but the worst thing was telling people they were too large to ride. It was always pretty awkward and some people just didn’t understand you could not ride the ride if you couldn’t buckle the seatbelt.

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26. That Escalated Quickly

I was working in an amusement park as a 19-year-old, and was on the turnstile talking with guests and checking everyone off.

At about 3 in the afternoon, a very young girl, about 6 or so, came up with her father, both in swimwear. Not unusual, since there's a water park attached to the regular park. However, there is a rule in the park that you have to be wearing a shirt to ride the ride, and the girl was in a two-piece suit.

I informed the both of them that the girl needed a shirt, and we would be happy to save their spot in line if she had a shirt she could run and grab. Her father raised his voice and loudly asked why I was "looking at his little girl." He kept shouting about me being a creep.

I backed off and told him he had misunderstood me, but he kept shouting back to the line behind him about how I was a "sicko," and only stopped when park security arrived a few minutes later. That was one of two times I felt like I was actually in danger. The dude was furious.

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25. Thanks For The Heads Up

I worked for an amusement park for several summers as a teenager, and a haunted house at one, off and on.

Neither park I worked at was dry, so partying parents ranked among the worst. The haunted house was particularly fun, as later groups tended to involve people who had too much to drink. I took a bad kick to the ribs once while working under an overhang, and we had at least one physical incident a night. For further perspective, most of us were high schoolers and not all that intimidating.

For the actual amusement park, the most messed up thing was when I got sent home early once because "a bit of weather was coming", which wasn't that odd. The said I should have time to get home, though. I lived a half hour away.

What I didn't know was I got sent home in a tornado warning. The warning was posted when they sent me home, and they knew the line of storms was about to hit. I ended up pulling over after a tree branch hit my car and got stuck in a hail storm. The roof of my car was dented. No tornado actually touched down, but we had bad straight line winds.

A few other employees were also told to go home and had pretty similar stories. The woman working the office that day just decided, on her own, we'd be better off going home then staying in the fairly solid, permanent buildings on the premises because once we were gone we weren't her problem.

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24. Not So Fab

At Busch Gardens (VA) a few birds got in the way of a moving coaster train during its grand opening and hit the supermodel Fabio in the face. The news was there to cover the inaugural celebrity ride, but all they'd show for a while was the train returning to the station and Fabio with a face full of blood.

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23. Wheel Of Misfortune

I worked at a children’s amusement park and they had me operating the Ferris wheel, which is a rough ride to operate. You have to balance it and put people on of similar weights on opposite cars so it’s a lot of stopping and loading before letting it go around a few times. As you can imagine it’s difficult for a teenager to explain to a heavyset couple why they can’t get on the ride when the only other person on the ride is a skinny kid.

I was only supposed to be on the ride for 2 hours. They left me there for 4 hours in direct sunlight with no breaks. After 4 hours on a busy day with no water and no break and getting sick of having people yell at me for not being able to get on immediately, I lost track of whether it was balanced.

I wound up making it go backwards and people freaked out. That’s happened before but I was usually able to stop it before it went all the way around. Not this time. I physically didn’t have the strength. Luckily, the owner was around and stopped it. People were furious. When my supervisor came to see what had happened I said, “That’s what happens when you leave someone on this ride for 4 hours.” No idea how I didn’t get fired. No one was hurt but they sure were terrified.

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22. Angry River

I was lifeguarding at this lazy river tube pool, basically just telling kids to get back in their tubes all day.

These two guys, like 30 years old, were arguing in Polish or something as they floated along the lazy river. They were on lap two or three of arguing -- really going at it. One of them pulled a knife out of his trunks and stabbed the other guy's tube.

The victim walked around to the end with his popped tube while the guy with the knife proceeded to jump all the different fences to get outside the park and make his escape. I never saw him again.

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21. Monorail, Monorail, Monorail

I used to drive the monorails at Disney World. We could take up to 4 people with us in the front of the monorail -- all they had to do was ask for the nose.

One time I was at Epcot Center and this family of three got on board. They all seemed to be in a good mood. But as we're traveling the son said, "Daddy I don't feel so good." The father said to him, "What, did you eat too much junk food?"

Just then I noticed the kid began to hurl. The father just shoved a t-shirt in the kids mouth, spraying it out the sides like a busted water pipe. There were chunks of hot dogs all over the floor. The smell was killing all three of us.

When we pulled into the station at the Transportation and Ticket Center, there were a few good-looking girls waiting to get in the nose. But when the doors opened and they could smell it everybody, on the platform just ran away from the train. The family was so apologetic but it took a while to get that smell out.

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20. The Jumper

I used to work as a lifeguard at a theme park.

It was mid July, and it was ~100 degrees outside. Not a cloud in the sky. It was hot for me, wearing a set of khaki shorts and a thick polo shirt. I had the break guards go on water runs as needed, and guards were permitted to rotate by swimming in the pool. This was to keep them happy, and to keep them from dropping like flies in the deathly summer heat.

At our park, we had a slide that was about 60 feet high. This slide had three channeled slides that started off like a pipe, and then became fluted (half of a pipe, no upper half) channels. One pipe, and the most popular, was the one slide that went down at an 80 degree angle. It was completely open. You sat down, and slid down the 60 feet within two seconds. Quite a thrill really, if not a quick one. Two guards manned the ride, one at the bottom and one at the top, to control the antics of the guests at all times.

As midday comes around, I settle into the usual rhythm. Bored, I begin watching the sliders go down. Four people come every 15 seconds, like clockwork, as they should.

At the top, I notice one of the guards turn around as a teenage male prepares to get into the slide. This is a problem. Teenage males are the trolls of the park, their antics a perpetual source of problems. Then I see the kid take two steps backwards. I know what he is about to do. He must be stopped. But, alas, what am I to do? I have no way to contact the lifeguard up top. There is no phone, no radio. I blow my whistle twice.

Too late.

The kid ran and jumped clean off of the slide. Now, up to this point in my life, I had been afraid of things. Getting in trouble at school, failing something miserably. They all made me a tad anxious. A lot of things had made me scared, and a lot of things had made my stomach churn. But nothing, in all of my life, had made this scared until now. Seeing a young man fall to his impending doom and being powerless over it makes you feel terrible. Feeling, by some extension of logic, that you are indirectly responsible for this, makes it even worse. Never, in my life, has my stomach and jaw dropped so fast.

To his credit, the jumper assumed the proper position of arms and legs being crossed. But now he was clean in the air, flying like a lead brick. As he did so, his body turned ever so slightly. It was something he noticed, and fruitlessly tried to correct. Instead, he fell some distance before hitting inside the flume and chaotically tumbling down the ride.

I called the paramedics immediately, and we had to backboard this kid out of the splashdown flume.

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19. Get Smart

I was managing a few ride photo booths and I was in one of them talking to an employee. A guy ambled over, looked at our prices, picked out the package of four photos for $20, and said: "$20 for one photo? That's unfair to families." I told him that the price was $20 for 4, and if he'd like a single photo, it was $10.

He got very close to my face and growled, "Are you getting smart with me?" I told him no, tried to walk him through the different prices, but he kept saying, "Are you getting smart with me?"

Finally I just walked away around to the back of the booth to check on some stock, at which point he told my employee that if he saw me again, he would punch me in the face.

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18. Come On, Scoob!

I worked at a Six flags as a sound technician, so I spent most of my time backstage with the characters and actors. One time I walked backstage to find a headless Bugs Bunny and Scooby Doo doing, costumes just unzipped, not off. Not exactly a horror story but definitely scarring.

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17. Actors, Man

I used to work at an amusement park that had a section featuring actors dressed as characters from a certain family friendly show.

The actors for this area were almost exclusively teenagers and were notorious for hooking up all around the dressing room/bathroom/backstage areas.

This all culminated in two of the actors being fired for getting in a fight during a show, because a certain cookie-loving character had hooked up with a certain Spanish-speaking character who was dating a certain television-loving character.

It was pretty funny to me, but I think a few children were traumatized by seeing a costume character’s head ripped off during a show.

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16. Off The Rails

A huge storm was coming. I was operating the railroad at the time. Unfortunately, we left the station right before they were able to call us to close the ride. So as we are on our way, suddenly there was a huge downpour. Upon arriving at the station, we were immediately directed to an employee shelter. Now this is where even more of the interesting stuff happened.

1) People were stranded at the station away from the entrance, wanting to ride back. (I had specifically warned that the ride can close at any time before people boarded.)

2) We were told that we cannot suggest any shelter to guests because that would make the park responsible for their wellbeing.

3) A baby in a stroller was abandoned in the storm near the kid area.

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15. All Of This Over $14

I was a caricature artist for Six Flags, and one day a dad and his son came up and wanted a drawing of the two of them.

Now, the way caricature pricing worked was we would charge per person in the picture. The father and son wanted a simple black and white headshot of the two of them. That was $10, so for the two of them it would be $20, before tax. I very clearly explained this to them, asking several times. "Are you okay with the ending price?" They gladly accepted.

Fast-forward to me ringing them up at the register, and I tell them the total: $24. The father's happy and friendly demeanor quickly dissipated, and he began arguing with me. I calmly explained the situation with pricing and apologized if I wasn't clear enough. Gently, I reminded him that he understood and agreed otherwise I wouldn't have done the drawing.

Big mistake. He got angrier and started yelling at me, cursing me out for lying and overcharging them "to put a few more coins" in my pocket. He accused me of preying on parents and their children, thinking I can take advantage of them because "they're stupid [bleepers]."

The dude tried to take the drawing without paying. When I held it back and told him he couldn't, he threw a $10 bill at me and snarls that that's all he's going to pay, that I'm worthless and my drawing isn't even good and doesn't deserve any more than that. I'm really upset at this point, and hand him the drawing wishing him a good day. "[BLEEP] YOU!" he yells in response. The whole time his son is standing there, looking embarrassed and terrified.

The dad proceeded to pace back and forth in front of my stand, alternating between coming back to the counter and yelling at me and chasing customers away, screaming at them about how I'm "stealing money" and how the stand is "a huge rip off."

Thankfully, this charade lasted all of 20 minutes before police finally got him out of there. It left me pretty shaken though, I had to take my break early and cried over my lunch.

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14. Night At The Park

I was working security at a theme park when I was 18. One evening one of the roller coasters that was stopped in the station got rear ended by another. There were some injuries, nothing severe thankfully. I did however end up staying up all night, after the park had closed, sitting on the coaster to ensure no lookie loos or news media tried to get access to the cars. It was dark and creepy. I was 18, alone in a closed, deserted amusement park...

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13. When The Lights Go Out

I worked at Block Party which was an adult amusement place created by Blockbuster and only had two locations (think Dave and Buster's but with an adult size McDonalds style playground, motion simulator and stuff).

The scene is the “Power Grid.” The aforementioned playground in the dark with a techno soundtrack pumping in the background. You get to climb up inclines, explore different themed rooms like a color changing room and a mirror room to crawl through. There are slides to take you out of the thing or into the ball pit. Oh yeah, there’s a ball pit! Really cool thing except when the unthinkable happens...

There are a couple of cast members working in there. Usually one at the front and one roaming. If I recall correctly I was floating (basically covering breaks and yes, I was covering the Power Grid as the time of the event). I was covering the entrance and was going to roam after the coworker I was covering got back. So there I am, helping guests get their card in the turnstiles right (because following the arrows is hard) and telling them the rules. After that , it is watching them take off there shoes and lock them up.

I got a complaint about a really bad smell in there and had the roamed try to find it. There was only one way to do that crawl through it yourself. She did find it in the mirror room and reported it to the manager. The manger went to find out what was up. The manager could not tell what the source was since it was so dark. I went to the control panel and turned on the overhead halogens so she could have better look.

It turns out someone had smeared poo on the mirrors and floor of the room, literal human poo. And people had been crawling in it. Getting it on their clothes, and spreading it throughout the apparatus.

People are gross.

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12. Listen To The Lifeguard!

I worked at Raging Waters in San Dimas, Ca for a few summers in high school/college. Great job: walking distance from home, got to work on my tan, hot and cold running chicks.

Anyway, this was the summer of 1987 -- I was just about 17. I was on lifeguard duty at the top of Drop Out (our huge slide that went up about 70 or so feet and slide straight down into a shallow slip of water).

I'm doing my thing: telling people to lie down and cross their arms across their chest so I could gently nudge them over the edge. It didn't take much for me to slide them over -- literally a slight tug was all it took.

Mid-shift, out of nowhere, a group of 20-somethings get to the front of the line -- must have been about four guys and maybe a girl, too. The one alpha guy of the pack tells me, "Hey, let me slide myself off." And before I could say anything (I was told by lawyers that witnesses heard me yell at him to "get down"), he hoists himself up on top of the horizontal platform of the slide and takes a running hop over the ledge. I think what he was trying to do was a cannon ball and land with his back against the slide --that's my theory.

Like they say when something bad happens, everything was in slow-motion.

The guy got lots of air, but I don't think he realized that the drop is almost 90 degrees down. In mid-air, he tried to self-correct his jump -- his arms and legs wildly trying to feel for anything to grab on to. It never happened.

Somehow, he free-fell between both slides and hit every iron crossbar that held up the seven-story deck.

So the guy falls 70 feet, hitting every steel girder on the way down. He lands at the base of the slide with just about every bone in his body broken. He ended up in a wheelchair for the rest of his life and settled for about a tenth of what he tried to sue for. Yep, the asshole tried to sue both the park and me.

Luckily, there were dozens of witnesses who saw and heard me yelling at the guy to get off the slide.

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11. Demon Child, Cool Mom

I used to work at a small water park where there were some dry rides up the southern end. There was this 8-year old kid just being a little pest; pushing in line, climbing up the slide of the playground, knocking other kids' hats off, that sort of thing.

I warned him several times, then asked him to leave, but he wouldn't. So I went and asked my supervisor what to do and he said, "Get the scissors." He meant to cut his wristband, without which he couldn't go on any rides.

I called the kid over, and he surprisingly complied. Before he could react, I grabbed his wrist and cut off his wristband. Naturally, he started crying. He ran off to get his mum and she came back about 15 minutes later to talk to me. She asked why I did what I did, and I explained the situation to her. Mercifully, he understood completely.

She left, but, lo and behold, 10 minutes later here he comes again. He tried to cut in line again and I stopped him, asking him to go back to his mum. His first reaction was to punch me in the groin. Oh no you didn't!

My supervisor saw and immediately called security. Apparently his mum saw too and she came running. She didn't say anything to her child, but went and told the supervisor to 'scare' him. When security arrived (30 seconds later) they grabbed the kid, whirled him around and handcuffed him. He was panicking at that point.

They grabbed him and took him off in their golf cart. A few minutes later they returned. The kid had obviously been crying, and hard. He jumped out of the cart and ran straight to his mum, who took him and left. People watching were stunned, but amazingly, and I kid you not, some applauded as they went off.

Best day of work I had at that place.

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10. A Bit Of An Overreaction

I operated rides for 4 years. Two moments stand out.

The scariest moment I had was when lightning struck a utility pole below me (my position on the ride was about 50ft up) knocking out power to my ride and forcing me and my supervisors to unload the ride in the middle of a lightning storm.

The second was a guy who was very upset that I wouldn't let his kid, who was a foot under the height requirement, ride. I told him no early in the day, but one of my coworkers let the kid ride while I was on break. The family came up later and the father jumped two gates and over the tracks to threaten me with a knife. I called security and he ran.

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9. Kind Of Like The Real Jurassic Park...

I used to be an operations lead on the Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios Hollywood. One day, I’m working the dispatch board, sitting in the operations booth when a phone rings. The lead manning the cameras answers, then suddenly slams the emergency stop button, shutting the entire ride down. We’d stopped for a moment so we could off-load a disabled guest, and some brain surgeon was annoyed at the delay, so he lifted his kid out of the boat and sent him to call the booth from the emergency phone right next to the Jeep drop effect, which back then was still functional.

If we hadn’t been shut down, the kid very well could have been killed. We evacuated the ride, and stayed down for 5 hours because we couldn’t get the water pumps back up and running. Dad and family were escorted from the park without a refund, though they pitched a fit.

Another time, we had a couple of kids running around assaulting the costumed characters and then taking off. We had rough descriptions, and I just happened to be at the front entrance while a character was walking around. I saw one of them making a running approach on the mascot, and threw a nasty block into him as he tried to pass me. He went down hard, and stayed down when another guy dropped on top of him. He and his buddy were arrested, and I got a nice bonus for stopping them.

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8. Don't You Care About Your Baby At All?

I worked attractions for a Disney park, and my main ride had a height requirement. It wasn't a bad one either; if you were about 4-6 years old, you met the height. It wasn't a roller coaster so there was no fear of the kid flying out of their seat, but because of the nature of the ride they physically had to sit upright in their seats without assistance and no lap sitting.

The amount of times I've seen people try to sneak their infants on the ride is ASTOUNDING. It got to the point where I stopped trying to be nice and would straight up tell people that their babies would be seriously injured. I would have parents jokingly smack their infants head into the height bar and jokingly tell me "they're tall enough now!"

Like, the ride wasn't dangerous enough to cause shaken baby death or anything like that, but it also wasn't a freaking Fantasyland ride.

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7. Life In The Fast Lane

I worked for one summer at a NASCAR Speedpark and it was probably the craziest summer of my life. So many injuries. When working the go-kart tracks, if there was a wreck you were expected to run across the tracks dodging cars and unlodge the stuck car all before more cars zoomed past. The worst day though was on the Fourth of July. I had to watch a man have a heart attack because I was the first person to get to the car when it stopped. I had to wait with him until an ambulance showed up.

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6. Good Grief

Working a high school night at a midwestern amusement park. Some dude decides to climb the large structure in the middle of the park. It resembles a tower in France.

He is beyond all protected barriers and watches an elevator go up, and continues to climb. Since he at this point is already a genius, he forgets about the 6000 pound counter weight that is careening down at him at 40 mph.

It would be too disgusting to say anything more than... he did not survive.

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5. Who Treats People This Way?

The worst thing that's happened is a guy spitting in my face and starting to film me with his phone while screaming at me that he was going to sue the park I work for because I confronted him when he tried to trip one of my performers during a Halloween event. He was hammered. And then he was arrested. We all laughed at his mugshot the next day.

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4. Panic At The Theme Park

This was the only time I was scared while at work. We had a ride breakdown, surprisingly normal. However the train was stuck in such a way that we were unable to reach two rows of the train. It just so happened that in one of those rows there was a girl who was having a severe panic or asthma attack and wouldn't/couldn't calm down or get her breathing under control.

Luckily her mom was nearby and had an inhaler. The ride was a flying coaster, so the guests were lying on their backs while stuck, and I was able to toss the inhaler and land it right on her chest. Between mom, First Aid personnal, and myself we were able to get her calmed down while we waited for maintenance to pull the train into place.

The whole ordeal only took 10-15 minutes but it felt like an hour.

People stuck on rides always seem to think their lives are in danger when in reality they're safer in the seat than I am standing on the catwalk next to them. But this woman was the only time I felt someone was in real danger and it scared the bejeesus out of me.

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3. Take This Job

During one summer in high school I got a job at an amusement and water park. I was trained on the kiddie rides and worked them for about 2 weeks before they moved me to the adult rides. The problem was, they didn't train me on any of the rides. But most of the time all you needed to know is which button starts the ride.

One day I'm working these swings -- the ones that go around and up pretty high. I start the ride when a sudden thunderstorm hits. Lighting all around, and I've got like 20 or 30 people locked into a lightening rod screaming. I had no idea how to stop the ride.

As luck would have it, my supervisor from the kiddie rides happened to be on the ride at the time. As she would come around, she'd try to yell directions to me. Mind you, the ride is only like 3 or 4 minutes, but that feels like an eternity when you're in a scary situation. So finally I figure out which button she's telling me to push. I push it and the ride stops! Yea! But... It's now stopped at it's highest point, and its not coming down.

I just started pushing buttons like crazy until finally it started to move down. As people got off the ride they were crying, hugging, and giving me horrible looks. As soon as they were all off, I got down from the big metal podium I was on just as my actual supervisor arrives and tells me I'm not allowed to get down from my post until someone else comes around and tells me I can. My supervisor was furious at me for daring to stop the ride without permission.

I don't remember what I said next, I just remember walking out through security telling them I quit. In that moment I was shaking because I was so upset. I was responsible for those people on the ride and they could have been seriously hurt.

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2. Six Flags, Sixty Problems

Six Flags has a lot of really dumb rules for their employees which causes there to be a crazy high turnover rate. That, on top of the fact that this particular day happened to be the hottest of the summer in New England meant that after having only worked there for two and a half weeks I was the most senior person in my department -- Kidzopolis.

This means I had to run the whole operations schedule for my department and tell everybody where to go and what to do all day. Keep in mind I don't even know half of these people's names. On top of that, nobody knows how to operate the freaking zoom jets.

So my supervisor grabs me first thing in the morning and tells me he's going to teach me how to operate this ride. Things are going alright when about half way through this training my supervisor passes out because it's like 110 degrees.

So now I'm supposed to be leading this department full of people I do not know, while operating a ride I do not know how to operate, and if I have any questions then I have no one to ask because my supervisor is unconscious.

Meanwhile I'm getting calls and someone's like, "Hey so Sally passed out in the Splish Splash Zone." I don't even know who Sally is. Julie is calling me and telling me she's feeling dehydrated and needs to go on break. So I'm like, "Listen, I've got Julio trying to operate the Krazy Kups and the Wacky Wagons at the same time. What makes you think we have enough staff to let you go on break?"

Fast-forward to the end of the day. I've had three people faint because of the heat, I still don't know most of my coworker's names but I did get yelled at in Spanish over the phone a lot. And because I felt bad that nobody got enough time on break I told everyone they could go home and I'd sweep up the department on my own.

I got pretty good at the zoom jets though.

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1. Two For The Price Of One

In 1988, I was working park facilities at the now sadly defunct Geauga Lake amusement park near Cleveland. “Park facilities” is a nice euphemism for “janitor”. We emptied the trash cans, swept the midway, and cleaned the restrooms.

The latter was my least favorite duty. I’m a minor clean freak, so cleaning dirty toilets makes me uncomfortable in the best of situations, and this was far from the best. At least once a day, some kid who was barely potty-trained would clog the toilet by using what seemed like a full roll of toilet paper. You had to plunge the bowl, then go in with your hands and pull the soggy, soiled tissue out in clumps. And of course, there were the various accidents, where number 1 or number 2 didn’t make it where it was supposed to go. It was already pretty disgusting normally, is what I’m saying.

So one day, I’m on toilet duty, when someone gives me a heads up that some kid had an accident. Oh great. Well, better suck it up and get it over with. I head into the restroom and open the stall. Inside was a true horrow show.

There was poop... everywhere. No, literally everywhere. There was poop on the floor. Smeared on the walls. There was poop on the toilet paper holder. There was poop on the back of the toilet. And of course the toilet was clogged solid with toilet paper and, yes, more poop. Whatever had happened there was... indescribable.

Young me was more than a little shaken by the sight (and the smell), but I shoved my stress to the back of my mind and spent the worst 30 minutes of my life up to that point getting that stall clean. Finally, I found the employee who had alerted me to the problem, and told him it was all clear.

“Did you clean the other one?” he asked.

I laughed at the weak joke. Like something like that could possibly happen twice at the same time.

He wasn’t smiling.

Okay, fine, I thought. I’ll go look. I mean, clearly he’s joking, right?

It wasn’t a joke. A stall or two down, the identical twin of what I’d just cleaned was sitting there mocking me. For the only time in my life, I had a nervous breakdown. I hid in the nearest closet and just cried for five minutes. Once I’d finally pulled myself together, I went back in and cleaned the second stall. (And yes, I was paranoid that there might be a third.)

To this day, I don’t know how that was possible. A pair of identical twins with IBS? Did some kid have so much poop in him that he did both stalls? There are some things we simply can't know the answers to.

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