Cedar Point mistreating its employees?

Monday, August 1, 2011 1:15 PM

He likes to exaggerate a bit, too. $15 for a cheeseburger? Nah, it's probably closer to $8. Bending over to the point of touching your toes to check restraints? Probably not.

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Monday, August 1, 2011 2:34 PM

Certainly it isn't touching your toes, but at Blue Streak and Mean Streak you are bending down at close to a 60-70* angle (or would that be 20-30*?) and/or walking in a slightly hunched down position for the length of your train/section to reach the bar and belt. There were days when I would get a little stiff/sore if I was at load/unload for 2 straight rotations or more, though that wasn't too often. That is actually one of the main reasons why Disney may actually discipline a CM at, say, Space Mountain for bending over and physically checking the restraints unless it is a non-compliant guest. They have some kind of program called Safety in Motion, and that is evidently one of the repetitive straining motions that the program is supposed to cut back on. Of course, the average age of a Disney CM is usually a bit older than that of a CP ride op, but still, it sounds like the program has greatly cut down on work-related injuries from repetitive strain motions like that from what I've found and heard.

Of course that write-up was filled with some hyperbole and story-telling, but there are parts that are close, if not right on the money.

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Monday, August 1, 2011 3:13 PM

maXairMike said:
Certainly it isn't touching your toes, but at Blue Streak and Mean Streak you are bending down at close to a 60-70* angle (or would

Blue Streak wasn't always that way ;)

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Monday, August 1, 2011 3:30 PM

That wouldn't be the case if they'd just put some OTSR's on there.

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Monday, August 1, 2011 3:39 PM

That made me laugh, but please, for all that is good in this world, no!

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Monday, August 1, 2011 4:34 PM

kpjb said:
That wouldn't be the case if they'd just put some OTSR's on there.

No one makes me smile quite like you, man.

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Monday, August 1, 2011 4:50 PM

I have a problem with his depiction of the Commons housing area too. I don't remember it ever being regarded as a dangerous place to live. I don't recall multiple rapes, stabbings, or shootings. Things might have changed since I left in 2003, but could they have really gotten that much worse? I can see the environment for rape being there, but stabbings and shootings? The Commons I remember was a place to hang out at the picnic tables and socialize. Maybe grill out once in a while at a crew party or drink back in your room (if you were legal).

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Monday, August 1, 2011 4:53 PM

Oh and two seasons of bending over for Blue Streak bars never killed my back. I actually had sore wrists (from pulling up) more often than back aches. We didn't stack the trains then either ;)

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Monday, August 1, 2011 5:14 PM

Heh, I'd make a quip about my wrists vs. back working there, but I don't want to provide the easy, low hanging fruit. ;)

As far as Commons, I know that I personally never really felt "safe" walking around by myself for the most part (being a scrawny, easy-looking target doesn't help, and was even kinda jumpy in a group), but I have no qualms walking around Indy/Columbus/insert Midwest large city downtown by myself, even in the evening. Things have changed since 2003, though. I know there were a few stabbing/domestic violence-type incidents, did hear a gunshot (was in the neighborhood right outside the fence if it wasn't inside Commons), and a friend came home to his room after work one night to a room with enough blood in it to pass for serious assault, at least. He was questioned by the police, but am not sure what happened, because he barely spent time in his room to begin with. It is at least heading towards or bordering on the rough equivalent of your local crimewatch neighborhood.

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Monday, August 1, 2011 11:16 PM

I have a newsflash for this guy. Chances are, wherever he's working in his 40s and 50s, he'll still have a dickhead superior overseeing him, he'll think he's underpaid, and that working conditions suck.

CF could start paying their employees $15-20 an hour, and build luxury condos for them to stay in. And then we could place bets on who the first Buzzers would be to bitch because the admission price went to to $125.

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Monday, August 1, 2011 11:21 PM

File this under, "Work is hard and stuff."

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011 10:49 AM

How is working at Cedar Point any different than working at any other large amusement park? Does this kind of treatment happen across the Cedar Fair board? What's about Six Flags, Busch, Disney, or any of the independent and/or smaller parks?

The reason I ask is it seems that whenever a seasonal employee decides to post something about their jobs it usually involves Cedar Point. I have never worked for an amusement park so I don't know. I am just curious why it's always Cedar Point and what makes them stand out as compared to working seasonally for Michigan's Adventure, King's Island, etc.

-Tina

Last edited by coasterqueenTRN, Tuesday, August 2, 2011 10:57 AM
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011 11:37 AM

Could be that Midwest/East coast bias of this board that Rideman mentions every now and then. It may also be becuase Cedar Point may be unique in that they have an extensive employee housing program.

I don't think it is a big trade secret that a typical amusement park job involves long hours for minimum wage type pay, outdoors for the most part. Just observe what your typical ride operator, games worker, or food stand worker goes through in a day. Volunteer to help load/unload a Spider or Monster for 8 hours in these near 100 degree temps.

And you know what, back when you were in high school, and that was your first real job, and you wanted to bankroll some of that green paper for that first car or the college fund, or whatever electronic gadget you just had to have, you relished that amusement park job. You were getting all the hours you wanted while watching what were, for you, astronomical checks coming in.

You probabably also learned some of life's lessons on how the world really works: teamwork, trust, the fact some people call in at the drop of a hat, coworkers you don't like but must get along with, same with supervisors, work ethic, and maybe even pride and satisfaction. Maybe you got further and learned to budget and deal with money. Maybe the lesson you learned was "I don't like this type of work, and need to find something different"- maybe followed by "I need to do this type of work now, so I can afford the education, so I can do something different"

Now the original article isn't even a mainstream news story that would have some weight. I mean if you read in the Cleveland Plain Dealer that Cedar Point was mistreating its staff, that carries a lot more weight than some anonymous poster posting to an internet forum, whose sole purpose in life appears to be to give people a place to air all their grievances as to why the world sucks.

The part I would have trouble with, is the part about the foreign "Work abroad" staff, if their recruiter did in fact pull the type of bait and switch depicted in the article, that would be morally wrong. As I alluded to in my earlier post, there articles in main stream press about Kings Island and the foregn help in regards to promises vs. reality, the park sponsored housing, etc.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011 12:16 PM

Like I said, I just wonder what drives someone to hate it for five years before they finally stop and then write a big whine-filled post about it on the Internet. If someone standing next to me on the bus keeps farting, I move to a different part of the bus.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011 1:06 PM

I start an internet web forum called "BusFartBuzz.com"

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011 1:14 PM

I wouldn't worry too much about the foreign workers issue. I know that in the former Soviet republics, per capita income is equivalent to only a few hundred dollars-- and by that I mean $200-300. And those kids know their parents work on farms or in factories where you don't get a 15-minute break every hour.

Second, they're not dummies. Many of them come here prepared to watch, listen and learn. They take it for what it is, one step in the process of attaining a career. They may get sub-minimum wage, but they're going to go back home with 90% or more of it. Someday, most of them will probably hold high positions in their companies, if they don't own it themselves. And this schmuck will still be whining about his barely above minimum wage income and that the music playing in his workplace sucks.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011 3:35 PM

I wonder where he gets this notion that, in the past, it was somehow a wonderful, magical place to work, free from any shortcomings?

I didn't read the whole article, because it seemed somewhat immature and whiny, especially considering the fact that he voluntarily went back for 5 years.

But, having worked at CP 20 years ago (oh crap!), many of those same complaints about wages, hours, weather conditions, dorms, etc. were equally valid and talked about then. The question always came down to whether you wanted to experience the good parts of working there, and pay the price of all those negative aspects. 'Cause the fun parts were pretty damn fun, but you always knew you were at least a little bit of a sucker for doing all the dumb bs. You don't want to, then go work somewhere else and hope there's nothing to complain about at that job.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011 3:50 PM

You relished that amusement park job.

Pardon me, I'm just trying ketchup on this thread, and for some reason I kept dwelling on this sentence. I wasn't going to, but I mustard up the courage to reply. You mayo may not like what I have to say, so take it with a grain of salt.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011 4:13 PM

After his fifth season his dream of working there full time was not going to be and he is getting it out of his system.

To be honest, not much of what he had to say was false. Not that it is newsworthy either though. The housing is probably the worst thing about working (and living) at the Point. But, it is not any worse than working at a YMCA camp and being in a cabin or something like that. Could it be better? Yes. Would it make for a better environment and possibly happier workers? Yes. Was it ever going to be significantly improved under Kinzel? No.

Will Ouimet do anything about it? Maybe. I'm sure he was exposed to the Disney College Program living environments and maybe he has some ideas how to recreate that more livable environment.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011 4:15 PM

^^Love it, Josh :)

^What are the Disney dorms like?

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