Chicago TV station busts carnival ride ops for texting on the job

Posted Tuesday, September 1, 2009 10:52 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The CBS affiliate in Chicago caught ride operators ignoring safety procedures repeatedly. What did they catch them doing? They were texting. And texting. And texting on their cell phones.

Read more and see the video from WBBM/Chicago.

[Ed. note: While there was obvious unsafe behavior here, we're mostly posting this because of the hilarious minor league reporting and editorializing by the station. "Ticket to Danger?" Seriously? -J]

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 11:05 PM
LostKause's avatar

Most of those thoughts actually crossed my mind while I was typing my reply, RGB. That's why I said that "if". ...And I agree with your post 100%. Those darned newspaper reporters...lol.


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Thursday, September 10, 2009 4:38 AM

crazy horse said:
I remember when I worked there, we were not allowed to have our cell phones with us while on the clock.

That's still the rule, although some people seem to get away with it under the premise of "I need it because I don't have a watch." I've never understood why that would be a valid reason since a cheap watch can be obtained for about $5. I'd heard that last season they started having wardrobe sew the pockets shut on the ride op shorts, but of course there are plenty of other places to keep a cell phone.


And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

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Thursday, September 10, 2009 8:07 PM
LostKause's avatar

Ever since I got a cell phone, I haven't even thought about wearing a watch. It is so freeing to not have something strapped around your wrist. :)

Time is an illusion anyways. :-p


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Thursday, September 10, 2009 8:59 PM

I've heard watch companies are actually in trouble these days, and are trying to market their products (more so than ever) as fashionable, hip jewelry accessories rather than actual time pieces.

I was a payphone repair technician for 14 years. Emphasis on the word "was" - Looks like I'll be finishing my career at the telephone company elsewhere! Dam cell phones! :) Truth is, a lot of young people don't know what to do unless they have a device in their hands. Even, apparently, those that run the rides!

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Thursday, September 10, 2009 9:56 PM
Jeff's avatar

I abandoned my watch when I first got a pager, circa 1995. Since cell phones were not affordable, it was the next best thing, since you could leave voicemail and call in on a land line. In any case, it had the time on it, and that was that. I've been watch-free for 14 years.

I think that a ban on phones for ride operators would be a little silly, but certainly have the trust to allow them but not ever allow use in the public view, especially while working.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, September 10, 2009 10:46 PM
99er's avatar

Banning them altogether is dumb. But having a policy in place AND enforcing that policy can and does work. I know at a few parks you can bring your cellphone to work, but not have it in guest view. Sure people are going to pull it out at some point but it comes down to enforcing that rule. Enforce it from the beginning and you will have no problems.

It works for the park I work at. If a cellphone is ever seen out, its taken and you are put in your Final Warning immiedetly without question.

Last edited by 99er, Thursday, September 10, 2009 10:50 PM

-Chris

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Thursday, September 10, 2009 11:01 PM
LostKause's avatar

At Paddlewheel at Cedar Point, my coworkers and I would use the calculator feature on our cell phones to do the daily operational report (DOR), which was a very big no no. Management never came to our ride to see how we were doing, so we never got caught. :)


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Friday, September 11, 2009 7:03 AM

I worked on a ride where part of the opening procedures involved timing a few different parts of the cycle. The park never provided a stop watch, so to this day they still do it using the stop watch on a cell phone.


And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

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Friday, September 11, 2009 7:18 AM

I worked at a ski area where our boss HAD use use are cell phones because we were spead out across the mountain. As long as it was a work call, he wouldn't have an issue.


Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

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Saturday, September 12, 2009 9:57 AM

RCMAC said:
I've heard watch companies are actually in trouble these days, and are trying to market their products (more so than ever) as fashionable, hip jewelry accessories rather than actual time pieces.

I was a payphone repair technician for 14 years. Emphasis on the word "was" - Looks like I'll be finishing my career at the telephone company elsewhere! Dam cell phones! :) Truth is, a lot of young people don't know what to do unless they have a device in their hands. Even, apparently, those that run the rides!

I was a typewriter repairman :(
Now I do multifunction copiers
Scan to email,network printing,scan to desktop
I almost don't get dirty anymore
network issues are clean problems :)
My customers are used to constant contact with everyone (due to cell phones) so when they call my cell and I do not answer because I am at another call they try to get mad (i do not give out my cell number but have to call to confirm appointments and everyone has caller ID)
So I tell them if I was fixing yours would you want me to take calls from my other customers ?

My point is everyone is getting used to constant contact with others (even if at work) That some/most people would not take a job that will not let them use cell phone at all.

So I guess the parks may have to let cell phones be used and have an extra person there to cover when/if someone gets a call or will consoles for rides in the future use the nuclear missle type system with two people at consoles to launch/start a ride so you have a backup if one operator is distracted

Last edited by kevin38, Saturday, September 12, 2009 10:02 AM
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Saturday, September 12, 2009 2:17 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

If we get to the point of accommodating the ridiculous expectations of people to be able to goof off at work, then we are all in trouble. And don't even get me started on the issue of people's growing need to have instant and constant connection to others. *sigh*


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Sunday, September 13, 2009 2:52 AM

The prison, -oops! I'm sorry- office that I work in now strictly forbids the use of cell phones while we are clocked in. We all keep them topside, on vibrate, and we all sneak out a text message if necessary! I understand the ban, though, as our function is very customer focused, and a lot of the people I work with would spend at least half the day on personal calls.

And we aren't even in the public eye. We've all been irritated when approaching a store clerk only to find that he or she is engrossed in a personal call. I can't think of much worse for an amusement park than to be known for having employees that sit around on devices all day rather than pay attention to their jobs. Whether they are responsible for anything or not, they at least have to look like they are.

I heard a park manager address a group of new employees once, and he asked them what they thought the number one thing was that they, in the business, were expected to provide. The usual answers came around- fun, thrills, friendliness, cleanliness, good food, etc. but all were deemed incorrect. It was interesting to see the little lightbulbs go off over everyone's heads when he told them it was safety- not one person had come up with that answer.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009 2:56 AM
LostKause's avatar

I sigh with Carrie. It's ridiculous how people need to look at a screen all the time, instead of observing the real world for a while. Have you ever been at a movie theater, and while the movie is playing, some dimwit in front of you is searching their phone for God knows what?

Yes, we are looking at a screen right now, but that's just because we aren't out right this minute enjoying roller coasters.

Mankind will someday grow a third arm to hold those cell phones to our ear, so people don't have to talk to each other in person.


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Sunday, September 13, 2009 7:48 AM

If I'm at a job, I'm there TO WORK!!!!!!

If I need to use my phone, I'll do it while i'm on break or ask thr boss if I can have a few minutes.


Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

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Sunday, September 13, 2009 8:42 AM

That's reasonable, Hopman.

Allow me to join the collective sigh. There are many examples lately where manners and decorum are slow to address rapidly advancing technology, and this is one of them. At the risk of sounding like an old fogey, I'll add that there's a generation of young people out there that seem to be slow to address manners and decorum, period.

Not to blame it entirely on the young. One of my favorite commercials right now is for Verizon where the mom and dad have seized upon new technologies and the result is them constantly twittering and facebooking their kids even while they are all together out there on the patio!

Did I say twittering? Is it tweeting? See, I don't even know...

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Sunday, September 13, 2009 8:49 AM
ridemcoaster's avatar

Well.. Some of us are forced to look at their phone as their company email dumps to it as well. (Crackberry is what I have). So when im off-site I still get all my network alerts.

Its total habit now that I look.. Sometimes I wonder if productivity is better now or 10 years ago before we had the crackberry.


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Sunday, September 13, 2009 9:55 AM

My partner is always connected, too, ridemcoaster, to his iPhone. He also has a 24hr period any given day when he will recieve information, some of which requiring action, or at least a response. Sometimes he gets "the look" from me. What did any of us do before we were so accessible, and how did the world run without it? It's hard to remember, and truthfully, it wasn't all that long ago!

But now that I think about it I've been lucky all my life to have jobs where I can wipe my feet at the door. Nothing is expected of me past 8 hours, and if I were to retire tomorrow, no biggie, someone else will sit right down.

We belong to a non-coaster related club that carries the benefit of travel to great cities for events and competitions, and most of us plan vacation around these trips. I always sit in amazement at how many guys and gals will leave, say, a workshop for a break and spend the entire time on the phone or email back to work. I can go outside, have a drink, and relax!

This is probably why everyone makes the big bucks now and I still make the medium bucks. Yea, I'm beginning to see a correlation...

Last edited by RCMAC, Sunday, September 13, 2009 5:13 PM
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Sunday, September 13, 2009 9:59 AM
Fun's avatar

I believe it would lead to higher productivity, but the problem is that people are not working less. The bar is simply being raised to do even more work, regardless of where you are or what time it is. The separation between your work life and personal life is slowly being erased.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009 12:30 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

So this is where I shouldn't admit to being downstairs and texting my wife upstairs isn't it? :)


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Sunday, September 13, 2009 4:29 PM
kpjb's avatar

That's what good old-fashioned yelling is for.


Hi

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