Dorney allegedly dismisses special needs employee, then offers a job

Posted Friday, February 5, 2016 4:53 PM | Contributed by Jeff

fter a wave of social media outrage, Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom officials on Friday said that they have offered to rehire a 29-year-old special needs man who has cleaned bathrooms at the amusement park for 12 seasons. But Christopher Emery's mother said she doesn't want her son going back to the South Whitehall Township park to face more humiliation.

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Sunday, February 7, 2016 8:54 PM
bjames's avatar

From what I understand, it appears to be a misunderstanding on the part of new Dorney Park staff. There doesn't seem to be a logical reason for why this person wasn't rehired. Honestly it hurts Dorney as a result of not rehiring him immediately despite his good record (and in spite of his mental illness). But again, it's all just a misunderstanding, and I feel that Dorney is getting bad press nonetheless. Sucks for them.

slithernoggin said:

Hi, Tommytheduck, you snuck in while I was distractedly posting while watching a Star Trek The Next Generation rerun on BBC America :-){/quote}

I can direct you to the complete series (so you're not reliant on watching the BBC), message me.

Last edited by bjames, Sunday, February 7, 2016 8:59 PM

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

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Sunday, February 7, 2016 10:17 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

bjames said:

There doesn't seem to be a logical reason for why this person wasn't rehired.

Exactly! I've managed to work at the same place for 17 years because I show up on time and do a good job. Christopher seems like an ideal employee.

Last edited by slithernoggin, Monday, February 8, 2016 8:30 AM

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Monday, February 8, 2016 10:36 AM
Pete's avatar

Yes, he probably fell through the cracks. Mistakes happen to everyone. The mistake was corrected and he was invited back. Even if it wasn't a mistake, he was invited to interview again and seemed to be treated like everyone else. Case should be closed. What is it with people now that so many have to display over the top outrage over this in public forums like Facebook? About something that the public is not in the loop for the full and accurate story. This really doesn't concern anyone other than the parties involved and any legal representation they may or may not have. This social media lynch mob mentality seems to be more and more prevalent.


I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks, than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

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Monday, February 8, 2016 9:35 PM

So, now that this story is a few days old, anyone out there in CB land have the actual facts as to what really happened here?

For whatever reason, this story intrigued me when it broke late last week and I am very curious to hear the facts regarding the whole story. As of today, people (mob) are still blowing Dorney up on their FB page.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016 8:11 PM

^^ It appears it was caught & corrected because of "over the top outrage over this in public forums like Facebook" and the "social media lynch mob mentality," not because of Dorney/Cedar Fair's internal processes.


This Isn't A Hospital--It's An Insane Asylum!

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016 8:39 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I think outrage on social media alerted management there are imperfections in their new hiring process, and so may have been helpful in addressing the issue internally. My two cents, anyway.

I remain perplexed why anyone with a 12-year (or 10, or 17, or 8...) track record has to jump through the hoops of an interview.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016 8:55 PM
Jeff's avatar

Because it's seasonal work, and if you have a large enough pool of applicants, you want the best, not the people who have been there the longest. Seriously, we've all worked with people who occupy space and contribute very little. Longevity is not a measure of effectiveness.


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

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016 9:40 PM

When does an amusement park ever have "a large enough pool of applicants?"

Especially to clean bathrooms.

Last edited by Captain Hawkeye, Tuesday, February 9, 2016 9:41 PM

This Isn't A Hospital--It's An Insane Asylum!

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016 10:10 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I can be slow.... but if you're not satisfied with someone's work, why bring them back year after year?


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016 10:29 PM
Jeff's avatar

Exactly.


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

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016 10:36 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I mean, I've been working in the same place, doing customer service, for 18 years. They've fired plenty of people during that time, so I'd like to think I'm still there because I'm good at the job, not because they haven't gotten around to finding someone better than I am at the job.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016 10:47 PM

slithernoggin said:

I can be slow.... but if you're not satisfied with someone's work, why bring them back year after year?

This speaks to the crux of my question. Everyone has assumed so far that Chris was wronged and was flat out denied 2016 employment with Dorney. I've heard ancidontial things that indicate this this is not necessarily the case. But there are still missing pieces to this puzzle and so far, nobody has presented the actual facts (and both sides) of this unfortunate incident.

Which is why i'm so curious to hear if anyone has the full story (facts) as to what happened here.

I mean seriously; does anyone really believe that Dorney (Cedar Fair) had some initiative to weed out special needs employees from their system? I just refuse to believe this (until I see the facts saying otherwise).

Why hasn't Dorney come out to tell their side of the story?

Last edited by Hanging n' Banging, Tuesday, February 9, 2016 10:53 PM
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Tuesday, February 9, 2016 10:57 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I don't think Cedar Fair was trying to weed out special needs employees. I think that well-paid consultants came up with an "innovative" -- "...here, applicants, work together to build a train out of Legos..." -- way of processing applicants, which didn't accommodate special needs employees as well as it should have.

(I remain befuddled: if someone shows up, does their job well day after day -- after 3 or 4 years, why do they need to be re-interviewed? If they falter, if they underperform, fire them, rather than go through the charade of another interview.)


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016 11:02 PM

Captain Hawkeye said:

When does an amusement park ever have "a large enough pool of applicants?"

Especially to clean bathrooms.

While I can only speak for my park (and our particular local labor pool), you would be surprised.

For us, filling park service, bathroom attendant, sweeper, cleaner positions is fairly easy. We actually end up turning down extra applicants for these positions and/or offer them other jobs if available.

Last edited by Hanging n' Banging, Tuesday, February 9, 2016 11:03 PM
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Wednesday, February 10, 2016 12:15 AM
LostKause's avatar

Here is a more in-depth story for anyone who missed it.


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Wednesday, February 10, 2016 8:06 AM
Jeff's avatar

slithernoggin said:

(I remain befuddled: if someone shows up, does their job well day after day -- after 3 or 4 years, why do they need to be re-interviewed? If they falter, if they underperform, fire them, rather than go through the charade of another interview.)

It's. Seasonal. I don't know how many ways I can say that. You aren't given a job for life, you're given a job for the season. It's why they do contracts that outline the bonus structure.

I think the thing that keeps getting lost is that he wasn't actually denied employment, he was invited for a second interview. If that's typical for employees now, then the real issue is why he didn't get special treatment. That's the problem with cases like this, in that there's a desire for equality but with exceptions. And with all of the noise, no one can prove malicious intent either.


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

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016 8:11 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

I get that it's seasonal. I'm stumbling over why any person that does a great job in 2009 and 2010 and 2011 isn't just getting a call in 2012 saying "you do good work, ya wanna come back for this season?" instead of having to go through an interview process time and again.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016 8:34 AM
Jeff's avatar

Because HR. HR departments are 90% about covering their asses, from everyone to federal agencies to investors. So they interview everyone so no one can say, "I was treated unfairly because so-and-so got a job without having to interview, and he kicks puppies." It doesn't matter if anyone thinks that's logical or not, that's the environment they have to roll in.


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

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016 9:00 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

Okay. That makes sense.

This story ran in the local newspaper (I think -- it's the Morning Call), about a Philadelphia police union cancelling a 4,000 person picnic this summer. And I've read elsewhere that Chris being included in a group interview was a mistake; an HR employee placed him in the group by mistake.

Last edited by slithernoggin, Wednesday, February 10, 2016 12:06 PM

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016 11:42 PM
LostKause's avatar

Maybe I should have explained what I was linking to in my last post, so that Slithernoggin would have clicked it. LOL


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