Tuesday, November 2, 2004 5:11 AM
I'm a fellow SF employee, and I'd thought I'd drop in my two cents.
First off, concerning the security guards - I want everyone here to realize something - they are only paid $8.00 an hour. That's it. The security guard supervisors (the ones in white shirts) are paid little more. Now, I want all of you to think REAL hard.... would any of YOU risk your lives for $8.00 an hour!? I sure as hell wouldn't. Hell, I can go get $8.50 an hour working at Wawa pumping GAS! Personally, I don't know why anyone even signs up to be a security officer. For the chicken feed they throw them, it's nuts.
Second of all, what went down at SF last night was a LOT worse than what the news wires are reporting. I myself was nearly trampled by a stampeding crowd of 500 people being chased by secuirty guards and cops. I wound up having to knock a few people on their asses myself just to not get trampled, and I am FAR from any department that handles crowd control. Thank god I work out, lol.
What really started the Nitro riot was a police officer being assaulted, and the fact that people were drawing knives and fighting with them in the Nitro line - and don't be surprised they snuck them in. It ain't real tough to sneak something past an $8.00 an hour, 18 year old secuirty guard. We had police officers from Manchester, Dover, Lakewood, Bricktown, Jackson, AND State Troopers. I counted over 40 police cruisers driving by me, and those are just the ones I saw. We had three helicopters hovering over SF airspace for a good hour. At least one of them was a news helicopter and another was a police helicopter. There were even rumors of police officers in riot gear being on the scene, although I can't confirm that because I didn't see it. Now, do you REALLY think 1/8 of the ENTIRE NJ POLICE FORCE was hanging out at Six Flags due to a few measely fights!? There were riots in the park and outside in the parking lots. That's the plain and simple truth of it. Watch the news this evening... perhaps you may find out more.
When all was said and done, 10 to 15 people were sent to the hospital. Some almost certainly from stab wounds. How bad were their injuries? I don't know. No one may ever know. SF has a way of covering things up. You can do that when you have some green to spread around.
As for me, I doubt I'll ever be back to that ---- hole, and next year's Firght Fest will be that much ****ter, because I KNOW how good a performer I am. Six Flags has lost a LONG line of great actors/performers for Fright Fest because of pay and things like this. They can just add me to the list. There are other parks, I won't suffer, their bottom line will. I've watched this park deteroriate over the years while Premier has been in control. They took a beautiful company and mutilated it beyond recognition - financially, atmospherically... everything. It's no longer fun to work there. I have had to defend myself six times this year. I don't consider getting into a fight ever week a fun job. And the fact that they terminate any employee who defendshim/herself (our constitutional right) and asks questions later isn't exactly a very reassuring policy for employees. SF expects us to stand there and get the ---- kicked out of us. Not me. Uh-uh. And no, I wasn't fired. I'm pretty good at arguing my case, especially when I threaten media exposure.
Want to blame someone? Blame upper management at Premier and SFGA. Don't blame the little people who get paid next to nothing. That's who Premier wants you to blame. Blame the greedy coprprate bastards who gave themselves 2.5 million dollar bonuses while their company drowns in a sea of red ink.
Now, as far as my persepctive on the park's current status, I think I have the perfect position. I don't work there all season, so I have the opportunity to go as a guest during the summer and work there during Fright Fest to catch the employee's end of the stick. Both experiences have been steadily declining. I have been to other theme parks. Dorney Park, a park 1/3 the size of SFGA is cleaner, safer, and have shorter lines. Comparing Universal's Halloween Horror Nights and SFGA's current Fright Fest is like comparing Disney to a carnival.
One thing disturbs me greatly - how Six Flags does not want this riot publicly discussed. That is a terrifying stance, because Six Flags is putting their bottom line ahead of PUBLIC AWARENESS. They should tell the truth and then TAKE STEPS TO INSURE THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN AGAIN. But Six Flags won't do that - that costs time and money. The public has a RIGHT to know exactly what to expect when walking into a theme park, espeically one with over-priced admissions/games/food.
Take a lesson, kids. This is called Damage Control in PR lingo. Minimize the incident. Deflate the numbers. Lie. Distort. Do anything you have to do to make the incident look as insignificant as possible. Push the family-friendly image of the park, when in fact the park has LOST that family-friendly image. Is this in the best interests of public safety or company profits? You decide.
Let's look at the facts, people.
Police officers DO NOT dress in riot gear for fun. They dressed in the gear that the situation called for - A RIOT.
They DO NOT call in the help of 7 seven different districts including the State Police because they all wanted a coffee break at Six Flags.
They DO NOT call in a NJ Police HELICOPTER because there was a scuffle in the parkling lot.
Two news helicopters didn't show up to cover a high school shoving match in the parking lot.
Over 43 police cruisers that I saw (as well as Barbara Herman of Staten Island, if you read one of the news articles linked in this thread) were NOT hauling ass on the WRONG side of Rt. 537 East to get some doughnuts.
A lot of situations went down Sunday night, some of which, I will say again, we may never know about. Six Flags, although crippled financally, still has enough money to spread around to the right sqeaky wheels. It doesn't take much to grease the machine. Remember that.
Sam A. Marks
Tuesday, November 2, 2004 8:06 AM
its sad how a disgruntled X employee will exagerrate the facts just to harm a place that probably fired his lazy butt.
He claims he never saw riot gear, then he claimed in his "facts" paragraph that it was there!
BTW Riot gear is used in many potential riot situations, not just BONIFIED RIOTS!
Halloween is a rowdy time EVERWHERE! not just at theme parks.
You see folks! this halloween thing isn't a theme park problem, it's simply a problem in general!
Sam A. Marks
Tuesday, November 2, 2004 8:28 AM
I've heard from someone I trust that there was indeed trouble at Nitro on Sunday Night, I'm not excusing or defending anyone, but I sure can guess where it began.
THE Q-BOT Entrance!
Whomever is in charge of securing that entrance has in the past not done it very well, and if its a staffing thing? thats not good!
All the money they take in on qbots should be used to make "absolutely sure" that the qbot entrances are staffed the WHOLE DAY, and toward closing a security guard should be at the entrance of the q-bot entrance to make damn sure no line jumpers are abusing an open un staffed q-bot staircase.