Sunday, June 15, 2014

They Nail Cheaters, Don't They?

I will give you the Standard Six Flags Guest Service Disclaimer: most of our patrons play honorably and responsibly. The one percent that don't are a pain for two reasons. First, it's hard to catch them in the act. Second, when you do, they'll find a way to claim that you didn't, and in the name of guest service, you'll have to politely give them a pass.

"Ring-A-Thing" is the easiest for cheaters. The perpetrator doesn't have to lean over very far to secretly plant a ring on top of a soda bottle employee and claim a gargantuan plush animal. It only takes a second.

A little kid tries it one day. He flags me down from another part of the stand, indicating he's a winner. But it doesn't feel right. He's done it with his very last ring, and it's on the front row.

I turn to a woman who has just walked over and ask, "Did he lay this ring on there?"

She nods yes.

"This woman says you laid this ring on there," I addressed.

The kid gives me a cute smile. "I did."

"Don't do that! We nail cheaters!"

He and his buddy run off after the tactful but first dress-down.

Another guest wins the grand prize at Highland Hoops. So far, no problem. But then he comes back later and tries to play again, violating our policy of one grand prize per guest per day. That's when he claims he's not the guy who won, but actually the guy's twin cousin. In the name of Guest Service, I can't call him out on it.

The foul line is supposed to keep some order in the universe. But if I enforce it, guests complain. At one of the ball-tossing games, I calmly remind him, "Make sure your hand doesn't go over the foul line."

"Man, gimme my money back."

"Because I told you can't go over the foul line?" I query.

"Because I can tell you aren't cool."

Aren't cool -- that's a code term for, "I'll turn my head the other way while you cheat." I give him his money back.

He later comes back and starts leaning again. When I call him on it, he hurls all the balls away in a huff.

"I'm only doing my job," I explain.

"Why don't you go on the other side?" he gripes, pointing to some guests standing in another line at the same stand.

I do, and a co-worker lets him play again. He wins and collects his prize. I find out he was leaning again, but the co-worker -- a green tag -- doesn't want to cause trouble. And we both think this guy's a jerk.

One guy isn't content to cheat; he just flat-out steals. We find him sitting on the counter at Highland Hoops and politely tell him to get up, because we don't allow people to sit on the game counters. Later, we learn he has been reaching behind him to grab stuffed bears out of the stand and pass them to his buddies. It took another guest to tip us off, long after the fact.

Occasionally, some people think we're the ones cheating. At "Spot Pitch," we require a tossed quarter to get completely inside one of the small circles on our game board to win a prize. One guest thinks he's entitled to something for making it half-way. We have the forepeople and supervisors eyeball it, but they won't give in.

The steamed patron goes down to Guest Relations to complain. They call us and tell us to send down a prize. We send him a gigantic plush Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle -- with a rip in it.

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