Monday, June 23, 2014

Hide The Children, It's The Till Monsters!

From time to time, we let groups who need to raise money quickly come in and try their hand at the Games sections. Six Flags Over Mid-America calls them "Boosters." We call them "Till Monsters."

They come in wearing dark blue uniforms with paper nametags, usually half a dozen or more at time. A regular employee will be at their side, making sure they get the hang of the dropping procedures -- which they usually don't. And when they're on the job for only one day, they have little incentive to learn. Their tills end up wildly over or under.

But where there's problems, there's also opportunity. "Bones," one of the Britannia foremen, finds a way to scrape off their excess bills into a slush fund to buy lunch and sodas for the staff. I'm not sure the supervisors know about it.

On Fourth of July weekend in 1992, Six Flags brings in loads of boosters to alleviate staffing shortages in expectation of a 20,000+ crowd and a concert by Color Me Badd. Either we're firing too many people, or not hiring enough people, because it's the only time I recall us turning to a temporary employment agency for help in the Games stands. One of the supervisors says he doesn't want them in his section because he doesn't want to have to deal with them. He gets them anyway.

I'm working with one booster at a mini-golf stand in Old Chicago when a forewoman comes around to sell her change.

"Are you dropping every time?" she asks.

Yes, she responds. But when the forewoman sells her three SBA rolls, her mouth drops wide open as the booster pulls out more bills plus a roll of quarters and who knows how much more.

"Are you sure you're dropping every time?"

I don't know what the foreperson does with the excess. I can only hope she gets a slush fund going in Old Chicago.

Till theft? Maybe. Inexperience around wads of money makes for a good cover story. I have to think people have come in for one day, skimmed a nice sum, and committed the perfect crime. I don't know the wage that Boosters get, but while they're working for their organization, some of them probably want a little for themselves.

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