Adventureland…Finally Settling In

We are finally settling in and getting use to the schedule.  We are starting to tolerate the heat better, and enjoy the jobs.  We both work 6 days a week on the afternoon shift.  Mine starts at 3 and Rich starts at 2:40.  Once or twice a week, I’m also assigned a morning shift also.  That shift is 11 to 3.  It still is not even 8 hours a day by the time you sign out for lunch.  By next week we will start staying open till 9 during the week and 10 Pm.  on weekends.  I can pick up 11 to 3 shift anytime I want and Rich can go in and do morning relief for breaks.  Were trying to work around 35 hours a week.  Its not difficult to do that.  A number of Workampers have quit and more to come.  A lot of people just can’t handle it, and some are unhappy with the amount of hours they get.  Some want less, some want more.  Partly communication problem I think.  I know Rich and I have no problem with our schedule.  Before I go any further I want to make an

ANNOUNCEMENT

Congratulation to Ashley and Mat on the Arrival of Vivian Grace this morning.

fb_img_1466803952482.jpg

Vivian weighed in at 7 lb. 8 oz.   20″ long. 

Ashley is our niece.  Her mom Connie is Rich’s youngest sister.  If you read the blog just before we left home last month, Ashley had a Huge Wonderful Shower.  They have both been waiting patiently I think…..lol….Connie called me a week ago and thought they were going in but…..NOPE…..Doesn’t happen that way.   Ashley and Mat went in during the nite.  Connie arrived around 3.   Turned out little Vivian was breach and so they decided to do a C-Section.   Several hours later little Vivian was born.   Mat was blown away and so emotional with his new daughter.  I can only imagine Connie.   She is on Cloud Nine. This is the first grandchild for Connie and Brian, as well as Mats parents.  We had a 9 way conversation on the cell this morning.  I heard it pop….pop…pop…and wondered  what was going on.  I got up and found out that Ashley had just went in for her C-Section.  So Congratulations to All.  I’m sure their is such excitement going on at home right now.  Their lives have all been changed for ever, now theirs a little baby in their lives.  Little Vivian is now ready to be spoiled by all Grandmas and Grandpas…..lol…

This week Rich has been operating the Lady Luck.

lady_luck_may28_2007_adventureland_063_127.jpg

Every week they are assigned a job for all week.  This ride does not require an assistant.  He also has a chair to sit on in the shade.

Last week he operated the Tilt A Whirl which also didn’t require an assistant.  The week before he was an assistant on The Dragon.  It is one of the big roller coasters in the park.

adventureland-9-6-2008-dragon-10.jpg

Before that he was the Chuck Wagon operator.  It is a ride more for kids, but many adults rode it too.

chuck_wagon_may28_2007_adventureland_090_138.jpg

He said some even almost to big to fit it….lol…In games, we have 3 areas that we work.  Alpine, which is more Arcade games, County Fair, which is your old time fair or carnival games, and The Dragon.  That area of course is by the Dragon Rollercoaster.  We change games every day.  We get a schedule by area for the week, but don’t know what game we get until we get to work.  I am starting to have more fun now.  My favorite games are games the kids always get PrizeIMG_0564This of course is the Duck Pond game.  Their are 45 ducks.  One has a Black dot on the bottom for the big prize, one has a red and one has a blue for the medium.  All other 42 has no dot but still win a small prize.

IMG_0562

These are the prizes.  The medium and small are square plush ducks in yellow, pink and blue.  The little kids love them.

IMG_0570

One boy came in with only $3 to play one game, and guess what he picked….The black dot duck.   We were all just ecstatic…..Another favorite game is Bash a Bully….

IMG_0596

You throw 4 leather bean bags at an open mouth and try to knock down 5 teeth.

IMG_0605

This game is easy for some and hard for others.  Its a cute game.

IMG_0613

I worked this game yesterday.  It is a game of luck.   Throw a whiffle ball and hopes it lands in a colored Goblet.  The name of the Game?  Goblets of course.  1 ball is $2, 5 balls is $5, and a bucket of 12 balls with a small prize in it already is $10.  This is just a few of the games I have worked so far.  Each area is run by a manager and assistant managers.   I am finding them all to be so nice.  They are definitely company orientated also.  They go by the rules that are required.  So if you don’t tuck in your shirt your told, if you late you might be questioned.  If your out of your area your told to get back.  But all in all, if you do as the rules require, you will be fine.  They are all easy to get along with.  They also have kids working that are 14 and 15.  Some of them do seem way to immature. Well see how long they last.  I’ve heard that many of the kids leave after they have several checks.  When your young, a few checks and you think your “Rich”….lol….Oh how I wish……So I think as time goes on we will probably be asked to do more hours.  I’ve heard by the end of the season, they lose a lot of workers.  But the park closes after the third week in August, during the week.  The Iowa State Fair begins and it not far away.  After that school begins and were only open weekends till the end of Sept.  So actually, we only have a little less than 2 months.  Its really not that long.

IMG_0538

This is a nice cool area covered with screen.  Plenty of benches to sit and rest….

IMG_0603

Bridge to Raging River Ride

So an Update on the Accident: …….NOTHING……Nothing has been said or acknowledged.  It is as if it never happened.  We have heard via the grape vine, that the operator is being blamed.  I also believe that the way the paper stated, it is true…..BUT……DID HE HAVE PROPER TRAINING…….I don’t think he should carry the whole blame……..Shouldn’t a switch be implemented for the assist person to push so the operator can then start the ride?  I still think they should have held a meeting the next day to reinforce safety.  What about the family.  Many of the workers here wanted to send cards or condolences.  We weren’t given an address or any means to communicate with the family.  If I was Steve’s wife, it would have meant so much to me to read and hear from all the fellow workers.  They were just here today……gone tomorrow….This was a Very Traumatic event in many peoples lives.  The only thing we ever knew was what was printed in the paper………..Will We Ever Know Anymore Details?…..Probably Not…….

All I know is this is NOT the way to handle a situation of this serious nature.  At Advantage Logistics, Sandy would have called a meeting immediately.  Their would have been information given as how to help the family.  Safety issues would have been discussed.  A through investigation would have happened and we would have been advised.  Ideas would be discussed as to how to not let this happen again.  The family would have been a major concern to her and all of the employees.  Fortunately, we never had a serious accident at our plant, but several had happened at plants out of state.  That was the reaction that we received from our company…..Complete Openness…..A desire to help…

Silence creates rumors…..Rumors promotes finger pointing deserved or not…..Bottom line……Bitterness and Lawsuits…..

Advertisements

A Workamper Has Died at Adventureland

This has been a very sad week at Adventureland.  I have given this a lot of consideration as to whether to write about this terrible accident.  Death is something that is inevitable.  At Eastgate Park in Texas, we have learned that it happens much more as everyone is a Senior.  It is sad, but accepted as the ending of life.  This is totally not expected by any means.   We must learn something by this happening.  It is a very sad time for this family, but let us all learn from this accident about safety.
I was working in an area called The Dragon.  Early afternoon, suddenly a golf cart came flying through clearing the people franticly.  Right behind was another golf cart.  On the back was a stretcher with a man in our park uniform.  He was very still.  Out of his mouth was a blue tube and a man was straddling him, working on his neck.  We later found out that he had fallen from the Raging River Ride down to the conveyor mechanism.   We heard he had head injuries and his feet were very injured.  For the next several days, nothing was heard.  The Park Management has never acknowledged this.  We did hear that the state came in for inspections, and found everything ok.  The ride was again opened.   OSHA of course is involved also.  So I suppose their are legal reasons as to why their has been no acknowledgment.  Sunday we seen this article in the DesMoines Register.  Its a very sad way to find out.  I have copied the article for all to read:
=====================================================
636014453391534467-Booher.jpg

Steve Booher and his wife, Gladys, were enjoying retirement, traveling the country in their RV and visiting family and friends along the way.

Recently, the Oklahoma couple came to central Iowa, where the 68-year-old retired postal carrier took a summer job at Adventureland in Altoona.

“Steve was having a great time (at Adventureland),” Gladys Booher wrote on Facebook. “He loved watching the kids enjoying the rides.”

Then, on his sixth day on the job, tragedy struck, said his nephew Tim Overlin, of Des Moines.

Steve Booher was tending the amusement park’s Raging River ride when he fell on the conveyor belt June 7, fracturing his skull and suffering a major brain injury, his wife wrote. He was unresponsive and on life support until he died Saturday at Mercy Medical Center.

Polk County Medical Examiner Gregory Schmunk confirmed the accidental death was caused by a head injury.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is now investigating the incident.

Overlin said the family’s only knowledge of the accident stems from the limited amount of information in local media reports.

“It’s just a lot of grief and shock,” he said.

Witness recounts events

Zach Bauer was waiting in line to ride the Raging River on the afternoon of June 7 when he heard a commotion on the loading platform.

He didn’t see Booher fall, turning toward the scene as onlookers flocked to provide help.

At the time, the conveyor belt moving the rafts was in motion, said Bauer, a 22-year-old who lives in Des Moines. Several onlookers were yelling at the ride operator to stop the ride, he said.

“I know it wasn’t just a case of him slipping and falling without the ride moving,” he said. “I saw the ride take the man off his feet.”

The Raging River’s ride operator is housed in a booth above the loading platform. On the platform, other workers help riders in and out of the boats. Bauer said the ride operator came down from the booth and appeared confused, because he left the ride running.

Bauer has ridden the Raging River countless times; he held Adventureland season passes for several years. He said the workers on the platform generally give the go-ahead for the Raging River to begin.

“Usually when everybody was ready to go, they would give the guy the thumbs up, because he’s up above the ride,” he said. “I’m not sure what caused him to push the button.”

“Anybody who’s been on that ride knows that once that conveyor belt starts, it’s kind of a jerk. It starts really quick.”

Adventureland spokeswoman Molly Vincent  did not respond to questions regarding Bauer’s account of the incident. She previously acknowledged the ride was in motion at the time of the accident.

Inspection cleared ride to continue

One day after Booher’s fatal fall, state officials inspected the water ride and deemed it safe and free of defects.

“We did our inspection and we found no adverse conditions as far as the ride was concerned,” said Jim Borwey, who oversees inspections of elevators, boilers and amusement parks for the Iowa Division of Labor.

State officials examine each amusement park ride before the beginning of the season, Borwey said. This spring, investigators found no major problems with the Raging River, which Adventureland classifies among its family rides.

Jens Nissen, administrator of Iowa’s OSHA program, said he could not release any details of his agency’s ongoing investigation into the accident.

The agency must report its findings within six months, he said, though he expects a quicker conclusion.

Altoona Police did not immediately respond to the accident, but are now investigating the case, said Sgt. David Tinker. Investigators do not believe there was any criminal act involved but are piecing together what happened.

“We’re still looking into it, seeing if some other medical issue would have caused this, caused him to fall,” Tinker said. “We’re not sure.”

A family man

Overlin described his uncle as a family man. Both he and his wife had previously been pastors.

“He was really low key but always positive and always happy,” he said. “He was just so in love with my aunt. He would do anything for her.”

A Des Moines funeral home cremated Booher’s remains.

His funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday at the First Church of God in Pryor Okla.

====================================================

So my goal is NOT  to try to pass judgement on whose fault this might be.  Legally it will all be decided after all the investigations are complete.  It could be the Mangement, the Operator, or even Steve himself.  Or a combination of many things all happening at the wrong time.  It sure does raise many questions for them to decide.  We heard the operator was operating this ride for first time that day.  So did he get adequate training?  I do know Rich had orientation when we got here.  He had safety movies to watch.  Was their enough on the job training?  Should their be a safety switch that the assist needs to push to allow the operator to engage the ride.  So many questions for the authorities to answer.  For years this ride has operated safely……..until that day.

Basically, we need to learn from this tragic accident that Safety is ….NOT A JOKE….We take things for granted.  Just because we get by many times by doing things OUR WAY, it only takes once.   One time and an accident may occur.   It could injury you, your friends at work, or a terrible thought, your family member.  It could haunt you the rest of your life, that something that only took a second to occur has destroyed someone else’s life.  That’s a terrible burden to carry.  Think about safety….It is something we can follow everyday, in our jobs, our cars, and at home.  It is a part of life.

For all of my Advantage Logistics friends.  Our wonderful Sandy Knott was the best thing the company ever had .  She loved her job of Risk Control.  She was always living, breathing and preaching safety.   But it was heart felt.  She cared about all of us.  It was not about the paycheck, it was that she wanted us all to have a HAPPY, HEALTHY LIFE.   That was her daily goal.   She would laugh, and cry with us, what ever it took for her to help us make it through the day and stay safe.  They lost a wonderful caring soul the day she quit.   Thank You Sandy for everything you did for us, and everything you tried to do.  I sure hope your Appreciated for all your worth at your new job.

So Today is Tue.  One week ago Today,  this poor man went to work for his 6th day at Adventureland.  He never came home that day.  He passed away Saturday and his services were held today in Oklahoma.   How fast life can change in an instant.   This should have never have happened, but it did.   So lets learn something from it and go forward.

 

 

The “Monster” is Now Running

The new ride,  “The Monster” is now open for business.  It was opened a little over a week ago.  The night before, they let the park employees ride it.   Nope, NOT US…..but we watched.   The next morning the local newscaster rode it solo, live on his newscast, with a Go Pro on his head.  That was all I needed to see    NO THANK YOU.  We’ll stay on the ground.  The Iowa Governor was their that afternoon also.  They have installed some fabulous lights on it.  They are continually  changing colors.  As the coaster fly’s by the tracks color changes again as if the coaster is a shooting star.  Of coarse then you hear all the screaming coming from the car.  lol.

20160611_220440.jpg

Saturday, June 11, was our oldest grandson Camerons “18th” Birthday.  He drove out with his friend and spent 2 days.  He went to Adventureland of course, did some fishing at the pond here and grandpa took them out to eat at Bonanza Steak house in DesMoines while I was working.  We had different days off, so it was impossible to do things together.  I think they had a good time.  I know he enjoyed the road trip of 4 hours, especially since he just traded his pick up for an Eclipse.  That would be one of those models you fall in….then crawl back out…..

12405218_10205252203612316_1796558999_o

Happy “18th” Birthday  Cameron

I didn’t get a good picture of him here but this is one of my favorites from last Christmas when they were down at South Padre Island for the holiday.  We rented this jeep to ride on the beach…….So now he is “OFFICIALLY an ADULT”…..lol….Responsible for all his actions, Good or Bad…..lol….But at 18 you generally know it all right?….LIFE IS GOOD….

I’ll go back a bit with some pictures we took at our Workampers Chicken Dinner and Orientation. 

20160525_144830.jpg

This is the HR Director Gary Paredekooper.  He took us all for a walking tour through part of the park before we opened full time.

20160525_142557.jpg

We stopped at  RATHSKELLAR Beer Gardens.  They offer 21 varieties of imported German Import Beers.  They also offer sodas and hamburgers, fries and other snacks.  We were allowed to all have a beer.

20160525_145731.jpg

We walked back to almost the Waterpark and seen the back part of the Tornado Rollercoaster.

20160525_145714.jpg

This roller coaster is The Outlaw.  After all that we went to back to the front to the Palace Theater.  We were given a Nice Chicken dinner and Welcome speeches from the Owners and managers.  They have hired over 300 Workampers this year.  We have been given free camping and an hourly wage, plus bonus is we stay till the end of the year.  Gary went to Arizona, Texas and Florida, last winter to recruit everyone.  So we have people in the campground from all over.  It is quite a group, and all so friendly.  Some have been coming back for many years.

20160530_132329.jpg

Here  is Rich in his uniform on his way to work.  We have been given 2 shirts, we supply kaki shorts or pants, black shoes with black belt, or white shoes with brown belt.  We are also given a hat or visor, and of course a full length rain coat.  We are out their   RAIN OR SHINE….and we have already used the rain coats.  We can only go into the park on week days on a day off to buy food or retail.  Otherwise we cannot shop or ride rides, in our uniform on working days.  We have a commissary for breaks with really cheap food.  But how have we been coping?     Well…..OUR FEET ARE SORE….standing for hours is really hard.  crowds had been really light so not a lot of business at the games.  We have to stay at our game at all times.  I have worked the games now in all 3 areas,   Alpine, Dragon and County Fair.  I’ve worked Bingo, Can it, Bash a Bully, Guess your Age and Weight, Roller Bowler, Derby Downs, Sea Race, Goblet, and Smashing Plates…..that’s just a few….lol….We change every day.  Now Rich works a ride for a week at a time.  He has worked as an assist on Himalaya, and then Operator on Chuck Wagon and now operator on Tilt a Wirl.  Starting tomorrow, he will be an assist on the rollercoaster The Dragon.  The weather has been really hot the last several days.  Mid 90’s with heat index over 100……..Last week I not only had achy feet, I started to ache all over and get a scratchy throat.  Well it developed into what I will call the Iowa Crud.  lol.  It seems every state has the crud that seems to take you down for a while.  My head was so full, I wondered how I would make it,  I really was beginning to think it wouldn’t, but it has now broken and every day is better.  I will survive.  But guess what,…..I gave it to Rich….He is in the recliner resting up for our next shift this afternoon of 90 degree weather.   I remember when we were first at the Gas pipeline last September and it was so hot, I thought we wouldn’t survive.  Once you get accustomed and find out how,  it really isn’t that bad.   Then you begin to enjoy your surroundings……lol…Words of Wisdom…..Yesterday, I brought my water jug, filled it full of their ice they supply.  Cameron showed me these Cool Wraps at Walmart.  I bought a 2 pack, and I believe they will be the answer.  Yesterday it felt so good to wrap my neck or just wipe my forehead with it.

cooling towl

“THANK YOU CAMERON”   This is my Salvation…..lol….

If it dries, just poor more water on it and it soaks in.   Great Product.  They were a 2 pack for $8.   Not bad at all.  Yesterday, I worked from 3-10.  I only had to rewet it twice.  It was nice to have something cool and wet to wipe my face and neck.  I worked the Duck Pond again, and we had more kids.  That made it more enjoyable.  It was a good evening, so I think I’m over the hump.  Feeling better and maybe now I can start enjoys this gig a little more……Rich is just going to have to suffer the next few days also.  My next day off is Thur, and his is Fri.   After that we should have Fridays off together.  Everything just seems to take time to work out…….

20160522_135622.jpg

Just wanted to report on this poor momma duck.   I had put her picture in the last blog.  She is still sitting in the middle of her flower pot on Main Street.  She has weathered several driving rain storms and all this high 90s heat with no shade or protection.  I sure hope her eggs hatch soon.  I have walked by her and she is panting.  I’m sure she stays their from the time the park opens till it closes to protect her eggs.   Kids are always walking by and talking to her and showing their friends.  Apparently they don’t bother her.

Tomorrow, I will be able to see her again and see her progress….