It's been a week since my last post, so this post is going to be exceptionally long. Especially with everything that's happened this week.
I'm going to start off with an incident that happened Monday (8/3) afternoon for two reasons. The first is because I want to get everything down on paper (pardon the pun) so I don't have to repeat myself anymore. The second reason is feedback. I want to see what people have to say.
Starting the first week of June, I was hired as a Games Technician for Darien Lake Theme Park Resort. The title itself pretty much says it all. My shifts were spent primarily outside in the sun for about eight hours, fixing things. This ranged from resoldering microphone cords, replacing blown fuses, replacing IC chips/diodes/capacitors/etc on PCBs, and more. For the first month or two, I was getting hands-on experience fixing and learning all about motors, engines, microelectronics, etc and how they worked with very little prior experience. Mind you, I've been soldering laptop adapter cords back to the tip for about a year now. I had soldering experience before this, but not nearly as much as I do now. I took pride in my job, and made it a priority to keep everything up and working.
Now, I'm going to pause and take this time to point out I have no degree or experience in running a business, or managing employees. All I have is 20, almost 21 years of experience in dealing with many different people. I'm big on giving and receiving respect, even if I don't entirely care for a particular person. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt and assume they're a good person. From that point on, the actions and behavior of that person will decide what I think of them, but I digress.
After the park opened full time for the summer (open 12 hours a day all week), I was all over the park fixing things. I began to notice a growing problem with the park. A lot of the managers and supervisors of individual departments were downright rude to their subordinates. If I wasn't seeing and hearing another employee being yelled at, the rumor mill throughout the park made it impossible to not know what was happening. After about two months of working at Darien Lake, I had a mental list of people to make it a priority to avoid for my own well-being and job security.
At this point, I'm going to pause again for a moment. I'm going to make it clear from this point on, everything I type is complete and utter truth. I'm not changing words around and I'm not leaving any information out. I make it a priority to be as trustworthy as possible. I consider the words I say and write as an oath or a promise. I don't say something lightly, unless I'm with my friends and we're all joking around.
At approximately 3:40pm on August 3rd, 2009, I was walking down the "games barn". The games barn is the name this giant "barn" like building near the front of the park has been given, because about 95% of the games in the park are there. Seeing how I was the "Games Tech", it's obvious why I was walking down that way.
As I was walking down the games barn, I noticed that one of the pins in the bowling alley game had gotten caught up around the chain that brings the balls up the ball return, which is a common problem. So, I immediately turned around to head back towards another game called "Safari Race". There's a opening by that game that leads into the back of the games barn, where I can get back behind the bowling alley and free the pin.
While I'm walking back, I run into Mike Botticelli, the Director of Revenue at Darien Lake and one of the people on that mental list of people to avoid. As soon as he sees me, the first words out of his mouth are "Chris, can you come in to Jake's office for a minute?". So everyone is kept on the same page, Jake is the supervisor for the entire games department, who's office was in the area I was heading.
Since the bowling alley was broken and that day in particular was packed with people, courtesy of Kingdom Bound, I said back to him "The bowling alley is broken. Can I go fix it first?"
I'm going to pause here one last time to point out two things. The first is in what is about to happen next. Both myself and Mr. Botticelli are standing in the "midway", which is a term that Darien Lake employees use that basically means "any part of the park that guests are allowed to be in", with parents and young children in the immediate area. The second is that from this point on, the language is going to become extremely graphic. If you're easily offended or dislike curse words, I suggest you stop reading now.
Immediately after I answer Mr. Botticelli, he shouts back at me "I DON'T GIVE A FUCK IF THE BOWLING ALLEY IS BROKEN! GET IN HIS FUCKING OFFICE RIGHT NOW!".
Now, I'm not sheltered or innocent. My vocabulary isn't squeaky clean. I doubt a week goes by where I don't swear. However, it's with friends and acquaintances that aren't going to be offended, and the words being said aren't usually directed towards anyone. Regardless, the sudden outburst of anger and complete lack of professionalism by a director of the park for absolutely no reason was enough to make me stop walking, turn around, and say "Excuse me?".
As soon as I said "Excuse me?", he shouted the same thing at me again while I'm heading into the back of the games barn. While I was walking, I decided to go into Jake's office first, just to get this guy to calm down and get whatever his problem was out of his system. So, I go into the office. Bad idea.
As soon as I walked in the office, he instantly started swearing and shouting at me. "WHEN I FUCKING TELL YOU TO DO SOMETHING, YOU'LL FUCKING DO IT AND NOT SOMETHING ELSE!". Now, this man is not my immediate supervisor, and I see him a total of about 20 minutes a week, if that. There's only been three occasions in the past where he's told me to do something, and I've done it without question. With that in mind, I was a bit confused to what he was talking about, so I tried asking. Mind you, I made it a priority to keep my voice at room level, not to swear or shout back, and not to say any smartass comments. However, I'll be completely honest and say that I was thinking about it. It was like watching a teenage girl flip out.
Asking didn't get me anywhere. At this point, some of the insults and comments he said are a bit fuzzy simply because they were entirely wrong and not very helpful, like "DON'T BE FUCKING STUPID WITH ME!". Anyway, after about five minutes of this ranting, I was fed up. I make myself as intimidating as possible and tell him that "I quit" and that he can choke on something... inappropriate. He finally comes out and says "YOU'RE FIRED! GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!". Out of amusement, I asked him why I was being fired, which was "YOU'RE A FUCKING HORRIBLE EMPLOYEE!". At that point, I had lost all patience in dealing with him, so I just walked out of the office I was in and left.
Afterwards, I went down to the warehouse where my immediate supervisors office was. He had left, but I got his cellphone number from one of the ladies in the warehouse office. I called and explained everything to him while I was walking down to the Human Resources building. When I got to the HR building, I talked with Barbara Totten, the Human Resources Manager. I explained to her everything I just explained above and she told me she would look into it. After I left her office, I went back into the park to get all of my tools, drop off a few things that needed to different game stations, and stuck some tools that belonged to my immediate supervisor back in the warehouse where I got them from, then I punched out and left. However, while I was dropping off items to different game stations, team leaders and other supervisors that I worked with on a daily basis that knew me and had heard what happened told me that I was a great employee and my hard work hadn't gone unnoticed.
Now, lets fast forward to today... well, yesterday because it's past midnight and now Saturday morning. So, fast forward to Friday (8/7) afternoon. I drove out to Darien Lake to pick up my paycheck from the hours I worked last week (Darien Lake pays the week before). While I was there, I went in and talked to Barbara Totten again. Much to my displeasure, she hasn't done anything regarding what had happened. She hadn't looked into anything and was pretty much letting what Mr. Botticelli did go as if it was nothing. I had some choice comments for her and what she was doing. After I made it clear how displeased I was, I got my final paycheck and left.
I'm expecting its only a matter of time until someone affiliated with Darien Lake reads this. This is a public blog on the internet and it's not like what happened is trivial. I still have yet to hear a reason why I was fired, but I digress. If someone from Darien Lake happens to read this, the only thing I have to say is that if Jim Kulpa or Brad Paul were still here, they wouldn't have let this happen.
As far as anyone else reading this, feel free to leave a comment. If you have a suggestion or advice, that's great. If you're sympathetic, that's great too. I ended up getting call from an old friend from college the same night that this happened, asking me if I wanted a job fixing computers, so I've already got another job, hence the post title.
For anyone who wants to know, the only thing I would like to see resulting from this is Mike Botticelli losing his position and put farther down the management chain, or just unable to fire or hire anyone. The asshole is a two-faced jerk that treats as many people as possible like shit, while rubbing enough backs to keep himself employed.