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19 April 2005 - 3:17pm
Training is one big yawn, right? The trainer says, “Blah, blah, blah,” while you nod politely and think about what’s for dinner.
Our lifeguards get 32 hours of training before they start work. (That’s a lot of meal planning!)
Each year the members of the management staff at Splashin' Safari put on their thinking caps and come up with a theme.
The thinking caps, this season, just happen to be pirate hats, eye patches, and an assortment of attention-getting weapons.
Lori, their fearless she-pirate leader, gave me a copy of the text of the skit her clever folks used to get everyone in the mood to learn about first aid.
Here are some of the lines from the skit:
Black-and-Bluebeard: Gar…I’m so thirsty…I’ve been up in the crow’s nest all day…my skin is all dry and clammy…
Burnacle Britt: Gar…Black-and-Bluebeard… due to your prolonged time in the sun without any fluid intake, you must be suffering from a heat-related emergency, which we medical professionals know as hyperthermia. The first thing… (Burnacle Britt then explains the steps to helping the overheated, under-hydrated pirate.)
Later in the skit…
Long Jen Seizure: Shiver me timbers! Will I have to fill out another one of those blasted reports?!
Captain Contusion: Aye, you will, mate. First-aid reports are very important. Anytime we treat someone, it’s important to document the event and describe the scenario as best we can. (Etc.)
Next comes the fight sequence:
Black-and-Bluebeard: Gar…quit your talking Long Jen Seizure…go back to Treasure Island. You couldn’t even get into a movie because it was rated “RRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!”
Long Jen Seizure: Those be fightin’ words!
(There is then a "bloody" sword fight—a very dramatic and realistic battle, as only plastic toys can convey.)
Black-and-Bluebeard: Gar… (caring for Burnacle Britt)…looks like we have an imbedded object. I’ll control the bleeding and I’ll leave the object for real medical professionals to remove.
Long Jen Seizure: Gar…do you do piercings, too?
Captain Contusion: Yeah…they’re a buccaneer (buck-an-ear, get it?).
Okay, here’s one more…can you take it?
Long Jen Seizure: Captain Contusion, I’m not doing so well. My joints are stiff and sore. And it’s been taking a while for me cuts to heal.
Caption Contusion: Slow wound healing…arg! You have a Vitamin C deficiency! Gar…ye gots the scurvy, mate!
Poor Jen then has a seizure. The pirates hustle to put a towel under her head and remove potentially dangerous objects from the area. Once the seizing subsides, they are taught to maintain an open airway and do an initial assessment.
Well, blow me down! Who knew these landlubbers could learn so much from a bunch of scallywags!
Several years ago we had a TV crew in the water park to interview some of our lifeguards. One comment has also stuck with me, “It’s not Baywatch!”
Aye, matey. Aye.
(Oh…and a reminder from Mrs. Koch: Don’t forget to swab the decks!)
18 April 2005 - 5:04pm
Steven in marketing is already planning to expand our proposed Tax Day themed section.
He is in brilliant form today:
Dependant Land - a special area just for children
Deduction Junction - a train ride, to keep us on track
Special Robot Mascots - named W-2, W-4, and I-9
Thanks, Steven. We appreciate your interest.
15 April 2005 - 5:17pm
Three weeks till opening.
Rain this week didn't help the process of getting ready. Look at how much we got:
Who needs a rain gauge when you've got a Christmas Crater?
But wait! What's that on the left?
There--by the edge of the giant puddle.
A white flag?
A treasure map?
Whoever made that sign and posted it...thank you. It made a lot of hurried, harried people laugh today.
15 April 2005 - 5:04pm
Long, long ago … before the town of Santa Claus was even named … a giant meteor crashed into one of the town’s hillsides, leaving behind a giant crater for folks from miles around to come and see.
It was amazing. A shooting star came to rest in this town. And it happened on Christmas Eve. What does this mean? A holiday miracle perhaps?
The reason I present this as fact and not legend is because I know it’s true.
Mr. Koch told me. In fact, he knew the guy who dug the crater.
I thought of this story the other day when another Christmas Crater appeared in town.
No it’s not a sinkhole. It’s the remains of the Christmas Fountain.
Here one day. Gone the next. All that remains is a big hole in the concrete. Sigh!
In late 2003, we were named as one of the three finalists for the highly coveted Applause Award.
Normally, I wouldn’t use a word like “coveted.” Sounds trite, and a bit sinful.
But let there be no misunderstanding, our Will Koch coveted the Applause Award!
To be a finalist for this international award the first time we were nominated was a coup in itself. It hit us that we had a chance to win this thing. And we'd be the smallest park ever to win.
“If we win,” Will pledged in staff meeting, “we’re putting those hands in the fountain.” We all chuckled.
The Applause Award is a work of art. It’s a pair of hands, applauding. Will talked about having a large version made and added to the fountain.
After hosting the international Board of Governors for the Applause Awards last summer we knew we had a shot. But so did the other two parks, both magnificent European parks.
Well, we won.
Not long after, Will distributed our Capital Improvement Budget for 2005. As I scanned the long list of line items, I blurted out: “Oh! You really meant it about the fountain!”
All those months, I’d thought Will was joking (he jokes a lot; he’s a jovial guy).
Yes, he really meant it. We’re getting a new foun- tain. Same size, but with a bunch of bub- blers, jump- ing jets, and colored lights. And, rising proudly from the center of the waters, a pair of applauding hands, eight feet tall.
The giant hands are being hand-crafted for us, so it may be a while before they’re ready. Meanwhile, bronze plaques will be installed along the perimeter, naming the other parks that have won this coveted award in the past. It's our way of starting a hearty round of applause for all the people who developed, worked at, and visited these parks over the years.
15 April 2005 - 1:50pm
About 18 months ago, I got a new computer here at work. One of the fussy little set-up chores is to go through and choose all the “Options” in Outlook. I send my emails HTML. I sort my Contacts by Address Cards (but not Detailed Address Cards). I prefer my Icons small and in a list, thankyouverymuch.
Next it was time to sort out my Calendar.
One option presented is “show holidays.”
Rather a no-brainer, don’t you think? If you work at Holiday World, being aware of the nation’s holidays is a good thing. On the appointed day, up pops the announcement of the holiday. Ground Hog Day. St. Patrick’s Day. Columbus Day. Tax Day.
Who in the world declared today a holiday? Was this the work of a federal agency? Or some mischievous software designer who claims an extra three dependents each year and gets a fat check back from the IRS?
Could there possibly be a method to this madness?
Once in a while, just for fun, we toss around ideas for a new themed section. But no one has ever suggested Tax Day.
Think of it, though, for just a minute…what joy a Tax Day section could bring to families:
- The Shake You Down Go-Round, the world’s first inverted merry-go-round
- The Taxman Cometh dark ride, complete with laser pointers for scratching out errors
- The Bean Counter Carousel, sponsored by H&R Block
- a musical show called Evasion Jubilation
- a dunking booth with – you guessed it – simulated IRS agents; and finally…
- The Taxinator roller coaster, which only goes uphill.
Thanks to my Cousin Jeff in St. Louis for helping me with these ideas. I tried calling our corporate controller first, but was told he has taken the day off. Huh. I guess, for some, today is a holiday.