Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Skyscraper, 2nd Nov 2020.
Towers don't exactly help with that!
Oh 100% agreed that's what I mean, but they know it works for them. There'll always be teenagers looking for work that they can rope in
I grew up in Uttoxeter and went to the local high school and 6th form Thomas Alleynes and literally everyone in 6th form either went down the Alton Towers route or the bar/restaurant route to earn a bit of cash. Like you said, there will always be a supply of 16-18 year olds they can keep for 2 years before the majority move away to go to uni, by which point there’s some fresh meat to recruit on a measly wage. Out of my 4 closest friends in 6th form, they all worked at AT - 1 worked as a photographer, 1 worked as a Sea Life host, 1 worked as a ride host for Team Oblivion and 1 worked in one of the information kiosks - I ironically was the odd one out and worked in a local restaurant!
Unfortunately because AT know they can get the majority of their staff from the local 6th forms and colleges and that there’s always going to be a steady stream of new recruits who frankly don’t care about customer service or the theme park industry, they’ll continue to pay poorly.
A lot of the young seasonal staff also come from the 5 towns that make up Stoke on Trent. Certainly a good number of the Valley ride team back my time used to go out in Hanley on Fri / Sat nights, then turn up for work the next morning in a right state. Two of the places they used to frequent were Chicago's & Liquid - doubtless long-gone by now.
It used to be hilarious on the Nemesis platform on a Saturday / Sunday morning (if you weren't as high a kite on the stench of Red Bull & Extra-strong mints!). The phone would start to ring with people calling in sick & to speak to the team leader doing the ride sign-off. It was not uncommon for the team leader to tell the operator "[name] won't be in today so you're one-down". Someone would then pipe up "I saw [name] being sick in Hanley at 2am"! Pure class.
This was in the day when seasonal staff were paid weekly, on a Friday. In an attempt to reduce weekend absenteeism they switched pay-day to Mondays. It did have an effect to an extent. It was still quite common for staff to turn up on Saturdays clearly still under the influence from the night before (one on my team frequently turned with no socks on as she'd had to get out of the house pronto to make the staff bus).
I can only assume (or hope) that Towers are much stricter on alcohol now, given the events on The Smiler. (No indication that alcohol was involved there - strongly suspect it was not as it was a midweek afternoon), but Towers safety reputation took a battering & if something else was to happen & the staff involved failed a test you can only imagine what the press would make of it - and rightly so.
Not that it's very relevant but if you were curious they are both still open but Liquid is called Fiction now!
This is where @Plastic Person will shake his head and deem me to be a right wing capitalist scumbag, but if you're 17 and flogging Magnums and bottles of Sprite on a weekend at Alton, earning minimum wage is for me, not wrong.
Also I hate the connection of low pay = don't care, I think that massively discredits a lot of people, many of which do have passion and if they don't, they should fake it, it's part of the role.
TPWW has done a vlog after the capacity increases, explaining the changes at each main ride. Interesting that both WM and RT are being fully loaded when I thought it was just the coasters with OTSRs?
Plus Nemmy and Galacica are still one party per row, but Smiler is now multiple parties per row. Blivvy is still leaving gaps between parties. Doesn't really add up.
It’s because they’re apparently trialling it on certain rides. If the trials go well, the policy will be extended to encompass everything.
I respect your opinion but yeah I strongly disagree, especially your last paragraph.
They stated on their socials it's a one week trial on Thirteen, Runaway Mine Train, Wicker Man and The Smiler. Probably will extend to the other rides very soon.
They're bound to trial it on their 3 most popular rides, it makes sense
TH13TEEN is an obvious must try it on due to its capacity requirements
So you are saying, @Error, that people on minimum wage can't be, and shouldn't bother to be, good at their job?
I see what you're saying. But there's a difference between low pay and fair pay. Some jobs will never carry a large pay packet but can offer a good workplace culture and good job satisfaction. Some jobs pay very well but ruin your life.
I don't think 17 year old Tyrone flogging Sprite and Magnums should be given crap money and seen as a meaningless monkey. He's always going to go sick, be at risk of leaving and treat guests like crap if he doesn't feel valued.
At the same time, I've got loads of experience of employing starry eyed kids who can't wait to throw a sickie, moan about working shifts and weekends and think they're hard done by. It's common to see them fall for the allusion that it's just a temporary means to an end. Then they leave uni, many thousands in debt and realise that their dream 9 -5 Mon - Fri Flexi time 'consultant' job (what is it with adding that word to made up job roles these days?) where they can sit around holding hands in sweet harmony all day - don't actually exist.
I guess it's a balance between the character building of a hard day's graft and low paid exploitation.
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I think people on minimum wage absolutely can be good at their jobs, but majority of the time it's fruitless. I've slaved away at jobs that couldn't care less if I dropped dead, and probably would moan about having to get cover if I did, so I've learnt not to bother. If you work a job like that and enjoy it and or want to move up in that business then credit to you, no disrespect at all, but if I'm at a job that are literally telling me "if I could legally pay you less, I would" in a field I have no interest in, I'm there to clock in, clock out, and collect my payslip. Don't get me wrong I do what I need to do, and in fact I'm good at it, but like I said minimum wage= minimum effort
Excellent points. The significant one is that Nick Varney has openly said he thinks Merlin should be able to pay below the minimum wage "up North" and pay above it "down South" where recruitment is much harder / the cost of living higher. The law is the law Mr Varney - treat your staff with the respect they deserve and you'll probably enhance the guest experience.
No wonder towers are struggling to recruit staff by the looks of their CEOs attitude and behaviour. Don't like him, always thought the same since I saw him in an interview after the incident and he clearly didn't give one about those injured and was just interested in re couping profit. In a situation like that he should at least try to act like he has more compassion rather than giving facial expressions which were clearly so fake
Having met Nick when I was a lowly Merlin employee, the contempt he had for everyone below him was all too apparent; right from the lower level of management down to the front liners. It certainly made an impression on the staff who didn't have any career aspirations within the company at the time.
Slightly off topic but the other day I was comparing the Chessington Safari hotel under Merlin vs when it was a Holiday Inn. The difference in terms of staff is night and day. Under Holiday Inn they were attentive, diligent and it felt like they wanted to be there. That's not the case under Merlin, yet I doubt the wages under either company were vastly different.
It just suggests to me that the culture and the management structure has a massive impact and it's not just down to being on minimum wage.
Like a lot of very successful people, he seems to be only really interested in dominance, often at the expense of quality.
At the Nemesis 21 event in 2015, he was asked during a Q&A about The London Resort. He told the crowd that the project was a waste of time for all involved, and should it open, he couldn't wait for it to fail so that Merlin could do us all a favour and procure it. No notion of competition being good for the industry, or as Geoffrey Thompson might have put it, "there was more than one tailor on Savile Row."
Six years later and of course, The London Resort is now open and a resounding success.
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