Steve Martaindale

Author of the JP Weiscarver Mystery Series

Labor on

slide-thrill-ride-of-steel

The Ride of Steel (Darien Lake photo)

Today is the last regular season day in the theme park where we’ve worked all summer, but it’s special to me for another reason.

After working all summer alongside Leah in a snack bar (which has been fun, don’t get me wrong), I’m finishing out by working today and the next two weekends doing what I did all last year: park sweep. Yes, that’s just what it sounds like. I walk through the park sweeping up and picking up trash.

Many people shake their heads upon hearing that I enjoy the job, but hear me out.

One, I get to work outside all day, even though it can get quite hot walking the pavement under clear skies.

Two, I really feel as if my fingers are on the pulse of the park. Our job this summer had us inside the hotel outside the park and the excitement just isn’t as high.

Three, it’s fun interacting with people. I’ll give directions, talk about the rides, hear their stories, offer to take their photo, etc. It’s just fun watching them some times.

Four, I’m mostly responsible to myself. When someone ordered a chicken caesar wrap, I worried about making it to their satisfaction. As a park sweep, the level of work I demand of myself exceeds what 99 percent of the guests care about. In other words … there is no pressure.

Finally, these last five days are extra special. The boss lady allowed me to name my assignment. This may not seem like much to you, but I love it.

Normally, most sweepers are assigned particular areas in the park. That’s crucial to making sure the entire park is covered. However, you’re in the same area all day. My job will be to roam the park, sweeping wherever the mess takes me. The bonus is that I won’t have rest room duty. Yeah, that’s the one thing about the job I never cared for. Of course, if I encounter a rest room problem, I take care of it, but let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

So, I’m off to labor. I hope y’all have a great holiday and find joy in your work or chores or play.

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