The heat in Allentown, Pennsylvania can become unbearable for several factors. It would most often be magnified tenfold due to its unfortunate location in a valley, but the most common reason was because of an overabundance of exposed human flesh.
Now, heat can do crazy things to people. It can cause them to wait in line anywhere for up to two hours for a roller coaster, and it can also send them plunging off a plastic slide into a pool of water. However, if things don't go exactly according to plan, it can all go downhill very quickly.
It was a Friday morning, a shift that I always enjoyed because of one reason and one reason only: taco salad. The cafeteria in the water park served this delicious meal on Fridays, and it was always a rare treat. The year before had been difficult because I was at the bottom of the park while the water park was at the top; the roller coaster I supervised this year was a stone's throw away. I also looked forward to the break so that I could get away from the ride for a while and talk to some of my favorite employees. But taco salad days were very important to my circle of friends, and we would often call each other up throughout the day to plan our lunchtime break accordingly.
Today was no different. My friend Chris called me up.
"Hey Georg. 2 o'clock as usual?"
"Yeah, should be good. How's your day going?"
"Not much. Nagle is over here, and we're just goofing around. You should come over for a bit."
"I'll see what I can do. I have some schedules that need to get done."
Schedules was my codeword for doing nothing. I was a very fair boss, but I didn't do a whole lot of work. The employees liked me more than they liked my counterpart, and I would often hole up in the office and pretend to shuffle some papers around while they were outside, toiling in the elements of whatever that day brought. Consequently, I gave them 45-minute breaks, whereas the standard time was 30.
The second round of breaks had already finished up when Chris called me. Those who were just returning were signing back in, and I was still on the phone when one of my employees pounded on the glass in front of me. He mouthed the words, "There's a fight", and my reaction was noticably cool.
"Hold on Chris, there's a fight. I gotta handle this."
"Ugh, good luck."
I hate confrontations normally, as I'm not a very intimidating person: five foot ten, around 170 pounds and with a generally slouching demeanor, I could get pissed off when I wanted to. I normally did, but it never helped guest relations: I would get reported, and my supervisor (the aforementioned Nagle) would just tell me to keep cool. He was a good friend of mine.
So, as I was walking out of the booth, one of my employees came up to me and said, "There's a fight going on out there."
"Yeah, I know, I'm going to deal with it now."
"Uh..." she looked at me, then looked at the fracas outside. "I'd call security or something."
I looked out the window and saw two large black ladies sitting in their seats and a white family of three standing around looking confused. Great, I thought to myself. The family must've been putting their belongings into the bin, and the two ladies walked through and took their seats. It happens a lot, and most people understand.
I walked over to them and asked them what the problem was. One of the ladies said, "We're sitting down and they came over here and started yelling at us."
The daughter looked at me and said, "We were putting our stuff in there –" she pointed to the bins "– and they took our seats."
"Nuh-uh! We were here the entire time!"
I'd heard enough. "Ladies, you're going to have to go back in line and wait for the next train to come around." (Train was the term for coaster)
They looked at me as if I had thirteen eyes. &