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Kings Island Takes The American Dream on a Wild Ride


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^The point is that KI let this go for six weeks. They should have been in full control over the situation from day one, providing all that they had promised. The ONLY reason the problem is now being addressed is because it was made public. That is absolutely pathetic on the part of KI and Cedar Fair.

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Please explain how CF or KI can be in "complete control" when they do not own the housing units themselves. Six weeks in my opinion is too long - argreed - it is also possible that this got resolved because the publicity - no arguement there either. I also think it would have gotten resolved or corrected eventually. But this high and mighty attitude using terms like "pathetic" or "indentured servants"???

 

It appears to me comments like "pathetic" are spoken from people with NO experience running a business of any size. Unfortunate things happen to ALL businesses. What's important is how you respond - and in my opinion -CF and KI did a stand up job.

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^The exchange student company was working on Kings Island's behalf. It very much is Kings Island's responsibility to ensure the company is providing whatever their contract specificed. Call me crazy, but I doubt their contract specified the conditions described in the news article...Plus, just going off what the article said, Kings Island HR allegedly was not available to help the international's out.

 

I've been in management at a theme park. I'll second the comments that it really is pathetic to let this go un-noticed for so long. "Only" 30% of such a small sample size is still too many. How you respond is very important. But that doesn't excuse it happening in the first place.

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I just hope KI does whatever they have to do to remedy this situation quickly. Channel 9 has a tendency to really sink it's teeth into KI when things go wrong, (I know, surprise...they are the media!). But they really go for the throat when it's KI.

 

Just look back at how they went after KI after the SOB accident. They were really out to get at KI, esp. one of their former reporters who caused all kinds of problems. If I remember right, he was quickly cut loose from Channel 9.

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I just hope KI does whatever they have to do to remedy this situation quickly. Channel 9 has a tendency to really sink it's teeth into KI when things go wrong, (I know, surprise...they are the media!). But they really go for the throat when it's KI.

 

Just look back at how they went after KI after the SOB accident. They were really out to get at KI, esp. one of their former reporters who caused all kinds of problems. If I remember right, he was quickly cut loose from Channel 9.

 

The I-Team will do that, unfourtanely. Here hoping Kings Island fixes this problem.

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I think that it is a nice idea, if proper procedures are followed and the kids are put up in decent quarters and trained properly before they are allowed to become employees.

 

I will never forget three years ago when I visited SFGA and we were trying to buy two bottles of water from one of the umbrella vendors. The bottles were three bucks apiece, I gave him a ten and he had no idea how or what change to give me! I was trying to explain to him that I should get four dollars back, but it was clear that he did not speak any English and was just totally confused about American currency.

 

The kid then tried to hand me eight dollars back, so I gave him two back and told him that the total was six dollars and not two dollars. It looked to me like the kid did not have any training at all! They just put him under an umbrella in the scorching heat with a cooler of water and soda and left him there! How could this happen??? I wonder how many dishonest people totally ripped this kid off before the end of the day?

 

So, no need to jump up and bash CF and KI for this one - this type of nonsense is probably happening at every corporate-owned park, not just CF.

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So, no need to jump up and bash CF and KI for this one - this type of nonsense is probably happening at every corporate-owned park, not just CF.

 

This isn't a crappy locker policy or charging too much for drinks or something, this is full on taking advantage of people and not providing for basic living conditions. Even if other corporate-owned parks acted the same way, which is a gigantic stretch to believe, it doesn't make it right.

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Can you say "modern slavery"?

 

Not only does this situation need to be remedied, but heck, compensate these kids for having to put up with it. If these were American kids, and it got this kind of media attention, they would give them $omething, or else they would end up in a lawsuit. They know these workers can't easily sue.

 

Do the right thing KI, or take your new coaster and shove it!

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KI has done the right thing acording to the article, while these "kids" can certainly take their complaint to small claims court at no cost.

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^ ARG - Did you read the article? First, let me quote - "Jorge says it wouldn't be so bad if the students could just sleep here, and leave to explore the area. But, they can't."

 

So the conditions aren't that diplorable, IF they could travel - which they CAN do now (6 weeks late - granted). I've been to the DR and have seen their average living conditions - I think KI should be more concerned about local building codes, their potential violation with exposed wires, and potential fines.

im

Regarding the students "options" is this why they secure these positions through WISE? WISE should be their resource to solve these types of issues - and I suspect - again imo - that WISE secured the PR to solve the problem more quickly.

 

I strongly suspect this problem got "stuck" in middle-manement and that's why it took so long to resolve. Bottom line it did get resolved positively - so comments like "take your new coaster and shove it" really push my buttons due to a complete lack of understanding how businesses work.

 

Case in point - just started a new job with a contract. When I got my first check the gross amount was $5k short on a yearly basis ($200/check). I brought it to HR's attention and will have it fully resolved on my 4th check - 2 months late !!

 

Just like the students - better late than never that the problem got solved.

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poor students. I hope they get the treatment they PAID for. I don't even understand why KI did not make plans to have outing for their students to different places. That should be one of the most imp things to do. To show the "wonderful" culture America is all about

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Case in point - just started a new job with a contract. When I got my first check the gross amount was $5k short on a yearly basis ($200/check). I brought it to HR's attention and will have it fully resolved on my 4th check - 2 months late !!

 

Just like the students - better late than never that the problem got solved.

 

In no way at all does that stand as "Case in point". There is a VERY large difference between a mistake on a cheque being made and denying someone basic living conditions that the vast majority of North America receives. You're comparing apples to oranges.

 

There is absolutely no way that they would get away with treating American workers this like this, so it's just wrong that they would let it slide with foreigners. Complaints were lodged and seemingly pushed aside. I'd be willing to bet that it was an American co-worker that gave them the idea to get in touch with the media to get things solved.

 

Yes the housing situation wasn't what Kings Island was expecting from the start, but once they were notified of the situation they didn't handle it properly. When complaints are regarding basic human rights, you have to make solving them a priority. In no way does it sound like this situation was handeled properly from the start.

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^ Oh please. They are identicle if you understand the point. Due to beaurocracy, my check has been incorrect for 6 weeks as the problem works it's way through channels. The students themselves said they did complain, so it is safe to assume that someone within CF knew about and was aware of the problem.

 

WOW - HELLO - Duke Lacross players?? (forget american workers - how about plain ol' Americans?)

 

I don't know what Kool-aid you are drinking - but I undestand how billion dollar companies work (things get "stuck" in middle-management).

 

These "kids" were here through another company (WISE), and mistakes happen. The kids themselves said if they could get around better - things would be "ok". Get off your horse and smell the coffee.

 

Cedar Fair resolved this unforeseen problem promptly and correctly (why are you biased against CF?).

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^Taking the suggestion you gave Wes, I went ahead a re-read the article...

 

The context of the article makes it clear the only reason the kids themselves say it wouldn't be so bad if they could get out is because they want to be away from their crappy living conditions as much as possible. That's a little more than the small problem of simply not having a ride.

 

Speaking of the housing...

 

The students signed job offers with Kings Island's Human Resources manager. The offer required them to sign a housing agreement with a hostel, "less than a mile", "within walking distance" to the Park, near public transportation. There would be "free bicycles available to borrow" and "assistance with finding second jobs" to help pay back their expenses for coming here.

 

He says other housing the park had arranged fell through at the last minute and this was the only option King's Island could find to keep about 50 students together. "The rooms that they [the apartment complex] showed us were in good condition. We knew there were some renovations going on, but we were not shown all of the rooms."

 

The students say they've tried repeatedly to talk to the woman who hired them here but could never get in to see her.

 

You're telling me that this "unforeseen" problem was handled promptly and correctly? According to the article, the park knew from the very beginning that the students would have to live farther away than their employment agreement specified (who needs to honor the terms of a contract anyways, right?). And yet, they still only offered the one shuttle van that didn't run on their days off...Until it made the news. Then everything was magically fixed "promptly and correctly." Guess the HR representative they kept trying to contact unsuccessfully was magically able to clear up all the bureaucratic red tape you just assume it was buried under? Please.

 

WOW - HELLO - Enron?? They probably had the same attitude as well.

 

To borrow a quote from you..."Get off your high horse and smell the coffee."

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Yikes, you scare me.

 

First, the kids did not say they wanted to get away from their crappy living conditions - YOU assumed it.

 

The article said the housing had to be changed at the last minute - that was the unforeseen change - new landlord !! Something KI or CF could not change. They have 50 kids coming and they needed to find new accomodations - for whatever reason.

 

I work for Dunkin' Donuts corporate and have plenty of coffee (thank you). goodnight

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^Well, if you can assume that this was just buried in a sea of bureaucratic red tape, why can't I make an assumption about what I think the article is implying?

 

I just want to get this straight...you're saying it's OK to breach your contractual obligation because of an unforeseen problem? And that one shuttle bus that didn't even run on their days off was the short-term best solution they could come up with until it was magically corrected overnight after making the news?

 

Even going with your assumption that they did know, why didn't the PR guy say as much? He could have just as easily said "we have been aware of this problem and were already working to secure more charter vans/tours/etc. when this story broke. We have also filed a lawsuit against the apartment complex for misleading us..."

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I worked at Darien Lake for 6 years and the way Six Flags treated its internationals was absolutely disgusting. DL is in the VERY rural area between Buffalo/Rochester and the students lived in a very beat-up/shady Motel in the country, think Bates Motel.

 

Anyway, they would have a bus to the park at 9am and one leaving at at 10pm. However 90% of the shifts went from 10am-5pm or 5pm-11pm. This meant that the internationals would have to sit around the park outside for 5 hours waiting for their bus.

 

Eventually most of them were able to get rides back from other employees but still a few were always sitting there waiting for their bus. DL also promised them of a metropolitan experience but failed to mention that without a car that'd be impossible.

 

They also were 4 to a room, with only 2 beds in each room, it was very awkward for people who didn't know each other, and sometimes didn't even speak the same language.

 

We would always take the internationals to parties with us or take them into Buffalo and Rochester to show them what American cities were like. Halfway through the summer most of them would quit and buy a train ticket to either NYC, California, or DC and go check out the rest of the country.

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^^ Arg, NO, I did not say that. Again, you are implying things to prove your point.

 

What I am saying is that fixing the problem requires capital - and capital expenditures require approval - and sometimes - those unforeseen problems require capital quicker than the capital can be secured.

 

Again, according to the article, the park had a contract with a company to provide houseing. It fell through, so the situation arose.

 

All I am saying is that 6 weeks is not an unreasonable timeframe to solve a problem, and sometimes, yes, it can take even longer. The media attention got the problem solved and that is a VERY good thing.

 

I just think slamming CF over this is unfair to the corporattion - especially - the "victems" themselves said increased mobility (which means a van and more capital $$ due to the different location) would have solved the problem. The living conditions were secondary according to the article - so give the park some slack, thank the media for the assist because the problem got SOLVED and EVERYONE is happy.

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^All we're trying to say is that the park does not deserve a free pass simply because it's all better now and an "unforeseen" problem arose. It's great that the students will get a few weeks to enjoy what they thought would be a whole summer of exploring Cincy, but that doesn't change the fact they got screwed over for 6 weeks in the first place.

 

I would understand needing 6 weeks of approval if making the situation right required a huge influx of capital. But seriously, how expensive is booking a few sightseeing tours and renting a few extra vans?!? That could be put on a corporate credit card and be ready in a few days...which is essentially what sounds like happened after being called out by the media. The capital argument doesn't even address why the students couldn't get a meeting with their HR rep...

 

Going back to the capital thing, seeing how quickly the park acted once hit with negative PR naturally begs the question of why wasn't that done right away in the first place? If Kings Island was aware of the problem all along, why is their no mention anywhere (from either Kings Island or the students) that they were working to fix the problem prior to the news story? The obvious answer is the corporate culture at Cedar Fair is screwed up. Whether it be a lack of care towards employees, or too much bureaucracy, or a combination of both...taking 6 weeks to fix this is unacceptable.

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I don't know what Kool-aid you are drinking - but I undestand how billion dollar companies work (things get "stuck" in middle-management).

 

These "kids" were here through another company (WISE), and mistakes happen. The kids themselves said if they could get around better - things would be "ok". Get off your horse and smell the coffee.

 

Cedar Fair resolved this unforeseen problem promptly and correctly (why are you biased against CF?).

 

Wow, so many things wrong with that post (and your POV in general) that I barely know where to start.

 

First off, don't EVER personally attack me again considering you know $h!t all about me. I do actually know what I'm talking about here, both from education and work experience. My opinion counts just as much as yours, and everyone else's for that matter.

 

I'm not biased against CF in any way, just on this matter. Waiting 6 weeks to fix a problem as bad as this is beyond unacceptable. I can't believe that you don't see a difference between a delay in receiving some money, versus the issue at hand. I highly doubt you'd want to pay $1200 a month to live in a place like that with no transportation. I know I definitely wouldn't.

 

They clearly had issues with more than just the transportation as well. Joey interpretted it perfectly by saying that if they had the option to get away it'd be much more bareable. Transportation was definitely a fixable issue. A company as large as Cedar Fair would not have a problem getting the capital to buy a small bus dedicated to these students. Whether it was an issue of the money getting caught up in red tape, or them simply not wanting to spend it, it's still wrong. There are some things you can put off as a company, but when it concerns your employees well being you need to address it quickly.

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This situation is well beyond unacceptable and possibly bordering on criminal. The idea that it's somehow reasonable for it to take 6 weeks for things to move through the proper channels is ludicrous. If it had a been a week, then I might buy it, but a month and a half? Give me a break! I'd be willing to bet that if not for the negative media attention, nothing would have changed for the duration of the workers' stay here. Trying to put a shiny face on it now by saying they're working to correct the situation is nothing but PR spin. The thing is though, you can't polish a turd.

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^ Oh please. They are identicle if you understand the point. Due to beaurocracy, my check has been incorrect for 6 weeks as the problem works it's way through channels. The students themselves said they did complain, so it is safe to assume that someone within CF knew about and was aware of the problem.

 

WOW - HELLO - Duke Lacross players?? (forget american workers - how about plain ol' Americans?)

 

I don't know what Kool-aid you are drinking - but I undestand how billion dollar companies work (things get "stuck" in middle-management).

 

These "kids" were here through another company (WISE), and mistakes happen. The kids themselves said if they could get around better - things would be "ok". Get off your horse and smell the coffee.

 

Cedar Fair resolved this unforeseen problem promptly and correctly (why are you biased against CF?).

 

Who needs Harvard MBAs when we can read posts about how businesses really operate on roller coaster web sites from guys who can't spell?

 

Thom, I'm glad you're the ONLY one on this site who has any corporate experience at all. How can I be cool like you?

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