S.Parker wrote:So I have noticed that every roller coaster I have ridden has staff checking restraints, but they also have someone usually in a room with windows just watching what the others are doing. What is that persons job?
As I say, the only GP question is the question not asked. You're probably talking about the ride operator. A high functioning coaster has the following positions:
Greeter: First person or persons you see when you enter the queue line. They answer some questions for the guests, stare them down to make sure they'll be able to get on the ride, and not have to get a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo for their loose items, take care of the first round of priority queue obligations or watch the single rider line, and do other duties as necessary.
Crowd Control: Person or persons that you see that separate the queue line from the station. They stop people from entering and have them wait periodically and make sure that the station doesn't get too crowded. They manage the flow between the priority queue and the main queue. They're the last line of defense to make sure that the guests can ride and that their loose articles are taken care of in adherence with the park policy.
Restraint Checkers: The man the station, and ensure that the restraints are properly in place and that all guests are safe.
Ride Operator: He/she sits in the control booth, look for signals from the restraint checkers, and dispatch the train when its ready. This is usually the highest level of employee stationed in the a ride -- considered to be "operating heavy machinery."
Even higher functioning parks will also have employees roving around the queue line, monitoring, answering questions, and managing the flow of guests.
Lower functioning parks or parks operating at partial capacity will sacrificing the rovers, the greeters, and the crowd control. Its generally difficult to properly allow a priority queue with only restraint checkers and a ride op, but when crowds are light enough, full capacity may not be needed.
So what you were referring to probably describes the ride operator. Some people casually call all employees on a ride a "ride operator" or "ride op" but technically that just refers to the employee at the control panel.