Wednesday, September 25, 2002

End-of-Summer Employee of the Week Not Really All That Good

The Six Flags New England "Employee of the Week" program seemed like a great idea at the start of the summer: choose a different employee every week to praise as the best in the park. Morale would go up, visitors would see the park trying to improve service, and the employees would enjoy a $25 gift certificate to TGIFriday's.

But the park management didn't think about one problem: they don't have that many great, or even marginally good, employees. With the policy requiring no repeats, this week's winner, Charles Krisling, who works the counter at a pizza stand near Superman: Ride of Steel, is universally regarded as a barely acceptable employee at best but the best employee left at this late date.

Krisling came to SFNE at the urging of his friend, Dale Nothberg (also a food service employee at SFNE), with whom Krisling got stoned virtually every day of the school year. That tradition continued at SFNE, with frequent breaks behind a men's room roughly equidistant from each employee's work station.

Park Manager Bob Frankman, who chose Krisling for the award, explained his decision: "Krisling was on time upwards of seventy percent of the time and prepared a pizza with the correct toppings nearly eighty percent of the time. Those numbers are sufficient to avoid termination and, this late in the season, get you an employee of the week award."

Krisling termed the award "kinda cool, I guess. Friday's has those jalapeno popper things, and those things rule when you're stoned, dude. And I know the bartender at one near my house, and he won't card me."

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