Silver Dollar City Stone Mountain Park / Poor Training and Unfair Termination
My name is Daniel. I am 23 years old and I was recently fired from Stone Mountain Park. I was employed at Stone Mountain Park for about 4 months and throughout my time there noticed the inequities and lopsidedness of the procedural operations which take place at the Park. I suppose one reason that I was so susceptible to notice these “quirks”, was because I myself am an aspiring business owner. Every job that I have ever worked, I try to learn the ins and outs in terms of running a company. When I first started working at Stone Mountain Park I was very excited, but not so much about the job itself but rather the ideals and structuring that my job was based upon; to make people forget about the troubles they may have at home and to help create memories worth repeating. Not only this, but the Christian principles that this company is based around. With that being said, I understand that this is a business and that no business is perfect.
On April, 9th 2009, I was scheduled to work over at the Train Station. I had been trained to work in this area and was sort of thrusted into a hectic situation. On this particular day, we were rather busy and the train was beginning to load for its next departure. Unbeknownst to me at the time, a technician was working on the train. When the train was finished loading, I was given the go from the back of the train that they were ready to let the train go. At no time, was it every conveyed to me that someone was working on the train, nor that they had not finished what they were doing. After seeing that the platform was supposedly “cleared”, I gave the green light for the train to go. Now in this situation, as with any, I understand taking responsibilities for my actions whether good or bad. But, with that said, I feel that it is also equally important to take preliminary actions to ensure ones own safety. How can I properly do my job, if those around me don’t take the time to do their own? Now, luckily the man was unharmed and came out of this just a little shaken. In this situation I felt that the main problem was a lack of communication. It wasn’t until a week later that the event was brought to my attention and that I was told that I would be put on infinite probation. Before being presented with Probation, I was never confronted by anyone with the issue. It was simply dealt with and presented to me as is. Another thing I would like to point out is that I received no training for working at the train station and was never officially signed to work at the station and as far I know was the only one disciplined for this situation.
The 2nd issue took place on April 30th 2009. Around 1p.m., I was alerted by a guest that a middle-aged woman had passed out and was in need of medical assistance. I then alerted my co-worker Erin about the situation and attempted to dial 5333 using the Barn’s phone. Prior to this, our phone line had been having many issues and often times would not work at all. After several failed attempts on the phone I told Erin that I was going to run down to the ticket plaza to get help. I told the young lady working there to call for medical assistance because a woman had passed out at the Barn. After doing so, I ran back to the Barn, accompanied by a lead named Ashley. The medical team had arrived by the time we got there. Ashley asked me about our 100 pack so I could write up a statement but I was unsure what she meant by this. It wasn’t until after the situation had cleared that another lead (Shanna) explained to me and Erin what and where ours was located in the Barn. One week later (05/07/09) I was called in by my lead Deidra to discuss what had happened since she was not there. After conveying my side of the story it became rather obvious that a decision had already been made and that I was to be suspended for 3 days. When I inquired why this was the chosen decision, it was explained to me that I didn’t follow the "proper procedure" in this case. I then followed up with, “How am I supposed to react without proper training.” Her main argument was that I wasn’t supposed to leave the area since there was only two of us working and that I should have used my cell phone to call for help. I feel that this is not enough of an argument to warrant my suspension. Not only this, but since when did it become standard practice for one to use their personal phone line in the event of business related issues. If I am expected to use my phone for business, then that business should subsidize the cost of those calls. I’m not just speaking of course about emergencies, but any work related issue. As I had already stated, I take full responsibility for my actions and when someone’s life is in danger I feel that it is import to do whatever necessary to see to it that that person is taken care of and that they receive the needed medical attention.
About a week or so after my suspension had ended I managed to schedule an appointment with Ray, the Manager over Attractions at Stone Mountain Park. Upon meeting with Ray we discussed the two following situations. It was at this time when I explained that I had not received any training to work at the train station. When then we spoke of the situation taking place at the Barn. I was told that the phone was working and I that I must have mistaken that it wasn’t - this by people who were not there. Not only this, but it was brought to my attention that my original punishment for the incident was Termination but because of the nature of the incident it was reduced to 3 days suspension. After my meeting with Ray, it was decided to reduced my probation from infinite to 60 days, a decision I felt was still unreasonable and did not truly agree with.
On the 21st of June I was witness to be out of my position by my lead, Deidra . I than quickly took my place at the bottom of the slides. She then asked me why I was at the front when I replied that we were rotating positions and that I was simply conversing with my fellow worker before attending to my spot. After explaining so, she stated that she didn’t want to see that again and left. I continued to work as scheduled through the week, in fact I was called in a few times to fill in for workers who called out. On the 28th of June I was called in for a meeting. My supervisors had decided to terminate my position because the “severity” of my conduct. They stated that because I was already on probation because of the train incident that this was the next step.
In every one of these situations I felt that my side had been completely disregarded and I was given the impression that my say didn’t matter. This is very disheartening to me and I feel that because of which I cannot and will not continue to support the Herschend Family name. I believe in all these cases there were people who should have taken responsibility for their actions but failed to do their job and because of which I was used a scapegoat.