View Full Version : Taking breaks

Jimmy B
06-30-2005, 07:37 PM
As anyone who has worked the entire day knows that taking breaks during your job is critical, at least for most workers including me.

At Frontier City, during our short-day operations (like 10 AM - 8 PM or Noon - 7 PM), we usually have a 15-minute break during the first shift and half-hour during the second. On long days (10 AM - 10/11 PM) for all day workers, we'll have two 30-minute breaks, and perhaps if possible a third 15-minute break, which almost never happens due to scheduling problems.

Also, because of the heat and humidity in Oklahoma and Texas during the summer (mid-upper 90s), we are strongly encouraged, indeed required, to drink lots of water and take our breaks. Fortunately we have water jugs to keep in our stations. I usually bring lots of Gatorade; on a typical Saturday, I consume about four to six 20-oz bottles of Gatorade, or drink almost a gallon of water a day.

How many breaks do you all get to take?

Carowinds 73-03
06-30-2005, 07:52 PM
If we work a half day like 4pm-8pm or 2pm-8pm we get a 30 min break but if your like me and work from 8/9am till 8/10pm i get an hour break and thats it which is plenty for me. Sometimes i really wish we didn't have to take breaks.

When SCarowinds comes around and i work 9am-12:30/1am i will get 2 1 hour breaks but most likely will only take 1.

06-30-2005, 08:17 PM
Under NJ State Law, since I'm under 18 (16) I can't work more than 4 hours without a break. And I can only work 8hours in a day. If I only work 4 hours, usually a sup. will give me 15 minutes. If I work 8 hours, I get 1 30 minute break and an occasionally 2nd 30 minute break. Then, if I work 8.5 hours I HAVE to have 2 30 minute breaks.

On a normal 8 hour day, I only take 1 break. I rarely take 2 breaks, unless like I said its an 8.5 hour day.

06-30-2005, 10:21 PM
Rides, under NJ state law, you have to take your break before your 5th hour of work.

Im 16, and I work at SFGadv. I can't take my break before my 3rd hour of work and no later then my 5th.
A 16 or 17 year old cannot work more them 8 hours under NJ state law.

07-01-2005, 01:31 AM
^well when I say I work a 8.5 hour day, because of the 1hr total break time, I only work 7.5 hours a day. And I was never told I couldn't take a break before my 3rd hour of work, but I guess that's how they start figuring out break times..??

07-01-2005, 12:05 PM
At Kennywood we get two half-hour breaks. For my crew the first round of breaks starts at 2(2-3 people go at a time) and usually ends around 3:30 or 4. The second round begins at 5(again, 2-3 people go at a time) but usually only the As(all day shift) take them.

I almost never take breaks unless it's really hot or I'm really hungry.

07-01-2005, 01:44 PM
I dont work at a park but I was wondering what you guy do on your breaks? Do you go ride something?

Jimmy B
07-01-2005, 03:17 PM
We're not allowed to ride when we are on the job or when we are in uniform -- even during breaks. I always head to my employee cafe to just sit down and rest and if I need to, get more water or fluids. For me, I need the rest, so I always take full advantage of my breaks to relax, especially since we are required to stay standing at all time on the job and the heat and humidity also takes its toll.

07-02-2005, 12:52 AM
In the rides department at Lake Compounce, if you work a half day (10:30am-3:30pm or 3pm-8pm) you get 1 45 minute break, if you work all day you get 2 45 minute breaks. I usually take only 1 break a day because I am a manager or a section so I don't have to take one, and usually when I do I never take the full 45 because I don't like just sitting down doing nothing, I'd rather be walking around doing something.

07-04-2005, 01:35 PM
I dont work at a park but I was wondering what you guy do on your breaks? Do you go ride something?

Sit in the employee cafeteria and eat and/or talk.

Carowinds 73-03
07-04-2005, 11:54 PM
Same here, were not allowed to ride rides on breaks anymore :(

07-05-2005, 01:11 AM
At Hersheypark, if you are working the morning (9-4) or night (4-10/11) you get a 45min. break somewhere in the middle of the shift during the break time. If you work the relief shift (11:50-8) you get a 1 hour break in between all the other breaks you are giving. But sometimes during pre/post season when staffing isn't that great we only get 30min. breaks which depending on where you are working isn't enough time. Our normal breaks are plenty of time to do whatever you need to do. Also, throughout the day/night if you ever need a bathroom/water break somebody comes and relieves you while you go.

07-05-2005, 11:12 AM
Kennywood shifts/breaks

A Shift - 10:30am to close (when ever close is depending on weather and crowd) usually around 10:00pm or 11:00pm. we will no longer be closing before 10pm now which sucks!! N-E-Ways you get two 30minute breaks

B Shift - 10:00am to Not Needed (which is usually after 2nd breaks) around 6:00pm or 6:30pm. you get one 30 minute break

C Shift - 2 to close you get one 30 minute break

D Shift- 10am - 5pm no breaks cause we usually get off at 3pm. in kiddieland they get off at 5 so they get one break.

E Shift- 5 to close no break

F Shift 12- close one break

we can't ride in uniform. plus our breaks are only 30 minutes and usually we are super hungry so we go to the employee cafe to eat. The only time we can ride while we are working is if there is a little kid that is scared to ride by themselves and there are more than one platform attendent on platform. Otherwise the kid will just have to go alone lol. And at the thunder bolt, if someone does not have a partner, the attendents try to find them one and if they can't find them one the platform attendent can ride with them just as long as there is someone else on platform, cause you must have a partner on that ride.

Jimmy B
07-05-2005, 06:26 PM
Do you all have water jugs available at your ride station or do you just bring your own personal cooler? We are required to have water jugs from the park storage at every ride/attraction, in fact a park policy, whether or not you bring a personal cooler. I usually consume almost a gallon of water (one full cup every hour) on an all-day (12/13-hour) shift.

07-05-2005, 09:20 PM
[QUOTE=Hurricane]Do you all have water jugs available at your ride station or do you just bring your own personal cooler?QUOTE]

we have water jugs at every ride. But sometimes its just too hot to carry it all the way to the ice/water station in the morning, so we don't fill it up. Everyone in the rides departmant has a Kennywood water bottle so we just fill that up with water when we need it. There is a Gyro place right next to our ride so we ask them to give us water.

07-06-2005, 09:26 PM
Since I am under 18, I have to take a 30 minutes break every 4.5 hours, and I can only work 8 hours a day.

We have a cafeteria that has alot of the park food, but really cheap.

We have water jugs at every ride. Dorney gives us waterbottles, but they are junky, so I got a Nalgene waterbottle.

Sir Willow
07-19-2005, 11:00 AM
Heh, guess that we're pretty spoiled where I"m working. On average, we get a break about every 2 hours. Normal break is a 15 minute one. However, if you're working 7 hours or more, then you'll also get a 35 minute "lunch" as one of those breaks, though you only get one lunch, no matter how long you work.

Can't imagine getting only one break all day in the heat and humidity. That would be pretty harsh. Funny thing is, we have people complain now that they're not getting enough breaks. I think I'm going to print up this thread and post it on our break room. Might stop some of the whining.

Water- we have jugs filled with ice and water at our main stations- load, unload, and height stick, with plenty of cups. We keep the jugs filled, and trust me, we drink plenty of water while we're out there.

Break time? Usually sit and relax in the nice air conditioning in the break room. Might grab a snack since I keep some in my locker (we're lucky at our spot to have personal lockers- most don't), chat a bit with the others, and maybe do a few minutes of reading. Good time for restroom to.

Alan J
07-19-2005, 09:08 PM
I dont work at a park since i am 14, but in MN you cant run a ride until your 18 do to heavy equipment. I might work at grand rios indoor waterpark resort when im 15 or 16.

07-19-2005, 10:01 PM
I had an experience with heat exhaustion a few weeks ago. Whether it is on a ride or at some other job, heat exhaustion can get to you. I remember being terribly rushed that day, I didn't drink water as frequently as I should have. I recall feeling sick about 10am, and I still had 5 hours to go. About 1pm, I contemplated asking a supervisor to go home early...but I held on. My breaks felt shorter than they were, I had no appettite. It felt like I had a fever. It was a 94 degree day outside, and though a fan was blowing on me inside, I was hot yet chilled at the same time.

The lesson I learned in all this, DRINK WATER. The above incident happened on a Friday. I came back to work the following Monday and drank about 4 or 5 liters of water. That was to make sure I didn't overheat like I did.

I do recall times in the past where our "glorious" supervisors would supply us with extra ice or extra bottles of water in these hot and humid days. But so far, not this year.

Even thouh this is assumed as a thread of Park employees, I see it as any employee who gets paid hourly. At least with this topic, and this type of summer. In an 8 hour day, we get two 10 minute breaks and one 20 minute lunch. For each additional 2 hours of work, an additional 10 minute break is added.

Jimmy B
07-21-2005, 03:56 PM
I actually did get sick this season, back in early June. What caused it was my lack of eating meals.....I didn't eat much the night before, and on that day, I didn't have breakfast (as I usually don't), and I didn't get a break that afternoon, so I didn't get to have lunch.

It was quite warm out there at about 102 degrees outside with 110 heat index; normally, I am not bothered by the heat/humidity as I have been very much used to it, but it was a little warmer than usual -- plus the position I was working had virtually no shading or roof on me all day -- and my lack of meals and very little water took a hard toll on my stomach and by the late afternoon (around 5 PM) I nearly lost it, that I had to sit down in the panel room (fortunately, my supervisor was there to take my place in loading for a little while), I did get my long overdue break about an hour before closing. I felt much better afterward.

07-21-2005, 11:59 PM
Kentucky State Labor Laws

All minors must have a 10(15) minute rest break for every four hour block of time they work.

No minor is allowed to work for more than five hours without a thirty minute meal break.

During the school year, no minor is allowed to work more than 7 hours in a single school day and may work no more than 25(i think) hours during the week.

07-22-2005, 03:06 AM
At Six Flags Great America we get one (unpaid) half-hour break per shift (6 hours) worked. If you work all day, you'll usually also get a (paid) 15-minute break later in the evening. Of course, we get bathroom breaks as needed.

We do have water jugs at each ride and the park provides free water bottles. We are allowed to consume only water and only from the park-provided water bottles while on the job. They also have free lemondade in the cafeteria on hot days-a very nice thing.

Also, we aren't allowed to ride while in uniform, except for testing purposes.

07-22-2005, 10:38 AM
Oh my god, heat exhaustion is horrible. I was at the point where I could hardly function. I asked for an easy job, aka height check, for the rest of the night. Since my supervisors are very flexible, they let me.

The heat exhaustion taught me to drink alot of water/gatorade. It really keeps you up at top condition.

Carowinds 73-03
07-22-2005, 11:15 AM
That stinks, We get to ride in uniform but it's before the guest get into the station and after the last guest has gotten off the ride.

Every so often an employee in uniform will come up and ride durring operating hours.

07-22-2005, 11:18 AM
We get to ride before and after the park opens.

07-22-2005, 01:40 PM
Also, we aren't allowed to ride while in uniform, except for testing purposes.

Must be a six flags thing. They don't allow that at our park either.

07-24-2005, 01:36 AM
That is more like an everypark thing... Of course you can ride before/after the park is open to the public. In my dept, since we have radios, we get called to ride along with guests who need a chaprone or with a disabled guest during the day.

Also, I cannot believe your breaks, we get 15 mins from 4-5:59 hours worked, 30 from 6-7:59 1 hour from 8-9:59, and then like 15 mins for every 2 hours after that, and all the positions are air conditioned too :)

Jimmy B
07-25-2005, 01:11 AM
Speaking of heat exhaustion, yesterday (Saturday 7/23), I worked with a new ride operator, who had just moved from up north, on his first day on the job. He was assigned the Eruption (S&S Sky Sling) as a loader (with myself as the panel operator), which had virtually no shade from the heat at this ride. It was forecasted to be 101 degrees that day plus the heavy humidity load. But being from upper Michigan, he had no experiences with the potentially oppresive summers in the south.

When the day began, he was very exicited to be a ride operator. During his first break -- which came a lot sooner than usual at only an hour after opening -- instead of getting some much needed rest, he spent most of his break time running around the park showing and telling many of his friends who were at the park that day about him becoming a ride operator, and after he came back from break early, he was a little tired and winded, but eager to continue operating our ride. As the day progressed, the building heat seemed to get to him more and more, as he was forced to slow down. And the Saturday crowds kept us operating non-stop all afternoon. He consumed some water during the day, but not nearly enough to keep him going. By late afternoon (around 5 PM), he was so hot and exhausted to the extent that he was collapsing to the ground, at which point I called for First Aid, and he was helped to the first aid center nearby for treatment. Fortuanately, one of our supervisors came in and took his place for the night; I was informed by him that the newcomer was not able to continue the rest of the day and was sent home to recover.

At this point, I am hearing from our area lead that he is seriously considering quitting due to his ordeal on Saturday; but we are really encouraging him to come back and learn from this.

This may not apply to those of you park employees up north where the heat and humidity is not much of a concern, but the lesson to learn from all this (mainly for those of us in the south, particularly Oklahoma and Texas):

-- Drink plenty of water! Even if you are not thirsty, consume at least two cups of water/fluids per every hour worked.

-- Take your breaks wisely! Get some rest when given the opportunity. At the park I work at, sitting down has come to be a luxary during our work days; except for a couple of positions, we are required to stay standing at all times while at our rides.

-- Take it easy during the mid-late afternoon hours. Move along as much as you can while not overexerting yourself.

For those of you planning on looking at a job at theme parks, especially operating rides, please understand that the job may not always be as glamourous as you might believe; it is a lot of hard work and sweat under long hours, and it is physically demanding and can also be extremely exhausting and tiring. This is in no way discouraging anyone to consider jobs at theme parks, but rather to stress the nature of the work.

Carowinds 73-03
07-25-2005, 07:09 AM
I could not have said that better. Hope the new guy is ok and returns soon.

It's going to be crazy HOT here the next 3 days at Carowinds. 101 today, 105 tomorrow and 99 wed.

We usually have 3-4 people pass out i line. I expect more the next few days. We do remind people to drink lots of water in our speils.

Our staff did very well yesterday in the heat, it was around 97 sunday and we went through 2 of those water coolers.

07-25-2005, 07:43 PM
The heat up here in Ohio has been really bad lately. I spend the majority of my days on the midways walking, and on top of that have to wear a polo and pants. Some days get pretty intenese. I average 1 day a season where I have to sit down cause I overheat and nearly pass out.

I think the biggest thing is to know your limits. I see far too many people who think they can work without a break or water or something and then start getting sick because of it.

Usually I take 1 hour break a day. If I'm working open to close then I'll either take 1 hour long brake and 1 30 min break. Or 3 30 min breaks.

08-17-2005, 08:32 PM
GiantWheel_SFKK, where are you a senior at? I also work in the rides department in zone 2. And about what you said about the labor laws regarding the school year: it's actually no more than 5 hours on a school day and no more than 7 hours on a weekend.

08-18-2005, 11:32 AM
you work for him... he's not a senior tho.... ;)

08-18-2005, 02:46 PM
I know who it is now. Was I correct about the labor law hours for the school year? I'm pretty sure that minors can't work more than 25 hours in the week like you said, but I remember that the other supervisor (I don't want to name anyone) said something about 5 and 7.

08-20-2005, 03:03 AM
yea 25 hrs during a single week--

m-f 5 hours
sat and sun-7 hrs
on a school night (sun-thurs) can work until 10
non school night (fri and sat) can work til midnight

labor laws suck LOL

Carowinds 73-03
08-20-2005, 03:51 AM
I work 25 hours in a weekend.

8am-11pm on sat
9am-9pm on sun

Not anymore though since after this weekend we close at 8 on sat and 6 on sun.

I can't wait for Scarowinds to start and work 9am-1am, That should be fun.

08-20-2005, 06:36 AM
At the end of Thursday I was up to 63 hours for this week. My personal record for a week was 96, but it doesn't look like I'll break that this year. Oh well there's always next year.

08-20-2005, 05:20 PM
Depending on the maintence people at the rides in the morning/night we get to ride either as first/last ride. Usually the maintence guys in our group allow us to ride. But we are not allowed to even be in the park during break except when walking to the employee cafe or your walking back to your ride.

08-22-2005, 05:45 PM
Like he said im ready for Scarowinds also so I can get me some hours. But so far I have been taking 1hr breaks which is plenty enough for me.

Carowinds 73-03
08-22-2005, 07:00 PM
If you work all day for Scarowinds like i will you might be required to take two 1 hour breaks but not 100% sure yet.

Once Scarowinds starts i'll be working 9am-1am.

Looking foward to that.

08-22-2005, 07:35 PM
At Geauga Lake if you work a 10am-10pm shift you get 2 45min breaks. If you work 10-8 you get a 45 and a 30, 10-6 is a 45 and a 15. 1:30-10 is a 45 and I dunno about the other hours because it's my first year and I haven't worked the weird hour days.

We usually go to the employee clubhouse, or the cafe on our breaks. We have 2 break areas for the 2 sides of the park. We cannot ride rides while in uniform either :(.

We have a 3 gallon water jug and 2 smaller water jugs. Most rides have a 2gallon water jug or bigger.

As Cid has stated the heat in Ohio has been aweful this year. Even with drinking tons of water there was a day where I just got too hot I couldn't go on. So on my break I walked to first aid, sat in the air, told them I didn't feel good, took some tylenol, and went back to work after I cooled off. The heat index that day was like 106. and the temperature was like 96. It was aweful.

So every park employee who reads this take the advice from above and drink water. Also when on your breaks, sit down and relax a little.

Jimmy B
08-24-2005, 12:19 AM
The heat index that day was like 106. and the temperature was like 96.

Welcome to our world! This is normal summer pattern in Texas and the south! We see this all the time, so you can imagine what working here everyday is like. :)

08-25-2005, 10:23 PM
That's semi-normal for Ohio. Ohio weather is so crazy you don't know what it's going to be like the next day.

08-26-2005, 06:33 AM
^Same here in Kentucky.

Matt M
08-26-2005, 07:59 AM
No not the same in Kentucky, you are not bordering the Great Lakes. You do not get nearly the strange weather Ohio, Northern Indiana, Northern Illinois, Wisconson, and Michigan get.

It has been rather hot around the midwest this year though, and that little drought didn't help. Did it extend into Ohio?

08-26-2005, 10:19 PM
I haven't hear anything about a drought. We've had a lot of flooding in Ohio. It's been a crazy summer period.

08-26-2005, 11:06 PM
I didn't mean the same weather as with which corresponds with the Great Lakes area. I simply meant that it is crazy and typically different everyday because of the Ohio River Valley.