Dear Coaster Friends,
When people are passionate about a topic, they feel invested in the success or failure of their interest. It doesn't matter if the topic is politics, sports, or being a fan of something specific. I find there are two reactions to bad news from a community who feels passionately about something. The first is critical examination and often a call for improvement. I feel like I fit into this group most of the time. The negative side effect, is the perception that I am dissatisfied with something I am passionate about. I am often critical of things I love because I want to see them constantly improve. I also think I am naturally wired to brainstorm solutions to problems. The second large group is all about defense. They tend to defend their love, no matter the opposition. However, at their worst, they lash out at ones being critical. Both groups have something in common: they love the same thing - in our case, the amusement industry.
There were a few news articles I posted over the time that I have worked on the Coaster-net team that I knew would amp up people's emotions and could upset some of our community. Our collective passion is our strength and commonality, but as individuals we express it differently. However, our news section is for relevant news, and I made the decision to put them out there so we could be better informed. There was an article recently that illustrated the diversity of our reaction even though we share a common love.
Kings Island is facing a lawsuit from one of their female team members. The accusations are detailed and very specific. The allegations seemed to be contained inside of a single department, and I am sure Kings Island and Cedar Fair will make sure that the issue is addressed now that the story is out there. We do not know if the allegations are credible; it is not something we cannot determine as outside observers. However, the reaction from our community is something we can observe. Most of the reactions were shock and sympathy from our community to the woman who was allegedly a victim at her workplace. Yet that wasn't the only reaction; some people reacted without empathy for these allegations. They defended the park, saying she was trying to get money. While others were concerned that the alleged perpetrator and direct superior she made aware of the situation were at risk of having their reputation damaged.
I was disappointed. I was disappointed that this woman felt so helpless at work she had to go public with her story. I was disappointed that Kings Island didn't address this problem themselves when she brought it to the attention of a superior, but I was very disappointed that some members of our community didn't treat these allegations seriously. No one was calling for action against the park, no boycott was suggested; a lawsuit against the park will not take away your giga. Right now, we don't know if these allegations against the park are fair. We don't know if they are actually worse than the news outlet felt comfortable publishing. I feel until we know otherwise compassion should be shown towards the victim. That doesn't mean that Kings Island fans shouldn't love the park too, and shouldn't enjoy every visit. I think what it means is that Kings Island has the opportunity to be a leader through action. We are a community that celebrates charity, when it boosts our fun. I feel we should also be a community that cares about the team members who facilitate our fun as much as we care about the health of the larger organizations that we give our hard earned dollars to. Hopefully this story is the result of two peoples poor behavior, and not a systemic problem with the park's work culture. If the story gets updated I will post those updates in our news section. I look forward to seeing this matter resolved in a fair way, and I look forward to visiting next season when they introduce something that appears to be out of this world.