There were few things Ethan Lindenberger didn’t like about his part-time job. Working in the arcade at an amusement park in Ohio, the college student played virtual reality games on his breaks and bonded with coworkers, some of whom are now his closest friends. He excelled at communicating with customers, selling passes, and repairing the machines, especially when they ran out of tickets.
Once, he said, the park introduced a friendly competition among employees to encourage guests to post Facebook reviews of the arcade — workers were offered a small monetary reward for each review they prompted — and so many of the reviews could be attributed to him that management limited his payout, which would have totaled $800. Within a few months of starting the job in fall 2019, Lindenberger, 20, was promoted and began training other new hires. “I was really, really good at my job,” he told BuzzFeed News, “and really enjoyed it.”