Working at one of Britain’s Biggest Tourist Attractions

Sandcastle Waterworld in Blackpool is one of Britain’s biggest tourist attractions. Having just installed 4.5 million pounds worth of new slides, the place is a treat – for customers.

I have been many times as a customer and had a brilliant time, it is not until you see behind the scenes that you realized how crap the place is.

I was working in the gift shop, the shop is nice. I was only there for about 8 weeks, they knew I wasn’t there for long and so did I, it was just a temporary summer job. Even so employees are supposed to be given a contract after 1 months employment. I wasn’t.

They insisted that I come in for 9am, and work for one hour in the kitchen preparing food, where does this fit into the job description of shop assistant??? Some days I was chopping onions and would then have to greet a shop full of people looking a complete mess! At 10am the shop opened, and I would have to come to the till and place my float in whilst the shop was already open as I did not have time to do so before as I was working in the kitchen. All personal belongings are to be kept in lockers far far away from where you actually work, so your HALF AN HOUR dinner break, which could be at 11am, could be at 2pm or just about any time inbetween (you just don’t know) is reduced to about 20 minutes by the time you have got your money and queued at the staff canteen. I would continue work until 7pm.

A 10 HOUR SHIFT WITH 20 MINS FOR YOUR DINNER. Unfortunately this is still legal, just. On a normal day if I got my dinner break at 12 I would then be going 7 hours without food.

Some nights there would be promotional events happening on the promenade and the gift shop and Starbucks outlet would have to stay open late, until around 9-10pm. So that could be a 9am-9pm shift, and the worst thing is, you don’t know until about 7pm if you are staying, no warning before you turn up to work that day, OH NO!

I was the only person working in the shop so it was my responsibility to stock up the shop, whilst also trying to stop anyone thieving, if I wanted to go to the toilet I would have to wait to ask a security guard to watch the shop, but my manager would go mental should she find out anyone else had been serving in the shop.. but its ok I learned to have a strong bladder.

The stock room was round the corner from the shop, a big walk in room, and I would have to carry 12kg boxes of sweets through to the shop and fill up the pick n mix counter whilst serving all the customers every day as I was on my own.

I sold a ceramic snake once and as we had no boxes to put them in I had to ask security to watch the shop whilst I went to the kitchen to get a member of kitchen staff to come and properly watch the shop whilst I went down in the big loading lift into the basement to get a cardboard box, all because my boss had thrown all the proper boxes out because ‘cardboard causes fire’. Right.

To make matters worse the poor lifeguards that work there are on less than people who are handing out tickets in the odeon cinema, FOR SAVING PEOPLES LIVES.

I expected more from one the country’s biggest attractions.