Happy F’ing Birthday, LEGOS.

I used to work at Legoland. Believe me when I say it was the WORST. JOB. EVER. I’m already not a kid person…but wait, there’s more! If you clocked in more than three minutes early, you were written up. If you clocked in more than three minutes late, you were written up. So basically this meant I’d need to get there upwards of 15 minutes early (as you can never plan on the traffic in San Diego) and then just wait to clock in. There’d always be a little line of us waiting…if it was a busier shift, there’d be a long line of us. The people at the front of the line would start clocking in at exactly 3 minutes to the hour, and if any people started taking their time about it, or, god forbid, make a mistake with their crazy-ass punch codes, the people at the end of the line would start grumbling and heckling–because regardless of how long the people in front of them take, if they clock in more than three minutes late….. You get the picture.

The same time standard applies to lunch breaks. If you worked out in retail ‘carts’ like I did–which is basically their name for the kiosks you are bombarded with every time you step off of a ride that try their mightiest to deplete your bank balance with MUST HAVES to complete your ENTIRE EXPERIENCE or you have FAILED AT VACATION–you sometimes got a break, and sometimes did not. It depended on many factors (the weather in the Amazon Basin, the position of the stars as relative to planetary alignments..), but mostly as to whether or not the manager felt like getting off his/her ass and actually walking (*gasp!*) to your location to cover for you. If you were especially lucky, you’d work at one of the carts that was far far far away from any of the two designated break areas, which were, of course, fenced in to prevent escape. You’d then spend 10 minutes walking to a break area, and, allowing for a 10 minute walk back, you’d have a whole 10 minutes to try to focus on anything other than quitting your job. The second you managed to do that, you’d have to hurry hurry hurry back to your post, lest you be more than three minutes late!

The uniforms were ill-fitting, uglier than a circus clown on crack, and vile besides. The first pair of pants issued to me had holes in the crotch coupled with the knowledge that you were nestling your sweaty summer junk in the same place so very many other people had nestled their sweaty summer junk. It didn’t matter how many times you washed the shirt with a boatload of detergent, it still smelled like stale sweat. I always wore another shirt underneath to keep as much of it as possible from touching my skin. But I especially enjoyed how the company threatened that if you didn’t turn in the uniform upon termination of your employment, they’d charge you for it. Who in the hell would want to keep it?

I worked mostly on the photo bus, as I was one of the only employees child-like enough in stature to fit inside; however, even I could not stretch out to my full height of 5’1″ without cracking my head on the ceiling, so I’d spend my days hunched over like So-Cal Quasimodo. Here, I’d take a picture of a kid for $5, and it would get made into a little laminated driver’s license. The camera would take two pictures per polaroid sheet, and the second picture cost $2. If the parents didn’t want a second license, the picture was thrown away. I cannot tell you how many bloody times parents asked me to give them the second picture for free. The logic trail goes something like this: “Hey, what’s that other picture for?” “If you want a second license, you can have it for $2.” “hmm..well what if I don’t want it?” “Then I throw it away.” “If you’re going to just throw it away, why can’t you give it to me?” “Because it costs $2.” “But you’re just going to throw it away!” etc etc.

Sometimes these conversations would go on for what seemed like forever. What I couldn’t tell these parents is that as tiny as the photo bus was, Legoland managed to cram in 3 surveillance cameras to make sure I wasn’t stealing from the register, or, even worse, giving away pictures that were destined for bigger and better things (like the landfill).

It was also very important that employees never refer to the products as ‘Legos’. They emphasized that ‘Lego’ was the company and ‘bricks’ were the product, so they were correctly referred to as ‘Lego Bricks’. Get caught calling them anything else on three separate occasions, and you could kiss your job goodbye. Even if the customers called them ‘Legos’, you could never fall into their vernacular–instead, you must gently correct and instruct them like that obnoxious nerd in high school that everyone hated who was constantly sneering about grammar.

Much like Office Space, I had somewhere around eight different bosses, except I never met approximately six of them. I believe this was done on purpose, so that these mystery bosses could pretend to be customers and try to get me to give away second pictures or catch me saying ‘Legos’ so they could write me up. They never fooled me, though–for as much as I hated the job, I was a good employee. But still…they HAD to enjoy giving disciplinary action and terminating employees. Otherwise, why would they try so hard to make employee’s lives miserable?

On slow days, I used to fantasize about jumping the tiny protective fence and rampaging through miniland like Godzilla. Whole cities would crumble beneath my crushing feet of destruction! None would be spared–tiny lego men, women, and children would ALL fall victims to my RAGE ATTACK.

…Actually, I still fantasize about it.


38 Comments Happy F’ing Birthday, LEGOS.

  1. scearley January 28, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    never been to legoland. Not particularly enthralled.

    But LEGO still makes me giddy. You just need to look at my fireplace to see that.

    1. admin January 28, 2008 at 10:30 pm

      I think I’m just uncreative when it comes to LEGOS. I built the same house and car over and over and over again.

      1. cheeserock January 29, 2008 at 5:04 am

        i built sheep farms.

        1. admin January 29, 2008 at 5:23 pm

          I had towns with both lego houses and lincoln log houses.

    1. admin January 28, 2008 at 10:29 pm

      The next time I make it to So-Cal, I *will*.

      1. leighhyphenanne January 28, 2008 at 10:32 pm

        Oh god. I’ll go…

        When i quit my first job (as a dirt waterer at a golf course) I was helping put in sod, and i had finally had enough of the boys club that I threw my sod knife (small machete) at one of them (it stuck in the ground beside him) and left. Never came back.

        1. admin January 28, 2008 at 10:35 pm

          Was your official title ‘dirt waterer’ or ‘landscape technician’? I hope to god it’s the former. I’d still put that shit on my resume.

          1. leighhyphenanne January 28, 2008 at 10:36 pm

            I don’t know what I was to go as “officially” but they just called me “water wench” or the nicer ones called me “water girl” and told me my uniform was a bikini. Har har har…

          2. admin January 28, 2008 at 10:39 pm

            I’m pretty sure they’re lucky they didn’t get a sod knife to the face.

            Considering I’ve never walked out of a job in a rage, I’m still surprisingly good at burning bridges.

          3. leighhyphenanne January 28, 2008 at 10:37 pm

            did i mention i was 16 when I held the position.

          4. admin January 28, 2008 at 10:40 pm

            When I was 16, one of my (late 40s-ish) coworkers told me that he was going to buy me a dildo.

          5. leighhyphenanne January 28, 2008 at 10:41 pm

            ugh…grrrrosss…. What is worse is that my dad was one of the developers for the course (I was to water the part that was under construction) and they all said such things to him about me…and he would relay them.

          6. admin January 28, 2008 at 11:00 pm




          7. leighhyphenanne January 28, 2008 at 11:03 pm

            yeah. not america’s best dad. more on that later, i imagine. Something about the coke and seeing him so infrequently, I could have born pre school-aged children two and three times over.

          8. cheeserock January 29, 2008 at 5:05 am

            when i was 16 my 19 year old pizza place manager told me i was fuckable.

          9. admin January 29, 2008 at 5:21 pm

            ew. What makes these guys think that saying those things are ok?

          10. cheeserock January 29, 2008 at 8:02 pm

            he wore drakkar. that’s what i think made him do it.

  2. pretzelcoatl January 28, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    One of these days you need to write a memoir on all of the jobs, sucky and nonsucky, you’ve had because I’m wincing and laughing at the same time at some of the mental images.

    But getting dinged for being early? Why?

    1. scearley January 28, 2008 at 10:27 pm

      overtime. work more than 8 hours in one day in CA, and by state law they have to pay you overtime.

    2. admin January 28, 2008 at 10:28 pm

      Because then they’d have to pay you more, for those layabouty types who clock in 15 minutes early every day and, by the end of the week, have collected an extra TEN WHOLE DOLLARS in wages!

      1. pretzelcoatl January 28, 2008 at 10:47 pm

        I suppose building a giant Lego catapault to fight back was out of the question.

        1. admin January 28, 2008 at 11:00 pm

          Son, that shit’s expensive even in bulk!

  3. fete_pindon January 28, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    cracks me up you guys call them legos.

    anyway, only legoland i’ve been to is the spiritual and physical home of those wonderful bricks in denmark. i still have my legoland drivers license.


    1. admin January 28, 2008 at 10:37 pm


      1. fete_pindon January 29, 2008 at 7:38 pm

        those will be difficult yet not impossible to find.

        wait out. probably for some time.

  4. scrapdog January 28, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    I wonder if ERECTORSETLAND™ has similar draconian policies regarding product nomenclature.

    1. admin January 28, 2008 at 11:00 pm

      This beavis and butthead moment brought to you courtesy of LJ

      haha you said…

      1. scrapdog January 28, 2008 at 11:04 pm

        Re: This beavis and butthead moment brought to you courtesy of LJ

        Nevermind what I said. You said “Legos” SIX times in this thread alone. You’re fired!×2!

        1. admin January 28, 2008 at 11:06 pm

          Re: This beavis and butthead moment brought to you courtesy of LJ

          YOU CAN’T FIRE ME, I QUIT.

          I was actually laid off due to 9/11–can you believe that shit?

          1. benzarius January 28, 2008 at 11:17 pm

            Re: This beavis and butthead moment brought to you courtesy of LJ

            Oh man, I can. Even I knew not to fall into that trap. I love legos, and I would like to keep enjoying them. So no working for Lego. Well, if you would like to live out your godzilla fantasy, I have a metric shit ton of them.

            Just sayin.

          2. admin January 28, 2008 at 11:43 pm

            Re: This beavis and butthead moment brought to you courtesy of LJ


            :stompy stomp:

          3. benzarius January 29, 2008 at 12:44 am

            Re: This beavis and butthead moment brought to you courtesy of LJ

            I’ll go start warmin up the bruscetta. 😉

  5. ebomike January 29, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    When I read the headline, I was gonna suggest you to link to your mellzah post. But then I saw you already copied’n’pasted the entire thing. Pffh. Lazy 😛 I want MORE Legoland stories!

    1. admin January 29, 2008 at 5:22 pm

      I added more stuff to this one, sirrah. There aren’t a ton more legoland stories to tell!

  6. smacksaw January 29, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Was this before or after Lego divested themselves of the park?

Comments are closed.