Big, black, gold teeth and a do-rag.

I like to travel – I always have. Going places is so much better than ‘being somewhere’ in my opinion. I have worked overseas a number of times and have countless anecdotes to share about the places where I have worked and been. The great thing about a blog is that I get to recount my memories for the world (or the two people who visit!).

Back in the summer of 2004 I was working as a supervisor at Paramount’s Kings Dominion (now, just Kings Dominion). I was in charge of the Shanandoha (sp?) Log Flume and the Antique Cars rides. It was generally dull, repetitive work but we made our own fun when we could.

Due to the nature of the job and the low pay, staff turnover was quite high. One day I was sent a new start – T (not his real name). He was huge in every direction (not fat, just BIG), he was black with a gold tooth and spoke infrequently with a very gruff voice. As a very white Scotsman I was slightly intimidated… he really was huge. I started training him of the worst (yet easiest) ride position – unload. He was quiet, and still huge.

The next day I come in and shortly after he arrives. As he can only work the one position I send him to do that and I trot off to the control tower. These are the positions we would keep until break time (3 sodding hours in heat and humidity). Break time comes, and being in-charge of rotas I send myself on break & it works out that T also has a break. He was still huge by the way.

I sat with him at break and, being slightly nervous (I’m a softy as it is, and he was huge, black with gold teeth and now wearing a do-rag) I am not flowing with conversation. After a few minutes we do get talking and he opens up as do I. T turned out to be a thoughtful, kind guy! We went on to become one of my most important staff members and a good friend.

You learn things in life. Never judge a book by its cover. Never think ill of anybody and always remember that black skin, gold teeth and being huge don’t mean that the person is a thug!

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