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I once saw a sketch by a Maude team at UCB about the interview process for Chuck E. Cheese - with the gag being that if any applicant showed ANY interest in the position, they could ONLY be a pedophile and were thrown out of the interview (while anyone who said "this job sounds like a goddamn shitshow nightmare but I need a job" would be instantly hired). And there's more than a kernel of truth in there - working at Chuck E. Cheese's sounds like a miserable experience, even for the service industry. Not only are you dealing with the normal bits of degradation that come with serving people food, but you're CONSTANTLY surrounded by overexcited children making a goddamn mess of everything. Oh, and horrifying animatronic abominations.
Thankfully, someone asked employees (former or current) of Chuck E. Cheese's on Reddit to weigh in on their worst experiences. And - oh man - they delivered:
1. The animatronic band may look horrifying, but the REAL monsters are the children. (from Phicova22)
One time at Chuck E. Cheese when I was working there some food fight broke out and one kid chucked his entire cake straight at chucky and the he cried about how "he didn't get a cake". The kids mom went into the bathroom and she was in there for a good 15 minutes, I went in there to ask what was up and I saw her having a mental breakdown, turns out she spent hours making that cake special for him, and it was all ruined in about 30 seconds
2. I don't know what it is that makes children so inherently destructive and cruel, but it's real. (from SunfireCape2g)
I was the technician at a Chuck E. Cheese in high school. One day i was covering someone and I had to wear the suit and do the show. On my way back to the room, a little kid runs up to see Chuck E, and stabbed me in the ankle with a pencil as hard as he could. I rushed into the back room and took off the pants portion of the suit, pulled down my sock, and a bunch of blood poured out. Didn't even go home early, boss just had me stand at the door.
3. Those tubes are BASICALLY sewage pipes. (from someguysomewhere81)
"Hey, Sir, someone left a whole bunch of brownies in the sky crawl." They weren't brownies...
4. You deserve a Medal of Honor if you work at Chuck E. Cheese's for a full year. I'm not even joking. (from BigBearBeer)
Had a complaint that a kid was dipping toilet paper in to a women's toilet then eating it. He was. Same kid beat me mercilessly while I was wearing "the Rat in Hat" suit, while screaming "MAN IN SUIT!" The best was a complaint about the same kid eating from other families tables. He was, and he looked them dead in the eyes while doing it. These were all different days.
5. Reminder: don't touch ANYTHING at this place. (from ThreeEyedCrow1)
I worked at Chuck E. Cheese for a year in high school. It was the worst job I ever had. The absolute worst day was having to clean shit and vomit out of the skytubes. Two separate occasions, several hours apart. I've never been the same since.
The funniest thing, though, was the coworkers who had a threesome in the closet where we kept the Chuck E. costume. Guy asked me cover for him during closing and took two other coworkers into the closet and banged them. Thing is, there was a camera in that closet. That was the last time I ever saw all three of them.
6. I need to wash my hands just from READING these. (from hermantioush)
The worst part was wearing that rat suit after this this one dude was in it. He took it serious and would get up on the prize tables and get the kids to chant CHUCK E, CHUCK E....I could freakin hear it back in the kitchen over the noise and music.
Dude was butt ass naked in the suit. And he sweat, alot. I probably have hepatitis.
Best part was though was taking the left over pizza dough into the back lot after closing and having a 1v1 death match throwing softball sized dough balls at each others heads.
7. Ball pits are basically disease pits. (from DutchInfid3l)
Anytime a kid threw up in the ball pit was an especially horrible day. There were several instances during the 6 years I had worked there, but these times were quite memorable.
There were two ways you could do this, 1. a large, both sides opened, cardboard box, to cordon off the affected area (saying it was a "slow" day and other kids weren't splashing all the balls around...) We had very large netting bags so that you could gather all the balls and take them outside and they would be sprayed off... or 2. If the spew was all up in the ball pit then ALL the fucking balls had to be gathered, sprayed off and the inside liner that held the balls had to be wiped down and cleaned.
Only "good" thing about having to take out all the balls, was that you could find some pretty good stuff that happened to be in peoples pockets and fell out (money, pocket knives, and even rings)
8. Maybe if we paid people a fair wage, they wouldn't have to resort to crazy schemes to get tips? (from Shakespeare_lines)
I worked at a Chuck E. Cheese in high school in a wealthy area, so I got the bright idea to neatly fold and rip off the part of the bill that stated, "Tips are included in the cost." They weren't. I got my coworkers in on it and eventually we started presenting the bills to each other's parties and saying, "if you'd like to tip your host they can only accept cash" to plant the idea in the parents' head. One day we got caught. I got blamed. I wasn't allowed to host parties anymore. Instead the GM hired his family and friends and allowed them to abuse my system. It was a gold mine, because sometimes I would take home $200 in cash as a 16 year old. I didn't even make that in 2 weekends of hourly pay.
This happened in the state of California where servers still make minimum wage not some $2.13 bullshit. I was originally offered around $8.50, but that was retracted and I was paid $8.00, because I would receive tips, supposedly. Which is what motivated me to beat the system.
9. Chuck E. Cheese has the same levels of urine and feces as a port-a-potty. (from jackson0209)
Former employee of ~9 months
1. Very old woman peeing on the carpet in the entrance while standing up
2. Cleaning pee out of the sky tubes after a complaint that it got in a kid's eyes and he couldn't see
3. Walking into the bathroom to find an abandoned pair of underwear with poop in it. Took everything I had to not throw up when throwing it away
4. While in the Chuck E suit, being asked by a large black man wearing all blue "why you got all that red on, cuh?"
5. Asking a mute girl if she wanted to put her candles on her cake and being told "she can't talk" by her parents
There were definitely many more less-than-enjoyable experiences, but these are the ones that stand out to me.
10. Please, have your parties ANYWHERE ELSE. (from CECThrowaway123)
Former Manager checking in from like 10-15 years ago. I have a few worsts, I have divided them up below.
Actual worst: The time a custody dispute carried into a birthday party for a three year old. Multiple people had guns and knives, someone actually fired at the mother, and someone else tried to cut the father. This caused a full on riot resulting in a lock down. Luckily we were very close to a police station and no one was seriously injured.
Hilarious worst: Two employees having sex in the "Chuck E. Closet" (Where employees could go change without being in the way of the kitchen or in sight of the kids) while one was wearing the Chuck E head. This was bad because once the closet was unlocked/open you were in sight and we had lots of horrified parents and terrified children and it was really hard to not laugh.
Creepy worst: One of the animatronics failed and became possessed. We were about two weeks away from becoming a Stage 2 store, (next level of upgrades/improvements including removing the animatronics) so they told us just to let it go and try to keep it in check. It sounded demonic and would turn on at random, like in the middle of the "Happy Birthday Song" it's head hit a point that it couldn't turn anymore and got stuck moving a few inches back and forth and then caught on fire while trying to demonically still sing.
Sad worst: We all had to get background checks if we had not been employed for 30 days because a manager in our district, but not our store, turned out to not be taking care of his dying mother for a month. He was actually in jail for a DUI, the area manager was concerned about what else they didn't know because he had been with the company for like 25 years and worked up from a cashier. They ran a background check and he had multiple issues with the law, his "family vacations" were all timed with when he was in jail, and was a registered sex offender.