Since fair season is quickly coming upon us, not only do I get excited to eat all kinds of bad food and soak up some summer nights, but it also reminds me of my first job.

For two summers I was the Tilt-A-Whirl operator at an amusement park and fair.

Now let me explain a few things.

I'm from a pretty small town, so when it came to finding that first job as a teenager (you know for gas money, clothes, miscellaneous things) it was really hard to find one.

My best friend and I were frantic because we knew we couldn't go into summer unemployed. We applied to a lot places, but we always got "We'll call you back" or "Sorry we just got fully staffed, but if anything changes we'll be in touch".

As a kid, my family and I would go to a small amusement park in the town next us. Something clicked in my head and I figured why not see if they are hiring? I can spend the summer outside and they will probably have me working at one of the food or drink stands.


I applied, interviewed, and was hired pretty quickly. However, the manager mentioned to me the only opening they had was in the rides department. RIDES??

I had some doubt, but then I thought well, I came this far might as well stick it through.

That day I learned how to operate the Tilt-A-Whirl ride and spent two summers making some of the best memories. I had an excellent tan because I was outside so much, met all kinds of great people, and have a pretty funny and VERY different first job story.

The two things I was known for on the Tilt-A-Whirl were never having someone get sick on it, and never popping the breaker on the ride (apparently that can be a big problem on Tilt-A-Whirls if you start them too fast).

Also, word of advice if you go on one, please don't ask the operator to make your specific cart spin more, we have no control over that.

Most people are pretty shocked when they learn this fun fact about me. To this day, I'm still surprised someone let me operate heavy machinery.

Bob Kupbens

More From WZAD-WCZX The Wolf