Joe's Job: tram operator at Busch Gardens

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by Joe Flanagan

WVEC.com

Posted on July 18, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 18 at 6:02 PM

WILLIAMSBURG -- It's a job that has always fascinated 13News anchor Joe Flanagan:  the crews that move the masses at Busch Gardens. 

On average in the summer, 15 operators run nine trams, and each one has to be able to rotate on three positions:  driver, announcer, and stop worker.  Joe trained with Burt Kyttle.

"And welcome aboard. We didn't want more than five people in a row, and I think you all obeyed orders," Flanagan announced.  "Burt, what else do I say?" he asked.

The 15 operators all muster at 8 a.m. and clean up the trams, prepare for the 12-hour day, and listen to team leader Ken Lavoie update orders for the day.

"People are here because they want to have a good time. Most of the employees are here because they want to have a good time," said Lavoie.

When it was Joe's turn, he felt confident and was really enjoying this job announcing.

"We're open till 10, as I said.  Raise your hand if you plan to stay that long.  Let's see who the party animals are onboard," commented Flanagan.

"I think it takes someone who has a good outlook on life, a good personality, someone who is able to interact with people, someone with patience," said Kyttle.

"What I like about it is we get to interact with the guests. What's challenging sometimes is if there is a low group, we try to figure out what we can do with the guests to make it fun and get them excited about the park," said driver Lisa Bares.

So what did Ken think about Joe Flanagan's talents as a tram operator at Busch Gardens?

"Joe, i think you are a natural for the position! once you learn the lines, you're a natural."

 

 

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