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posted March 1, 2004
During the evening floods while I was close to the boards one of the 75 hockey players said "You better f--ing clean the ice or I will call your boss". Two other players spat on the ice in front of me and the boys at the back chimed in with "hey you f--ing asshole, clean the ice". I f they had said it nicely it would not have bothered me but they obviously were local boys with not very good manners. My concerns are for my staff who tell me that the taunts are ongoing and I would suggest that if this continues that we clear the outside areas during flooding.The bottom line is that the clients were and continue to be way out of line.
The hockey players get mad if the rink is unusable. They are otherwise not bad. Last year, very respectable adult hockey players at Ramsden became incensed a number of times because of bad ice. This kind of "rink rage" often has less to do with skaters being out of line than with bad service by the city. Making skaters wait for a long time while city workers are wondering to do with a broken-down vehicle that is sitting on the ice, as was the case here, is not acceptable. When there is an equipment problem, it's better to take the machine off the ice as soon as possible (preferably immediately), and do the inspection off the ice so the skaters can skate. Sometimes delays are unavoidable but since they are bad service they are to be avoided if at all possible -- in the case of equipment malfunction, it may be better to just let the other rink staff know and they'll get the players to clean the ice with the green shovels. It's the waiting, and not being told the facts (when "five minutes" means "one hour") that makes people so angry.