Operator Stories


By stangbat

1 month ago


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  • Latest reply 1 month ago by LTG
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    22
    #1 43 days ago

    Another thread made me think of starting this thread for operator's stories. So you want to be an Op. Just put your games out and earn money. It's easy! Well, this is the place to share stories and things you might not think of when considering starting this adventure.

    First of all, none of this should be taken as a complaint about my locations or the owners. They're great and I couldn't ask for better. But you can never totally prepare for what people will throw at you.

    First thing to think about is your location is most likely a restaurant or bar. Their main intent is to sell food and drinks. Pinball is important because it brings in customers, but it is a much lower concern than the daily operations and employee issues. Often a much lower concern.

    Second thing to realize is that there is a ton of employee turnover in the restaurant business. The location can tell every employee how to treat and handle issues with the pins, but those lessons will get forgotten, ignored, or not passed on as people come and go. Also, you're often dealing with 16-18 year old kids at their first job. They know nothing about pinball and frankly don't care if your game is turned off. If the game is causing them problems when they are busy and the restaurant is full, it gives them no trouble when it is turned off. So off it goes, or an out of order sign is placed on it. The owner and manager care, but they can't be everywhere and see everything.

    Now for the stories.

    This one should be no surprise, it happens in one way or another all the time:
    Mom: "Which pinball machines work?"
    Server: "They all work"
    Mom: "We put money in three of them and none of them worked."
    Server: "Did you press the start button?"
    Mom: "Start button?"

    Then you have the kid genius that figures out how to shut off the games and does so. The mom thinks it is funny and doesn't tell him to turn them back on. If it wasn't for a local patron seeing this happen, the games probably would have stayed off for quite a while on a Friday night, if not the rest of the night. Luckily the patron scolded the kid and turned the games back on. But the 18 year old employees probably wouldn't have noticed the games were off. And if they did, they probably would have left them off because they figured they were off for a reason.

    Every think about the vent holes on a pizza box? When they are punched out, how big are they? About the size of a quarter. So if an employee is setting up boxes and doesn't clean up every hole that falls out of a box when folding them a kid finds the little round piece of cardboard. Where does that piece of cardboard go? In a coin slot. Game out of commission if they find two pieces or if the other slot gets jammed.

    A woman puts 50 cents in a game, then realizes it is 75 cents to play. She gets an employee and wants the money back because she doesn't want to spend 75 cents. The employee explains that once the money goes in it doesn't come back out. "But it has coin return buttons!" Well, those are in case a coin jams. It doesn't give money back. "But it has a coin return! It should give me the money back! I want my 50 cents back!" They gave her 50 cents to get her to shut up.

    People set things on games. The things don't get moved. Nobody notices, or nobody bothers to move it because they think it is there for a reason. And kids won't move something that is set on a game, they just go to the next game. So the game earns nothing until you come in, see it, and remove it. Hopefully a manager or the owner noticed and took it off quickly, but who knows how often this happens and you don't know about it.

    Speaking of setting things on games, here's what I came in to one morning:

    boxes (resized).jpg

    Another setting things on games story. For the outside tables the pizza place uses cardboard 6 pack bottle holders to hold the Parmesan cheese shaker, chili pepper shaker, salt and and pepper, and menus. They keep the holders inside, but when someone sits outside they bring them the 6 pack holder with all the goods in it. We start a tournament and I don't realize one of the 6 pack holders is sitting on top of a game's backbox. We're a little ways in and of course there's a bit of nudging and the holder falls off onto the playfield glass. The Parmesan shaker hits squarely on the glass and makes a horrible crash, it bounces off the glass and onto the floor and breaks. Fortunately the glass on the pin survived, but that could have been really bad.

    And of course you get complaints when you put in games with racy artwork that feature too much cleavage. Below is what I'm talking about. Yes, the owner got a complaint about this. No joke.

    TZ cleavage (resized).jpg

    Back to kid geniuses. They are Wiley Coyote type of geniuses that figure if you put a bill in the changer and pull it out quickly, you'll get to keep the bill and it will still give you quarters. Nobody has ever thought of that! So what happens? Yep, half a bill jammed in your changer and it is out of order. And of course it is the first bill put in it after you've emptied it.

    Kids often stick their hand right under the coin chute of the changer as it is dispensing the coins. When the changer is dumping out $5 or $10 in quarters they overflow back into the changer and fall inside. So the kid gets shorted money. They often don't notice. But if they do it is my fault that the brat shoved his hand under the chute and backed up the change inside the machine.

    I'll stop there. More to come if I think of it.

    #2 43 days ago
    Quoted from stangbat:

    And of course you get complaints when you put in games with racy artwork that feature cleavage.

    I'd complain about that, too. But I'd be the one complaining that it doesn't show enough cleavage.

    #3 43 days ago
    Quoted from stangbat:

    A woman puts 50 cents in a game, then realizes it is 75 cents to play. She gets an employee and wants the money back because she doesn't want to spend 75 cents.

    Or they see the coin slot where it says 25¢ and ignore the price card.

    Quoted from stangbat:

    And of course you get complaints when you put in games with racy artwork that feature too much cleavage.

    I've had comments about some of the suggestive audio in BBB, but on BS. And complaints and threatening to not come back because of the language in my Bill Paxton pin, yet nothing about my Walking Dead with audio from the series in it, which is way worse than Bill Paxton ?

    LTG : )

    #4 43 days ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    Or they see the coin slot where it says 25¢ and ignore the price card.

    I've had comments about some of the suggestive audio in BBB, but on BS. And complaints and threatening to not come back because of the language in my Bill Paxton pin, yet nothing about my Walking Dead with audio from the series in it, which is way worse than Bill Paxton ?
    LTG : )

    Wait. You routed a BBB? Expensive collector pin BBB? If so, WHY?

    #5 43 days ago

    I seen a fella at a barcade in Columbus OH bash a coin door in on a Banzai Run because his ball drained. I seen him knee the machine when I was playing on a pin a few down the line. I went to play Banzai Run and noticed I could see the coin tray because the door was bashed in. Tried to catch the guy but he left in a hurry.

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    #6 43 days ago
    Quoted from KozMckPinball:

    Wait. You routed a BBB? Expensive collector pin BBB? If so, WHY?

    Because it's a pinball machine and that is their purpose.

    39
    #7 43 days ago
    Quoted from KozMckPinball:

    You routed a BBB? Expensive collector pin BBB? If so, WHY?

    An original Capcom one. Sitting here now.

    Why - because I've always tried to do the best I can for my customers.

    LTG : )

    #8 43 days ago

    scene: operator is waist deep in the cabinet, trying everything. nothing's working..

    customer: "when will this one be fixed?"

    #9 43 days ago
    Quoted from KozMckPinball:

    Wait. You routed a BBB? Expensive collector pin BBB? If so, WHY?

    Cause Lloyd is awesome, plain and simple

    #10 43 days ago

    He also technically has the first JJP museum. Every game so far, and a display with all the complicated moving parts.

    #11 43 days ago

    Two of my favs of just how annoying people are lol.

    First one I was at a location fixing a pinball machine when a mom walks in with her child and you can tell the child has been talking non-stop for the past 3 hours and the mom hasn't had a minuet to her self. She sees me and tells the kid "Hey whats he doing? Why don't you go talk to him about what he is working on"....... So much for the old don't talk to strangers discipline.

    2nd i was at a different location doing a couple of things. A mother comes over to the arcade section with her two kids along with the kids grandmother. The kids bolt it to the games, jumping in/on the drivers, smashing the buttons, ripping the steering wheels back and forth, slamming the shifters back and forth. The grandmother pulls out a $5 dollar bill and heads for the change machine, the kids mother stops her and says what are you doing, don't waste your money on them, they only need to pretend play......
    Thanks lady, thats what the games are there for, for your kids to beat the snot out of them "pretending"

    #12 43 days ago
    Quoted from Bud:

    I seen a fella at a barcade in Columbus OH bash a coin door in on a Banzai Run because his ball drained. I seen him knee the machine when I was playing on a pin a few down the line. I went to play Banzai Run and noticed I could see the coin tray because the door was bashed in. Tried to catch the guy but he left in a hurry.

    Pretty normal for games on location. Bally, Williams, Gottlieb & Chicago Coin designed them to get the shit beat out of them.

    #13 43 days ago

    I dont really care for parents that have crappy kids (it is the parents fault) that drop the kids off in the game area and then go drink. Kids love to bang and hang on plungers and cram shit in everything. I have not had any aweful things so far (knock on wood), but worst was some kid that I think wanted to see if he could get salt/sugar under the glass to mess with things. Luckily a good beer seal meant mainly just some light vacuuming of inside near lock down.

    We get bowling teams that decide the games are a great place to put huge bowling ball bags of crap on which is annoying.

    A regular thing happened today. Get text message that a game is down. Drive 20 min to location. Find it was a barely stuck ball that someone else nudged out. They never text back to tell you it is fixed... lol

    #14 43 days ago
    Quoted from Dr-Willy:

    2nd i was at a different location doing a couple of things. A mother comes over to the arcade section with her two kids along with the kids grandmother. The kids bolt it to the games, jumping in/on the drivers, smashing the buttons, ripping the steering wheels back and forth, slamming the shifters back and forth. The grandmother pulls out a $5 dollar bill and heads for the change machine, the kids mother stops her and says what are you doing, don't waste your money on them, they only need to pretend play......
    Thanks lady, thats what the games are there for, for your kids to beat the snot out of them "pretending"

    At least the mothers stayed there. I've had really young kids dropped off and the mothers try to take off. And get mad when they find out I won't baby sit them and be responsible for them.

    LTG : )

    #15 43 days ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Pretty normal for games on location. Bally, Williams, Gottlieb & Chicago Coin designed them to get the shit beat out of them.

    True, but to physically break a metal door is excessive.

    I had a fella tell me he seen a guy get so pissed at a machine, he bent over picked up the front of the machine as high as he could then dropped it and walked away.

    Same guy also told me he seen a guy stand back and kicked a machine so hard it slid back about a foot on carpet.

    #16 43 days ago

    The biggest thing that sucks about putting a game on location at a place that isn't yours, is nobody cares about your stuff like you do. I had a game at another place for a while and they constantly were storing stuff near or on the machine. If you go in weekly or monthly and your game is messed up, you better hope the manager or staff knows how to use a phone, that is unless you want to come in daily. The place was nice but the floor was always sticky, I always cleaned around the game when I came in.

    these aren't all pinball related but figured it's all in the industry.

    I had a guy topple my vending machine over because his chips got stuck, that was a costly fix....

    had a guy vomit partially on one of my machines and the table next to it. A tamale lady had was selling her food the night before, that was exciting getting to clean all the nooks and crannies of that machine.

    had multiple people stick their credit cards in vending bill acceptor jamming it. This happened at least once to twice a month for a couple years till I finally got a credit card acceptor.

    had a guy use a pinball table to rest his drink on, obviously it spilled. heard he complained and wanted another drink.

    another guy sat on one of my games, and I guess couldn't take his weight. The bottom where the leg leveler was busted through the wood.

    had some guys drill out a hole in the middle pool table pocket in order to lift poke something through to lift the gate to get free games.

    had a dumbass cut the cord on my vending machine, came in and the whole circuit was blown.

    have plexi on the side of one of my machines and someone kicked it and cracked it pretty good.

    luckily, nothing to bad has happened to any of the pins I own. Might be the type of people who play them are just nicer drunks.

    it's a constant battle, to keep things looking newish.
    luckily I don't have to deal with kids, just drunk people.
    As long as your machines work, you might have the occasional asshole but people are usually respectful.

    #17 43 days ago
    Quoted from Bud:

    True, but to physically break a metal door is excessive.
    I had a fella tell me he seen a guy get so pissed at a machine, he bent over picked up the front of the machine as high as he could then dropped it and walked away.
    Same guy also told me he seen a guy stand back and kicked a machine so hard it slid back about a foot on carpet.

    I believe this....I've seen guys do the same types of things. I've seen machines and even pool tables picked up and dropped by the guy that can't control his rage. Especially with his buddies standing around.

    I can't imagine some of the problems you guys run into. I had some creative friends in my teens and twenties. It would have nothing for them to plot on how to get in the machine or to even try to get the machine. Not proud of who I hung out with just saying that reality is very real.

    #18 43 days ago

    forgot one other one, we had one of those how hard can you punch games. this guy completely missed the bag and knocked out a girl standing next to him. needless to say we got rid of it

    #19 43 days ago

    Ohh!!! And how much glass gets scratched up by the Girlfriend checking the diamond in her new ring!!! I don't know how many times I've seen this when I was younger. It's a myth that only diamond will cut glass, but everyone has heard it and in a bar drinking? Seems like the top of the pinball machine is the test to prove to everyone it's real. I've seen it in bowling alley game rooms too. Probably happens to this day.

    13
    #20 43 days ago

    I had a woman bring her father in, looked to be at least 85 years old. He lived in the seniors high rise about a mile and a half away. She asked if I could put a new tip on his stick. I'd never seen either of them before.

    I figured they had a pool table in the senior high rise. I normally don't do cue repairs. But I thought he maybe couldn't get anywhere else to get it fixed.

    So I explained I don't normally do it. But I'd do it for him, no charge. Got out the tools, fixed the ferule, picked a nice tip. Glued it on. Sanded and chalked it. Handing the shaft back to him, he tells me he shoots pool at a business about 10 miles north of me.

    So I reached into my roll cab, pulled out a pliers. Snapped off the new tip. Handed him his shaft and told him he should get the place where he shoots pool to fix his tip.

    LTG : )

    #21 43 days ago
    Quoted from hocuslocus:

    had some guys drill out a hole in the middle pool table pocket in order to lift poke something through to lift the gate to get free games.

    Last night I was puttin' the mechs in my coin op pool table at home and envisioned someone doing exactly this! I was thinkin' some clown HAS to have done that before... guess I was right. I was lookin' in mine to see if there was a plate in there to prevent such a thing, but nope.

    #22 43 days ago

    The bowling alley I managed back during college had a couple of bad pool tables that people would stuff everything down he pockets. You name it (or think of it) I found it in those tables.

    #24 43 days ago
    Quoted from dsuperbee:

    The bowling alley I managed back during college had a couple of bad pool tables that people would stuff everything down he pockets. You name it (or think of it) I found it in those tables.

    Yep....I forgot about that one....You had to return the balls after play, even on the machines you put quarters in. That was a way for some of the places to keep track of balls. Well....If you wanted one of the balls, like the 8 ball or 9ball...Friends would jam stuff down the pockets, take the ball or balls they wanted then tell the girl behind the counter that ran the place at night, "The balls won't come out." and of course she would just walk over and look in the window, and maybe get a couple to return,a friend would act like he's trying to help and maybe pull one or two out of a hole acting like he's reaching as far as he can, then leave it at that.

    I had some awful friends looking back. That is why I would be leery of ever trying a route. I know what goes on! It may be a little different now that most places have cameras and most people are use to cameras everywhere.

    13
    #25 43 days ago

    Seems like every time I get two or three good customers, eventually they add another who is a major pain, never has any of their own money and leaches off of others.

    I had one of these major pains sitting on my Sega sit down Harley Davidson big screen video game. I was just about to tell him to play it or get off of it when he turned to me and said "feels just like my girlfriend".

    I asked him "What, everyone else has already been on her for a buck?"

    He got very mad, but didn't say a word. He knew I'd just kick him out.

    LTG : )

    #26 43 days ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    Seems like every time I get two or three good customers, eventually they add another who is a major pain, never has any of their own money and leaches off of others.
    I had one of these major pains sitting on my Sega sit down Harley Davidson big screen video game. I was just about to tell him to play it or get off of it when he turned to me and said "feels just like my girlfriend".
    I asked him "What, everyone else has already been on her for a buck?"
    He got very mad, but didn't say a word. He knew I'd just kick him out.
    LTG : )

    EPIC!

    #27 43 days ago
    Quoted from KozMckPinball:

    Wait. You routed a BBB? Expensive collector pin BBB? If so, WHY?

    The only time I have ever play a BBB was at Lloyd’s place, it is awesome to have collectors who are willing to share. BTW if you are in Minneapolis it is well worth the time to stop in and pay him a visit, he is a great host!!

    #28 43 days ago

    Back when I had the big sit down Sega Virtua Racer. I had a man that came in with two little kids. Never spent any money. He'd visit with some of my older pool shooters he knew.

    One day he was sitting in the game and they were discussing the lottery was up to $40 million. He asked me if I won it if he could have that game. I said no.

    He then said "if you were the sole winner of $40 million you wouldn't remember the little people you met on the way up?" I told him with $40 million I could buy new little people.

    LTG : )

    #29 43 days ago
    Quoted from BigT:

    he is a great host!!

    Not according to that one guy on Reddit.

    Thank you ! A pleasure to meet you and thank you for your patronage.

    LTG : )

    #30 43 days ago

    In the early eighties my boss bought a couple of Playmatic pins at a tradeshow and he was sure to make a big profit with them because they were much cheaper than the american brands at the time.
    One of them was called "the Raid" and it was placed with high hopes in the arcade where i worked. I played one game and decided that it was not worth another.At first it was put on the new hot title spot but it earned terrible.
    Soon it was placed in the regular row of pins.
    After some time i noticed that every time i collected the money there was only one quarter in it (a game costed 50 cent).
    It became sort of a joke and after some time we wanted to know who put that quarter in, so we could ask why.
    Nobody was caught and we decided to put the poor game next to the cashiers till,than we had to see for sure.
    Nope, and still that quarter was there and now the game was starting to show " boob" errors.
    The customer who stuffed the weekly quarter in remains a mystery to this day.
    It was decided that the machine would be replaced by another game, and on the way out to the storage, the pinballcart lost a wheel and tipped over, resulting in a separated head and body. I think the machine totalled a whopping $50 income and was scrapped for pieces that were never used again. What a waist.

    #31 42 days ago
    Quoted from Joker2415:

    Ohh!!! And how much glass gets scratched up by the Girlfriend checking the diamond in her new ring!!! I don't know how many times I've seen this when I was younger. It's a myth that only diamond will cut glass, but everyone has heard it and in a bar drinking? Seems like the top of the pinball machine is the test to prove to everyone it's real. I've seen it in bowling alley game rooms too. Probably happens to this day.

    Happened on one of my machines

    #32 42 days ago

    Worst story I ever heard was from an older operator. There was some sort of dispute over a location between another operator and himself (other guy though he was angling in on a bar he had games at; but he said he wasn't). A week later he came in to find every single game in the place with Great Stuff foam put through the coin mechs.

    I saw the pile of old doors in the corner of his shop and it did not look pretty.

    He said he put all the games on free play for the week it took him to order new coin doors and the public seemed to support him more for the years after that. He said it eneded up being a devastating loss at the time but saw an increase in drop over the next year to more than make up for it.

    (not wure if the last part is true, but he was a cool guy that seemed to have a positive spin on even crappy stuff)

    #33 42 days ago

    Many years ago I had two Cruisin Worlds. One day a girl was sitting in one, not playing it. Her mother came in and said something and the girl bitched her mother out. I was watching, thinking this is going to be good. I would have never thought of speaking to my mother like that, my clothes would be in the front yard on fire and I'd be homeless.

    The mother said nothing and left. I saw her in the parking lot. Sitting in her car crying. I went out and knocked on her window. I asked her, "do you want me to take care of that ?" She said no, she'd talk to her. I told her talking is done. I'm not saying to be abusive to her daughter, but you are her mother, not her friend. In a couple years she'll be driving your car, and then you'll really have problems. I told her a mile up the road is the police station. Go there. I know they have programs that can help. You are in over your head and doing your child no good. She said she'd talk to her.

    The next day the girl came in again. Went up to a man and said something, then went to another man and was talking to him. I went and asked the first guy if she asked him for money. He said she did.

    I went to the girl and told her to not come in here and ask anybody for money. She started yelling at me, get out of my face, none of your business. I told her "wait, you've made a terrible mistake here. I'm not your mother. You ever think to talk to me like that again I'll kick your f**King head off of your f**king shoulders. Now you get your g*d d**mn a** out of here and don't ever come back".

    She left. A half hour later a squad car stops out front. The officer comes in. Laughing so hard he's almost crying. He said "that was great. That was awesome. I wish we could do stuff like that. We'll we've had our talk now, I can go". He left still laughing.

    I would imagine the girl came home crying, her mother calls the police. The dispatcher starts cracking up and says we'll send somebody down there right now to talk to him. And brought a little happiness to Hopkins finest, that shift anyway.

    LTG : )

    #34 42 days ago

    For the operators, when I was a kid, I used to go to an arcade on the Ocean City boardwalk. Being a kid with not much money, I'd always keep my eyes on the hunt for fallen quarters on the ground or in the coin return of games. One day, while hunting for lost quarters, the lady/operator yelled at me to stop. I wasn't quite sure what I had done wrong, so I continued to look around games. She hopped off her chair, walked up to me, and said something along the lines of "you can't do that here." Being young and impressionable, I sulked off, embarrassed, played a game on the single quarter I had found earlier, and left. I wasn't even walking or going places I wasn't supposed to go, and I never crawled under or between anything.

    That moment has stuck with me for years. I remember the woman being pretty annoyed at me to the point where she definitely followed me to make sure I wouldn't do it again, and to this day, I'm still not sure why. All I wanted to do was look for quarters that I'd literally just put into a game and play. The establishment would've received my business, AND the forgotten quarters I had picked up for them.

    So I ask: Did younger me do anything wrong? Is it frowned upon to look around an arcade for forgotten quarters? Or was the lady just in a bad mood?

    #35 42 days ago

    @mbaumle that was me in bowling alley arcades as a kid; I'd spend every quarter my dad gave me and then hunt for extras the rest of the night. You're good.

    Thread should be called: "Scared Straight: Operator Stories"

    #36 42 days ago

    As a former arcade worker/owner, I didn't mind kids hunting for quarters, as long as they didn't crawl under the pinballs or disturb other customers (like checking the coin return of a machine someone else was actually playing). I knew, like you, that anything they found was going straight into one of my coin slots.

    #37 42 days ago
    Quoted from mbaumle:

    Did younger me do anything wrong?

    Not really. Different places, different rules. They may have had problems with kids your age and that is why she came down hard on you. Nothing personal.

    I let kids hang around for awhile. Look for quarters or a free game. As long as they behaved, and knew they couldn't hang out all day. A lot of them would help. Pick up something I'd drop under a game type stuff. They knew they'd get some games out of it.

    I knew some of the kids didn't have money. I was usually good for a free game or two or some pool.

    LTG : )

    #38 42 days ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    At least the mothers stayed there. I've had really young kids dropped off and the mothers try to take off. And get mad when they find out I won't baby sit them and be responsible for them.
    LTG : )

    pasted_image (resized).png

    #39 38 days ago

    Thought I'd give this thread a bump!

    I recently retired as a full time Route Tech after 27 + years. The industry has changed drastically and I'm relieved to be out of it. I could go on and on, but here are a few stories ...

    - Had a call on Black Friday from a multi screen movie theater about a smoking Sopranos Pinball. We were lucky the manager noticed it right away and knew what it was. Lucky nobody pulled the fire alarm on one of the busiest nights of the year over a fried pop bumper coil and transistor.

    - We went in circles with a tavern over a randomly malfunctioning CD Jukebox. Redneck joint in the country that only turned on the juke when they were busy on weekends. It would play the wrong songs, credit wrong, etc. The outlet was good, and we even were able to plug it into a different outlet, so we'd change the CPU, then 3 weeks later it would happen again. We'd change the CPU and Player, then a month later, same crap. Change the power supply, CPU, and player, then 6 weeks later, same thing (and yes, the "bad parts" seemed to work fine in the shop). The owner is getting pissed now, so we change the entire jukebox with a known good one. A month later, same shit. I'm walking up the steps in the rain to face the now furious owner and patrons on another busy Friday night, when I notice a crackling & sizzling sound coming from the transformer for the 30-40 foot neon light that ran along the roofline. That sizzling and snapping transformer was mounted just under the gutters a few feet up and directly behind the Jukebox! Had them shut off the neon light and the troubles went away. We moved the jukebox to the other side of the bar and it worked great until the bar owner decided to buy his own equipment and kicked us out.

    - Was changing the power supply in a upright video game. Had it pulled out from the wall, and working thru the back door. Nobody in the gameroom so I had the coin/cashbox door still open while I worked. I hear the gameroom door open, then 30 seconds later, there's a oblivious kids hand reaching into the cashbox...He left in a hurry after getting an earful.

    - Kids are curious and will climb over your toolbox to see what you're doing. You've got to be pleasant yet firm and very careful with what you say and how you say it or they run to mommy and you're the bad guy. I learned this the hard way.

    - The threatening message from the tavern owner with a jammed cigarette machine has been replaced by the threatening mommy who's little pumpkin just lost money or didn't win the prize.

    There's a few stories for now, let's hear some more!

    #40 38 days ago

    I am a new operator so I don't really have many stories yet, but I recently had a father and young son in playing the machine. The father told me it was the first time his son had ever played pinball. It sounds really corny but I felt an enormous sense of pride that the kid's first game of pinball was on one of my machines.

    #41 38 days ago

    Great stories Tully! Thanks for sharing and hope to hear more. I always love your stories of operating!

    I have a friend that was an OP in the 90s and he tells of the biggest tech call was that all 4 TAF machines in a row at their best location were not taking quarters anymore. This would happen on a biweekly basis... the reason... all the damn coin boxes were full!!!!

    That is $400 plus in coin and in 10 days on average (per machine, so $1600 every 10 days). So much that they apparently modified a few games to put in deeper coin boxes so they did not have to come out every week to empty them.

    He said pay off on TAF was about 5 months and his company owned between 8 and 10 of them. All of them were within a 10 mile radius of each other also.

    Man I wish arcades like that were still a thing!

    #42 38 days ago

    What a great thread! Some of you long-time operators should get together and collaborate on a book. It would be hilarious!

    #43 38 days ago

    I had a customer put $5 bill in the validator on a Ghostbusters Premium and it accepted it (as it can accept upto a $20 clearly stated on it). Customer wanted change back as it was set for 3 plays for $1 and he wanted his $4 in change to be spit out of the bill validator. He stood there for minutes bewildered why wasn't it giving his change back. He comes up to the front and says why didn't GB give me my change back. I was puzzled by what he meant and he explained the above and then a smile went across my face and I asked him how does the machine know that you wanted the change back and did you ask nicely. He said no, hang on, and left the front counter. A minute later he comes back and says I told it what change I needed back and that it gave me too many credits and it still did not listen. I attempted to explain that once you put money it, it just counts the money and assigns the credits like a calculation. He said if it can do that it can know what change I wanted back. I asked how would it know what you are thinking? He said because it was a new machine and this was the 21st Century. He said the other machine (dialed in) takes your picture, this one can know I need change. I re explained it and said enjoy all your credits on the game. He grumbled and went away and a minute later he comes back and says I lost the ball. I get up, go over to the machine and its in the shooter lane. He didn't know that you have to pull the plunger back. I just walked away.

    #44 38 days ago
    Quoted from tullster:

    Kids are curious and will climb over your toolbox to see what you're doing. You've got to be pleasant yet firm and very careful with what you say and how you say it or they run to mommy and you're the bad guy.

    I just installed a Sega Moon Cresta video game. People were watching it. My Mother, whose feet didn't have that layer of fat between the skin and bone on top, was watching. A kid crept in, stood on her foot to get a better look.

    I can assure you. My mother was firm, and not pleasant. And had mommy come in, she would have gone off on her too.

    Life lesson there. I bet that kid never stepped on another foot.

    LTG : )

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