Blueprint for Customer Pleasure
Funspot Amusement Recreation Management
December 1959

This article was copied for us by a pleasant person after I was outbid on Ebay for the December 1959 copy of Funspot Magazine. To read the whole piece, you might want to print it. Kory Hellmer

Pleasure Island customers get the red carpet treatment from personnel trained to welcome, make the patrons feel at home.

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION was the primary goal set by the new major funspot, Pleasure Island, in its first season of operation. And to bring this about, heavy stress was laid on employee-customer relations.

The big park has given each employee an important role to play in making visitors to the amusement mecca at Wakefield, Mass., near Boston, feel right at home. Its master outline for realizing this goal is so exhaustive and informative, so well-conceived and clearly stated that it forms a valuable blueprint for every funspot in the country.

The outline is contained in a handsome booklet called "A Guide for Pleasure Islanders." The aim is perhaps best summed up in the subtitle: "It's been our pleasure" The emphasis, as can be seen, is on service and courtesy.

In a brief preface, Pleasure Island President William S. Hawkes welcomes the new employee to the park, details the planning that went into its creation and spells out the part that each worker must play.

"It is an exacting type of work — sometimes a bit hectic," the preface says. "But when the guest says that heartfelt 'Thank you,' you will know you are doing your job. And what is a more pleasant bit of Boston graciousness than for us to say... It's been our pleasure'!"

Here is the blueprint the booklet provides for turning each Pleasure Islander into a public relations spokesman for the funspot:

OUR PLEASURE ISLAND PLAN — There will be many things for you to learn about your specific job in the Pleasure Island organization. Your work may concern operating an attraction, serving food, selling tickets, parking cars, or one of the many different skills. But there is one thing to remember above all others:

You are now a public relations representative of Pleasure Island!

Yes . . . you represent Pleasure Island to the public. And you also represent the great and famous names associated with Pleasure Island—Cabot, Cabot and Forbes Company, Breck's of Boston, Daggett Chocolate Company, Friend Brothers, F. H. Snow Company, Hotel Corporation of America, H. P. Hood & Sons, Jenney Manufacturing Company, Merchants National Bank, Pepsi-Cola, Pepperidge Farm, and Swift & Company.

Now, there is one simple but vitally important quality which applies to anyone in public relations work, and that simple quality is COURTESY!

As we define "courtesy" at Pleasure Island, it goes beyond "polite behavior." We feel that it is impossible to simply flick a switch and suddenly become "courteous." . . . but it is a simple thing to build "courtesy" into our Pleasure Island Personality in order that it is a natural, honest attitude . . . a pleasant personality.

Our Pleasure Island Plan for pleasing people starts out with one simple rule which 'will serve you at any time. It is . . .

WE USE PLEASANT TERMS — The first thing to learn about a new land is the language. If we can speak the language, we can usually get along. At Pleasure Island we do not have a completely different language, but we do have some special terms.

First, we are all "Pleasure Islanders" . . . and proud of it. We take pride in our work both on and off the job. We are no longer just Mary or Joe . . . we are "that person who works at Pleasure Island" —- and we want to carry ourselves with pride. And we consider ourselves a "host" or "hostess." This is a very natural expression because we treat every person who visits us as a Guest.

A Guest is to us the most important person in Pleasure Island. The Guest pays our salaries. He is our reason for being here. He talks about Pleasure Island wherever he goes, and we want him to tell about the fun and pleasure that h3 had when he was here . . . because this means that he will influence other Guests to come and visit us.

We develop the habit of using pleasant terms. When we ask people to do things, we say "Please," or some other natural permissive term.

When a Guest appears to need advice or information, we volunteer with a "May I help you."

We refer to "security personnel" . . . not the "police." And"Thank you" becomes a normal part of our vocabulary.

You will find that pleasant terms on our part help to bring out pleasant reactions from our guests. Courtesy words are contagious . . . and really a pleasant habit.

And above all, when a Guest thanks us for a pleasant service we always respond with "It's been our pleasure."

WE ACCEPT PEOPLE AS THEY ARE — You will find that Pleasure Island will attract pleasant people who visit us for their day of fun. But each one will be different ...

  • They will be from every State . . . and proud of it.
  • They will represent every creed — Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, and many others.
  • They will represent every political party.
  • And they will be of every color . . . white, black, brown or yellow.
  • They will be rich and poor, refined and unrefined.

If God created them, you will probably meet them at Pleasure Island. But each must receive the same pleasant treatment.

We accepted you as a Pleasure Islander with your likes and dislikes about people . . . providing that you have the ability to pack up your prejudices and bury them outside of Pleasure Island.

We have invited our guests of the world to visit us. We represent to the world the cradle of liberty and freedom . . . because this is Boston, Massachusetts — in New England in the United States.

So it is our Pleasure Island responsibility to accept our guests as they are. Everyone gets the same pleasant treatment.

WE THINK OF OTHERS — "Think of others." This simple but difficult discipline is the quality which is the very heart of our plan for bringing pleasure to our guests.

It is the fundamental principle of any plan for personal happiness, and is an essential part of the Pleasure Island Plan.

You were not selected because you didn't have any problems of your own. You were selected because we feel you are the kind of person who can have your own problems . . . but forget them while working with us to bring pleasure to others.

While at work, you are an actor or actress in an outdoor show, and must give your complete attention to providing fun for our guests.

Perhaps you have a headache? Remember that the guest came to Pleasure Island to forget headaches of his own. He's spending the day with us because he wants us to provide him with a memorable day of fun and pleasure. His problems are our problems . . . but our problems are not his.

As soon as we put on our Pleasure Island costumes or uniforms, the needs and wants — fun and pleasure of our guests come first. So, always remember this fundamental at Pleasure Island . . . "We Think of Others."

UNPLEASANT ACTS ARE FORBIDDEN — Pleasure Island is a family fun center. It is a nice place for nice people. It represents New England to the world.

So for these reasons, some unpleasant acts are forbidden on our island. These are ironclad rules which must be followed without exception, and they are . . .

No Drinking . . . is allowed under any circumstances on Pleasure Island by any host or hostess. Nor is it permissible to bring liquor into Pleasure Island, nor to have the odor of liquor on your breath while at work.

Smoking . . . while on duty or in the presence of guests while in costume or uniform is also prohibited.

Drinking Coffee or Eating . . . while at your work station is unpleasant and a thoughtless discourtesy to our guests.

Loud or Profane Language . . . does not fit in with our Pleasure Island atmosphere, and is forbidden.

Fighting or Arguing . . . among Pleasure Islanders is unpleasant for everyone and is also forbidden. These are serious breaches of Pleasant Behavior which cannot be tolerated at any time on Pleasure Island.

AND WE AVOID UNPLEASANT TRAITS — And then there are other unpleasant traits . . . not as serious as the forbidden ones . . . but at which we can work constantly to avoid. These might be termed "bad personality habits" which do not fit into our Pleasure Island Plan, and they include these:

The "Frustrated" Look . . . which is an outward display of our inward tension or frustration. Remember that the more difficult things become, the more calm and pleasant we—as Pleasure Islanders—should appear.

The Brusque Manner . . . which we may encounter in our guests, but cannot afford for ourselves. This is not the Army. It is Pleasure Island.

The Dead Pan Protection . . . which some people display to show they are not interested in anyone else's problems.

The "Always Right Rejoinder" . . . which is used by many who feel that they can never make a mistake. To be "right" is always the surest way of making the other person angry.

There are many other Unpleasant Traits which we must seek to avoid. They include the "bored look," the "superior smile," the just plain "when is this day going to be over" attitude toward our work.

Our job as Pleasure Islanders is to accentuate our pleasant qualities . . . and work to avoid our unpleasant habits.

Remember that one "unpleasantry" can ruin some person's day of fun . . . and our Pleasure Island reputation.

WE HAVE A PLEASANT APPEARANCE — Our personal appearance is an important part of the Pleasure Island Plan. In addition to the fact that our guests are affected by the way we look, there is also an outside-in approach to the way we feel. We feel better when we look our best.

Our wardrobe department will do its best to equip you with attractive and clean costumes. But then we must follow these simple rules of good personal appearance:

  • Shoes must be shined and heels straight.
  • Stockings on hostesses must present straight seams.
  • Hostesses should have neat and well groomed hair; and hosts should have a fresh shave and a neat haircut.
  • Cosmetics should emphasize naturalness. Use only conservative nail polish and avoid heavily scented perfumes.
  • Wear only conservative jewelry.
  • Your clothes should always have that neat and fresh look. When in doubt, always change that blouse or shirt.
  • The Pleasant Pleasure Island Appearance is a neat, but conservative look, which eliminates the extremes in appearance such as unusual hair cuts on hosts or exceptional hair arrangements on hostesses.

Perhaps you haven't observed it carefully, but great care has been taken by your favorite TV actress or actor to make the most of his appearance in the role he plays. So it is with your Pleasant Appearance. The guests appreciate it when you look your best.

A PLEASANT DAY IS A SAFE DAY — Pleasure Island is a pleasant place—and a safe place to spend a stay. We want every guest who visits us to leave happier — and just as healthy as when he arrives.

But there will be times when we will be rushed— and this the very time to remember that the safety of the guest must come first, and last, and always.

We can never take any chances, and we must prevent our guests from taking any unnecessary risks which might result in their being hurt.

There are a few special things that you as a Pleasure Islander can do to help make our Island a super-safe place to have fun . . .

  • Immediately report to your supervisor any minor hazards which you feel might cause an accident.
  • Help the maintenance department by making Pleasure Island as spotlessly clean as a New England kitchen. Remember that safety thrives where cleanliness exists.
  • Never become careless merely because there is a crowd or line.
  • Be alert to prevent a youngster from "showing off," or an oldster from tripping.

And above all, if an accident does occur, remember to call your supervisor and First Aid. And remember that a "Pleasant Day Is a Safe Day."

WE WORK AS A TEAM — At Pleasure Island you are one of a team of many hundreds of people. To produce a pleasant day for a guest requires the skills of many different people . . . and many different organizations.

The Pleasure Islander who works all night to make the Island clean and fresh for the next day is just as important to the "show" as the parking attendant who greets the first guest in the morning. '

The ticket seller and the maintenance man; the accountant worrying about balancing the books; and the operator taking the tickets; the supervisor and the gardener. . . each plays his part on the team that will produce our final result . . . A Pleasant Day for the Guest.

Our organization is even more complicated than most because we have many organizations within the organization . . . and the guest cannot tell the difference. There is no "most important" Pleasure Islander. Everyone is linked together for the one goal . . . A Pleasant Day for the Guest.

This places upon each of us two key responsibilities, which are . . .

  • To do our part to provide the pleasant day for our guests.
  • To help and understand the problems and complications of the work of other Pleasure Islanders who are also working toward this same goal.

A PLEASANT SMILE IS THE STYLE — A smile is something that many people talk about, but so few people use. A pleasant smile is our trademark because we know it is the most important thing to use in handling people. Unfortunately a smile is not something that we tan put on as we would lipstick. It has to come from within, and this can be tough to do.

Really, now, why not smile? Does it really help to look sour, glum, harried, distraught and plain unhappy? No, it won't help and the sour look is out of place at Pleasure Island.

The smile that comes from within has to be based on a fundamental sense of humor. Don't take yourself and the minor frustrations of your work too seriously. We don't ask you to laugh—just smile.

You will find that a smile is truly a magic mirror. As you smile, the guest will have a tendency to smile back, and this will serve to prevent any minor problems in guest relations.

And a smile will come in handy when problems do arise. Your smile will reassure the guest that he is going to get courteous help in his problem. So exercise those smile muscles, and find out how much easier your work will be.

Remember, a pleasant smile is our trademark!

WE KNOW THE ANSWERS — Most of our Pleasure Island guests will be here for the first time. It is an important part of our Pleasure Island Plan to "make them feel at home" by providing pleasant and accurate answers to their questions.

These questions will fall into three general types. First will be the fundamental questions which include. . . Where is the nearest rest room? Where is a telephone booth? Where is first aid?

You will also be asked the location of lost and found—and where the security office, administration building and public relations offices are located. These direct questions require a direct and authoritative answer. In giving directions, don't use "east" and "west" but rather simple instructions which the guest can understand. Everyone can understand "straight ahead," "right" and "left" . . . and this is one time that it is perfectly all right to point.

As soon as you are assigned to work, it is part of your job to learn the accurate answers to these questions. In addition to these fundamental questions you will be asked general questions about Pleasure Island, and because you are a Pleasant person you will be asked about Boston and the surrounding area.

On the next pages we have listed information about some facts which you should know. Add to this store of knowledge each day . . . because answering questions is an important part of our job.

And remember to treat each question (regardless of how silly it seems to you) as the most important thing in the world.

(After a capsule list of statistics about Pleasure Island and the Boston area, the booklet concludes with a restatement of its central theme):

THE GUEST'S PLEASURE IS OUR BUSINESS — We have reviewed the essential steps of the Pleasure Island Plan for Pleasing People.

We are sure you know that the complex technique of dealing with people cannot be boiled down into a few small pages. It is a lifetime job, and we should learn new things every day about pleasing people.

But you will find that the Pleasure Island Plan will work for you — on the job and off. You will find that thinking of others is a good habit, and that life is a lot more pleasant if you learn to enjoy people . . . rather than worrying about their faults and shortcomings.

Now to wrap it up. Pleasure Island has accepted you as our public relations representative for people who come from all corners of the globe. You will represent not only Pleasure Island and the historic city of Boston itself, but many famous names in American business.

You were selected as an ambassador of good will because we feel that you will represent us properly. While other people pursue other forms of endeavor, our goal is a sincere "thank you" from a guest. And we always reply . . . "IT'S BEEN OUR PLEASURE!"



Copyright Friends of Pleasure Island, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization. All Rights Reserved