Some people grow up playing soccer, basketball, and softball, but I was lucky enough to grow up in the sport of bowling.
Starting at the age of 10, I was in the bowling alley working on the fundamentals and mechanics involved in the sport. Once I was old enough to have a job I started working in a bowling alley. When it came time for college, I received an athletic scholarship to bowl on an NCAA Women's Bowling team.
While in college I continued to work at a bowling alley back home each summer between school years.
Needless to say, I've heard just about everything you could think of from the mouths of customers, coworkers, and fellow bowlers. It's become a sort of joke of what we'll hear next on a given shift. So, in an attempt to allow those not privy to the inside workings and experiences of a bowling alley employee, I decided to make this list.
Here are 19 things I've actually heard while working at a bowling alley:
1. "Do you guys have big balls or little balls?"
2. "I forgot my socks. Do I need them?"
Yes, yes you do. Otherwise, that's just gross.
3. "How many pins are there? 12, right?"
It's called 10-pin bowling for a reason.
4. "These shoes are too old and used. Can I have another pair?"
OK, I understand this one, but if those are the only shoes we have left then you're out of luck.
5. "These shoes are too new...I need them to be less grippy. Can I have a different pair?"
Seriously? Do you know how many people would love newer shoes to rent?!
6. "Can I bring food/drink down to my lane?"
You can bring food/drink to the seating area, but please don't bring it on the approach or the lane itself.
7. "Is it cheaper if I don't get a shoe rental?"
Well, I suppose it would be cheaper, but that's not allowed.
8. "I know I'm like an adult, but can I have bumpers?"
No. You're too big for bumpers...and that's how they break.
9. "Wait, how do I know if the bumpers are up?"
Umm...can your ball go in the gutter, or is there something blocking it from doing so?
10. "Oh wow! I don't have to do the scoring myself?"
Welcome to the 21st century, and the world of automatic scoring!
11. "I bet it'd be fun to slide down the lane like a penguin. Have you ever tried that?"
That's incredibly unsafe...if you make it all the way down the lane you'll be crushed by at least a literal ton of pressure...those machines are heavy!
12. "Can you turn the fans on?"
Totally...we know it gets hot when you're bowling!
13. "Wait...I'm cold. Can you turn the fans off?"
Seriously? If one group wants them on and another wants them off you'll have to decide together. They can't be off and on at the same time.
14. "I'd like to make a reservation for 2 people."
Are you planning on taking up the entire bowling center with just the 2 of you? Then you don't need a reservation.
15. "I didn't know we couldn't bring in our own alcohol."
16. "Is there a(n) (insert state here) resident discount?"
17. "You must have a lot of experience playing with balls."
18. "Can you tell me how to get a strike?"
That's a very involved answer, but since I know you really mean "what is a strike," I'll answer with: "knock down all 10 pins in one shot."
19. "Do you have half sizes?" "Yes." "OK, can I have a 7 please?"
Umm...that's not a half size.
20. *Group of guys walks in and asks for shoes in their size* "Ha! I'm a size 14...you know what that means ;)"
Really, though? First of all, unnecessary. Second of all, I will always answer with one of three responses: "it means you were supposed to be taller," "well, someone's a little full of himself," or, "eww, no thanks."