Yes, working at an escape room is the best job we have ever had. It is loads of fun and we get the opportunity to meet a wide variety of new people and if we're lucky, plenty of chances to travel. These are all the questions I get on a daily basis, answered. Here's the inside scoop.
What do you do in an escape room?
The most common of all common questions. People are intrigued with the name, but not all know what is to be expected of them. An escape room is a team building activity, something to help you learn to work better with the ones close to you, or simply put, just a fun activity. Your relationships will be tested under the pressure and race against the clock, so don't say I didn't warn you!
Once you are brought into the room, you will be given your goal, with a story behind it. Once the clock starts you just look. Most places will not give you a clue to get you started, it is up to you to find the first clue. From there, you will follow a trail of clues, keys, hints, puzzles, and riddles to get you to the end goal. If you're in a good escape room, you will encounter multiple surprises along the way!
What's it like working at an escape room?
It is wonderful, when I say it is the best job I have ever had, I truly mean it. There are good days, there are bad days, but at the end of the day, I look forward to coming back for my next shift. The team of people are almost the same across all boards: young college kids. With that comes lifelong friendships and an always fun shift.
Who comes up with the ideas for the rooms?
Though it may not be the same for the franchise companies, for the locally owned and operated, the answer is simple. The owners come up with the idea for the rooms! Most often, they look to the employees to help them with the puzzles within the room. It makes the employees feel like their heart and soul is poured into the room and makes them feel like an important part of the company.
Do the themes ever change?
People ask this question for one of two reasons. The first reason being they really enjoy the company, how it operates, what it offers and their employees. For this reason they come back often. Eventually, they will have played all the rooms available at the location. I'm sorry to say, that most locally owned and operated companies build the rooms to perfectly fit the theme, and there may be specially built in props that would be much too difficult to remove.
The second reason being that they did not "escape" from a theme and would like to come back and try it again! Good news for them, although the themes may evolve in terms of altered puzzles or an added step, very rarely does the entire puzzle line within the game change.
What happens if something breaks in the room?
A valuable skill all escape room employees acquire is the ability to think quickly on their feet. If something breaks in the room, we most likely have a few backups if the broken item is known to be fragile to begin with.
If something larger breaks, say a piece of furniture, or a mechanical component of the room, the appropriate person is notified rather quickly so they can be ready to repair as soon as the group completes their game. Most often, repairs are made between room cycles and the customers have no idea it even happened.
In the rare occasion something is broken beyond the repair time we have, we have a work around, and again, the customers have no idea that anything is wrong.
Escape room employees work hard, very hard to get everything to run smoothly and they will never allow you to feel bad about breaking something because accidents happen. Keep in mind, though, that although we are superheroes when it comes to broken stuff, we do appreciate you being gentle and following the rules we give you to prevent these accidents.
Do you guys sit up in the control room and make fun of us?
We all sit up in the control room and TALK about what our customers are doing, but we never poke fun at them. We all have done escape rooms and know the pressure and what it can do to your logical thinking. We try not to ever make customers feel bad about their thought process, when we say "good thought though!" we truly mean it because you guys often think about things we never did.
Is it scary?
Though I can't speak for everyone, unless advertised as such, most escape rooms aren't intentionally scary. There may be a creepy aesthetic to suit the theme of the room, but nothing jumping out at you.