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Get the Surgical Tech Success Handbook and get in the high-paying medical industry!

I'll just call up whatever government office it is that issues those licences, and tell them that the Final Draw shot on WCS isn't kicking out properly, and that the trough opto's on Indy need to be cleaned or replaced. I'm sure they'll send someone out right away to give the operator a stiff fine and a slap on the wrist.

I've never had a serious problem getting pins repaired--the various Rutgers University arcades where I wasted away much of my undergraduate career were generally in respectable shape, and as I happily reported here back in January all it took for the RPI arcade to fix their machines was a complaint (with specific comments as to what was wrong).

However, I did have a variety of backup plans in place if the pins did not get fixed in a vaguely reasonable length of time.

Step One: Complain. To every arcade attendant you can. Get friends to complain. Hopefully they'll fix things just to shut you up.

Step Two: Ask for a refund. You paid for a pinball game; you are entitled to a game on a machine which is in proper, fully functional condition. If you receive less than this you are morally (and quite possibly legally) entitled to satisfaction, including either a refund or credit toward a suitable game of your choice.

Be firm in demanding it (easy for me to say, sitting here at my computer and looking for interesting pictures with my WWW browser). You probably are legally justified in demanding that the games be in full working order. And again, ask friends to request refunds.

Step Three: Raise hell. Write indignant letters to the editor, take up a petition at the campus pinball club (you may have to start the campus pinball club, but that's another post). If you can get the campus paper to write an editorial containing a vaguely disapproving comment about the pinball condition, good. (Remember, student journalists--I speak as a former student journalist here--like stories that (a) let one gripe about the administration, and (b) don't require much work. Walking in with a gripe is probably a good start.)

Write letters to the director of the student center, and if need be the Dean of Students, the Dean of the College, the campus provost if you have one, the college Board of Trustees, the college President...the number of people you can write is limited only by your indignation and your word processor's mailing list feature.

Step Four: Start getting nasty. Turn off games that don't work and keep turning them off. Put up your own warning signs and tell other people--and ask them to ask the operators to fix the games. At this point it may not be unreasonable to set some of the video games on fire.

The point, of course, is to make it less trouble to fix the machines (and keep them fixed) than in dealing with the deranged, angry pinball players. So make it easy for them--give them plenty of opportunities to fix the machines, and always be amenable to reason. But keep it up; if you go away it's too easy to just let things start to slide. If your commitment starts to waver, play $2.00 of the worst-maintained machine they have.

And always make it possible to achieve a gracious victory. For instance, if you're reasonably competent (or know someone who is) at fixing pins, offer to do it at a reduced rate/free just so somebody does them. (It may be easier to get this together if there is a pinball club existing on campus.) You want the machines fixed, not necessarily for the operators to be wiped off the face of the earth.

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