Pinsetter’s job bowls a strike

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1998 Archive Correspondent zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Goneliness is the downside of Del Davis’ job as a bowling pinsetter mechanic in the Games and Recreation area of the Titan Student Union.

“If you enjoy talking to people, then this is definitely not the job you want,” he said.

Davis combats isolation by occasionally coming out from his tiny enclosed workstation, which is located behind the pinsetter machine, to talk to people.

He said the upside of the job, is the valuable training he’s getting.

“It’s good experience for me because my goal in life is to own my own bowling alley,” he said. “When I’m in the position of hiring someone, I can understand whether the mechanic knows what they’re talking about.”

Two years ago, when Davis was 18 years old, he joined the Building Engineering staff without any knowledge of pinsetter mechanics.

The business management major was between jobs when he was hired, and because he’s a bowling enthusiast he had the desire to learn.

“I’m the only one who has ever enjoyed the job,” he said.

Ken Ridenour, a maintenance assistant in Titan Student Union Building Engineering, agrees.

“In comparison to his predecessors, Del has exhibited a great deal of interest in the job he’s doing, because it’s related to his goal of owning his own bowling center,” he said.

Ridenour said that Davis’ initial lack of experience wasn’t a problem.

One of the job descriptions is to do minor work on the pinsetter machines.

“The guy is a funny character,” Ridenour said. “I enjoy his company and admire his work ethic. He really applies himself.”

Some of Davis’ duties include maintenance, trouble-shooting problems with the automatic scorer machines, retrieving stuck bowling balls and changing the parts on both the pinsetter and scoring machines.

Sometimes, he fishes out more than stuck bowling balls.

“I’ve found miniature basketballs, cosmetic cases, candy, pencils,” Davis said.

“People throw the strangest stuff down the lanes. I’ve even found change — too bad they’re only pennies.”

Davis does have a major pet peeve.

“If your bowling ball doesn’t come back, then don’t throw any more,” he said.

“I really hate that. Common sense would tell you that if your bowling ball doesn’t come back, then something is wrong. But no, people grab 10 to 13 bowling balls, throw them down the lane, and none of them come back. Do they bother to tell anyone that something’s wrong? No.

“I could never understand that.”

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