Friday, May 8, 2015

First Days on the Job + Eric's Family Vacation (End of February - Mid-March 2015)




First Days on the Job + Eric’s Family Vacation
(End of February – Mid-March 2015)
          My very first shift (which was actually before I even finished training, oddly enough) turned out to be my favorite shift of all. I was PM breaker in Epcot’s Character Spot (Cspot). Basically, this meant I got to be Austin Powers all day driving characters back and forth on various pargo runs. :P It was fabulous and went by super fast! My captain on duty (which is basically your manager) also turned out to be my favorite captain to work with and someone I would actually miss upon finishing my program. She was wonderful and very helpful in making me feel comfortable since I was very nervous. I had one more day of training after that and then I would be released into the wild.

          My first official day upon completing my training was with Mary Poppins in Epcot’s UK. For extra fun, they threw two Mr. Penguins at me too. YIKES! Attending three characters on my very first day out of training was not what I had in mind, but I got through it. It was very difficult to manage the trio because fur characters cannot be outside as long as face characters, and instead of having both Mr. Penguins come out at the same time, one came out with Mary, the other came out 5 minutes later, then one went in 5 minutes early and the other went in with Mary. It was a little ridiculous. Whoever decided that was a good idea was not being very smart. Looking back now, my Poppins was not as good as I thought she was either. She knew I was new, but instead of working with me, she took her sweet time, so we got off late almost every single set even though I had given her 5 and 10 minute warnings. Regardless, I never had any days like that again (luckily). I did not even attend Mary Poppins again until the last week of my program.

          Not very long after I had finished my training and been on the job, Eric and his family were coming down for a family vacation and to visit me for the week in early March. The day they arrived I had to work, which was fine because they weren’t getting in until that evening. It was about my fourth day out of training and I was working at Cspot in Epcot. Mid-way through my shift, this woman in a business suit came in and said she would be evaluating my performance. Already?! I was just out of training! No one else in the room was being evaluated either, just me. She was extremely rude and condescending and ended up yelling at me multiple times on stage in front of the character (Goofy) and all of the guests in line for him. “MOVE THE LINE!” she screamed. I was making the line move as fast as I could while still trying to give guests a quality interaction with Goofy. No. This woman wanted these folks to run up, stand with Goofy, snap a picture, and get out. I’m sorry, but if you just paid $100+ to visit Epcot for the day, I think you deserve a better character experience than a quick 10 seconds just because of some cranky, stupid woman. Besides, Goofy wasn’t doing anything wrong and was moving at a good speed with each guest. “Move the line!” this woman repeated. “I’M TRYING!” I snapped back, and she screamed, I kid you not, “WELL, YOU NEED TO TRY HARDER!!!” The people in line had that look on their faces like when you witness someone getting yelled at in public and you kind of want to step away from the situation and give the person getting yelled at a pat on the back. What a wonderful experience this bitchy woman created for those guests in line! *sarcasm* Good job. I’m glad Disney hires idiots like that for their higher positions. After she screamed at me, I rolled my eyes at her and ignored her for the rest of the time she was there. Later, she had the nerve to come back and tell me “she was proud of me for taking her feedback.” What a bitch.

          I talked to a captain about her back at Base, but I was informed by a fellow cast member that “so many people have filed complaints about this woman, it’s insane. Management never does anything about it though.” Great. Thankfully I never saw this woman again, nor did I ever get evaluated again. There are multiple Bethanys that work at Epcot, so I still wonder if she got me mixed up with someone else. I never heard of any of the other Character Attendants I trained with getting evaluated, so I can’t help but still believe this was some sort of mistake. Four days after training? Really?

          Once Eric was in town I witnessed the fastest week of my entire life. It seriously felt like it was over in about 10 seconds. That week was so much fun and really the first time I was able to experience all the parks as a guest rather than a worker. I could finally understand why people actually have fun in Disney World, which was a nice change of pace. Guests are treated 100x better than the workers, no question. They aren’t told over and over and over again how they should worship the Disney Company for providing them with access to a place people are dying to visit. Jesus Christ, it’s not THAT great.
~Bethany

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