Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's 5am.

I was scheduled to work yesterday from 8am-2pm (8:00-14:00.. get used to military time haha) but we were short staffed so I extended until 5 (17:00 ;) ).. all on four hours of sleep. When I got back, around 6:30 I decided to take a nap.. and I woke up at exactly 2:22 to the sound of my roommates. Awesome.

Here are some really great guest moments I'd like to share. You will deal with these kinds of people all the time.. and you will either want to kick yourself in the face, or laugh. Or both.

(The stroller rental area is directly underneath the train station on Main Street, so guests often ask how to get to the train station when they have a wheelchair or stroller)
Guest: Ma'am, excuse me, but where is the elevator? **
Me: We don't have any elevators, unfortunately, but we do have a ramp. If you go back out and go all the way left, you'll see it.
Guest: But my mother has arthritis and can't walk up ramps.. so where is the elevator?
Me: Ma'am.. we don't have an elevator, we just have a ramp.
Guest: But my mother can't walk UP THE RAMP. How am I supposed to get her up there?!
Me: Well I can get a manager for you and see if we can arrange a wheelchair for you somehow.
Guest: NO, I just want the elevator! This is ridiculous! You should do something about this. You're going to have a lot of people complaining.
**(We don't have an elevator because it doesn't fit the show, and it would also likely be a fire hazard, with a bunch of people with strollers and wheelchairs clamoring to get on an elevator in a really cramped space.)

The entire time I was just thinking.. 'really? If your mother can hardly walk, WHY did you bring her to a theme park? I mean, I'm just asking.. did you really think this through? And of course I'll change it; I'll just build an elevator right here, because let's not forget that I built Magic Kingdom with my bare hands.' It's REALLY hard to bite your tongue sometimes. Or, if you're me, it's REALLY hard to not roll your eyes. Which reminds me..

(It was raining during this day, and the strollers only have a sun shade.)
Guest: Excuse me, you don't have any covers for the strollers for when it rains?
Me: Unfortunately, no, but you can use a poncho and it should work just fine.
Guest: Okay, where do I get a poncho?
Me: Well if you don't already have one, you can buy one at the registers just over there for $7.50
Guest: No. This is inadequate. I can't believe you're making me buy something to cover a stroller that is completely inadequate. Even if it were sunny out, this is not enough cover to protect the children. I am really disappointed, I want my money back. (He kept repeating this over and over and over..)
Me: I can get a manager for you or if you'd like you can go to City Hall. Guest Services is in there and they can most likely help you out.
Guest: No, I went there.
Me: Okay, do you want me to get a manager?
Guest: No, I want YOU to do this.
Me: I can't do anything.
Guest: You know who else said, "I can't?" The Nazi soldiers. "Oh, we're just doing our jobs."
Me: Sir, I CAN'T DO ANYTHING. But I'll go get my manager.
Guest: Fine.
(He ran off to the register and by the time my manager came out he was gone. I told my managers what he had said and they were pissed, but I couldn't stop laughing, because REALLY? I'm so obviously committing genocide by not building indestructible stroller fortresses. Homeboy, you knew what you rented when you paid for it, so just get over the fact that it rained and you're to cheap to buy a poncho. Oh, and my one really nice manager made a good point: "You know who else was just doing their job? The American soldiers, who defeated the Nazis.")

So pretty much people will do anything to get something. They know the Disney guest service standard and will definitely try to abuse it, but there's really only so much you can do.

And sorry for the random posting, it's just 5am, I haven't made a post in a while, and I have nothing new to say, really.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I am SO tired.

Today was honestly the first nice, warm(-ish), sunny day since I've gotten down here. It's been freakishly cold so it was nice for a change - unfortunately, everyone else thought so too, and so it was super busy today. I worked in the Newsstand for the first part of the day, and it actually wasn't busy at all at first (at about 10am) and I was there with a full-timer, David (one of the only nice full-timers :) AND he's from England. He's super cool.) so even when there were a few extra guests, it was no problem taking care of them. It was when his position got dropped that I was in trouble: I was the only one in the Newsstand and suddenly it was PACKED - as in, people had trouble even moving. It was REALLY stressful but as long as you take your time, you'll be fine. I just took my time with each guest and tried not to look at the line behind them.

After about an hour of that, I got bumped to the Wheelchair register, where people rent.. well, wheelchairs, but also ECVs (Electric Convenience Vehicles). I was, once again, the ONLY cast member working at the register and there was a HUGE line. Eventually someone came over to help me out a bit and the line died down but it was really intimidating at first. It's also scary because we can only have so many ECVs inside the park as a safety precaution (by the government, so I mean we can't really do anything about it) and so we run out of them pretty quickly, and people have to be put on the waiting list, which they tend to dislike. A lot. A LOT. But today wasn't so bad on that front.

After my break at about 1pm, I got assigned to be a runner - a runner's job is to deliver new/charged ECVs to guests who have had ECV breakdowns. I was REALLY intimidated by this, mostly because I've heard bad stories of people being really angry (it takes some time for us to get from the Main Entrance to, for instance, Toontown.) There are ways to get to different lands via backstage, but it's really confusing because there are just SO many possibilities that it's easy to get lost.. but the only other option is going through Main Street and it was just TOO crowded today. Sooo, I had my first run and it was in Tomorrowland! Luckily I knew how to get to Tomorrowland backstage so it really wasn't bad. The best part about being a runner is getting to drive the ECV to the guest :) The downside is that you likely have to push the other ECV back to the front, but whatev. I pushed the ECV halfway to the guest anyway because they are just sooo s l o w. So anyway, I couldn't find the guest at first (they said they were in the arcade at Space Mountain) but eventually I found them, and they were so sweet! It was an elderly couple, and they turned out to be from Duluth (an area near where I'm from) and so we had a nice little chat.. I was really lucky to get them as my first running experience. Total, it probably took me about 25 minutes to do.

But yeaaah, I'm really tired so I think I'm just gonna go now. My internet is being ultra weird so I don't know when I'll get to post next, sorry :( I hope you guys have a great weekend!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Apparently I'm a zombie.

I have come back from the dead! Zahhh (that's the noise zombies make.. duh.)

It's been like three weeks since my last post; that is not okay. I don't even really know what to update you guys on, to be honest. I work in the main entrance of Magic Kingdom, so I work at the Locker Shop, Newsstand (which is one word for some reason..), and Stroller/wheelchair/ECV rental. Officially, my position is "Merch - Main Street Strollers" but honestly it's so much more than that.

One thing I'm going to say to all you incoming fall CPers: this is WORK - you might hate it. The payoff is that you get to be surrounded by Disney and all of that, but never let go of the fact that it's exhausting to constantly be upbeat; to smile and apologize to someone who is yelling at you for something that's not your fault; to be on time (read: early) EVERY DAY. It's tiring to do your job well, but it's worth it in the end. I know all of you guys know the upsides to the job, but I just don't want all of you to be disappointed when you get to the reality of it. It's still fun, because the childrens' smiles are worth everything, and your coworkers will make things better too, but at the end of the day it's still WORK.

I have so many stories to tell that I don't know where to begin.. one of my duties is "tunnel" which is basically standing at the front of the tunnel (before you leave Main Street) and directing people who rented strollers to the place where they can drop them off before exiting the park.. lately it's sucked because I'm sick and it's two degrees outside (and the night before last they had me out there from 6pm-8pm) but otherwise it rocks, mostly because the other day when I was offering to give this one toddler a "four-five" (we wear Mickey gloves :) ), he came up to me, stretched out his arms, and gave me a hug. Another time I was saying goodbye to a family and this little girl of about 6 came up to me, looked at me, gave me a kiss on the cheek, and left with her mom. SO PRECIOUS. And again, when I was doing Podium (greeting guests into the park inside the tunnel) one day while wearing the Mickey glove and apron (we put the celebration buttons on them), this girl came up to me and gave me the biggest hug ever; I asked her what she was celebrating and it turned out to be her birthday. Things like this seriously keep me smiling for days after they happen. THOSE are the moments that make everything else worth it. That and the fact that every night when I collect strollers from the hub (the circle area around the Partners statue - each land puts the strollers people have left throughout the day into the hub for us to collect at night) I skip down the entire length of Main Street. Seriously. It's so tiring, but SO AMAZING.. Main Street music is so skippable (you know what I'm saying..). And Main Street is SO GORGEOUS after dark, especially when there are only like 10 people on it. Sometimes it's hard to believe any of it's real haha.

I'd say more but unfortunately I have to go; I'm going to Ghirardelli in Downtown with one of my roommates (Amy :) ) for our new tradition: ICE CREAM! Ahh. SO GOOD. Seriously.

I'll be posting soon! I promise! Sorry I went so long without letting you guys know what was going on! If you have any questions about anything just lemme know :)