Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What I've been learning while I'm earning :)

So basically I've been thinking a lot about what to say when I'm finally at an interview somewhere and someone asks me, "What did the college program do for you? What did you learn? How did it affect you?"

In all honesty, I don't know what I'd say. Mentally, I don't know that I've "learned" anything, but I KNOW I'm not the same person I was when I left.. I guess I've learned a few things, when I think about it:

+Patience and focus! There are so many people always demanding multiple things from you all simultaneously, Disney's helped me to better focus one one thing at a time while remaining efficient and not losing sight of the bigger picture (IE in a long line, give attention to EACH guest and treat them as an individual while still being brief)

+It's made me more extroverted. Well, I don't know, really. I have different personalities at work and at play, but I feel like the two are starting to blend together more. There are so many people from different places and backgrounds that it's hard NOT to start a conversation (in fact, it's almost required by your management - at least in merchandise) even over the most trivial things ("oh, I love your purse/shirt/hair" can turn into the most interesting conversation.)

+I'm more pro-active and independent. At home I'd always depend on my mom for stuff - if I had to make a phone call to some company or another, I'd wait and see if my mom would do it first (terrible, aren't I?). Now when there's a problem I just do whatever I can to fix it right in the moment. Especially being deployed, they don't tell you ANYTHING about your new location, so you have to be really pro-active in finding everything out yourself. (I'm on my second deployment - West Side in Downtown Disney. My management hates me hahaha.)

+I'm not as afraid of confrontation. Not in the sense that I'm more apt to start arguments or something, but in the sense that when someone is upset and yelling and swearing and insulting, I don't take it personally. I let it roll off my shoulders, realize that they're just upset and don't know who can help them, point them in the right direction, and if they are still hanging around swearing and insulting me, I just get my manager. The best thing to do is just to LISTEN, look them in the eyes, offer possible solutions or alternatives, and send them on their way.

+I've learned to improv better. Not that this will really help me anywhere else haha. But for those of you who don't know, WDW is run on faith, trust.. and lies. To preserve character integrity, you basically have to think in your head that (character) is REAL. They are your best friend, you hang out with them every Saturday for (event) night, they've let you borrow their sugar, etc etc. When guests ask me questions like "Where did you get the Mickey glove?" or, like last night, "Why does Mickey have a tail in the older cartoons but in the figurines, etc, he doesn't have a tail?" I'm able to quickly respond that "Sometimes he wears different kinds of pants and they don't have a tail hole in them. It's kind of uncomfortable for him, but he wears them anyway because he forgets to do laundry and has no other choice." ;)

In a way, I'm better able to see how dreams come true and how magic happens. That's kind of lame, but really. WDW means so much to so many people; a lot of the time WDW isn't just a place, it's a representation of all the good that's left in the world. A lot of guests ask me what goes on after the park closes and I just have to say that everyone goes to sleep except for the cleaning fairies, who clean all night until the park opens again.. but there is SO much sheer EFFORT in everything, it's really amazing that there would still be that much dedication to one dream, even after the man who dreamt it passed on. It's lame to say, but for you future CPers.. you'll know what I mean. :)