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Epcot: Norway

In Uncategorized on March 23, 2011 at 2:56 am

So today was my Epcot shift! I didn’t really know what to expect or even where I was supposed to be going once I got my costume, however I did know where the cast service center was at Epcot so that was where I started. I got my costume, very flattering, by the way, and tried to find out where I was supposed to be. Turns out that was the hardest part of the day. On the Hub it doesn’t really give you much information if you have no idea where you’re going. I knew I had to go to Norway and that was it. All the parks and resorts have different backstage areas and when you work in the parks it’s different than a resort. With resorts I know I can just walk right up to the front desk and someone will tell me where I’m supposed to be. This was more challenging. However, I asked around, figured out where I was going and then once I got backstage, no one knew where I was supposed to be. So then they called the Attractions Supervisor. She knew where I was supposed to be, which was reassuring. She was lovely, really cheerful and happy that I was there to help. She gave me a radio (and you know how much I love having a radio) and told me that I was on stroller duty. Which pretty much means that when people randomly leave their strollers in places to go on rides, I move them to the ‘stroller parking’ area and keep them arranged in an orderly fashion. It also means that every second person can and will ask random questions to which I’m supposed to have all the answers. Strangely enough, it seems that I have done my homework and was able to answer almost every question that I got. It was a really fun day. I met the Norweigan cast members, most of them were really friendly. I got to spend the whole time outside and got to put things in neat tidy rows, which I love! It’s really interesting to get to do something different. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my regular job and all, but switching things up keeps the learning curve steep! I really love the personal bubble that being on the front desk allows me, guests can only get so close to you. Out in the parks it’s a whole new ballgame. There were a whole lot of people in my personal space today, and surprisingly enough, it didn’t even annoy me at all. I did a lot of giving directions and taking pictures and telling little princesses that their dresses were pretty. Since I pretty much have a PHD in talking to strangers, it all worked out. You know, I think I’ve talked to strangers since I was young, I must have been a nightmare as a child, talking to everyone all the time. Turns out it’s paying off now!!

The shift manager seemed pleased with me, she actually gave me a Great Service Fanatic card, which was really nice. I’m starting a little collection of them, and I really love that they go on our record cards. The more I can prove that I’m worth employing, the more likely Disney is to keep me here! So I should probably show you a photo of the lovely lovely costume I wore today. Feel free to laugh. I did.

I know, right?! So special.

So when you’re checking people in on the front desk, sometimes the computer is a little slow, or there is a problem you need to fix or something and your guests need to wait. Now, some people are comfortable with awkward silences. I however, hate them. I feel like the guests are silently judging me. So to eliminate this weird awkwardness, I talk. A lot. All the time. About nothing really, but as long as I can get the guests to engage in conversation, the waiting doesn’t seem as long. So, I started playing a little game with guests and it’s actually been really interesting. It’s actually my new favorite game. As soon as I find out where someone is from, I say one of two things:

#1: “Ahhh, I see you’re from ______, I’ve never been there, tell me something interesting about _______” (sometimes I say “tell me a fun fact”,  I’m really never sure what’s going to happen when I open my mouth)

#2: “What’s your favorite thing about _________”

In my experience, this gets just about anyone talking a mile a minute. And once the guest starts to interact with me, all of a sudden it doesn’t matter that they have to wait ten minutes for a room change, because they spent the whole time telling me the best thing about their hometown. There’s a lot of other fun ones too, you get creative when you talk to strangers for a living. Plus, I get to learn something new about somewhere. I’ve also been getting guests to teach me American geography. It’s working out well for me. I’ve also learned who’s on all the American money (bills and coins) but I think I mentioned that already. Another fun application of my new favorite game is when I meet new cultural representatives. For instance today I asked the Norweigans what they missed most or what their favorite thing was about Norway. It was really interesting. I learned some fun facts about Norway. Learning is fun. And now I’m tired from being out in the sun all day. I like today. Today was a good day.

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