Putting In a Full Day’s WorkAugust 17, 2009
It’s not even 8:30, and I’m ready for bed. I expected to be tired after work, but I really had no idea how truly exhausted I would be. Today was my first full day working in the park, and even though I never got behind the cash register, there was more than enough information thrown at me to make me feel a little overwhelmed. But I also really enjoyed finally getting to interact with guests. After some online training, we ventured out into the park for more tours, equipped with Pin Trading lanyards.
Pin Trading is a very popular hobby among WDW visitors, but I used to think it was a bit silly. Guests buy pins they like, and then can trade with each other or with Cast Members. Cast Members are provided with lanyards and pins, and are unable to refuse a trade. This makes Cast Members very popular with Pin Trading guests–if they see something they like, it’s theirs, as long as they have a pin they’re willing to give up. As I said, I’ve never been interested in Pin Trading. But today I realized how people could totally fall in love with this hobby. It was a great feeling when guests would walk up to me, especially the kids, and ask to trade. I would get down, ask them which pin they liked, and then talk to them about it or about the pins they already had. By the end of the day, I had an almost completely new set of pins, and had gotten to talk with lots of guests I probably never would have talked to otherwise. It was fun to find out where they were from, what kind of pins they were collecting, and what rides they had enjoyed. And it was also fun to ooh and ahh over the pins with my fellow trainees: even though they’re not technically ours, its still exciting to get a really pretty pin, or one featuring a favorite character.
So although the day was exhausting, it was still really exciting to finally get out there “on stage” and interact with the guests. We also got to meeet our managers, see backstage, visit all of the shops where we can work, and even watch the afternoon parade. Tomorrow I have the day off, but I will continue my training on Wednesday and by Saturday afternoon, I will be able to start working my regular rotation. I’ve already gotten my schedule for my first week after training, and it looks like I’m going to be spending most of the time in the stock room. Unfortunately, this means later hours: DAK usually closes around 5:00 or 6:00, but on nights where I have to work in the stock room, I have to work until 9:00. It also means less guest interaction, but our trainer said that stock room is actually a really fun place to work, and will allow us to get to know the merchandise in each store before we really start manning the registers. It doesn’t sound as exciting as register to me, but I guess we’ll see next week! The worst part about working the stock room is that I’ll have to go back over to Costuming to get another, diffferent costume. I’m trying to look on the bright side, though: I’m going to use it as an opportunity to drop off some of my dirty costumes, and get back some nice clean ones. Yay for no laundry!
Random fun fact about working at DAK: bikes called “DAKcycles” are provided for Cast Members to get around backstage. There are bike racks all over, filled with bikes that anyone can grab and ride to their destination. When the they’ve finished with the bike, it can just be left at any bike rack for another Cast Member to use. I haven’t used this system yet, but I’m sure I will soon! Looks like fun to me!