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I’ve Earned My Ears

August 24, 2009

I’m no longer “Earning My Ears”: today was my last day of training, and my first day of working in the regular rotation on Discovery Island.  This morning we were trained in the Baby Care Station and finished up our assessment tests, and then after lunch we got our official assignments for the first time. 

Assignments are given out when you clock in to the computer backstage.  When you clock-in, it prints out a piece of paper that tells you where to go next, and who you’ll be “bumping out”.  For example, it might say “Bethany – Register 1, Store A.”  So I would go to Register 1 in Store A.  It would also say, “Mary – Register 1, Store B”.  This means that when I got to Store A, Mary would be working the register I was supposed to be working.  I would give Mary this sheet of paper, and she would go to Store B like it said.  I would then take over in Store A.  Make sense to you?  It’s not as hard as it sounds.

After our training was over, I signed onto the computer for my assignment.  First place it puts me is the “Tree of Life Cart”.  This is one of the little outdoor carts that sells merchandise, which meant that, for my very first assignment, I was working all by myself!  Aah!  I panicked a little bit, but I actually had a great time.  I didn’t sell much merchandise; I spent most of my time answering questions and giving directions.  All of the guest interaction was very nice.  I then worked the register at Disney Outfitters, and the “Tigger Porch”.  The Tigger Porch is an area right outside of the doors of Outfitters, that mostly sells the “Tigger, is that you?” shirts, towels, and bags.  Hence, the “Tigger” porch. 

Tigger, is that you?

I finally got up the courage to use my newly aquired Spanish skills, limited though they are.  We had some guests who spoke only Spanish, and while a Spanish-speaking Cast Member answered questions for the husband, I worked up the courage to try out my language skills on the wife.  “Como esta usted?” I asked.  Her face lit up and she said, “Ahh! Habla espanol!”  I told her I only spoke a little bit, and then she asked me something about my shoes.  I didn’t quite understand, so I asked her to repeat it slowly.  She did, but it still didn’t help.  She just chuckled, and kept repeating and gesturing.  Well, by this point I knew that she was asking me where I got my shoes, but I had no idea how to answer her!  Ahh, the perils of learning a second language!  So when the Spanish-speaking Cast Member finished up with the husband, he came over to translate my answer.  She laughed, and we said our goodbyes–I even managed mine in Spanish!  It wasn’t a complete success, but her patience gave me confidence to try again.  And it was better than just smiling at each other awkwardly for five minutes!

The only real hiccup in the day occured at clock-out.  Late in the afternoon, one of the girls I trained with asked me why I was still working: I was supposed to have clocked out five minutes before!  No one had come to bump me out, though, so she went to tell a manager that I needed to be relieved.  When I finally got to clock out, it was 17 minutes late, and, if we’re any later than 15 minutes, it’s a half a point on our record. You can also get points for being late, or not showing up at all, and if you get more than 3 points in 30 days, 6 points in 60 days, or 9 points in 90 days you get a reprimand.  Too many reprimands, and you get terminated.  Even though a half point isn’t putting me in any real danger, I didn’t want to have a point for staying late to help guests!  So I went to find a manager to extend me for the two minutes I was late.  She was very nice, but said that i should have checked with one of them to extend me before clocking-in, as they can’t do it afterwards.  She did get my name and ID number, though, and said she would see what she would do, and this evening it shows on my record that I was extended for those extra 17 minutes.

I used the laundry room at Chatham for the first time tonight.  Ugh.  I hate that laundry room.  It costs $1 per wash and $1 per dry, which can really add up.  The washers are tiny, and there’s not even a temperature control on eiter unit!  And the cards….ugh!  As I’m starting to complain, I think this laundry thing needs its own post.  So check back tomorrow for the full scoop.  Right now, I’m off to bed, as I have to get to costuming by 7:30 tomorrow to pick up a new costume.  I have to have a different costume for floorstock than I do for register, so my lovely circus tent dress will get a break.  Once I have both costumes, I will be posting pictures of them here. 

Good night, everybody!

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