A Mickey Mouse Job


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What you see above is the note that was handed to me after the interview I had a few days ago with Disneyland.

Yes, that Disneyland. The Mouse, the ears, the Walt. That’s the place.

I had submitted my application online – it’s the only way they accept them, naturally – somewhere in January and figured that it had just gotten placed in the OVERQUALIFIED file since I hadn’t heard back. But I guess they do get a ton of applicants and someone (or some computer) is tasked with having to find those they feel meet the criteria to be one of Walt’s minions.

It was June when I finally got the email asking me to take the online quiz, the ones that are standard issue emotional tests in which you rank different statements by choosing radio buttons ranging from “Strongly Disagree” to “Neutral” to “Strongly Agree.” (By the way, they key to passing them is to mark either “Strongly Disagree” or “Strongly Agree” for each question. That shows you are decisive. Anything else is a red light and may hurt your chances of getting the interview.)

Knowing how those tests work, I went ahead and gave myself the suggested 30-40 minutes to take the quiz and passed it without a problem. I was then taken to a page that showed a cheesy video highlighting all of the available positions at the Park. I had applied for Quick Service Foods, a position that pretty much meant I could be selling churros or popcorn from a cart on Main Street. I know someone that does just that.

I know, I know. I’m working and I should be happy with that, right.

Yes, of course. I truly am grateful to be where I am despite a new team of people moving in making changes, some not for the better. But when opportunity knocks for any reason, you can bet I’ll take advantage of it.

I scheduled my interview for July 1 and waited a week. I had my interview and discussed the QSF position plus a few others that might be open. And of course, there was the standard “Why do you want to work for Disneyland?” question.

During the interview, I told my Casting Agent – Disney slang for Recruiter – that I had been a ticket seller at Knott’s Berry Farm for a few years back in the late ‘80s. We then discussed the possibility of my being hired as one but there were no open positions currently available. Other positions includes Vacation Sales Rep, an off-site position in which you work in a call center and organize Disney vacations for guests.

I didn’t feel I was fit for that nor did I want to deal with people over the phone. I’m more of an in-person kind of guy when it comes to interactions, so I politely declined that one. There were a few more that I can’t think of at the moment and wasn’t too excited about any of them so we moved on.

In the end the Casting Agent believed that, based on my experience, the role of Vacation Planner (yes, that’s what they call Ticket Sellers) was more up my alley. And that’s why I got the ticket you see above: a promissory note or sorts that guarantees me a job should the role of Vacation Planner become available somewhere in the next six months.

But I don’t think I’ll take it.

Unlike most jobs, Disneyland requires open availability for neophytes during peak times of the year as well as constant availability on the weekends. But not unlike other jobs, newbies start at the bottom rung and get absolutely no word in scheduling until they move up to Regular Part Time from Casual Part Time. I sort of like my weekends off when I get them and have a little pull at work so starting over with even more restrictions seems silly.

The commute is simple – literally one street – but with the way things are going now with the Kia, chances are we will be selling it and be a one-car family real soon. See this post and you’ll read about our brilliant plan that just didn’t work. The House That Walt Built is around 12 miles from home which is an easy trip by bike, but depending on when I work and taking public streets, I’m not too sure about that. I can walk to my current job easily no matter when I work. And during peak times, Cast Members sometimes have to park at Anaheim Stadium, meaning leaving home even earlier to get to work. Eh, I like leaving 15 minutes before my shift and getting there in plenty of time like I do now.

And finally, the Disney Look that one must adhere to. I had confirmed with a few Cast Members prior to going to the interview that men with pierced ears are fine and well. I wouldn’t have wasted anyone’s time if they weren’t. The Disney Look was the final topic covered during the interview and I pointed out that I do have pierced ears but hadn’t worn anything in “a long time” which was more like a week. I was told they’d have to heal and close up if I wanted to work there. She asked if I had a tattoo and said yes, but not entirely visible with elbow-length short-sleeve shirts. This wasn’t an issue.

As I said, I’ll take any opportunity that comes my way and I do believe that working there would probably be interesting to say the least. But after much consideration, I decided that I probably will pass on the job should I get the call between now and January 2015. The bullets explain why.

  • Walking to work, when I do, is easy.
  • The boss likes me.
  • I can request time off and have a better chance of getting it where I am now. Also, switching shifts with others is simple.
  • I have pretty reasonable perks, including a quarterly grocery bonus based on how many Points I’ve earned per transaction. In fact, my next bonus is going to be somewhere near $80 and that will come in handy when it arrives.
  • Although I don’t see this happening any time soon, but should I decide to get my ears pierced again or even get a tattoo of an om symbol on my wrist or someplace conspicuous, I can do it and still have a job. Disneyland would let me go.

So there you have it. I’m staying put.

Sorry, Mickey.

Unless, of course, my hours get cut drastically in which case I’ll have to weigh every option possible…

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