My Disney Journey

This blog was a journey of my application to Walt Disney World's Cultural Representative Program, from sorting out my CV through all the interviews to a year of having a mouse for a boss! Now, watch as I try to get back to my second home.

Now for the hard part… April 30, 2011

This post will go through the service training week. They say it’s a series of the three different types of shifts you could work – an AM, a Mid and a PM. However, due to classroom sessions around your AM and PM, it feels like you work three Mids in a row. And it’s hard work.

Sunday 24th – AM Shift

So today was a very very early start to a busy, tiring week. I was on my way to work at around 7:30am, to have a class before we actually started on the floor serving. It’s really quite strange to be at work before even the managers are! Anyway, Kim was our trainer for the class, and she gave us lots of information about how the week would go, service standards, allergies and all sorts. Chef Tony even came out to talk to us, and both Phil and I had to spiel the menu to him. They went pretty well, but my spiels still need a bit of work.

Once I actually got on the floor, things went well there too. It was quiet (I know, having assigned, what the restaurant looks like when it’s quiet) and I was in Dart room being trained by Kim (Phil had Ray), so it was a nice easy way to get me going. There’s stuff that I still need to work on, but I can be overly critical of myself at times, and it was all stuff that will improve with time.

I finished work at around 4:30, and came home and did a load of washing, then Terri and I decided to re-arrange our room. The rest of the evening was spent with Anna, Jane and Shirley coming over for chinese, films and much girly chatter! 😀 It was exactly what I needed to take my mind off the stress of training.

Monday 25th – Mid Shift

We didn’t have a class, as such, today. We just started off our day tasting all the wines, trying to learn all the flavours of them. And then we started on the floor. I was trained by Becky today, doing the am in section 307, and the pm in Love. During our break we tasted and spieled all the appetisers. I had to deal with an 11 and an 8 top in the pm. I still haven’t had a table with an allergy, or been double sat… I don’t feel like I’ve been pushed as far as I could be. I did get a shoutout table, but didn’t actually manage to give them a shoutout, as their desserts went out during the fireworks. All in all, another good day, but I still feel like I could be pushed further.

Tuesday 26th – PM Shift

So, much as I was working a PM Shift on the floor today, I was still at work at about the same time as the AMs. This was for another classroom session with Kim, over in the training trailer. We basically went through bar stuff and generally made sure everything was going well and addressing any concerns Phil and I had. Then we headed back to the Rose & Crown to taste and spiel the desserts and practice opening bottles of wine. Then onto the floor!

I spent my shift in section 508 with Lady Sarah. Everyone says 508 is a nasty section, but I was doing alright for the most part. I got double sat, which was fine, and one of them was an allergy (finally!). Everything was going really well until the assigner (who was also in training) accidentally sat me again, making it a triple seat! (I didn’t have drinks out on either of the first two tables yet, although I had taken the drinks orders). This threw me totally off and it took me a while to get back on track, Lady Sarah even had to step in. I eventually did get back on top, and everything went perfectly!

It was also extra magic hours tonight, so I got sat one more table after fireworks (being KD – Kitchen Duty, meant that Phil and I had to stay on). This table decided that they were happy and wanted to spend quite some time over dinner. So they were the very last table to leave the restaurant, at 11:20pm. We’d already had the kitchen checked by management and were all ready to go home apart from bussing and sweeping that last table! So, after banking out, I finally left at 11:40pm. Yuk.

Wednesday 27th

Today was a lovely day off work. I slept in, which I really really needed. Terri and I went to Panera bread for some brunch, and then I met up with Teddy to go out to some random shops he knew of. He wanted to buy some new shorts, and I just fancied getting out and about. I did end up buying some shampoo though! Then we came home, Teddy went off to meet some other friends, and I came home so I could look at my wine and scotch flavours. Terri was a pm, so she didn’t get home until quite late.

Thursday 28th – Test Day
So yet again I was working an AM shift, but had to be at work a lot earlier for classroom business. So off to the training hut with Becky, where she ran through a few last bits and pieces before Phil and I sat down for our written test. This was basically a test of our knowledge to make sure we were confident with everything before hitting the floor. Both of us passed, I even got 199/200! (Go me! Grrr at that one scotch flavour) Then it was time for our shift, including our practical tests.

My shift seemed to be going alright. Not too great, but not too bad either. Then my test table got sat… I started off alright, my greeting and my spiel were fine, and then I got told the chefs weren’t around (the test table always has an “allergy”) and my nerves just went to pot. Everything fell apart, and the rest of the shift just went horribly, really. Needless to say, I failed, as did Phil. However, we do both have a 2nd chance (but no more than that).

I pretty much fell apart, and Terri had to come upstairs to find me and calm me down. Eventually, I was feeling a little more normal, and Terri took me home to change and get some dinner. We decided upon O’hanas, at the Polynesian, invited a few people along, and went there with Shirley. O’hanas was very very yummy, and I had a really good night, which was exactly the detox I needed after the mental blow of the morning.

Terri and I each had a cocktail with a glow-cube in, which was awesome. But what was even more awesome was the magic we made for a small child! This little boy came over to our table, leading Grandma by the hand. He came up and pointed at our drinks saying “Blue! Blue!”. She apologised to us, saying that he just wanted to show her the glowing drinks. We thought this was so cute, that we asked our waiter if we could buy a glow-cube for the small boy (we saw which table they went back to). The whole family came over to us afterwards and thanked us on three separate occasions! It was truly magical.

After eating, the three of us went down to the beach, having bought another round of very yummy drinks, to watch wishes. Wishes was amazing, as usual, and I made the obvious wish… that I would pass my service test. Once wishes was over, we were just hanging out on the beach, and Shirley decided to make a sand angel! It was so funny! This then prompted various things being written and drawn in the sand including “I <3 Jon" (with a heart, not those symbols), Our names, and then I wrote "I will pass". Motivation is the key after all! We eventually ran out of steam (and were taking up a lot of space with our writing), so decided it was about time we headed home. Especially as we were planning on getting up uber early to watch the royal wedding on tv!

Friday 29th – Wedding Day

I was actually off today, but still ended up going into work. So Terri and I set our alarms early so that we could wake up and watch Kate and William get married on tv. We’d moved our tv into the bedroom so that we didn’t really have to move. Once the ceremony was over, we were out the door and on our way to epcot (at 7:30am) for a big UK photo in commemoration of the wedding. This was fine for some people, who were working AM shifts (like Terri), but thankfully I wasn’t the only crazy person who’d come into work stupidly early on my day off.

We did have some time to kill between taking the photo and the AMs starting work, so a massive group of us (about 21 people) went off to future world to go on Soarin and Test Track! Then it was all back to the UK pavilion for a back stage street party with free shepherds pie and slices of cake. By then, our group had shrunk a little bit, but there were still a few of us, people who were off or had PM shifts later on, so we carried on round world showcase.

We went into France, had a browse, and went and saw their little show, “Illuminations of France”. Then we carried on round, some people stopped off for photos with characters, until we eventually got to Italy, where we decided lunch was in order. Managed to get a walk-in table for 9 people at Via Napoli, which was good fun, and also good luck. Lunch was very yummy, and afterwards we kept on round to Mexico. We had a couple of people with us who’d never been inside Mexico before!

After Mexico, the people with PM shifts went off to work, a couple of people went home, and some others off to Mission Space. None of these options really inspired me, so I went off on my own for a bit. I had a lovely chat with the lady selling Hawaiian Lei Flowers for Flower and Garden, then walked up to Mousegear and the Innoventions areas. I was basically just killing time until I thought Terri would be done from her PM shift so we could go home together. So I walked back to the UK to see if she had. Turned out she hadn’t, so I watched Riyad do some of a Tea-Tour (very funny – he skips!), and also watched British Invasion while I was waiting. She eventually got out, so we came home, spent some time relaxing and hanging out, then she went out. I had a bath, updated my blog with my food running week stuff, and then got an early night after my uber early morning.

Saturday 30th – Back to Training

So, to continue my service training, the managers had decided that I would basically stay on the schedule that Scheduling had given me, and I’d just be paired up with a Trainer on each day. So I got in this morning, as a 10:45 AM (instead of an 11:30 one), to find out that I wouldn’t have a trainer until 11:30. So I just helped out with setting up the restaurant, along with all the other 10:45 AM servers. Then we had pre-meal at 11:30, I found out that Becky would be training me, and I would be in 303 section. Personally, I don’t feel like today helped me in any way, I didn’t improve at all, and I was just going through the motions really. I guess my head just wasn’t in it though, which it hopefully will be tomorrow.

After work, I came home and Terri and I went out to the Outlet Mall for some dinner. Then we had a wander round some of the shops. Terri found a lovely top, then she bought my birthday present (also a lovely top) as she won’t actually be here when it’s my birthday. And then I found myself a cute new skirt, so I’m pretty happy with tonights findings. We also picked up some accessories for the Spring Formal on Monday night, and a jewelery holder for our bedroom. All in all, a good haul.

And now, for bed. I’m a Mid tomorrow. No idea who’ll be training me, but at least I don’t have to open the restaurant again.

And that’s basically my service week. It went down the drain a bit at the end, but I have another chance, and I have more training over the next few days. My re-test is on Tuesday, as is Phil’s (he failed too), so fingers crossed for then. For now though, Good Night.



One Response to “Now for the hard part…”

  1. Myah Says:

    Sorry to hear you failed, and I hope your wish comes true! Faith, trust and pixie dust. If under 21s go into service, I take it they don’t do the wine tasting part? x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

+ 4 = 6