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  1. #1

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    Does anyone agree?

    I was a little put-off by the following passage in Al's recent update:

    "The work environment for those hourly folks is still just as unimpressive as it used to be, with decrepit break rooms, inedible slop in the hourly cafeterias, and out of touch TDA leaders reading their lines via PowerPoint to a glassy-eyed audience that tuned them out years ago"

    Back when the turnover rate was very high I read all of Al's columns about the work environment for hourly cast members, many of which echoed his statements above. They had me a little scared when I finally went in to casting and applied.

    Since I have been a cast member, I have not experienced any such dismal work environment. I've worked higher paying jobs with less adequate break rooms, and I will admit to really liking most of the food at the Inn Between. Yes, those "What Will You Celebrate" Town Halls were a little cheesy, but they did impart a good message about continuing to provide outstanding guest service. The one time I met some very high up folks from TDA (a very lucky chance encounter) they were extremely gracious and I walked away respecting them even more than I did before for the positive changes they are making. As far as Presenteeism goes, while it is unforgiving, it is also fair and probably the most efficient way to keep track of such a large number of employees.

    Maybe it's just that I was one of those kids who spent almost six months on a waiting list to get a second interview, but quite honestly my feelings are that, I work at Disneyland, I can't complain. At the interview I was hired after, one of my favorite mangers said that in the 15+ years he has been in the department there had never been one morning where he woke up and said "Darn it, I have to go to work today." My experience has been just that, not the experience Al describes.

    I just wonder if anyone really resents their work environment as much as Al's column seems to think we do.

  2. #2

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    Re: Does anyone agree?

    That's a really good point. I worked as a CM at WDW and our work conditions were great. I saw the breakrooms of many of my friends and coworkers. None of what I saw seemed all that bad.

    Granted, I have never worked at the DLR so I never drew any comparisons between work conditions in Orlando versus Anaheim.
    I worked at Walt Disney World as a member of the Disney College Program in Spring 2008 and Summer 2010. Now, I build software, design live events, and frequently make the short trek from Costa Mesa to Disneyland with my Annual Passport in hand.

  3. #3

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    Re: Does anyone agree?

    Here's why; you're new.

    The Inn Between used to sell really good food at a subsidized price. Then StarDinerz came in and lost their way. Sodexo-Mariott replaced them and it was really good...for a couple of months. Since then, shakers have been replaced with packets. Prices have gone up. Selection has gone down. Staffing levels go down meaning you spend a large chunk of it in line. And if you are going to get food and it is an hour or less before they close, all that is left is basically soda and leftover debris at the grill. Without anything to compare it with, it may not seem bad, but it is a nightmarish drop in quality. They don't even give out takeout containers anymore. And silverware is a distant memory. I try and eat at the 'roach coach'. Superior prices, superior service, superior selection. It's sad, a van with two ladies should not to be able to outperform a cafeteria, but they do.
    These are all supposed to be run the same, but check out the cafeteria in the BOB (Big Orange Building), or the Eat Ticket and you get superior everything. Why? Because they aren't dealing with the hourly dregs.

    Breakrooms are functional. The vending machines charge almost twice as much as anywhere else in the world, why? I don't know. The condition of each breakroom varies wildly; some are quite nice, and some I don't go to anymore. But shouldn't they all be maintained to the same level? I find myself getting really envious whenever I go to TDA and find immaculate breakrooms with nice TVs and filled with well maintained conveniences.
    It says alot when the managers NEVER use the breakrooms, and whenever possible they leave the resort to get some food so they don't have to eat at the cast cafeteria. Or if they do, they take their lunch/dinner super early while the good food is still around. CMs don't have that luxury or choice.

    Al is not a cast member. He DOES exaggerate, he's not just a reporter, he's a commentator, that's part of his charm. But in this case, what he says is not false.

  4. #4

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    Re: Does anyone agree?

    Inn Between is...yea. When they get it right, it's all right. But when they get it wrong..........

    Most days I just wait through my lunch and pick up something after work, or if I have time, just prepare something and bring it to work.

    As to the Break Rooms, I remember my first day of training, we went on Break and I plopped onto one of the loungers (what you would find in the booths of a Casual Restaurant)...

    ...The seat of the lounger immediately popped up and nearly sent me flying across the room.

    They removed and replaced them with metal chairs soon after that, with the intention to replace them soon. This was over a year and a half ago.

    While I wouldn't say that Al Lutz is spot on with his observations, he's not that far off, IMO.


  5. #5

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    Re: Does anyone agree?

    I would wait through my lunches too...
    I hardly ever ate at the Inn Between, It's practically just as expensive as eating inside the park and the food quality isn't the greatest.

    Just clock in for lunch...go sit backstage for 30 minutes..and clock back in

  6. #6

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    Re: Does anyone agree?

    Blah. I don't mean to sound mean or put off, but if this really bugs some cast members, please quit so I can be rehired in April.

    "I'm not funny. What I am is brave." - Lucille Ball


  7. #7

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    Re: Does anyone agree?

    While eating lunch at the Westside Diner the other day I saw a ceiling tile fell on another CM. The tile had apparently broken because it absorbed water due to a leak from Pirates. And even though some of them saw it happen, neither the staff nor the manager of the Westside approached the CM to see if he was alright.

    So, yes I'd have to agree that Al's observations are fairly accurate.
    The views and opinions expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily represent or reflect those of The Walt Disney Company and Affiliated Companies.

  8. #8

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    Re: Does anyone agree?

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar33 View Post
    While eating lunch at the Westside Diner the other day I saw a ceiling tile fell on another CM. The tile had apparently broken because it absorbed water due to a leak from Pirates. And even though some of them saw it happen, neither the staff nor the manager of the Westside approached the CM to see if he was alright.

    So, yes I'd have to agree that Al's observations are fairly accurate.
    The West Side of the park is in really bad shape, ESPECIALLY the Westside Diner. Work for one month underground at New Orleans and tell me that the breakrooms are acceptable. They're pretty terrible. I don't even WANT to know what's in the air that I'm breathing down there, and the pipes leak over EVERYTHING.

    I love my job, but I started packing my own lunch about six months ago, and I try to avoid the "breakrooms" as much as possible-- my "breakroom" is the Westside Diner!
    Member of the Disney Class of 2005
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  9. #9

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    Re: Does anyone agree?

    The smell in those NOS kitchens....blergh. Makes me want to pass out everytime.

  10. #10

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    Re: Does anyone agree?

    I think Inn Between seems to be doing pretty well now, except for always running out of certain things in the evening.

    I don't know about the west side diner much, one trip was enough to never consider going back.




    RIP Chicken Fusilli.

  11. #11

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    Re: Does anyone agree?

    Would it kill them to keep the Inn Between open for an additional hour? Sometimes I get my 30 minute unpaid meal break during the last hour of park operations, which isn't a problem in DCA because the DCA Café closes with DCA. The Inn Between closes an hour before Disneyland Park though.

    On New Year's Eve, I remember reading something about the Inn Between and DCA Café "extending" their hours and closing at 0100. Umm... DCA closed at 0100, and Disneyland Park closed at 0200. That means the Inn Between closed one hour before Disneyland Park did, and the DCA Café closed with DCA. Sounds more like status quo than extended hours to me.

  12. #12

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    Re: Does anyone agree?

    while i hate hate hate to defend sodexho, i must point out that star dinerz used to close an hour before the park too. not saying that i wouldn't like to have the place open later, its just the policy is nothing new.

  13. #13

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    Re: Does anyone agree?

    Quote Originally Posted by matterhornmaniac View Post
    while i hate hate hate to defend sodexho, i must point out that star dinerz used to close an hour before the park too. not saying that i wouldn't like to have the place open later, its just the policy is nothing new.
    And my complaint is nothing new, since I had the same complaint back then as well.

  14. #14

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    Re: Does anyone agree?

    The break rooms I use are pretty good, only sad thing is on Sundays when the water cups are sometimes completely out. I've eaten some really good food at the Inn Between, but I'm not too picky about my food to be honest. And everyone that works there has been very friendly.

    The What Will You Celebrate sessions were a little cheesy, but not terrible. The Managers who spoke at my session seemed genuinely nice however they did make me wish there were more spontaneous speakers in management that could work off bullet points instead of just reading a full script word for word. However, the session did have some great information and neat little tidbits I could really bite into for my day to day work.

    Overall my experience has been really good. I'm one of those people who came in the door really liking Disney (longtime AP), enjoying the guest interaction and such so perhaps I'm just looking at the experience with happiness blinders. Only unfortunate ongoing experience has been with the shortage of CR hours and FT conversion options. It is really great to be working at the Happiest Place on Earth and I sincerely mean that.

  15. #15

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    Re: Does anyone agree?

    While eating lunch at the Westside Diner the other day I saw a ceiling tile fell on another CM. The tile had apparently broken because it absorbed water due to a leak from Pirates. And even though some of them saw it happen, neither the staff nor the manager of the Westside approached the CM to see if he was alright.

    So, yes I'd have to agree that Al's observations are fairly accurate.

    I recall being at the Westside Diner when that ceiling panel fell. For a split second I thought it might've been a skeleton prop from 'Pirates' or something. Of course, all we need is to have the ride fall on top of us while we dine. Ugh.

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