What makes you show up to the Happiest Place on Earth? Is it the benefits? Is it the perks? Is it just the paycheck? Is there a reward you take that somehow fulfills you with your Guests, Team, or Location?
To keep this on track- as many stories as we all have- can we avoid the "This one Guest did the most stupid/disgusting/weird/etc thing" replies? I'm not here to slander anyone- and funny stories are great- just not for this topic.
I'm just wondering if people still look at the place as I did.
I found a place where I learned to love. Before I worked there- I'd have to say I was a total jerk. I would not talk to anyone I didn't know- and if I were approached I'd have something sarcastic- or witty to reply with. I'd find the bad in things and make sure they stood out and I could never ever find the good in the general population.
The first thing that place forced me to do- is break out of my shell. It was do that- or get fired. Being someone who fears failure- I had to improve. I watched others interact and actually enjoy themselves talking to young and old- Guests from all over the world. Whether they understood them or not- just the facial expressions alone sent a message so strong it was clear a pleasant time was being had. I started small- talking to the kids- it's easy to talk to someone who's most likely not going to think you're just some punk kid. After seeing the positive response- I'd then move on to the parents- and after several months of honing this skill- I considered myself to be quite sufficient with interaction.
After I could communicate with my Guests, my fellow Team realized I wasn't some crazy loner- who sits at home all night and cuts himself. They began to talk with me. Working with these people everyday- they became my 'friends'. We all became closer on a professional level- shared ideas, concepts, and most of us began to develop within our Line of Business. I went first to Trainer, then to Cook, then Lead- and I even progressed beyond that before I left a couple of years ago.
I remember after about my 6th month- while walking to work- asking myself, "Why do I do this". At that time I could only say- I needed the paycheck, I loved the company, and I felt an obligation to strive for a Company that had as much to offer its Employees (Cast) as it did it's Clients (Guests).
On my last day- after crying on my way there- throughout my entire shift, and off and on for about a week after- my answer to that very same question was forever locked- I did this for the Guests, and for my Team. I did this for the Company that has been committed to the Consumer from the Get-Go. Throughout it all- there was the perks too- I loved the free admission, the parties, the gifts and souvenirs, and the discounts. Parting with such a commitment was indeed a tough task at hand- but knowing I'd be back someday- seems to set my mind a bit at ease. Hope to see you in the Parks!