TDA has responded by deploying most of the salaried Cast Members in that building to be trained on the attractions in anticipation of a possible strike in March. Dubbed "Cross-Utilization" by Senior Vice President Greg Emmer, or "Cross-U" for short, this current round of salaried cross training is the most massive strike preparation plan Disneyland has ever undergone. The unfortunate thing however is that some of these salaried folks don't seem to be cut out to operate the attractions, and during the massive training of the past several weeks these trainees keep breaking down the rides they are supposedly competent enough to operate. That is, if the Cross-U Cast Members show up for their scheduled training at all, as there are still some of these TDA folks who are literally scared of the Park, or simply feel it is beneath them to go work in a theme park. There honestly is still that touch of attitude leftover from the Cynthia era inside TDA, and this latest round of Cross-U training has clearly exposed it.
While there are still plenty of folks in TDA who began their Disney career out in the park and simply needed a refresher course on the ride they used to work at in their old college days, there are just as many salaried folks back in TDA who were hired during the Pressler and Harriss era from outside Disney and don't have any previous Disneyland experience to draw from. It seems to be that type of TDA dweller who are causing most of the problems and breakdowns at the rides in the last few weeks, although at least they are trying instead of hiding out in their cubicle.
In the last two weeks Indiana Jones, Matterhorn Bobsleds and Space Mountain are part of the growing list of attractions that have all had breakdowns or major problems caused by the Cross-U folks. Because of this, some of the TDA dwellers who do show up for the first day of their training begin to panic and feel overwhelmed, and they either don't show up for the second day or they fess up and beg out of the assignment half way through. That nineteen-year-old kids earning less than eight dollars an hour routinely perform these same duties on the rides, and often do it with grace and style during busy Saturdays instead of quiet winter weekdays, doesn't seem to register with some of these folks. So in the weeks ahead if you see a Cast Member who looks just a bit older but not necessarily wiser being trained on a ride at Disneyland, try and go easy on them. They're a long way from their office and they may be very scared.
Needless to say, all of this Cross-U excitement is causing a great deal of fodder for jokes amongst the hourly Attractions Cast Members. While we've heard reports from TDA Cross-U participants that are amazed at how warmly and graciously they've been accepted by the hourly Cast Members out in the park during their training, many of whom are happy to share their pride in working at Disneyland with people from TDA, you can bet that the antics and breakdowns caused by these TDA folks are fueling plenty of snickers and laughs from the real Attractions CM's after work. Simultaneously however, the hourly CM's are thrilled to hear stories of the "old days" from some of the Cross-U participants who worked on the same attraction 15 or 20 years ago when the current CM's were still in diapers.