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  1. #1

    • Embrace the kitsch!
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    CM Pay--Another Look

    In reading all the discussions about CM's and how much they get paid (or don't get paid, as the case may be), I wonder if we're not missing the forest for the trees. Yes, CM's used to get paid much better than they do now, w/ better benefits and yes, it used to be possible to earn your way to a living wage as a CM, but there's another branch to the tree: It also used to be true of many other jobs.

    Back in the day, people were able to make careers of entry level jobs. For example, a popular waitress could stay on at her restaurant doing the same job as a girl just off the bus and make a living of it. Her boss would recognize that this woman brought something special to her work, making her a valuable asset to his business, and eventually she would become part of the fabric of the place. This still happens today, but it's the exception rather than the rule.

    Somewhere along the line things changed, and certain classes of work were defined as strictly entry level. Along w/ this came the rise of the "professional manager," who has a fancy degree which qualifies him to, well, manage stuff. And manage he does, even in an industry he knows nothing about. It's no longer possible to find your niche and make a living if that niche is considered entry level work. You go so far and, if you want to go farther, you have to go into a different line of work. (I think they call this "up or out.")

    Where am I going w/ all of this? CM's don't get taken care of like they used to, but neither do workers in other fields. When corporate America changed the way it managed its workers, Disney followed suit. Should they be faulted for this?
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  2. #2

    • Goofy
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    Re: CM Pay--Another Look

    wow thats a very interesting words there.

  3. #3

    • Happiest Girl On Earth
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    Re: CM Pay--Another Look

    I remember when one of my friends was hired as an attractions CM and he told me how much he got paid... I don't quite recall, but I didn't think it was too bad (more than I got paid at my non-disney job, but obviously less than our friend who is a face character). He quickly reminded me, however, that with union dues he's at about the same wage as the rest of us.

    It's true! Most people don't get paid enough to make a living off of an entry-level job. I've gotten lucky though - if I needed to live off of the job I have now, I wouldn't see a problem in it.

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  4. #4

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    Re: CM Pay--Another Look

    I wouldn't want to be responsible for keeping a Mercedes or a Lexus or a BMW out of the driveway of some poor Disney executive. My conscience couldn't bear it.

    So they need to keep Cast Member wages down so a sad situation such as that doesn't occur.

  5. #5

    • Squaw NO gettum firewood!
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    Re: CM Pay--Another Look

    I just wish the Disney positions were the same pay-rate at every park. My job in Florida gets paid entertainment wage, but in CA I'm worth about $5/hour less.

    But you're very right to point out that it's not only Disney employees feeling the shift. The other important thing to note is that the degree doesn't guarantee you a position "managing" anything anymore. I'm still working in the same position in the park that I was at before I finished my degree, and I'm working right alongside several others in my position.
    "Remember 'Old Yeller'? We shot the dog." - Roy E. Disney


  6. #6

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    Re: CM Pay--Another Look

    I know the feeling. I work my rear end off at FedEx in all types of weather and stuff. Guess how much my bonus was last year, 140 bucks. Yeah, and we had managers getting thousands and CEO's getting 2-3 million each.

    Sure is nice to be appreciated. Good thing I have an interview today at another company.

  7. #7

    • Geoff London
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    Re: CM Pay--Another Look

    It's a case of the "Haves" and "Have nots". I work in transport. I and my colleagues are the ones that take it on the chin when things go wrong but it's the management who sit on their butts that get the bonuses when we meet their targets! It's criminal that some corporate bosses take home millions whilst those at the sharp end are trying to exist!
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  8. #8

    • A guy walks into a bar...
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    Re: CM Pay--Another Look

    I wish everyone could see the looks on people's faces when I tell them how much I make after working at Disneyland for 17 years.

    Maybe I should start snapping pictures...


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  9. #9

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    Re: CM Pay--Another Look

    So I'm curious as to how much Entry level CMs actually make.

    I would assume that it would be on par with any other retail giant like Starbucks, or Jamba Juice, or In&Out (around $9.00 starting with a cap of about $12.00 for non-management).

    Can any verify a general range for that?

    If this is accurate, I would say it's rather fair considering that it's a position that anyone can get out of high school, and the actual job is on par with what you would do at Starbucks. As far as management, I know I worked for over two years with the starbucks corporation, was a Shift Supervisor, and still only capped out at around $13.00.

    The fact is that in California, you can't make your rent working a retail or customer service job, no matter what company you work for. It's the nature of the economy. California is filled with very skilled workers who have at the very least a Bachelors Degree, and more likely now a Masters. If you don't have a college education, and you have no experience, you really can't compete with a workforce like that, and the job and pay you receive is a reflection of that.

    Sorry guys, it's simply reality in California.

  10. #10

    • Once A Skip Always A Skip
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    Re: CM Pay--Another Look

    I've had the oppurtunity (?) to work at both Starbucks and Disneyland. I've heard the starting wage for attractions now hovers somewhere around 8.25. I worked at a Starbucks in Costa Mesa and I started working for 8.00 an hour. So yes, it's very similar in starting wages. However what I think many people fail to realize is that working In/Out, or Starbucks vs. Disneyland attractions is the level of responsibility involved. If you make the wrong change at In/Out or screw up someones latte at Starbucks no big deal...you are a couple of dollars short or you have to re make a drink for the 40 year old mom wearing Juicy sweatpants, and it doesn't end up on the six 0'clock news; if you screw up on an attraction, there is the potential for serious injury. it's easy to get lost in thr magic and forget that attractions CM's are responsibile for your saftey, and well being from the time you step into line to the time you get off. These are pieces of very dangerous often fast moving equipment, that have the potential to kill someone. Remember that next time someone checks your seat belt on Indy, pulls your saftey harness on Screamin or adds a Train on Thunder. If there is an emergency on an attraction, remember your life in the hands of the Cast Members working that day, I hope they think your life is worth more than 8.25 an hour.
    As distasteful as it might seem to discuss it, the first responders to the Thunder Accident, those first people who came in contact with the victims....were not trained paramedics or firefighters, they were a couple of 20 something year old college students. Two of those CM's were good friends of mine at the time.
    I'm back at the park, I work in Hotels and I make a little over 10.00 an hour to start, I guess it's all about priorities.
    -"Enjoy the rest of your stay here at Disneyland, where all of your dreams come true...well except for two of them, short lines and cheap food."

  11. #11

    • Autobot Weapon Specialist
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    Re: CM Pay--Another Look

    And Disney wonders why they want to build affordable housing.


  12. #12

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    Re: CM Pay--Another Look

    Yes times are changing and things are only going to get worse. The middle class will be gone soon and all that will be left is the rich and the poor. Most new jobs that get added to our economy are low paying service jobs. It's our own fault though we let politicians dismantle our unions and we gave up our power. The only way this will stop is if people wake up, organize and tell these greedy corporate pigs that they are going to need to settle for lower profits or we will shut down the country.

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  13. #13

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    Re: CM Pay--Another Look

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffYardDog View Post
    I wouldn't want to be responsible for keeping a Mercedes or a Lexus or a BMW out of the driveway of some poor Disney executive. My conscience couldn't bear it.

    So they need to keep Cast Member wages down so a sad situation such as that doesn't occur.
    Quote Originally Posted by draybook View Post
    I know the feeling. I work my rear end off at FedEx in all types of weather and stuff. Guess how much my bonus was last year, 140 bucks. Yeah, and we had managers getting thousands and CEO's getting 2-3 million each.

    Sure is nice to be appreciated. Good thing I have an interview today at another company.
    Quote Originally Posted by geoffa View Post
    It's a case of the "Haves" and "Have nots". I work in transport. I and my colleagues are the ones that take it on the chin when things go wrong but it's the management who sit on their butts that get the bonuses when we meet their targets! It's criminal that some corporate bosses take home millions whilst those at the sharp end are trying to exist!
    The responsibilities of management are different than the responsibilities of front line workers. Just because they are not as physical in nature as front line jobs are does not mean they are easier.
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  14. #14

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    Re: CM Pay--Another Look

    I'm sorry, I'm chuckling just a little bit here.

    My life is in your hands? Hardly.

    If I am stupid enough not to click my seatbelt when I am on an attraction, you catch it. Also, aren't most attractions of this sort (I know at other parks for sure) built in with a light or warning system that says when someone isn't completely locked in?

    Besides that, everything is prety much automated correct? I wouldn't assume that they would place ride management controls in the hands of inexperienced workers, except big green and red buttons that say GO, and STOP, right?

    So unless there is a huge accident, or something out of the ordinary comes up, you rarely ever actually have the publics "lives in your hands".

    I'm not trying to devalue your position, but you are overstating it quite a bit.

    Yes times are changing and things are only going to get worse. The middle class will be gone soon and all that will be left is the rich and the poor. Most new jobs that get added to our economy are low paying service jobs. It's our own fault though we let politicians dismantle our unions and we gave up our power. The only way this will stop is if people wake up, organize and tell these greedy corporate pigs that they are going to need to settle for lower profits or we will shut down the country.
    ...or you go to school and get a degree, or alternatively amass sufficient work experience to move forward. Then you can get a position where you make enough money to support yourself.

    There are positions in the state for anyone who is skilled, qualified, or bright and motivated enough to find them. Almost any entry level office job will pay more than Disneyland does, and they aren't that difficult to get.

    If you make the decision to work in a retail, or customer service position, that has lousy pay, you can't complain. You made the CHOICE to work there, rather than finding better paying work, or taking steps to make yourself more marketable to companies.

  15. #15

    • "I Break Things"
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    Re: CM Pay--Another Look

    Just as I was swearing not to get involved in this... had to ruin a perfectly good lunch!

    Quote Originally Posted by DCAFTW View Post
    I'm sorry, I'm chuckling just a little bit here.

    My life is in your hands? Hardly.

    If I am stupid enough not to click my seatbelt when I am on an attraction, you catch it. Also, aren't most attractions of this sort (I know at other parks for sure) built in with a light or warning system that says when someone isn't completely locked in?

    Besides that, everything is prety much automated correct? I wouldn't assume that they would place ride management controls in the hands of inexperienced workers, except big green and red buttons that say GO, and STOP, right?

    So unless there is a huge accident, or something out of the ordinary comes up, you rarely ever actually have the publics "lives in your hands".

    I'm not trying to devalue your position, but you are overstating it quite a bit. enough to find them. Almost any entry level office job will pay more than Disneyland does, and they aren't that difficult to get.
    Usually I would walk away... but I was the one who pulled a 3 year old boy out of the Jungle river because he fell between the boat and the dock and went in head first! It wasn't a cut knee, or a pinched arm, it was his entire body under water pinched between boat and dock and I got him out. Like Trojan, I too know the first responders on Thunder. I am a combat Marine... I am trained to handle that kind of crap... she wasn't and she ended up watching someone die! Sure they give you a paper manual and tell you red means stop and green means go. They don't tell you what it looks like when someone's foot gets sliced, or a kid almost drowns, or someone dies... THINGS go wrong and that college kid you're paying $8 and hour... he's the one who there to save your A$$ because fire and police will take at least 10minutes to get there! Trojan did not overstate anything... sure there are safeguards but these are still machines, they can still break, and people can still be injured be it their own stupidity (not buckling seatbelt or sitting on buckled one) or anything else. I also know the manager who's ankle was severly lacerated due to Columbia... she's walking now but it took a lot and she still does phyical therapy!

    At least at McD's all you have to worry about is food poisoning.

    Also to the degree comment, unless it is a Master's you aren't going to get too far because now everyone has one. You would fare better to learn a trade, skill, or hopefully have some sort of talent. I am not as worried about Unions but I believe they serve a purpose provided they are not plagued by corruption which most current ones are. The problem is when Unions make demands the company in turn raises the price to avoid cutting into profits which in turn means you need to make more just to make ends meet.
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