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  1. #1

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    2/24: Trouble on the Menu

    Kevin writes about how Working Leads in Foods at Disneyland are being eliminated. You can discuss here how it may impact your next visit...
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

  2. #2

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    Well as far as I can tell all this was in response from the demands by Local 50 (Sandi Ecklund). I'm certain that nobody expected this specific type of action from the company though. The Cast Members at DCA are outnumbered by DLP seniority at least 2/1 since DCA is infact only 4 years old.

    Line schedules were actually something tried a few decades back, and as quoted from Mary Niven "What's old is new again".

    This is a pilot program, meaning if it's successful in Food Operations, look forward to a parkwide sprawl. I wonder if they do this would CDS go away in attractions or spread throughout the lines of business?

    Bah- change is good, and I sure hope that nobody in Food Operations jumps the gun on this. I'd see the first few months at least...

  3. #3

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    Came for the food, stayed for the Stitch boogers and torn-apart Imperial Walkers (it was funnier with the head.)

    The title image on this one is slightly misleading, as it promises "how it will impact your next visit." No offense, Kevin, I normally find your writing insightful, but for someone who doesn't care about the history lesson or the union bickering, it's difficult to find out exactly what's going on and what they should expect.

    I did find the selection that deals with the here and now, though. It begins at the Redd Rocket's picture .

  4. #4

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    Good article, Kevin. I do see that my experience at the park could be affected ... especially if they spread the program to the other divisions. Food service, however, is critical in the customer care arena, particularly so when that food service is seen by many as "over-priced". Even those that are willing to pay extra for exceptional service or quality will think twice about paying extra if the food quality suffers or if they have to wait longer ....

    On the other hand, I understand Management's efforts at reducing costs ... if the product can be delivered without unduly affecting performance, why not? This is one more area (like Annual Passes, or Fastpasses, or ticket prices, or merch prices) that I expect the company to tweak from time to time so as to increase their profits .... which hopefully will translate into park improvements ..... we'll have to wait and see ....

    My condolences to those CMs that will suffer from a demotion ... too bad the Company won't "red-circle" their pay and benefits, and allow the excess positions to go away by attrition over time ..... doing so may allow the new system to not be affected by bad employee morale ......
    "She's taking everything. She's taking the house, she's taking the kid, she's taking the dog. IT'S NOT EVEN HER DOG. IT'S MY DOG! SHE'S TAKING . . . MY DOG!"
    - Ron Livingston, "Band of Brothers"

  5. #5

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    Yes the rumors are already spreading about this...
    As far as I've heard they do want to try a resort wide implementation. (I'm out in Resort Parking) Managment has been trying to eliminate the CR-25 position for a while now and they believe that this might do it!

  6. #6

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    The real person who is behind this mess at Disneyland is Mary Niven, VP of food and beverage. This power-hungry, crazed woman is the last remaining holdout from the Cynthia Harris era and will hopefully soon be gone. Word has it that the new leadership (Matt Ouimet and Greg Emmer) have not been all that pleased with her. She was allowed to remain in her job due to the fairly healthy profit her department posted in previous years. Profitable days are no longer here for Ms. Niven and as a result she is trying to find other ways of cutting expenses and keeping her job.

    Niven went so far as to try and reclassify the Fantasmic Preferred Seating into her department to give her bottom line a jump from what is truly a "cash cow". Too bad it did not work. Now, she is attempting to screw others in order to save her own job.

    The funny part, I am not even a cast member, but a regular visitor who has also had major problems with this most unfriendly person. I hosted a private party at Disneyland and was severely overcharged (outside of the terms of the contract) and my deposit was never applied. When confronted, Ms. Niven hid under her desk and referred the matter to Disneyland's attorney Susan Riess. Ms. Riess did her lawyerly job of bullying me and trying to convince me I was wrong. When that failed, they asked me to sign a four page release prior to receiving the money they clearly admitted I was owed. I refused to do so. After an email to Matt Ouimet, I received a check for a lesser amount and have since sent it back to the good folks at Disney and told them to try again.

    We had a great turn of events when Matt and Greg were brought to the park. Disneyland will be much better once we rid ourselves of this ego driven woman Mary Niven. I encourage those who are affected by this to take appropriate action and let their union and Disneyland know how they feel. I will be present with protesters on May 4, 2005 (Disneyland’s big press day) regarding their theft of my money and already have members of the credentialed media who will be present to get my message out.

    It is truly sad that cast members are the driving force behind any day at Disneyland and yet, lowly self-centered people like Mary Niven implement policies that affect everyone but somehow benefit her bottom line.

  7. #7

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    I'm Getting Old

    I worked in Foods as a DMO (Dish Machine Operator)at the Plaza Inn in the 1970's. Some people would call it a lowly dishwasher, but I pretty much thought otherwise. Even that held some sort of pride and satisfaction of being an employee of Disneyland. Besides that, we had a lot of fun. Leads were respected for their knowledge/familiarity with the job and the area. Not only that, we all got along!

    I foresee some diminished camaraderie among the employees with this new concept, as if it hasn't diminished already thus far, and I'm glad I don't deal with that kind of thing anymore. Why would anyone want to be oppressed? They certainly aren't paying enough for that!

  8. #8

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    I especially feel bad for the part-time workers that are getting the royal screw job. Like Kevin pointed out, many of them are students and it's already hard enough living in perpetual poverty, being gouged by your school, without Disney helping them out. I imagine the drop in pay from lead to regular cast is quite a bit.

    Concerning Mary Niven, that doesn't surprise me that she's behind this. Actually, come to think of it, my last sentence combined with what everyone else is saying makes her sound like a cartoon villain. Anyway, it doesn't sound like anyone else in management is complaining about the change, so I think they're going to use her unpopularity as a shield to finish their employee agenda.
    "Do it for me then. Your gaming buddies are going to be there too. It will be good for you kids to go out and blow the stink off yourselves for one night."

    "Fine. For you. And for the eradication of stink."


  9. #9

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    "Niven went so far as to try and reclassify the Fantasmic Preferred Seating into her department to give her bottom line a jump from what is truly a "cash cow"."


    Preferred seating is part of Special Events, an off-shoot of Outdoor Vending (which IS part of Foods). SPEV isn't a "cash cow" - ODV is, and our profits aren't down. From what were told, this huge change came from the top (i.e. Matt)
    -David

  10. #10

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    dsineyland labor, but i would say that the WDC culturally has this tendency to continually evolve and reinvent itself organizationally. Like a patient in therapy, they become addicted to the process of treatment and never leave. They keep buying or renting someone's expertise seeking a new way to do projects or run things. Most of the time I thought they never refined the systems they had, they just adopted a new one and continually reshuffled the deck with the next new administration. One of the issues here is that the "top heavy" part of the management, which was resposible for the lack of efficiency were the very ones deciding which "limb" to remove and it was never their own. In divisions like WDI, the list of artists and designers dwindle and the load of management to watch them is swollen. I guess the tendency may be to ignore experience or ability in favor of control or cost.

    From a guest perspective, the cycle is clear. The food quality swings on a slow pendulum. It goes from really great, where you love everything that come out of the kitchen. To a realization at the top that although it's good again, they're not making enough money. Here the great chef begins a gradual portion and cost cutting cycle to greater profit. This means the food items evolve into banal ghosts of their former selves (Mint Julep). Then it gets sooo bad that no one will eat it no matter how profitable it is. Bad doggie. Why are they all at Mc donald's management asks? It must be this horrible food! Someone in manangement fires the food guy and it swings wildly in the direction of innovation and quality again. The new Banana Split is invented and a few other "innovations" in popcorn. That is till the numbers come in and they need more growth and that new purist is seduced into buying canned tomatoes and cheaper beef. It's so true.
    "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmith157
    Anyway, it doesn't sound like anyone else in management is complaining about the change, so I think they're going to use her unpopularity as a shield to finish their employee agenda.
    You bring up a very valid point. Friends of mine in TDA are blaming her, but it may have actually come from the top and they want to test run it. If it is unpopular, blame it on Niven.

    As for Preferred seating, the numbers, when compared to other locations under Niven's direction make it a standout. Low overhead with sell-out crowds on the balcony and a steady number in the other areas make this a constant source of income. ODV numbers are always strong for the same reason. However, steady profits are certainly not the case for almost all of the restaurants including Club 33's pathetic numbers of late.

  12. #12

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    They wouldn't need to continually evaluate the way they do business, if the way they did business consistently returned a profit.

    Disneyland isn't making money. Higher operating costs are completely erasing what meager profits the AP holders are bringing in.

    Disneyland has no other choice but to reevaluate their operating expenses and try to cut costs where they can. Even though it means that the good CMs will be forced to quit, and the guests will have to deal with CMs who don't understand their locations - that's just the way it has to be as long as folks are only willing to pay a discounted admission.

    Was that photo of stitch photoshopped?

  13. #13

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    So wait, if they're condensing the whole Ct/CR/etc. system into just part-time and full-time, does that mean they're eliminating seasonal cast members altogether?

    (<-- former CT)

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver
    Disneyland isn't making money. Higher operating costs are completely erasing what meager profits the AP holders are bringing in.


    Oh man, that is so funny. Tell me another!
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver
    Disneyland isn't making money. Higher operating costs are completely erasing what meager profits the AP holders are bringing in.
    I have a question, if Disneyland isn't making any money for the reasons you stated (And I believe your claim) then how can they justify the millions they are pouring into maintenence? They have to is one answer, but how is it justified? Yes, the 50th is coming, but paint in itself is not an incremental attraction that draws guests. We expect the park to look good. Same with sapce mountain, it isn't really a new ride, just a polished one with some minor updates. That in itself seems like low level marketing, unless the whole 50th thing will just cover those costs. Does it have something to do with Eisner making nice to restore his legacy? I bet they are spending 70 mil or more just to do all of this accelerated rehab, not to mention Buzz. Any further thoughts?
    "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

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