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Friday, January 23, 2009

Walt Disney World - First day at Cosmic Ray's Cafe

I woke up early that day, I was so excited. The drive there was quick, I found my parking lot, found the bus to my destination. When the bus dropped me off I was ready for my first day.

I had to stop by Costume area, I stood in line, when I got up to the window the lady said sizes? I just stood there. She said you are new huh? I smiled and said yes. She sized me up and left, got my costume and returned in a flash. She gave me a combination to my locker, she pointed to the dressing room. I waked in and it was row after row, after row, of lockers. It was huge. I finally found my locker. My locker was right in between two girls lockers. I thought I must be in the wrong place. I wasn't, it was my locker, and my combination worked. I found out later that it was co-ed. But there was notices every where to change in the restrooms.

Now the tricky part was to find the location. Yes I had been in the halls all week, but I was with my group so it was simple. I only had to stop and ask for directions once. I only missed it by one door. When I walked threw the doors, I noticed the restrooms, and to the right of that was a break room. The break room was a room with tables, vending machines, and a T.V.

I went into the stair way, I climbed the flight of stairs to the restaurant. I was walking around in the kitchen looking lost. Someone came up to me and said hi I am Jim you are new, what position? I said busser. He smiled really big and said yes. He said lets go see the manager. I followed him to the managers office. Inside the office there was 6 desk, and another door that was open, the plate on the door said G.M.. Jim excitedly said hey Julie this is, he turned to me and said where is you name tag? I looked down and thought oh great. It was in my pocket. As I put on my name tag, I said I am Allen your new busser. Julie smiled and said sweet. I looked at Julie's name tag, it said Lafette, IN. I looked at her and said I am from Indianapolis, IN. She gave me a high five.

I thought out of all the Cast Members, I would never see someone from my state. And there she was. Standing in front of me. It was cool. She said follow me. I said ok, we headed out the kitchen, the kitchen was large, no it was more like huge. We went out to the dinning room, she said follow me, we walked out in the center and I looked around, there was already people sitting around eating. Julie was still walking, I was right behind her, she said there he is, Andre this is Allen take good care of him. Julie said, Allen this is Andre you trainer. Julie said we will talk later, and she quickly disappeared behind the crowed of people.

I had a hard time at first trying to listen to Andre, Andre was hot. He was about 5'10" tall, black wavy hair, dark brown eyes, and a tan to die for. (I was still in the closet, so I said nothing to him)

Andre showed me around the restaurant, and he led me to the closet, the closet had enough room for two people to fit inside, with two trash cans. The closet stunk, it smelt like trash. But I soon got used to the smell. The closet had a AVAC system in it. AVAC is short for Automated VACuum system. He demonstrated how to use it, open the lid, pick up the trash barrel full of trash dump it in, close the lid, when the red light comes on. That sounded simple, the red light started flashing, he quickly pulled the lid down. What happened next was this loud sound, it was a cross between a tornado and flushing an R.V. toilet sound to it. It just had a sound of its own. Once the red light went off, he opened the lid and said look, ever bit of the trash that we put down there was gone.

He showed me the different sections there was 4 of them. He said there are 34 trash cans, 1,171 chairs, which we get to stack at them end of the night (these chairs were not light), and 292 tables.

10 am first break - Andre showed me to the time clock and said be here in 14 minutes. I was in the break room, and Luke came in, and sat down at my table. He was also a busser. Luke was a unique individual - I can honestly say I have never ever met a guy/girl like him/her. Luke wore a guys costume, he had short blond hair, big blue eyes, with makeup on, and he carried a purse. He had to have somewhere to carry his makeup. Luke had this happy go lucky attitude.

When I got back from my break he explained that we was going to be working in section A. Section A was a smaller area. We had 50 Tables and 200 chairs, 10 trash cans. He said we can do it. He and I worked as a team, we pulled the trash and washed down the tables, straightened everything up every time. He showed me the art of using a pan and broom. Disney has their own way of doing things. Its just plain fun.

It was getting close to 11 am. The lines was getting longer by the minute. It amazed me how quickly it packed. There was hardly any room for us to pull the trash can. We worked non stop unless, we are in the AVAC closet. Remember when I said there was enough room for 2 people and 2 trash cans? Well I learned very quickly you can fit 8 people in there with 5 trash cans. It was cramped, but fun never the less.

Noon rolled around and it was still packed. We were working very fast and very hard. I never knew how stressful bussing tables was.

1 pm is here, and I am starved. I asked Andre when lunch was? He said that is after the lunch rush was over. I asked him when that was going to be? He said 2:30 ish.

I had not been that hungry in a long time. I had worked off breakfast hours ago. It felt like my stomach was trying to eat itself. Andre came up to me about 2pm and said lets go eat. We went down and clocked out. Off to the cafeteria. Lunch went slow, eating by oneself makes it slow to begin with, but the t.v. helped.

When lunch was over and I was back out on the floor, Andre came to me and asked do you think you would be ok for an hour while I go to a meeting? I said I think so. I was in the same area, and I knew what to do. Andre quickly took off.

While I was in my area, I saw this man sitting by himself at a table in a wheel chair. I walked up to him and started a conversation. Hi I am Allen, why are you sitting by yourself? He said "my kids are getting me some food." I thought well this would be a way to take 5. Take 5 with Disney is to take 5 minutes and talk to our guest, find out where they are from, intresting things about them.

I don't like to talk to someone that is stuck in a wheel chair, standing over them, so I squatted down next to him and proceeded to talk to him. We talked for longer than 5 minuets. But I didn't think anyone would care since my work was caught up. When I stood up and turned around, I saw a table that was a mess, I went to it and started to clean it. This woman comes up to me and said Allen, I turned around and said yes, with a smile on my face. She said what is your last name? I gave it to her, she was writing it down. She smiles really big and said thank you. And handed me a 5 star.

A 5 star is a good thing. Its an achievement of sorts, it paper work that goes into your file, and its a something that is put into a drawing for prizes.

I told her thank you, and put it into my pocket. She went back to her meeting and I went back to work.

When Andre came back from his meeting, he asked me how I did? I said well, I got this 5 star. I showed it to him. He read it, and looked at the signature. He said no way. He said its Mim Flynn. He asked me for the details, and I told him what happened. He said again no way. He was dumb struck. He said that he had been there for a year and has never gotton one from Mim. He said come on, we need to go see Julie. We quickly made it to the managers office. Once in there, Andre proceeds to tell Julie about my 5 star from Mim. She jumped out of her seat and gave me a big high five. She said now that is what I like to see. I had to ask, who is Mim Flynn? Julie said with a smile on her face. Mim is the General Manager for all of Food and Beverage in Magic Kingdom. She said that it is rare for Mim to give these to anyone, so I must have really impressed her.

Once I was back out on the floor, the news spred quickly. All my co-workers wanted to see my 5 star from Mim Flinn. No one could blieve it.

Just goes to show you, if you do what you are supposed to do, you will get noticed.

My first day, was a great day. I enjoyed it, I really did not want to leave. I was hooked.
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