6th Dec 2012

Good News and Bad News

Last time I posted I was getting ready to start Food Running. I did indeed get trained by Rob last Monday – I had a really good day and did not find Running anywhere near as hard as I thought I would. It is hard work but it is very logical and methodical which makes it pretty easy to pick up and once you get the hang of holding plates the rest sort of comes together.

Tuesday was my Bar day which was also really fun – getting to make all of the cocktails and drinks was interesting. Especially as I have spent the best part of the last 2 months hanging around the Bar as a bar back. It was nice to finally get to make some of the drinks.

Wednesday was meant to be my Culinary Day where you get to spend the day with the Culinary team to see how the food is made. For various reasons, which to be honest I can’t be bothered to repeat on here, overnight I decided that I actually did not want to go in to service. I spoke to the Managers in the morning and explained my reasoning and agreed that I would go back to podium after finishing my food running week. While this is technically the ‘Bad News’ I am really happy with my decision and I am especially looking forward to the next few weeks on podium including Christmas and New Years Eve which is the busiest night of the year for Epcot where we basically fill to capacity.

The ‘Good News’ for the week was that Thursday was my Quarterly Award Ceremony. I was honoured to have been given the award and getting to meet Epcot’s top executives was just the icing on the Cake. Mandy DiGiammarino, the General Manager of Epcot Food & Beverage, who gave me my award quoted Anny as calling me a ‘model Cultural Representative’. It was very humbling. It was also a great chance to meet the other award winners including a CRP from Germany and one of the Engineers who worked on Test Track who recently got sent to California to help build Radiator Springs Racers. I really realised how large and varied the cast of just Epcot is. I got a photo with Mandy and Erin Youngs, VP of Epcot which I should be getting a copy of soon, I’ll post it here if and when I get it.

Since getting back to Podium I have really enjoyed work and then removal of the pressure of having to take my test has meant I am a lot more relaxed than I have been for a few weeks. I am really looking forward to the rest of my program which I slightly depressingly worked out is not only a little more than 3 months.

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25th Nov 2012

Giving Thanks for the last 8 months!

The last Thursday of November is Thanksgiving here in the USA and they take it very seriously, it is probably more important than Christmas.

I was originally scheduled off on Wednesday and Thursday but actually ended up working on both days making this a 7 day work week. Since it was my last one on podium it seemed appropriate that I did a tonne of overtime! Wednesday a bunch of us came in early to do a Whiskey tasting of a lot of the Single Malts that we sell – it was really interesting and I learnt a few bits of information that may help sell a few more flights down the line. When the restaurant opened G and I decided to go for lunch and I ended up having Fish and Mashed Potato as the chip fryer was having some technical issues! Dave texted and asked if I fancied a day at Universal which I jumped at – it was pretty busy but we got quite a lot done. We left as the park closed at 9 and went back to Dave’s to watch movies.

On Thursday I was asked to come in to do AM Greeter. It was crazy busy with a lot of very large parties coming in as whole families to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. Luckily I got out at 5 before it got really crazy. On Thursday night 16 of us went to the new “Be Our Guest” restaurant in New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom. After a few reservation issues where they would not let us add an extra person we were seated in the amazing Ballroom. The food was amazing (I had the Ratatouille) although the service was a distinctly average and felt quite rushed. With entrees and desserts we could have been out in less than an hour. My overall impression was that the restaurant is beautiful but I would not rush back again for the service. I feel you get a similar experience for a lower price at the Quick Service lunch.

Friday and Saturday were my last podium shifts. On Friday I greeted all day with just a 15 minute break after I extended until close. Greeting is my favourite position on podium and I was really glad to get one final day of it. I have loved dealing with the happy guests and the angry guests and Friday I had doses of both. 2 guests went to managers and guest relations about me. One to complain I was a terrible Cast Member for not getting them a same-day reservation and one to say I was amazing for managing to get them a lower-deck table just before the fireworks. On Saturday, my last day, I was assigning. I set myself the very ambitious target of 1000 guests for the day. I missed this by a long way due to a very quiet park where I could not get any walkins for about an hour, I think I probably managed about 900 though which I am still fairly pleased with.

I have loved my time on podium but it is finally time to move on. Food Runner training with Katy begins Monday morning!

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