To the readers of Sandy’s blog, it’s not a surprise that I don’t love Disney. (This is Brad again.) Even as a non-Disney lover though, there are some facets of Disney that I appreciate for a variety of reasons.
As a teacher whose classroom management plan involves slowly training academic behavior into a group of middle school students who are mostly concerned exclusively with their own immediate feelings, I am very impressed with how well Disney trains their staff. No worker, or “cast member” in Disney speak, ever misses a beat. They perform their jobs perfectly every time, and from what I’ve heard, they do so for about the same amount of money as the McDonalds worker who gives you two chicken sandwiches and a scowl when you order a burger and fries — and hope for a smile.
Disney staff catch everything from Disney pins indicating birthdays, anniversaries, honeymoons, etc. to t-shirts indicating everything from family reunions to race finishes. It’s not that the staff notice these small details about visitors that’s impressive, it’s the fact that while checking tickets, assigning people a row in a fake, shaking spaceship, and high-fiving the toddler in front of you, they still notice some miniscule nuance of your overly-bright tourist costume and comment on it with what sounds like genuine cheer. I’m not pretending that every staff member is genuinely excited by every birthday pin they see. That’s what makes it all the more impressive. I know I’m the 200th person that day with a “recently engaged” pin, and the ride attendant still smiles and cheers as if you’re her brother.
Most of us, if we’re honest, cut corners every now and again. In the words of my dad and I when completing home improvement projects in our century old houses: “that’s what thick moulding is for. ”Disney staff are trained never to cut corners. There are entire divisions of workers who stroll the grounds just to sweep up the occasional gum wrapper that shows up on the pavement. They never walk by a blowing napkin on the sidewalk because most people won’t see it anyway. They sweep it up. They sweep everything up. Depending on what job you hold, and if you’re a Disney fan, I’m assuming it’s a pretty decent one, I’m sure you know someone making between $80-$100k a year who doesn’t show that level of attention to detail. Training isn’t the only part of Disney that’s impressive to a non Disney person. Stay tuned for more Disney nuances that impress even people who refuse to wear silly, black ears.