I’ll let you in on a little secret: I wasn’t in Orlando solely to go apartment hunting. No, I was going to Disney World…Casting. That’s right; they contacted ME about an “online interview” and then asked me to come in for an in–person meeting.
It was special moment realizing that maybe someone would pay me to do something, and if you’ve read the headline than you probably already guessed how well this little meet-n-greet went.
First off, the appointment was at 1:30 which I figured would give me plenty of time to walk to Downtown Disney, get lunch and get to my interview on time. Unfortunately, there is no direct walking route from my hotel to DD and when the leasing agent on Monday said it was a “30 minute walk” he wasn’t kidding as that was how long it took just from the hotel. I probably could have taken a cab, but if you’re reading this than you’re already familiar with my track record on cabs.
I arrived at DD, and remembered that the restaurant area is closed for renovation. Basically, if I wanted food I could eat at Rainforest, T-Rex or Earl of Sandwich – that’s it unless I wanted to go all the way over to House of Blues on the Westside. The choice was simple, and the line wasn’t as long as I’ve seen it before – in fact, the cast members I dealt with were actually friendly this time around (including the bubbly young lady passing out maps outside Goofy’s Candy Company).
I order my sandwich and when I ask when I get to tell them what I want on it, they tell me “at the register when they call your number” (at which point it’s already made so why bother) meaning once I found a table in the far back corner I could begin deconstructing my wrap and taking out everything I didn’t want on it (on the plus side, they were very generous with their toppings).
I finish my lunch and go outside. It’s cloudy, but otherwise comfortable. I wait in line at Wetzel’s Pretzels and as I do I can feel drops of water slowly falling on my head. Naturally, there are no covered outdoor eating areas in DD except Ghirardelli and Earl of Sandwich (food and beverage are not allowed in World of Disney).
I take my umbrella out of my bag and finish wandering around until I finished my smoothie. Then at 1pm, I left DD and made my way to the colorful but otherwise unremarkable rectangle known simply as “Disney Casting.” I checked in on the second level, found a seat in the nearly full waiting room and assured myself that this was going to work out and that I had absolutely nothing to fear…which meant that by the time they called me back to the HR office (fifteen minutes with no apology) I was an absolute wreck.
The first thing my “recruiter” Karen asked for was an ID. I knew that was coming, what I didn’t expect was for her to look at it, look up at me incredulously, look at it again tap furiously at her keyboard and pass it back to me with a sneer (so much for starting on a positive note).
“This is NOT a driver’s license – this is a Maryland ‘STATE ID.’ Which means not only are you out of state, but you can’t drive either. Did you even THINK about how you would get to work? We don’t have housing on property and we DON’T offer bus service to outside venues. How are you going to get to work for your shift if you can’t drive? Hmm, you have to present us with a valid plan on how to overcome your obvious ‘transportational issues’ before we can even consider hiring you.”
Aaaand it went downhill from there (including insulting this blog and diminishing my work at Park\Mosher Media). I knew full well that “not driving” wasn’t the primary issue as honestly it’s not HER issue or her boss’ issue – it’s MINE and at 35 years old I can detect BS when I hear it.
Okay, I’m willing to concede that maybe it wasn’t Autism that did me in (though I tried my damnest to maintain eye contact with her the entire time) or the Auditory Processing Disorder that makes talking to people in an efficient manner more difficult (particularly when trying to sound intelligent and confident while on a time delay with an obvious speech impediment).
Maybe it was the fact that I handed her the wrong resume, or maybe I’m just the victim of some arbitrary “quota.” Most damning of all, maybe I just fucked up: My one and probably only chance (as she typed everything into her system so I’ll be “flagged” if I ever apply again).
No wait, Karen did have some sage advice to give me before leaving her office: “You know what I think you should do? Go back to Baltimore and GET A JOB there and come back in six months with some EXPERIENCE.”
Okay, let’s unravel this a little. I’m not hired because I’m “out of state,” but staying in said state for another six months will increase my chances of being hired? I wasn’t hired because I had “transportational issues,” but “getting a job” (said in the most condescending tone possible) in Baltimore will alleviate them? Keeping this hypothetical “job” for six months is considered “experience” and demonstrates how “reliable and dependable” I am by quitting a job after only half a year (ask Sarah Palin how that worked out for her)? Is this how the Walt Disney Company really operates: no detail is overlooked, but logic is…?
“Well,” she said dropping me back in the crowded waiting room. “I hope you have a chance to visit our parks. Have a magical day.”
Well, I didn’t get the job, but, at least, the rain had stopped…