Monthly Archives: August 2014

The place where dreams are dashed

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 inperson 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…

Categories: disney world, florida, job hunting, Orlando, retail | 1 Comment

Orlando Apt Hunting: Day 2

I was woken up by the people in the neighboring room at 7:38am. Sorry, that’s waay too early for me, fortunately I fell back asleep once they finally left, and woke up again at 10:13am which is too late for Orlando in peak season. On the plus side, no-one responded to my most recent round of appointment requests so there was nothing on the docket for the day anyway.

I took the trolley to SeaWorld, and waited in what seemed like a never ending line for a ticket. The lines in the park however ran quickly – even the popular “Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin” was only about 35 minutes long to get in (and about the same to get out due to the poor layout in the unloading area).

I had a quick lunch in their cafeteria and continued wandering around the park looking for shows that fit my interests and whose times didn’t overlap. Finally I made it all the way around the park and stopped into the ice cream stand at “Shamu’s Happy Harbor.” This place had a line, mostly because the sole cashier working there was new to the job and dealing with a customer who insisted on speaking (sorry berating) the poor kid’s manager while my soft serve quickly melted in front of me (even though the building itself was air conditioned). A second employee showed up and took over register two, and I was able to finish my dessert outside (as the venue had no indoor seating).

Around 2pm, it started to rain. This was okay by me as I was basically finished there anyway. The rain was heavy and cold… and it stopped the second I arrived back at my hotel. I check my e-mail downstairs and find I have a bite for 5pm – same place from yesterday evening.

Said unit was the same size and number of bedrooms as before, but the patio (facing directly into the neighboring unit) and all rooms were smaller including the convenient “pass-through” closet. I’d keep it in mind.

Categories: apartment hunting, florida, Orlando | Leave a comment

Orlando Apt Hunting: Day 1

My first tour of the day was at 1pm. I left the hotel immediately after lunch and found out that Google Maps gave the wrong directions right out of the gate. I spent almost 45 minutes trying to find a place that was only a 15 minute walk from the hotel.

“Wait,” the leasing agent said incredulously. “You WALKED here all the way from Disney? That’s impossible – that’s at least a 30 minute walk plus buses to anywhere else in the world!”

Congratulations, you lost your sale right there. However, I wasn’t about to waste a 45 minute walk so I dutifully continued my tour. The unit (which I was told was the “only one available”) was small – literally half the size of my current unit in Baltimore – and at the very back of a pretty if sprawling complex.

I return to the hotel and try to check my e-mail, but I couldn’t connect to the free in-room wi-fi service. So I go downstairs to the lobby and set up an appointment for later that afternoon. I went back upstairs and fell asleep prolly from all the walking in the shade-less heat.

The next apartment I toured wasn’t all that hard to find – it was directly across the street from the hotel village. This unit wasn’t huge either, but it was considerably larger than the one I toured 3hrs ago. It had a large screened-in porch (it was on the ground level), a small kitchen and a walk-in master closet that was about a third the size of the one I have in Baltimore.

I thank the owner for his time, and head back across the street. This time I was able to connect to wi-fi so I checked if there were any new ads posted. There were – TWO of them at the complex I toured this morning. Both of them are “available now.” This means the agent means either the agent lied to me…or he’s lying to other prospective tenants – both scenarios are pretty bad.

Categories: apartment hunting, florida, Orlando, Uncategorized, writing | Leave a comment

How to get fired without really trying

I ran out of cash yesterday so I decided to go down to the ATM outside the bank branch. I leave the machine and decide to head to the deli next door. Just as I was about to enter the establishment, an older couple stop me. But the lady never actually asked me anything and then stood there stammering there before asking what is “WRONG” with me and then finally releasing me to go into the restaurant before I could say anything to her.

I go in, look up at their menu but before I could order anything the same couple comes in points at me and demands “Does HE work here? Yes, HIM right here!”

“No ma’am, he no work here.”

“This ‘man’ right here – does he work here?!”

“He no work here.”

 She looks at the lady behind the counter skeptically, and then glares at me with that searing “you know what you did and I disapprove of it” look.

That’s the thing, I have no idea what I supposedly did to her, but I know what SHE was trying to do to me. Unfortunately for her, she cannot just saunter into an establishment and “fire” someone who was never hired just because… I have no idea.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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