Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tales From The College Program: Getting Fired. Part 2

Getting my job back:

Since Rat Face had gone as high as possible to get me fired, I decided to do the same when trying to get my job back.  Ed Backlor was the VP of Downtown Disney at the time, I decided to email him.  A day later I received an email from Djuan Rivers (who I just discovered is a Disney big shot now).  Ed was out of town and had forwarded my email to Djuan.  We arranged a time for him to call me the next day.  I was pretty nervous as a sat there staring at my phone waiting for him to call.  I didn’t know where the conversation would go.  Djuan was very friendly, he had read my email and asked me some more questions about the firing.  I left out the part about how everyone eating for free so I wouldn’t get anyone else fired.  He told me the typical “well, I know it’s not a lot of money, but if everyone gave away $3.25 worth of food, it would really hurt the company.”  He said I could reapply with Disney in 6 months and when I did I would most likely be asked to write a paper about how sorry I was for costing the company money and the lesson I had learned.  I told him thanks, but my lease was up in December and I wasn’t going to sign up for another year on the off chance I could get my job back in 6 months.  

Now I just needed to figure out how to get into the parks for free for the next 3 months.

Rat Face Strikes Again:

After I knew I was not going to get my job back, I stopped by The Link to tell Missy the whole story.  Right when I walked in, she gave me a free ice cream cookie sandwich. it was a very nice gesture.  As I was telling her the whole story, Rat Face came through the kitchen door.  When he saw me, he dropped his head and high tailed it out of there as fast as his rat legs could carry him.  I was pretty disappointed he ran away so quickly, I had already come up with a plan in case I saw him again.  I was going to grab him by the face look him in the eye and say; “I know it was you, you broke my heart.  You broke my heart!”  Apparently, I was really into channeling Al Pacino in September 2004.  
If you don’t get the reference, click here.

Missy and I kept talking, when I noticed 2 Disney Security guards were waiting at the door.  Rat Face had walked out and immediately called security on me.  I finished talking to Missy and headed out.  They followed me until I was off Pleasure Island.

Going to the parks for free:

When I interviewed for the College Program my friends Ralf and Steven also applied.  We did our interview together.  Ralf and I were two of only three people accepted from the 100’s of applicants from the University of Houston.  Steven joked around so much during the interview, I was amazed Ralf and I were accepted.  He wanted to be a character.  When he was told those auditions were being held in New Orleans he decided to run around the room like King Louie to prove that he didn’t need to make the drive.

Steven came to visit me for a few weeks and ended up moving in.  He wanted to prove to us that he could be a character

 and wouldn’t you know it, he got the job.  He had been working about a month when I was fired.

When you are a new hire you are issued a temporary work ID.  It’s basically the same one the CP’s get.  Instead of being colored and having your photo on it, it’s just a plain white card with your name.  After 90 days you are issued a regular ID.  Work ID’s are what Cast Members use to log in, get discounts, park, and most importantly, get into the parks for free.  Just like a guest ticket, the first time you go through the turnstiles with your ID, it registers your fingerprints.  Steven had no desire to go to the parks, and had never set up his fingers to his ID. (In 2004 they were still using the weird “insert 2 fingers and squeeze” system.)  My plan, set Steven's ID to my fingers.

I went to the Magic Kingdom Main Gate with all the guests, inserted Steven;s ID, put my fingers in the machine, and squeezed.  My pulse was racing, waiting to see if this plan would actually work.  I thought maybe since it was the first time they would ask to see my ID, but they didn’t.  A few terribly long seconds later, I was in the Magic Kingdom.

The scam worked perfectly, Steven and I even went to the park together once!  Steven wanted to go to Epcot with me and a friend, so we came up with a plan.  My friend and I would go in, then she would take Steven’s ID from me, leave the park, give Steven his ID, then the two of them would go back in.  Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Hey, Steven’s fingers weren’t set to his ID!”  That 2 finger system never worked right, I told Steven that when it failed, tell the Cast Member that it never worked, then just pull out your drivers license, when they saw the matching names they let him in, no questions asked. 

The timing worked out great; I was able to go to the parks for free until I moved back to Texas in December.

I can’t even volunteer:

I moved back to Houston that December and started going back to school.  A year or 2 later I noticed the familiar College Program Recruiting signs all over the place.  I decided to watch the presentation; they try and become a campus rep.  Campus Rep is a pretty sweet gig, you help set up the presentations, put up signs, go to a couple meetings and as long as you keep helping out you get a work ID/Park Pass.

I went to the presentation, hit it off with the recruiter, she gave me her card and told me to contact her because they needed campus reps. I sent her all my info and she called me the next day.  After a couple minutes of small talk she asked me about my program and if I had ended it on a good note.  I told her my program ended fine, but that I had been fired while I was a part time Cast Member.  She then made me go through the whole long story.  We were on the phone for another 20 minutes before she finally said;  “Well, you have a no re-hire status with the company, so we can’t bring you on as a campus rep.”  She knew the minute she called me that she couldn’t hire me, she just wanted to hear what someone could possibly do to be banned from working there forever.  Well the answer is, cost the company $3.25.

There you have it, the long story of why I am permanently banned from working at Walt Disney World.  If any of you run into to Djuan Rivers, tell him to give me a call, or if you see my old manager John, just tell him you know what he did to me!