Sunday, September 27, 2009

23 Days to Disney: Customer Service

I'm convinced that I owe my employment to Walt Disney World.

I'm sure you're wondering how my obvious obsession with something 800 miles away... something that dominates much of my non-Tofu Muchacha related thought... something that I spend more money on than I should... How could it possibly have helped me, in any way, find gainful employment.

Well... let me tell you a story...

When I was out of work, back in the Winter of 2007, I started fiddling with my resume... I changed it probably 18 times. I figured there had to be some secret combination that would get my resume noticed out of the hundreds each employer received.

At the start of May, I had coffee with my friend Bridget.

Among other things, we discussed her upcoming trip to Disney World, and I even wrote out (on a Napkin) an itinerary of things she should do, and in what order.... She tells me that she and her then fiance, now husband referred more to that silly napkin than they did the park maps. Anyway, as we were leaving, she mentioned that her company was hiring for a sort of customer service position. She told me she'd pass on my resume if I gave it to her. It was the best lead I'd had since December. I was fucking pumped.

So fucking pumped, in fact, that I revamped my entire resume that afternoon. Sort of as an after thought I put something at the bottom under "interests" that I was a Disney fanatic...

I didn't think much of it.

About a week later, I had a phone interview with that company of Bridget's that could have been one of my greatest moments...

Oh...let me tell you a little tiny bit about what I do. I work for a private jet charter company. That will be important here in a minute...

First the guy tells me a little about the job. Essentially, customer service. "Okay I thought. I know customer service."
Then he asks me if I knew anything about aviation. I dd not.
He asked me if I'd ever worked in a large office environment. I had not.

It wasn't going well.

Then he asked me something I wasn't expecting. He asked me about my love of Disney. I guess everyone has talents, and I like to feel like one of mine is that I have a real sense of the moment. I knew that the phone interview, only 8 minutes old at this point, was at a pivotal junction, despite the innocuous question about Disney. He'd reached the bottom of my resume. That was it.

So I told him this... (Paraphrased):
"There are a lot of reasons I love Disney. I admire Walt Disney. I love the movies. I like going to Florida. The reason I put it on my resume, though, is because I think that as someone who deals with the public, when it comes to treating each person as though they are the most important person in the world, there's no greater role model than the Disney company."

This seemed to intrigue him, and he asked me to elaborate. So I did. I talked about Walt's own philosophies of customer comfort. I talked about my personal experiences there and how I'd noticed, even as a 13 year old that I was treated better there than I was at King's Island, and how it made me want to return. I talked about the time I lost my wallet at MGM and reported the loss to Customer Relations. Not only did they issue me a brand new Park Hopper immediatey, but two weeks later I received my wallet in the mail with a PERSONALIZED note thanking me for visiting.

I honestly think that this question opened up the conversation, and allowed me to lead him away from remembering that I knew nothing about airplanes. The phone interview went on for another 45 minutes, and he immediately scheduled a face to face interview.

The rest is history.

I know that if I wasn't so passionate about Disney customer service that I wouldn't have my job. I also know that if Disney's customer service wasn't so amazing that I wouldn't have noticed it.

That's why Disney World's Customer Service makes the list.

And now... The Disney Trivia Question of the Day

Question: On average, how many pairs of Sunglasses are turned into the Lost and Found every day at Walt Disney World?

If you think you know, please send an e-mail to

Everyone with the correct answer will receive a point. An incorrect answer gets 1/2 a point. The person with the most points will get a Limted Edition Pin purchased during my stay.

Standings are being updated daily at on the "Contests" page.

I'll repost the questions with the answers at the end of the contest.

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