Friday, July 20, 2007

I remember wondering if the smiles were real....

When I was 11, we went on a family vacation to Disneyland. All six of us piled in the car and we pulled the trailer all the way from Alberta. It was a grand trip, with lots of laughing and singing and goofing around. My older sisters were 21 and 19, so this was probably the last time all of us would spend a vacation together, and we all knew this, so we were milking it for all it was worth.

Disneyland was like an impossible dream come true. We were not a rich family, so my younger sister and I would have never pestered our parents to take us there. I remember the line-ups, I remember the heat, but it didn't matter...we were in the Magical Kingdom!

One thing struck me, though. All the people that worked there, they all had smiles plastered to their faces. The pimply teenager sweeping the grounds, the old lady in the gift shop, the man helping us climb into Captain Hook's ship...everyone in uniform had a big smile on their face. I found it eerie. I may have been 11, but I knew that nobody smiles all the time. I made a mental note to never apply for a job at Disneyland.

7 comments:

Kim said...

Have friends from So Cal, they have friends who work at Disneyland. I think they like their job, but yes, the smiles have got to be fake. Is that really much different from customer service everywhere nowadays,though? THink of all the waiters and waitresses out there who are always smiling to get that extra dollar tip.

Spoke said...

I used to think about the "community character costumes" shared by several employees.
Sweat, dandruff, stink...I bet no-one in a costume smiles.

Paula said...

A waitress gets to keep her job even if she doesn't smile...she just might not get the tip. Her choice. I don't know about the Happy Staff at Disneyland. If they are having a grumpy day, do they get fired? I'm just wonderin'.

papa herman said...

I was acquainted with a girl who used to clean bathrooms at Disneyland; the word seemed to be that she felt sick before going to work.

On the other hand I knew another guy who worked in accounting for the Magic Kingdom, and he seemed to like it just fine.

Citymouse said...

I dont know... i think if i worked there id smile all the time too

jenivere said...

Last time I was there an employee told us that if they were late twice they were fired. I'm sure the smile requirement isn't far behind...although some of the ride operators were kind of cranky with us!

Amber said...

I like it - conspiracy theorist, 11 year old Paula.

PS - My blog is finally back.

PPS - Have a great time ripping it up at the bluegrass fest this weekend! I was talking to Amber-Lynn about it.
Upright bass solo!