Why I Quit Disney…

Hey all,

So I’ve been toying with the idea of this post for a while now, but I think it’s time I breached the subject. So stay tuned and read on for why I left Disney.

So I officially stopped working for Disney Cruise Line January 8th 2016. I has decided I was not going back to the ship about 2 months into my last contract. This is largely because I didn’t like who I became while I was working/living there.

Working on a ship;

My life while working on the ship became eat sleep work. This is not so different to life on land, but the main difference is you are mostly trapped on board. You can’t just pop to the shop or get delivery pizza or basically feel like you left work at all. You are stuck 2 mins from your work with a group of people who are on board for a bunch of different reasons and you don’t always like or get along with them either. You are never off duty.

I worked an average of 70 hours or more, most often more just to try and punch my pay check up. Your average day is in 2 or 3 large chunks. With between half an hour and 4/5 hours break between the chunks of work time.

I loved my job, if I could do the job but on land and for 40 hours per week would do it in a heartbeat. It is literally customer service at its finest. You met amazing and inspirational people from all over the world. You get a new challenge with each new person and it teaches you problem solving, empathy, and resilience. One of the things working for Disney had taught me is to be yelled at all day (in multiple languages) and still be able to sleep at night because I don’t take it personally.

While you are at work you are expected to give 110% on day one and more and more everyday while you get less and less sleep and with no further incentives. You start to play roulette with yourself to see what is more important to keep you sane.

On my first ever day on aboard my training officer told me I would give up food for sleep and I laughed, I LOVE food I wouldn’t give it up for anything!! Oh no she was so right on a good day I would have at least 1 meal in the crew mess. Most days however consisted of various amounts of coffee and sugar and n real food because I could find the energy to go to the mess when instead I could eat the snacks in my room and then pass out for 3 hours till my next shift.

The pay;

I didn’t realise when I agreed to the job at just what I was agreeing to. 70 hours’ minimum per week, over time is paid out at like $5 per hour. In America I know that this is maybe more than the average waitperson gets paid, but I was unable to accept tips to buffer this amount of money.

In New Zealand when left minimum wage was $13.50 it is now almost $15, I was earning about half working twice if not three times as hard.

However, I will mention while you are on aboard your food, board, uniforms and their cleaning and utilities are covered. The only things which you need to pay for yourself are: internet around $20 for 500mbs, any snacks or alcoholic or speciality beverages read drinkable coffee.

Life on aboard;

When you work in guest services you are one of the only departments, and the only one guest facing that is open 24/7. This means you very rarely can get time off in port, you often find yourself unable to go to the crew events because you’re working. So you start to decide what is more important rested and getting enough sleep to function at work or stay up late to have a few drinks with your friends and let off some steam so you can stay sane while trapped on a hunk of metal in the middle of the ocean for 6 months at a time.

For my first contract for the first 3 months I cried in my cabin at night, I txt my mum and told her how miserable I was. I had no friends I was working way to hard and I had no energy.

I eventually made friends and started going to the crew bar, but the fun and joy I had of spending time with people was also met with a bitter lack sleep and early mornings. There is little to no balance in this life style and you have to work very hard to find time to remember why you are or find someone to make you feel wanted and appreciated because you don’t get it anywhere else.

Extras;

On top of working 11-13 hours per day at top speed, you are also expected to be willing to save the ship and sacrifice your own life for the good of the guests and other crew. I was a first responder while on board, this consisted of weekly drills which no matter your shift when the alarm sounded you had to be fully dressed and presentable and at work to answer phones and help at the desk. Every second week was a full drill this meant muster stations and pretend evacuations.

So when I was on night shift I would work 10pm – 9am with no breaks, then at 10 the alarm would sound and I would have to go back to work for an hour finally at 11am the day was done.

My decision

At the end of my first contract I looked at why I wanted to go back

  • 1 year at Disney Cruise Line on my CV
  • Experience a dry dock
  • Try and get a step up position
  • Friends

All of these reasons pooled together into my decision to return to the Disney Dream.

However, I accomplished all of these in my second contract, I became the guest services coordinator, I hated dry dock with a passion. I lost respect for a lot of my managers and I watched perfectly amazing people lose sight of who they were under the mounting pressure of not being enough to fill the gaping needs of the company.

When it came time to look at whether I wanted to return for a 3rd contract there was only 1 reason which was friends, all the step positions had been filled for the next 6 months which basically mean there would be no opportunities in my next contract, I would be stepping down and losing everything that made the rest of my last contract bearable. I had stuck it out for a year and now had 2 years at Disney under my belt. Id decided that for my own sense of self I would not be returning to the Disney corporation.

The aftermath;

Personally my feeling is Disney is a great place to vacation, they treat guests better than any company I’ve ever experienced. The magic is truly real when you are a visitor, but that does not extend to working there.

It’s been a couple of months since I was supposed to go back to Disney, I miss my friends like crazy they are spread around the world and every time I see them on Facebook I feel like I left a piece of me with them. But I would be so unhappy to still be there working alongside them.

I have since moved home, and while I can’t say I’ve found the perfect job, I have definitely found a new challenge and this one is only a 37.5-hour week and treats me (mostly) like a human and not a machine.

I don’t regret my time working on the ship, but it definitely wasn’t what I had dreamed about. So I am once again adrift looking for my next dream and trying to accomplish everything I set my mind to in the mean time.

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My Hairy Journey

So if you have been following my process you all know that recently I dyed my hair purple and it was amazing!

Purple hurr dont curr

However since I got the call to arms from Disney Cruise Line I have been battling the purple to get back to a natural colour. After I came back from Walt Disney World I was really broke. It is thanks to my wonderful father that I have been able to afford anything. I have been living on his good graces since I got home. Because of this scenario I have been trying to fix my hair myself as cheaply as possible.

So let’s take a walk down my extra fun crazy hair experiments.

Step One:

Bleach and dye hair purple using SPLAT! Hair dye in Lusty Lavender and Purple Desire.

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Step Two:

Live it up large with purple hair, rock it like it’s the most awesome thing you’ve ever done because you love it.

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Step Three:

Get a call from dream employer regarding position. Accept position realise purple hair not acceptable. Cry, cry a lot.

Step Four:

Put on your big girl pants and do all the web searches and watch all the YouTube videos about hair colour removal a home.

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Step Five:

Mistakenly listen to your father and try to bleach the colour out??

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Step Six:

Realise this doesn’t work. Research how to remove pink hair!!!

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Step Seven:

Try dying your hair a dark brown.

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Step Eight:

Discover it wasn’t dark brown.

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Step Nine:

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Try vitamin C hair caps and other homemade solutions

  • Baking soda and vinegar
  • Baking soda, crushed vit C tabs, dish soap
  • Anti-dandruff shampoo
  • Baking soda, crushed vit c, shampoo, dish soap,
  • Sterilising solution

Step Ten:

Try dying hair a mahogany brown to mellow out the red.

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Step eleven:

Notice how dry and sad looking hair is

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Step twelve:

Pay a professional to fix your mistakes.

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Step Thirteen:

Love your new Disney approved hair colour!

beforeandafter

So what is the moral of this story??? Pay a professional??? Don’t dye your hair crazy colours???

Nahhhhhh

Be yourself and persevere through it all!

Be The Change You Want To See In The World

Emma Watson embodies how I feel about Feminism.

#IfNotME….Who?

#HeForShe

#EqualityForAll

#YesALLPeople!

Like Emma says my life is privileged. My family love me for who I am. Not because I’m a girl but because I am a person. I have always been told I can do anything I set my mind to and if I work hard enough I can achieve it. I believe that my dreams are worthwhile but not at the expense of others. I do not believe any one person is greater or better than another. 

Because of this I also believe that this is how the world should work. This is how all women and men should be viewed. One sex/gender is not better than another. One person’s life is not worth more than another. Women should have the only say about their bodies and their lives. Men should have the only say about their bodies and their lives. I do not hate men, I see them as an equal, as a challenger in the competition of life.

Unfortunately I am still afraid of many of them. I feel that at night I am in danger if I am by myself, if I am out drinking, if I wear a skirt or too much make up. However I do not always want to feel this way. With help from #HeForShe we can stop this or at least reduce it.

So I say to you today be the change you want to see in the world. Believe in yourself because you whether male or female are valued and worthwhile in all the things you do. 

Embrace yourself and others as we are learning to become more open and break down the walls of gender that society has long had in place “for our own good” 

Love yourself and your neighbour

Meagan

xoxo

Write my life???

Ok so for those of you who don’t really know me all that well I have recently become obsessed with YouTube and some of its stars. I have also only recently discovered Tumblr and also attended my first con!!!! So much accomplished in 2014!!!!

One of my favourite things to watch from some of my favourite YouTube stars (Myharto, grav3yard girl, Jenna marbles, vintage or tacky, Starkid), is a draw my life tag video. So I have decided (because the motivation has grabbed me) to do a kind of a write my life? It won’t be in depth but ill touch on what I think have been some major parts of my life which I believe have impacted the way I think and act and aspire to today.

My History:

Childhood:

I was just a baby when my parents got divorced. I don’t think I’ve ever been too distraught about this, I certainly did go through an awkward phase at around 10 of wanting my mum and dad to get back together (awkward because they were both practically re married).  I have always spent my life travelling back and forwards between my mum and my dad’s, this meant bus trips and road trips as far back as I can remember. It was always very exciting I got to explore and make friends along the way. I attribute this to the start of my wanderlust. I also have been to quite a few schools as well as being home-schooled for a period of my youth. This I believe attuned my curiosity and formed the idea that if you’re interested/passionate about something you should go for it, and look in to it.

Teenage years:

At 13 I moved from my mum’s to my dad’s and lived with him for the first time I could remember. I started a new school and made amazing friendships that I still love to this day. At this latest school I discovered a passion for theatre and even came top in my drama class one year. Starting new schools is really hard and can be quite stressful, but it has always taught me to make friends quite easily, it has also given me the option to shake of preconceived ideas about myself and explore different interests and dress codes.

At 16 I moved back to mums, I decided to go Goth which wasn’t well received at the small town school I was suddenly attending. But hey isn’t that how we learn and grow? I finished up my schooling and found a love for tourism. So much so that I actually took the class twice I my final year of high school. This final high school took us on trips around the county to explore options with universities in New Zealand. I didn’t believe I would ever want to attend university as I had decided that tourism was my passion and that generally was on the job training.

However I had always wanted to do an exchange program during my schooling and move to another country for a year. This unfortunately was never in the cards as it was insanely expensive so I began to look for other options on travel/jobs/exchanges overseas. It was during this time I discovered a program called Camp America. Basically it takes people over 18 from all over the world and places them at summer camps in America to work for 3 months. This sounded exactly like what I wanted and so I applied for this at the end of my last year of high school.

Young Adult years;

I spent a great 7 months in 2009 travelling and working. I spent 3 months in West Virginia at a wonderful all girls camp; Camp Rim Rock. I was a general counsellor, an archery instructor, a rock wall instructor as well as a life guard. I spent an amazing 3 months working at the camp before setting off on 3 weeks of travel around the eastern coast of the USA. I visited Washington DC, Philadelphia, buffalo, Niagara Falls, New York City.

After my 3 weeks in the states I spent 3 months in Italy staying with family, with a short burst of travel in England and wales. It was while I was in Italy lounging around mooching of my amazing cousin Jo and her family that I decided I wanted to go to university. I had to choose between 2 possible candidates, I decided that I was going to go to Otago University. It is NZ oldest university and is situated in the deep south of New Zealand. This was the farthest away from home I could get without leaving the country. Also as an added bonus my boyfriend at the time was already at Otago University. I decided I was going to study Theatre studies with a minor in hospitality as that way I got all the fun and none of the math.

However by the end of my first year I realised I wanted to take 20 tourism papers and like 2 theatre papers. I was actually offered honours in both Tourism and Theatre and had the chance to choose between them, I chose to change my degree from a Bachelor of Arts to a Bachelor of Commerce. Unfortunately this meant all of the math!!!! However with some great utilization of summer school I still managed to graduate in 3 years as scheduled.

During my first year of university I was loving my tourism/hospitality classes and one of y lecturers, my favourite and huge role model Tara! Told me about this awesome opportunity called the Disney International College Program. The option to work, earn and learn from the world largest media conglomerate. This sounded like the perfect dream job to me, how else would I get to live in America for a year with a job, in a gated community and transportation provided on a daily basis??? So I decided to finish my degree and then apply for the ICP.

For more information of that you can check out some of my early/very first posts to this blog.

However one of my longest running dreams is to travel the world and be paid for it. So everything I do is striving towards this ultimate goal. I pondered being an air hostess (I’m too short) and working on a cruise ship (taaadaahhh).

Today:

So as you all know I am mid-way through my process of becoming part of the team with the Disney cruise line. You can read this post HERE about my process so far.

I also got some great news the other day that a friend of mine is also going to be interviewed for the Disney cruise line as well!!! Yes super pumped!!!

Where I stand today is in a sort of limbo. I am still riddled with wanderlust and I can’t wait to get the call from the Disney cruise line so I can set off abroad once more.

This is an odd post and if you didn’t like it I apologise, I just felt like there is a certain amount of my life that attributes to why I want to travel and how I’ve gotten to this point and I felt like sharing it.

PS, i learnt how to use links !!! did you notice.

TTFN

Nutmeg

Disney Cruise line, and beyond.

So as you all know I’m in my last 3 weeks of my program here at Disney. 

My roommate Kat and I have been trying to apply for the Disney cruise line but we haven’t heard anything positive back yet.

My current boss come from the cruise line and so has been helping me to get an inside referral. He has helped me update my resume and then send it off to the head of guest services shore side. He then advised me to apply online so they would get my application with my resume through their recruiter. 

However the flaw in this plan was that there are currently no guest service positions available online for me to apply through. So we decided to apply for the Youth Activities Counsellor position which is being widely advertised currently. 

Unfortunately we both heard back in 2 weeks that we had not made it to the second round. And that there are more “qualified” applicants. Which we both think is stupid. Kat for 1 has been working as a youth activities counsellor for years at various different camps in Australia. 

I recently talked to my boss and he said that his contact was waiting for my application, when I told him there were none he said well we must touch base again soon. However I am deployed currently (perpetually it feels like), and so I don’t see him very often. 

I am going to apply for a club host/hostess position but to be honest right now I can’t focus on much past being home and would really be so bad to try and find a job in NZ and live with some friends???

 ~~

Kat and I have booked tickets to LEAKYCON!!!!!! You heard me the harry potter sensation hat gripping the nation is coming to Orlando Florida just as we finish our program. So we have decided to stay in Orlando for a few extra days ad rash at a friend’s place while we spend our life savings on harry potter fun. 

We purchased General passes to the event which happens from July 30-August 3rd. it is being held at the Orange County event center. Tickets are $175 per person but we found a code which is “LEAKYFL” and it knocked $25 off the price. 

Of course you may have heard there is an event scheduled for July 30th and it’s an exclusive night in the new harry potter park, free food, and only for leaky on guests. However it’s another $150 on top of the current ticket price and though I can’t really afford it, can I really afford to miss it????

Apart from money the other thing holding me back is that I’m still technically employed by Disney and I’m not sure if I’ll have that day off or not.

~~~

 

2 days to go

I’m losing my mind

Only 1 day of work left.

1 star wars character breakfast

1 Cher concert

And then …..

CRUISE TIME BABY !!

After almost 9 months with limited time off. Some months working six days a week with double shifts but mostly 5 days a week. Days off spent doing laundry and playing in the parks paying ridiculous prices for food inside the parks. I am so ready for a solid 10 days off ! In a row!

I love my job and the program and my experience over here at Disney but I am ready for something different and though I’m not really ready to go home yet ( going to stick out my last 3 months) I am really excited to leave the college program bubble for a week.

1 more 8 hour shift at all star music is all that stands between me and utter relaxation and as much food as I can fit inside my body! They are going to have to roll me off this ship !

Ps I have no idea what to wear for a Cher concert !!