Amber Earns Her Ears

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Amber Sewell is 'earning her ears' at Disney World from the ground-up: her first experience as a Cast Member was her participation last year in Disney's CareerStart Program. Maybe you saw her at EPCOT's Electric Umbrella? If not, you'll be 'seeing' a lot of her on Disney Dispatch as she shares her stories about what it's like to be young and working for the Mouse. Amber's stories are fun, fascinating, and plain ol' fantastic. And maybe, just maybe, they'll put you on the road to earning your ears, too.

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FROM: Amber Earns Her Ears Published Mondays

Ready to GO!

While working at Disney is a dream come true for many, Amber is feeling the homesickness and is ready to wrap this journey up!

The Disney College Program is a competitive, paid internship open to college students who want to spend a semester at either Disneyland or Disney World working, learning, and possibly laying the foundation for a Disney career.

After a successful stint in Disney's CareerStart Program, Amber Sewell began work in May 2011 at Disney World as part of the College Program. We'll follow her adventures every week right here...

I’ve said since the beginning of this program that it felt different from my program last year.

Not only does that feeling still apply, but it’s intensified.

Whereas last year I wasn’t ready to leave until I had about a month remaining, this time I have about 16 weeks left, and I am dying to leave Florida.

Some people I would miss. Some I would miss a lot. The majority would not be enough to keep me here even for an extra day.

I’m not sure what exactly makes this program so different from last year. Maybe it’s the lack of family atmosphere that was such a prevalent theme at the Electric Umbrella. Maybe it’s the fact that, rather than spend my nights after work on the couch chatting with roommates or playing Lego Harry Potter with Paige, I hide in my room because the noise level in our living room far surpasses obnoxious more often than I can handle. Maybe it’s the knowledge that if I were at home, I would be in school and getting the rest of my gen ed. courses out of the way. Maybe it’s the fact that autumn is my favourite season, and while everyone back home is enjoying the drop in temperature and the impending changing of the leaves, I’m still stuck in shorts and tank tops when I venture outside for more than a few moments.

Whatever the reasons (because I’m sure I’ve missed a few), I’m here until January, and as much as I want to go home, no purpose would be served in leaving.

September is a very slow month for Disney World. Park attendance has dropped dramatically, and that means less and less work for me to actually do. I can only thank the unknown scheduler who signed me up for package pickup, because while I cannot stand to be bored onstage in front of guests, I’m perfectly fine propping my feet up on a desk and reading the hours away in between driving to pick up packages. I’ve been given only one shift a week outside of package pickup; I make my way to the West to stock once a week. Food and Wine starts soon, though, so that should cause an increase of people in the parks.

Speaking of driving, the inevitable has happened. One of our vans, 64, was in the shop while they did something to its tire, and we had a loaner van to use in its absence. I took out the new van for my drive one run. As backstage at EPCOT has many alleys that we have to pull into and back out of, the lack of the rearview mirror was inconvenient. It didn’t really hinder me on the run, though, until I made it to Japan – the last stop on the run. To get out of Japan, I usually back into an area between two freezers and turn around that way. So I went to back out my routine way. I knew there were poles behind me that I couldn’t see in my side mirrors, so I rolled down the window and stuck my head out. About that time, with a dull thud, I backed the van into a pole, knocking my head into the side of the window. I pulled forward and got out, walking to the back of the van in a state of disbelief.

At first I didn’t see anything, which made me elated, but then I saw a dent about five inches across in the metal of the bumper. I drove back to base with no small amount of trepidation. After unloading all my packages, I made my way over to the manager’s office to let them know. I was given a paper to fill out detailing the incident, and I went to another manager’s office to fill it out. The next day there was another thing of paperwork to fill out because it was a loaner van. I had expected some kind of safety reprimand or something, but the manger in charge of package pickup told me that he preferred to fill out the paperwork and leave it at that. The manager that I had originally informed, though, had mentioned it in the closing report, so everyone who had anything to do with our area was aware of it now. If anyone higher up came asking questions about discipline, then I would find myself in a little trouble, but otherwise I should be fine.

The loaner van was avoided from that point on. 64 is back.

Automobiles just don’t seem to agree with me lately. The other day, as I drove to work, my oil light came on. Dinosaur started to drive a little funny when I made it to the cast parking lot, and I called Dad as I made my way through cast services. I had a quart of oil in the trunk, and he informed me that should be enough to get me to Wal-Mart to buy some more. There I put another two quarts in the car in the parking lot, but the oil light was on again before I’d even reached Chatham – not even a five minute drive. I told Dad I would call him the next morning when I went to go check the oil level. When I went out, though, it was to find the barest amount of oil on the dipstick, and a large pool of it underneath my car.

Needless to say, I will be taking the bus for the next few days.

Not much else of note has really happened. I visited the barber shop in the Utilidors, which caused me no small amount of panic when I realized the woman who would be dying my hair was your stereotypical fake-tanned, fried black hair, gum-smacking hair stylist, who instead of using the formula my hairdresser at home sent me, brought out a color board and tried to convince me that the blonde would really come out red. Despite the trepidation that I felt beforehand, it didn’t turn out horribly – although let’s just say that’s another reason I’m looking forward to going home.

Nothing else has really happened. I’ve read some books, I’ve done a little shopping, and I’ve watched a lot of Friends. I’ve been scouring the Hub for extra shifts to supplement my 33 hour weeks, and have only managed to pick up one extra shift.

113 days left!


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