Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Excuse Me, Do You Work Here?

K, so Aunt Sandra's comment on this post had me remembering various aspects of working at Disney. Among them, constantly getting the question "do you work here?" Great merciful crap, that one got old quick. On the other hand, it was also conversation starter for the rare moments that found one both able to talk to another CM (cast member) and things being slow enough that one didn't have a long line of guests waiting to ask (mostly) stupid questions. It was always fun to talk about the snarky replies we'd give people if we could get away with it. "No, I'm trying out my Halloween costume. I guess it's pretty good." "No, I just think white socks and black shoes and shorts are a great fashion statement!" "No, I stole this from the guy I knocked out in the parking lot so I could get in here for free." And of course, my personal favorite: "No." *walk away*

I mean, come on. Not only do we all have a nametag, we are wearing the ugliest cloths on the planet. I quickly came to the realization that Disney wants CMs to look as boring, sexless, and ugly as possible. I can't really blame them, beause even the horrible costumes (uniforms . . . I probably should post a glossary or something . . .) didn't stop some people I knew of from flirting with and sometimes just plain hitting on guests, which is definitely inappropriate. And I know I really lucked out. Compared to some of the costumes I could have had to wear, mine weren't all that bad - khakis and three different button down shirts, depending on which attraction I was working. The most annoying part is, I also quickly came to the conclusion that Disney also doesn't much care aboue CM's comfort or even presentableness (is that a word? it is now . . .) when wearing the company provided costumes. I worked there for over two years, and I never once wore a costume that fit me well from head to toe. It. SUCKED.

We'll start with the pants. First off, at least as far as women's pants go, one must go in to Costuming prepared to feel fat. I wear (about) a size ten pant. At Disney, the size that fit me the mot often was a 14. Therefore, since I always wore my own clothes to work and changed when I got there, I gained to sizes driving to work, and lost it all again when I left. Yeah . . . THAT makes sense! But even then, you can't go by the labelled size . . . assuming you can even read it . . . and assuming that it was placed in the right section. I learned quickly to check every pair of pants I picked up to make sure it was the size I thought it was. But again, even that wasn't enough. When I first started, I would check out a week's worth o costumes, and turn them all in at the end of the week . . . mostly because there was no way I was paying to do Disney's laundry in addition to my own. Of those five pairs of pants I would check out, typically two would be too big, two would be too small, and one would fit me in the waist. Of course, that pair wouls usually be either too long or too short lenthwise. So would the others. Every pair of pants I ever wore was labelled as being a size 14 waist, with a 30 inch inseam. Some of them felt and looked like Hammer pants and stopped above my ankles. Some made me wish I was wearing a corset (they'd be much looser and more comfortable) and were so long that I spent the day tripping over them because, of course, they wouldn't stay rolled up either. Good times.

Shirts weren't quite as bad. Actually, one of them fit very well . . . until they changed the name of the attraction and had to change the shirt becuase they had a patch with the attraction name on them. Like anybody even looked at the patches. Please. Anyway, I wore an extra small shirt. Just like 80% of the other people who worked at each attraction. And I was swimming in them. Just like about 75% of the other people wearing them. And since nearly everybody wore the giant-extra-small shirts they were really hard to come by. It was frustrating to no end to walk down the shirt aisle only to discover that they were out of extra-smalls - again! - and to have to look at the three dozen 5X's . . . that NOBODY ever wore. Seriously. These things had enough fabric in them to make at least three extra-smalls, and I only ever worked with three people who might have . . . actually, probably did wear those huge things. Grrrr. Suffice it to say, costuming is definitely one of the things I do not miss about working at Disney.

I suppose my point is, has anyone else ever gotten this epitome of dumb questions? Especially somewhere where you were obviously in the uniform of said workplaces? I find it hard to believe that this one is a strictly Disney question . . . however, "why is it raining?" probably is . . .

There are very few pictures of me in costume, mostly because I think I look so terrible in them. Sadly, as I skimmed through facebook pictures of me, I discovered that there are a lot more than I would like, most added by other people. Anyway, here's a few, for any of you who want to see how I was dressing the last couple of years. Warning: shield the eyes of the little ones. This just might be traumatizing. :-)

The old backlot shirt . . . the one that actually fit

You can't really tell because of the distance, but these were some TIGHT pants in the waist . . . but very Hammer-pants-esque in the crotch, and they ballooned from there. I always bloused my shirts to hide a little of how badly the pants fit too.

We're wearing the same size shirt. Roma is a little bigger than me, my shirt should fit me more or less how hers fits her, but it was still a little big for her . . . and these were XS's!!!

Three complaints about this shirt. 1 - the top button was uncomfortably low for some of us. Not indecent, (although it would have been iffy if I'd been through the temple), just low. I was mostly worried about sunburn. 2 - They become quite literally see-through if you get caught in the rain without your rain jacket. 3 - Again, wearing an extra small and there's sooooo much extra fabric!!!

Of course, the looseness of the shirts did make it easy to reach completely behind yourself to answer the phone. :-) Again, kind of hard to tell, but my pants actually have about four or five inches bunched in front of me. I could fit two of me in some of these pants!!!

Again, pants too big. And too long, although it's really hard to tell with the shadow.

P. ost S. cript
It seems only appropriate to include this one considering the subject matter. I only wish it was a little longer so we could see more of what happened . . . afterward . . . :-)

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