fj: (Default)
The phone operator at Disney just wished me 'a magical day'. Oh god i used to work for this cult.

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fj: (Disney)
Well, then. We all started, and it seems the last hold-out can't make it work, even with investments of over half a billion dollars.

But dammit, we really all tried.
fj: (Default)
Bridge Burnt: called Disney benefits and stopped COBRA. It's the NHS for me from here on out.

Meanwhile, I no longer carry my Greencard with me in my wallet. My new Oyster card will go there instead, I think. Attempted to open the bank account with HSBC, they'll send paperwork to my contact address in a week or so with which I can pick up my debit card. No progress on real housing, but did get agreement I could extend my current easily. Cancelled an interview for tomorrow when I came home: only two hours out, one small conversation at a bank, and I was exhausted. I could not do a full day of discussions at a handset manufacturer by tomorrow.

Back in bed now.
fj: (Disney)
Oh look, it's been 18 months! As of today I am off the hook to pay Disney relocation costs if I leave the company!

Oh, wait, right...
fj: (Disney)
The air was cool inside the park, but the day was also sunny. There were tons of red shirts on everyone among the crowds on this Disney gayday, red shirts of all kinds that people had pulled out of their closest (Gold's Gym, Incredibles, Commermorative Gay Day T-shirts, all kinds of cartoon characters, plain ones, custom made ones for the day like the shirts that in perfect copy lettering mangled the current Parks slogan for this year into "A Year Of A Million Queens").

After Nemo we split up, the kids and supervising adults to do some of the carts and rocket rides, Dino and Nick to go to the California Adventure park to be in Nik's favorite ride of all time, "Soarin' Over California". If I had never gone, they said I just had to do it. So I went with them and into the Disney's California Adventure Park. We managed to get us front row seats. Once the carriages hoisted our seats into the air so our feet were dangling and the IMAX movie of a hang glider's POV over California started, my brain had the following conversation:
Right Brain: "WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!"
Left Brain: "Disney is not in the habit of killing people."
Right Brain: "WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!"
Left Brain: "Stop clutching the seat sides. Smile to release some endorphins and change your mood. Now enjoy the damn ride."

Then Nick and I were hungry and we saw people with enormous Sundaes and I introduced Nick into feeling less guilt over not so healthy food by making sure you do it together. Then we re-joined the kids and their adults. I barely ate the rest of the day, but made sure to be first in line when anyone was paying for food to show my ID and get us all 20% off. I guess somehow I ended up staying all day, even having H. on my shoulders so she could see the parade better.

Soarin' was very pretty, once I got over the compulsion to get out of my seat and go somewhere safe (like dropping 20 feet to the ground would help, sure). I totally recommend it. But then again, I am a wuss, as I had the same conversation going through the wussiest coaster at Disneyland, some Old West thing. Maybe I won't take up [ profile] e_ticket's offer to hold his hand to get me over being terrified of real coasters. Maybe I actually should, since we both soon will have tons of time off, and should just spend a whole day at 'Land and DCA exercising our passes by going on progressively scarier coasters.
fj: (Disney)
Our group was to consist of a number of adults, of which two were Disney employees with silver passes, and three children. In between our passes and some left-over guest passes I had -- you get two every 6 months when working for Disney -- we could get everyone in. I was basically going as a favor, I think. I did want to see the "Submarine Voyages" ride that had been retrofitted to become a "Finding Nemo" ride, but that was about it. Maybe find some other friends I knew would be in the park that day. I felt no great desire to do rides or anything. Just get some friends in to save them some very expensive tickets. Because I am kind of pissed at Disney.

I was first in Downtown Disney, which is a retail area, managed by Disney, between the parks and the Disneyland Hotel. It has shops like a Lego store and Department 56 and a bakery restaurant. [ profile] timfogartyfeed, also known as Daddy Tim that day, was coordinating everyone, so he told Regina and Karen, her neighbour, who were coming together with Regina's son and her nieces, where to find me. We met, we introduced, I met the son J who was 4, and the two girls who were 7 and 9. Regina and Karen had to go to the restroom. The kids were asked if they had to go. They did not. They were ok. Off the women went, leaving me suddenly in charge of 3 children. This alone should probably have Regina removed from custody, but ok, I guess nobody warned her that of all of Daddy Tim's friends, I was probably the most child-unfriendly. "Behave or I'll sell you into white slavery," was probably the first thing I said when we were alone. Which is ill-chosen because by US standards, the girls register as black. We chatted some while waiting, as much as one can chat with a 7 and 9 year old who wonder who you are and a 4 year old who wonders if you are safe to talk to at all.

We hang. We wait. We wait. Women, restrooms, of course we had to wait. And J., of course, who had been asked 5 minutes ago, and vehemently denied... never mind. He had to go. So did H., the seven year-old. I am in the middle of a retail area with three children in need of a restroom. I have visions of taking these children to a restroom and setting off a three-fire Amber alert when the mother and friend return to not find their children they left in the care of a virtual stranger. Hasn't it been hours since those women left already?
-- "Oh god," I almost panic, "where the hell is your mother?'
H looks up at me: "You said the 'h' word."
I am already unnerved from having had to watch my language.
-- "Which one is the H word!" I cry.
"'Hell'," H. whispers with a look that tells me this girl, barring any major trauma in her life (which is about to happen under my watch I am sure omygawd) is going to grow up into a Sassy Black Woman. By next week.
-- "I won't tell if you won't," is my only response.

H. has a phone number. I call it. It's Karen: Regina has already left the restroom and should be on her way. I do not see her. The boy is grabbing his pants. I call another number H. reads from her slip of paper. A man picks up, clearly not Regina's cell-phone. I apologize and hang up. H. looks at the paper again and asks "Is this a seven?" I turn my head to her incredulously. It actually was a seven, though.

I make an executive decision, having peeed my pants at a birthday party when I was 6 for having been too shy to ask where the restroom was: we're going. I go to the sunglasses kiosk to ask where the nearest restroom is. The retail worker points in the direction that materialises my darkest fear: it is in the Disney store. I am to guide three single-digit agers on a time-critical mission through a toy store.

"Ok, we're going. Follow me." I wished I had leashes. I have to both guide and make sure they don't get lost on this very busy crowded day. This means a constant craning of the neck and hoping the nine year old, wise beyond her years I can already tell, keeps the two in line in front of her. We enter the store. We walk through. I keep trying to not bump into things as I check back to make sure the plushy toys do not distract them. Where is that damn restroom? I brusquely cut ahead in a cashiers line to ask. The cashier points me to farthest end of the store. I manage to get all three of them there.

I look at the girls: "Do any of you need help?" They look at me as if I am insane. OK, I say, "We're meeting here!" in a firm tone of voice and point to the ground, here in the hallway where the restrooms are. I resign myself to letting them out of my sight and supervision. They go in. I take J. into the men's restroom. "Do you need help?"
Pleasedon'tneedhelppleasedon'tneedhelppleasedon'tneedhelp I mantra in my head; I am a gay adult man, unrelated to you, who will have to handle your four year old genitals in the United States of America, a country that still thinks in every homosexual, if not every adult, lurks a pedophile, if you need help here. Basically, if you need help, thirty seconds from now as I do whatever it is one needs to do to help you do your bathroom functions, I will be one temper tantrum of yours, right there, right then, away of being on a sex-offender registry for the rest of my life.
His answer: "Yeah. Which stall do I use?" They are both busy. One opens up.
-- "That one!" Seems to be all the help he needs. I watch through a crack next to the door, he seems to be ok standing up, whizzing oh god I am watching a 4 year old I do not know urinate through a crack please no one come in play it cool play it cool lean agains this wall keep an eye on him if they do come in of course you are related thank god I am as blond as him. He is ready and comes out, pants properly closed, walks to wash his hands. He is too short to both push the button to make water flow and was his hands, so I lean over to push it. This should be an endearing photo-op, a snapshot memory, but I want it to be over. Fuck soap, let's hope his mom washed his dick this morning, water will do; I grab a paper towel, hand it to him, and go. Outside, another fear calmed: the girls are indeed there and waiting.
"I didn't have to go, I just made that up," H says.
-- "I hate you," is my answer. I put enough Disney-Channel sitcom-mock in my voice to amuse them both. Or at least not make them cry. Whatever.

We walk back in formation, but I decide to get out of the store faster and walk the rest through the plaza instead of the store. I walk beside them now.
-- "J, can I carry you?"
"No," he says.
-- "Ok, can you walk faster then?"
This seems to amuse him to no end and he starts frog-marching at insane speed. For a four year old. We get back to where we were supposed to meet: the women and the gay adult men are now all there. Daddy Tim laughs at me when he sees my pissed off face -- he knows I do not do children. Moments later, as we are sorting out day passes and silver passes, I tell Regina that I used the H word.
"H. already told me you did. And that you hate them."

Later I get told, again, this time for using the F-word. F-word? I did not! "Fool." 'Fool'? Am I going to have any of my vocabulary left in front of these girls?

We get in the park, and somehow we end up directly in the line to the Nemo things. Daddy Tim frets a bit, the line will be long, this might take an hour, the children will be bored. They see live mice scurry in the bushes, they get a quiz to read, they talk to mom, Tim explains to them that part of Disneyland is standing in line, we constantly move, the other adults in our group get out of the line and buy them flashlights and hot dogs.
-- "Don't worry. Years from now this whole thing will be a fond memory of Disneyland. They'll forget all about the line in no time," I tell Daddy Tim. "I, however, will resent you for decades to come." Later, during another conversation, I will confess with broad hand gestures and comic intonations that "I am just not one of his supportive friends."


Oct. 6th, 2007 10:18 pm
fj: (Default)

"Toys!", Nokia N73, Los Angeles, 2007

fj: (smug)
Actually, it's really not that bad; there have been issues with my job since day 1 here, 17 months ago, and this 60-day lay-off period is a rather excellent way to end if it has to end. I hope to finally take some time for myself like I wanted to do when I left Nokia.

From a distance, I know my life this year looks like a country song: partner gone, cat dead, job gone, now all I need is for my truck to break down and my trailer to be re-possessed. But in reality, me getting a kick in the pants to leave Disney Mobile by virtue of Disney Mobile shutting down is not just ok, it's all right. I have been prospecting, but due to the nature of how recruiters find jobs through keyword hits, all I have been offered so far are Symbian C++ coding jobs. My answer has been identical every time: "You couldn't pay me enough to go back to that. I'd rather work a garbage truck." Oddly enough, recruiters do not answer that email.

I guess I won't get a chance to have a snippy exit interview in which I tell management how they obviously are losing the best person ever to work for them!
fj: (Default)
Woo-hoo, 60 days paid vacation! Thank you Disney!
fj: (Default)
Wow, this is really my best year ever!
fj: (Disney)
I got a last-minute request to be at a day-long meeting on Tuesday, which meant bumping another meeting scheduled for that morning. It was rescheduled. I have now shown up twice at either the wrong day or wrong time for that bumped meeting, that was actually sent for this afternoon. I just had the wrong time in my head and didn't sync with my calendar.

I must look like a complete idiot to that other group, but I just can't seem to care. I can't even come up with a really good excuse like I normally do for my screw-ups. I just got it wrong twice, live with it.
fj: (Disney)
Somehow, the thought of me working for a happy company like Disney often sends former co-workers into twitters.

I don't understand that. Everyone knows I am delightful and pleasant and full of wonder, like Disney. And professional. Like Disney.
fj: (Disney)
Going through my employer's online presence, I came across the theme-song for the movie "Meet The Robinsons", a CGI feature about a kid who time-travels to the future. I warn you, if you have fond memories of music hits of the early 80s, this will hurt. Bad.

fj: (Default)

Moment On My Desk
"Moment On My Desk", Nokia N73, Los Angeles County, 2007

fj: (Disney)

How The Heck Did They Get That Hat On Dopey?
"How The Heck Did They Get That Hat On Dopey?", Nokia N73, Los Angeles County, 2006

I had to be on the lot today to get a security sticker for 2007. I do not remember having been there since my indcution day, as DM is in another building, some miles away in North Hollywood.

I spent last night listening to the evils of the Disney theme park experience as detailed by some smart modern people. I am glad I went to the lot today, and spent some time in the square of Disney legends, looking at the plaques and statues; sometimes I like to reconnect to the love and creativity and the massive amounts of childhood memories that lie at the basis of this company, below all the merchandising and market opportunities and cynical people deriding it.
fj: (Disney)
I can't come out anymore, everyone knows (or mistakes it for being European). But I made the mistake of relating a gay-cultural joke I made Monday during a meeting with the Creative dept., to a Senior Product manager today. And she went hmmm... good idea. And I am not sure she is joking. So I can't really tell you my NCOD story until it gets released or I know for sure it will not go into production.

But suffice to say another Disney property will have another Insane Queen Leaving His Mark moment.
fj: (bqw)
Ok, who knew? [ profile] timfogartyfeed is a Disney top. Once we were in the park we suddenly found out he had been here 12 times before, had favorite rides, and knew where everything was, how it worked, and when to go to wait the least. It was really quite impressive.

We went for Gay Days, and I went because, well, I remember the parks really rather fondly from when I was 7, and work was starting to raise eyebrows whenever I mentioned I hadn't gone recently yet. "Don't you think it is about time?"

I got some vintage attractions checked out -- I died and went to Hell in one of them, I kid you not -- saw some of the refurbished ones, went also to some more modern ones, saw random presentations. I actually achieved a lot of my goals for the day and had a nice time thanks to some very good guidance about where to be when. Being around all the red shirts was very festive, and I really liked that it was not stratified at all, I saw GLBTQ people and supporters of all shapes and sizes and ages wandering happily, all kinds of families and configurations, participating together. That is actually pretty darn rare in our communities for a non-Pride thing.

But now that I have a good foundation down of the park thing,  I think the plan for next year  is that [ profile] pinkfish and I will go even later than 2, check out one new attraction I may have to for work, have dinner off-park, get a good spot to watch Fantasmic as we eat dessert, and then leisurly stroll to whatever hotel hot-tub [ profile] e_ticket is in. Because last night, just meeting him, but then also decompressing, with our feet in the warm bubbling water after a day of walking, with his insights about the park experience, was pretty damn awesome.

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