18 Things You will Really Need During Your Disney College Program

18 Things You will Really Need During Your Disney College Program

The must have items, excluding the fun ones!
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The first Disney College program that I took part in was one of the first times I was ever on my own. It was terrifying and I had absolutely no clue as to what I was going to need to take care of myself. Now the program does offer you some items to accommodate your apartment if you are staying in housing (silverware/fridge/etc.). However, there are several other items that you are going to need as a participant that, I myself, had no idea would be so much of a lifesaver to making life easier as a participant:

What you really really need to bring:

1.A Car

If you are able to, absolutely bring your car! It cuts down travel time compared to using the bus systems, to and from work, and it makes going grocery shopping much easier.

2. More than one charger for any electronic items you plan on bringing and multiple outlet plugs

Always better to be safe than sorry.

3. Travel size fan

It can get hot at whichever program you're going to, the apartments come with their own air and heating system but this will ensure that it won't get to hot in your room.

4. Power Strip

You forget how many electrical items you own, but then you also don't want to be the outlet hog when using them. With the power strip it'll ensure that you're not taking up to many of the plugs while still powering up your own devices.

5. Router

The apartments come with their own wifi but sometimes it can get pretty slow with up to 6 or more people using it in the same room. If you plan on working on online school work during the program using your own router can ensure that you will be able to get your work done on a stable and fast working network.

6. Coffee Machine/Tea Kettle

The apartments do not come with one of these babies so if you need your daily caffeine fix, it's best to look into getting one.

7. Toaster/Toaster Oven

I never realized how regularly I use the toaster until I didn't have one. Luckily I had very nice roommates who brought one on both of my programs and I was saved. It's always good to have one of these if you are in a hurry for work and need to make a quick breakfast.

8.Water Filter with multiple back up filters

The tap water in housing is not the best and purchasing water bottles can be very costly. Bringing a water filter gives you nice clean water that's free!

9. Tupperware, Reusable Water Bottles, Lunch Box, and Snack Bags

Odds are you are not going to be be buying lunch everyday or eat all of your meals in one sitting. It's better to have nice containers that you can conserve and carry your leftover meals in, than to throw them away.

10. Lot's of Towels, Washrags, and Dish Rags

You don't want to use your personal shower towel for every spill or mishap, if you bring multiples this will make cleaning up messes easier while making sure you have something to use when you shower later.

11. Storage Containers

Preferably long rectangular ones that you can use to squeeze under beds, or bulky square ones that can fit in closets. Yes the apartments do come with drawers but if you're a cautious packer like me that packs for every type of weather, then trust me when i say you won't be able to fit everything in just the drawers.

12. Calendar

This will help keep track of your important dates and shift times.

13. Backpack

Instead of bringing a purse or satchel (Indiana Jones wore one, so it's not a purse!) bring a backpack with you for trips to the parks. With a backpack you are able to carry everything that you need for the day and easily stow things that you pick up on your adventures. Will you look like a slight nerd? Yes, but you will be a prepared nerd!

14. Coat Hangers

An item that is also not provided with the apartment, so you will needs these if you have extra clothes to store. Also they come in handy when the dryers don't work and you need to air dry your clothes somewhere.

15.Semi Formal/Business Clothes (6 outfits at least if you are taking classes)

First impressions are important, so impress everyone with your nice clothes during the first couple training days of your program. Not to mention you are also supposed to wear your best business attire for any classes you may be taking with the program.

16. Standard Stationary Equipment (Notepad/Pens)

During the first couple of days you might want to take notes, plus I always seemed to need a pen at least once every day.

17. A First Aid Kit

For any klutzes out there, this is something I'm sure you will all need.

18. Tissues

For the happy times, the sad times, the sick times, the allergy times, or if you just happen to have Kristen Bell levels of emotion.

Cover Image Credit: Odyssey

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Your Wait time At Theme Parks Is Not Unfair, You're Just Impatient

Your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself.

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Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios "unboxed" on June 30, 2018. My friend and I decided to brave the crowds on opening day. We got to the park around 7 AM only to find out that the park opened around 6 AM. Upon some more scrolling through multiple Disney Annual Passholder Facebook groups, we discovered that people were waiting outside the park as early as 1 AM.

We knew we'd be waiting in line for the bulk of the Toy Story Land unboxing day. There were four main lines in the new land: the line to enter the land; the line for Slinky Dog Dash, the new roller coaster; the line for Alien Spinning Saucers, the easier of the new rides in the land; Toy Story Mania, the (now old news) arcade-type ride; and the new quick-service restaurant, Woody's Lunchbox (complete with grilled cheese and "grown-up drinks").

Because we were so early, we did not have to wait in line to get into the land. We decided to ride Alien Spinning Saucers first. The posted wait time was 150 minutes, but my friend timed the line and we only waited for 50 minutes. Next, we tried to find the line for Slinky Dog Dash. After receiving conflicting answers, the runaround, and even an, "I don't know, good luck," from multiple Cast Members, we exited the land to find the beginning of the Slinky line. We were then told that there was only one line to enter the park that eventually broke off into the Slinky line. We were not about to wait to get back into the area we just left, so we got a Fastpass for Toy Story Mania that we didn't plan on using in order to be let into the land sooner. We still had to wait for our time, so we decided to get the exclusive Little Green Man alien popcorn bin—this took an entire hour. We then used our Fastpass to enter the land, found the Slinky line, and proceeded to wait for two and a half hours only for the ride to shut down due to rain. But we've come this far and rain was not about to stop us. We waited an hour, still in line and under a covered area, for the rain to stop. Then, we waited another hour and a half to get on the ride from there once it reopened (mainly because they prioritized people who missed their Fastpass time due to the rain). After that, we used the mobile order feature on the My Disney Experience app to skip part of the line at Woody's Lunchbox.

Did you know that there is actually a psychological science to waiting? In the hospitality industry, this science is the difference between "perceived wait" and "actual wait." A perceived wait is how long you feel like you are waiting, while the actual wait is, of course, the real and factual time you wait. There are eight things that affect the perceived wait time: unoccupied time feels longer than occupied time, pre-process waits feel longer than in-process waits, anxiety makes waits feel longer, uncertain waits are longer than certain waits, unexplained waits are longer than explained waits, unfair waits are longer than equitable waits, people will wait longer for more valuable service and solo waiting feels longer than group waiting.

Our perceived wait time for Alien Spinning Saucers was short because we expected it to be longer. Our wait for the popcorn seemed longer because it was unoccupied and unexplained. Our wait for the rain to stop so the ride could reopen seemed shorter because it was explained. Our wait between the ride reopening and getting on the coaster seemed longer because it felt unfair for Disney to let so many Fastpass holders through while more people waited through the rain. Our entire wait for Slinky Dog Dash seemed longer because we were not told the wait time in the beginning. Our wait for our food after placing a mobile order seemed shorter because it was an in-process wait. We also didn't mind wait long wait times for any of these experiences because they were new and we placed more value on them than other rides or restaurants at Disney. The people who arrived at 1 AM just added five hours to their perceived wait

Some non-theme park examples of this science of waiting in the hospitality industry would be waiting at a restaurant, movie theater, hotel, performance or even grocery store. When I went to see "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," the power went out in the theater right as we arrived. Not only did we have to wait for it to come back and for them to reset the projectors, I had to wait in a bit of anxiety because the power outage spooked me. It was only a 30-minute wait but felt so much longer. At the quick-service restaurant where I work, we track the time from when the guest places their order to the time they receive their food. Guests in the drive-thru will complain about 10 or more minute waits, when our screens tell us they have only been waiting four or five minutes. Their actual wait was the four or five minutes that we track because this is when they first request our service, but their perceived wait begins the moment they pull into the parking lot and join the line because this is when they begin interacting with our business. While in line, they are experiencing pre-process wait times; after placing the order, they experience in-process wait times.

Establishments in the hospitality industry do what they can to cut down on guests' wait times. For example, theme parks offer services like Disney's Fastpass or Universal's Express pass in order to cut down the time waiting in lines so guests have more time to buy food and merchandise. Stores like Target or Wal-Mart offer self-checkout to give guests that in-process wait time. Movie theaters allow you to check in and get tickets on a mobile app and some quick-service restaurants let you place mobile or online orders. So why do people still get so bent out of shape about being forced to wait?

On Toy Story Land unboxing day, I witnessed a woman make a small scene about being forced to wait to exit the new land. Cast Members were regulating the flow of traffic in and out of the land due to the large crowd and the line that was in place to enter the land. Those exiting the land needed to wait while those entering moved forward from the line. Looking from the outside of the situation as I was, this all makes sense. However, the woman I saw may have felt that her wait was unfair or unexplained. She switched between her hands on her hips and her arms crossed, communicated with her body language that she was not happy. Her face was in a nasty scowl at those entering the land and the Cast Members in the area. She kept shaking her head at those in her group and when allowed to proceed out of the land, I could tell she was making snide comments about the wait.

At work, we sometimes run a double drive-thru in which team members with iPads will take orders outside and a sequencer will direct cars so that they stay in the correct order moving toward the window. In my experience as the sequencer, I will inform the drivers which car to follow, they will acknowledge me and then still proceed to dart in front of other cars just so they make it to the window maybe a whole minute sooner. Not only is this rude, but it puts this car and the cars around them at risk of receiving the wrong food because they are now out of order. We catch these instances more often than not, but it still adds stress and makes the other guests upset. Perhaps these guests feel like their wait is also unfair or unexplained, but if they look at the situation from the outside or from the restaurant's perspective, they would understand why they need to follow the blue Toyota.

The truth of the matter is that your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself. We all want instant gratification, I get it. But in reality, we have to wait for some things. It takes time to prepare a meal. It takes time to experience a ride at a theme park that everyone else wants to go on. It takes time to ring up groceries. It takes patience to live in this world.

So next time you find yourself waiting, take a minute to remember the difference between perceived and actual wait times. Think about the eight aspects of waiting that affect your perceived wait. Do what you can to realize why you are waiting or keep yourself occupied in this wait. Don't be impatient. That's no way to live your life.

Cover Image Credit:

Aranxa Esteve

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25 Thoughts Everyone In Customer Service Has With a Smile On Their Face But internally crying

It's not as easy at in looks, but at least we get paid to do it.

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We all have those days where we flat our really, truly, loathe the job we work in. No matter how fantastic our coworkers are, or how great those one or two customers can be, sometimes there are just days where you're pissed off, don't want to see anyone, and somehow every single person seems to do something to make you mad.

I've worked in a customer service industry since I was 16 years old. Actually, I've worked this same job since I was 16 and I'm about to be 20. So that must mean I like the job, right? Alas, I still have those days where I'm like why am I still here? But in all honestly, I do like it enough to go back every day.

Regardless of if you love or hate your job, here are 25 thoughts everyone in customer service has at least once in their customer service working career:

1. No, my day isn't actually good, but I'll just tell you that anyway.

2. No, I can't just give you the coupons! You have to have them with you already.

3. Yeah sure! I'll call my manager up, but they're going to tell you the same thing I just said.

4. Why did you just tell your whole life story? I just asked how your day was!

5. Why are men's pockets so big? Is it like the Mary Poppins of pockets or something? Doesn't that weigh you down?

6. Sorry, Susan, the customer isn't always right!

7. You're welcome! I know you didn't say please or thank you, but you're welcome anyway!

8. Yeah, I don't actually hope you have a good rest of your day.

9. Yes, of course. I appreciate you talking on the phone the entire time I'm checking you out.

10. "Do you work here?" No, I'm just wearing this uniform and name tag just because I like to.

11. "I don't want these things anymore," Oh, no worries, I'll be very happy to put back all of that later.

12. I quit! I swear! I'm going to quit right now!

13. Yes, I will happily take your payment all in change.

14. Why did you ask for $200 cash back? We're not a bank?

15. No, we don't have a bathroom. There's literally a sign for it right behind me!

16. "Can you check if you have any more in the back?" Yeah, of course, even though I know for sure that there's no more!

17. We're literally closed, but yes, I will help you out finding one last thing.

18. "Oh, it looks like a pretty slow day today!" Yeah? Well thanks, you just jinxed it.

19. I don't get paid enough for this.

20. This shift is never going to end; I'm going to be here all night.

21. "I'm so sorry you have to work on the holidays!" Yeah well, we work because people like you come in.

22. Ooh, I'm going to buy this once my shift is over!

23. Why are there so many go-backs do you people ever keep anything you buy?

24. Holy crap, how can you spend so much in one store?

25. "I'm so sorry! He just knocked everything down!" Oh no worries, I'm glad to clean up his mess because you weren't paying attention to your child.

And with that, I'll leave you with those thoughts to ponder. Honestly, I give people who have worked in retail and customer service a lot more credit than they deserve. It's hard! People are rude! And somehow, whenever something is wrong, it's our fault!

But at the end of the day, someone has to do these jobs and I guess looking at it from retrospect, there are worse things out there!

Cover Image Credit:

123rf

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