Boredom – It's for Real!

Fall 1999 CSANews Issue 33  |  Posted date : Mar 03, 2007.Back to list

I bet most of you out there have been bored with your lifestyle at least one or more times during your retirement. And I'll also bet that you were able to overcome it! What kind of subject is this for a column in CSA News' Well, believe it or not, it's quite appropriate.

Last spring, after many of you had returned home to Canada after an exhilarating winter in the sun belt, I returned to a more sedate lifestyle, except for my passion, the game of golf. However, and believe me, I find that playing golf almost every day can lead to boredom! Now I know that all you golfers are saying, 'Bill has gone wacko, or he's a lousy golfer!' They could be right in one and even both cases, but it happened.

What should I do about it? My position at Medipac and the CSA involves some summertime duties, but they are not enough to keep me real busy (after reading this, I'm sure they'll find more). So I set out to find something to fill the gap, like another job – now you're convinced that I'm wacko, right?

A few residents here in the Hampton's Golfing Community in Central Florida work part-time at nearby Walt Disney World. Why not me' Just a couple of days a week, and no weekend work, that's all I want, I convinced myself as I drove to Orlando for an interview. Interview! That's putting it mildly! It took the entire day to complete and included five sessions with Disney Recruiters. At 5:20 p.m., (I hadn't had lunch) I was finally offered a position at Disney's Wide World of Sports as a Merchantainer and Host.

We all know what a Host is, right' But what is a Merchantainer' It's simple, folks. In plain English, you're a 'salesperson!' To be a Merchantainer, they send you to 'Disney University' for three days, with pay I'm glad to say, where you're taught that you're not an employee, but a 'Cast Member.' And a customer really isn't a customer, but a 'Guest.' Are you still with me' Then they teach you how to operate a computerized cash register and how to make change, 'the Disney way!' I won't go into that one, it's rather complicated. And for three solid days, you're taught to smile, be courteous and that the Guest, in most cases, is always right.

One of the highlights of this newly found education was the various tours of all the Disney Parks and especially the tunnels under some of them. I finally got to meet several of the 15 Cast Members, that's right, 15, who play the role of Mickey Mouse, my favourite character.

When you graduate, Disney University has done an excellent job of making sure that you know just about everything about Walt Disney World. It was an experience I'll never forget. In fact, the entire experience is unforgettable; I met fellow Cast Members and Guests from around the world, and many wonderful young students who were participating in Disney's College/Work Program. They were a delight to work with (they nicknamed me 'Spry Old Bill') and it was consoling to see that so many of our younger generation are willing to work during their summer vacation.

In conclusion – boredom, what's that?

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