So You Want to Work for the Mouse?

This week, I was asked by a Dibber, if Emily would mind giving some advice to their daughter, as she was hoping to apply for the Cultural Representative Programme, as Emily has. Of course, she was happy to help, as it wasn’t long ago that she was doing the same, asking those who had been down that road for similar tips, hoping to get an advantage in what is a very competitive process.

I’m not sure what Emily advised, but my biggest learning from going through the process with her, is that the thing you need most of is patience, and lots of it. This is not something with a quick turnaround. I sort of understand why, as they literally have to travel and scour the globe to find suitable folks for each pavilion, do endless admin and allocate those they want to a suitable role.

Having said all of that, it takes too long, and I’m sure many of the 45 people who attended that face to face interview with Emily in London last March have since had to drop out, move on and give up. Yes, it has been six months since Emily attended her final face to face interview, and there haven’t been very many days in that time when we haven’t thought or talked about it. When things drag on like that, you start to wonder if it will ever happen.

Sometimes though, good things come to those who wait.

Disney email
We have a Cast Member in the family!

Yes, Emily’s date has come through, and she if off to work in the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida on the 7th of April 2015. We are delighted, proud, relieved, and of course dreading her leaving us for a year too. Knowing every detail of the arduous application and interview process inside out, I am so proud of Emily for getting through and being offered the job.

She has wanted this for many, many years, but deep down I think we all thought that the fact that she isn’t naturally one of life’s extroverts might stop her realising her dream. Seeing how she carried herself and how driven she was during the process, her success is all the sweeter. We have now already started the many and varied admin tasks required, with much form filling, plans to make, flights to find and excitement to enjoy. There’s a Visa to get too, which will mean another trip to London no doubt and room mates to find. This process is not one for the fickle and fainthearted. It requires dedication, patience, tenacity and as a certain Michael Bolton once said the ability to Go The Distance!

As you probably know it doesn’t take much for me burst with pride at anything Emily or Rebecca do. The fact that I produced them is and always will be the proudest achievement of my life, but when they do stuff like this, it is on a whole new level. I can’t over egg the effort and the journey outside of Emily’s comfort zone this has required.

Of course, we may, yes, may have to plan a trip to visit her during her year too. I’m sure there are some Cast Member discounts we can look into!

She will be working in the UK pavilion, in quick service food and beverage, which translates to the fish and chip place we assume, although it does say she will be asked to undertake a wide variety of roles. This doesn’t seem real to me yet, so who knows how Emily is dealing with all of this. I’m sure she’ll be blogging again very soon, now she has this news. There wasn’t a great deal of point in her blogging regularly about waiting for her date. We were all pensive enough without her having to write about it.

For any of you that are connected with Emily on Twitter and Facebook, can I ask that if you contact her, you do so discretely, via DM or Messenger. She has people from her current job on both, and of course, she’d rather they did not know about this just yet. Your discretion is appreciated!

So she has 190 days at home with us before her adventure begins and of course we need to make the most of those. She’s probably started packing, and who can blame her!

Till the next time…..

The Next Florida Adventure.

I know we are at that time of year when a blog with this title would be announcing that we have abandoned all fiscal common sense and booked another trip to Florida. As I have said many times with great regret, not this year. This is news of a different kind.

For months now, this household has been living under a cloud of anxiousness, stress and worry. Finally, yesterday, that cloud was lifted, and we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief.

What am I talking about? Well, since early February, Emily has been going through the long, arduous and patience testing process of applying to work in Walt Disney World in Florida on the Cultural Representative Programme. For anyone that doesn’t know, this is the programme done by those folk you see working in the UK pavilion in World Showcase in Epcot.

Like these folks….

CRP people

It is a process with many stages, lots of travelling, and more than anything lots and lots of waiting. Finally, last night, the email was received to say that she had been accepted onto the programme, and she is now on what they call the “Wait List” to be allocated a role and a date to go out there. There are a small number of those on wait list each year that for one reason or another don’t get to go, but barring any such disaster, she should be on her way before too long.

To say we are thrilled and proud does not cover it. This is a very competitive process, and for someone like Emily who is not naturally outgoing or gregarious it was a real test. I have never seen her so determined, driven and focussed, and add to that the fact that she was the youngest candidate of the bunch by some distance, she has done incredibly well. She was up against folks in their early to mid twenties with years of work and life experience. In short, she nailed it.

You may remember an earlier blog of mine in which I talked of killing time in London? Well, that was her first interview, with Yummy Jobs, the agency who front the whole thing for Disney. A few weeks after that we were in London again for the second stage, the face to face with actual Disney cast members.

The Streets of London….killing time.

I won’t detail all of the ins and outs of the actual process as I’m sure Emily will be doing that in her own blog in her next few posts, which I’ll give you a link to at the end of this. The amount of preparation she did was incredible, and here I have to thank many very kind folks for helping her through it all from the initial application form to the final stage interview.

Emi Watson and Becky Ellinson, both former CRP cast members, were incredibly helpful in prepping answers, and Leanna Parsons, a soon to be College Programme cast member was a big help around the first interview stage as she had just been through it herself. Janine Pipe has been Emily’s cheerleader, moral support and life coach throughout what has been almost nine weeks of waiting since that second interview. They all go to prove that there are some really nice folk out there.

Yes, that’s right, we have been in limbo for over two months!! I cannot begin to describe how stressful a time that has been, and I have found it hard to concentrate on much else, so God knows how Emily has been feeling.

So, we may not be going on our usual holiday this year, but at least one member of the Williams clan will be representing us over there at some point in the coming months. The programme lasts for a year so it is a big step for Emily. I’m sure it will be a fantastic adventure, and a life changing experience.

More than anything, we are just so proud of what she has already achieved. Those long journeys to London, the hours of me walking the streets of the capital whilst she interviewed, the slightly dodgy hotel we stayed in just around the corner from the Disney HQ and all the weeks and weeks of waiting have been worth it.

I strongly recommend that you follow Emily on Twitter and at her blog to hear all about her excitement, preparation and first, some more waiting to get a date. It hasn’t quite sunk in that she’ll (hopefully, if you know what I mean) be away from home for a year, but I can’t think of a better place for her to be.

Well done Emily!

Till the next time….


Achy Breaky Body

There’s a reason that I don’t do a job that involves manual labour.  Well, there may be a few reasons, but the main one is that I’d be dead by Wednesday of the first week.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve put a hell of a shift in this weekend moving stuff and boxes, and more stuff, and oh, so that’s where that went to.  Two full days of non stop manual labour and my body is literally rebelling.  At around lunch time today still with endless amounts to move, my system started to go into shutdown mode.  I finally understood the phrase being out on your feet.

To stave off these feelings I have of course been shoving as many calories down my throat as I’ve been able to, starting this morning with a traditional Father’s Day breakfast.

I had to wait a little while, as I was up at 6.30.  Oli checked to see if I was awake at that time by jabbing his huge wet nose into my forehead a dozen times, and by that time, yes, I was awake.  I stumbled out of the bedroom into the hall (don’t forget, we are in the ex-garage downstairs) and saw what looked like a scene from Alien.

After a hard day’s work yesterday, my Mum & Dad treated us all to a massive Chinese takeaway at their house, mainly as we were too weak to even open the fridge.  On the menu were spare ribs, and Oli partook in about two dozen too many, and this led to him revisiting them all over the floor.  Just as I was finishing the mop up operation, Louise wandered in saying she’d do it and I should go to bed.  Yep, that’s right, just as I was finishing!!

Once awake, the brain was whirring, and sleep was long since gone.  I was up comparing car insurance by 7am!  Some hours later, the girls made it downstairs with their eyes almost fully open, and wished me a Happy Father’s Day, and thrust a Cinderella gift bag at me.  Inside were a card, and my present, a T-shirt, with the phrase Grouch Potato on it.  I didn’t even think to object.  After a few more minutes of banging and clattering, I was presented with a breakfast fit for a King.  Waffles, squirty cream and strawberries.  No full English, as I used to get when they were too young to do it themselves and Louise would do the honours.  Left to their own devices, operating the microwave and the can of cream is the full extent of their culinary skills.

It was delicious though.  With the festivities over, work once again began, with us shifting endless boxes from our current house to the new one.  We don’t exchange until this coming Friday, but as I’ve mentioned, we’re buying from family so this means we’ve been allowed access early to dump all the crap from the shed into our new cellar.  If this deal falls through now, I’m afraid it is staying right there and can be sold to the next buyer as a feature!

moving man
Not actually me.

Louise isn’t able to get out of Uni on Friday on our moving day, so she will not be around for most of the day.  I wasn’t quick enough to think of a similar excuse so it looks like I’ll be in charge.  Anything could happen.

So ten years, almost to the day, are drawing to an end at our current address.  With the way this whole move has gone, should Louise suggest moving again anytime this millenia, she will encounter the full extent of my wrath.  Then we’ll more than likely just move again!

In other news earlier in the week, I have been out and about a bit visiting all four corners of the British Isles…well Nottingham, Knutsford and Liverpool…geography wasn’t my strongest subject.  These work related travels are showing signs of bearing some worthwhile fruits, and I hope to be in a much better place in that regard pretty soon.  I do not wish to jinx this as I said last week, so until you hear some fat woman singing, I shall remain the elusive, charismatic, handsome enigma that I am.

Oh yes, I have also had a cold!! I suspect my body has been fooled into thinking this is November by the lovely weather we’ve been enduring.  There is less moistness on the front row of a One Direction concert.

wdw programme
Programme not program!

This week has also brought some discussion with Emily on her plans after college.  She isn’t too interested in University, despite her predicted grades being pretty pleasing, and so she has it seems been researching and plotting her course.  She is going to apply for Disney’s Cultural Representative Programme, which is a 12 month placement working in WDW.       This sounds great, and so we’ll be working on that with her until November when the application process opens.  If anyone has done it, or know someone who has, Emily would love any advice or insight you might have on the application and interview process.

So, progress on a few fronts.  I have an empty shed, some boxes already in the new house, a sniff of something like good news with my “issues” at work, and an ache in every muscle in my work addled body.

Now, I must return to the calorie consumption before I wither away into nothingness.  If things pan out as I hope in the coming days, next week shall be a return to full blown WDW planning.  You have been warned.

Till the next time…..