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Long time, no update.

Not since I got hired, in fact.

Since then, it has been a very busy week. I had two orientations, the first was all about the company and general policies, etc. The second was specific to Animal Kingdom, we learned about the park, the mission statements, etc. and took a tour which included a safari ride...the first of many I have been on in the past 5 days.

Thursday was my first day of actual on-the-job training. Among other things, I got to drive one of those HUGE trucks around the parking lot a couple time. It's gigantic. (To refresh your memory, this is the truck.) We (the other trainee and I) also rode along while our trainer did a lap around the trail and showed us the spots where you have to go slower or faster, or turn sharper, or be careful not to hit a curb. It all sounded very complicated, and I came home feeling overwhelmed and a little terrified.

Friday, my second day of training, started with us taking a truck out to the actual trail (specifically, me driving the truck down the backstage roads and getting it onto the ride path). Then, I got to drive the actual ride path. It was scary, but not terrible. I didn't hit any curbs. Then the other trainee and I switched and she took her turn. She did hit a curb and it threw her off a bit, she was saying that she didn't think she wanted to work the safari anymore. We each got to go around again and I did better at the wide turns, though there are still a few parts that I'm not great at navigating. The second time the other girl went around, we had an animal stop (the white rhinos were on the move) and I think that scared her a little, too. Those animals get within inches of the truck and they are very much wild. I think it's cool, she got nervous.

Later in the day, we went over some of the "land positions" (the stroller parking people, the Fastpass distributors/takers, the people who tell you what row to stand in when waiting for the truck). We even got to work a bit on the departures assist--the people who signal to the truck to stop at the departure point (there are 2 different options), open/close the gates to load passengers onto the truck, close the doors on the truck, get the drivers water (if they need it), and clear the trucks for departure when everyone is seated and the path ahead is clear. It's a LOT to do in a span of about 90 seconds, but I really got the hang of it after a few minutes.

We were warned that tomorrow, the third of five days of training, will be the most intense yet. It doesn't seem possible, because I still have trouble remembering all the things there are to do at any given time. This job is multi-tasking to the max, at every position. But I think tomorrow, we're really going to be concentrating on driving WHILE we spiel (there is a script to learn, with "radio interruptions" that come on automatically when you drive over a sensor, so you have to learn where those are all hidden, and be able to speak the lines before the radio transmission gives its second line). Additionally, we have to learn facts about 34 different animals and be able to find them, identify them, and spiel them, while driving the ridiculously complicated trail, AND making sure that the "show spacing" between trucks is good.


Whoa.


So it's kinda a tough job in the beginning. I can see how it will all become second nature after a while. For now, it's crazy complicated and seems impossible. But it's pretty damn fun. So hopefully tomorrow won't be as terrible as we've been warned it will be. And hopefully I'll spend enough time today memorizing facts about animals and the script.

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In other fun news, I "slept in" this morning until 7:30. I'd complain, but it's an hour and a half later than usual.

So naturally, I decided to be uber productive and get some grocery shopping done. I went to Publix and spent $62.81, which is all the more impressive when you discover that I saved $36.87. That's right...the total would have been $99.68, except that they had some CRAZY good Buy One-Get One sales, including Tombstone pizzas (which cost $5.49 each) and Ritz Bits Peanut Butter sandwiches snack packs (12 little bags that I use as "breakfast" and cost $5.99 each). So I saved 37%...good deals.

And all this (with the exception of perhaps a $12 trip in a couple weeks for bread, milk, etc.) will last me a month. I rock.

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That is all. I'm going to make some lunch, watch some TV, and then devote my afternoon to memorizing spiel. Oy.

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