Thursday, December 20, 2007

Oh, the stories. They just keep coming.

This morning, I was late. I waited around my house until 7:25, and since Evil Car Moving Guy still wasn't answering his cell, I left. I made it over to the cast parking about 7:45, and scurried into costuming to exchange my pants-- when I tried on pants yesterday, one pair was about seven thousand inches too short, and the other pair fit decently (Well, decently for high-waisted pleated polyester pants). Of course, I somehow managed to put the wrong pair back on the rack after trying them on, so I came home with the pair which would really only be appropriate during a flood. I went in, dropped the too-short pair off, and found a pair marked with the
right size, and went off to change.

Dear friends who are planning to become cast members in the future: Never change in the costume building dressing rooms. They seriously frown upon it, and will tell you so. You will feel dumb when they point out the sign on each dressing room stating "this is not a dressing room, use the damn locker rooms, you idiot!" (I may be paraphrasing.)

However, in this case, it's a good thing I did change there, because these pants were mislabeled, and also way too short. The wardrobe lady set off in search of another pair for me, and eventually, I had the right pants. However, searching for pants, returning my old ones, getting new ones, checking them out, changing, returning them, and waiting for new-new ones took up about 15 minutes. By the time I actually made it to where I was supposed to meet my trainer, it was 8:05, and everyone was gone. D'oh!

I got some info about where my group was, got lost getting there (and, I must add, got a ton of help from several different people who went out of their way to send me the right way, which I appreciated more than I can say), and finally met up with the group about 20 minutes later.

After that, my day got much better. (For the time being, at least). My day consisted of helping to open Tomorrowland (including a magical moment of letting a first family duck under the rope to be the first people on the ride of their choice), riding both sides of Space Mountain (Wheee!), working crowd control for the parade (So much fun!), doing both Buzz and Stitch, and handing out stickers to kids. Yes, there was acutal training in the midst of all that, but the fact that they break it up with fun makes the day so much better.

I have to point out that I am only speaking from my own experiences here- training obviously differs depending on your location, your job, and your trainer. I talked to a lady from my traditions class who was working somewhere on Main St, who said that her group hasn't even been out in the park yet.

I have already learned so much in just two days. It is interesting being on the cast side of things now- sort of a culture shock. So far, I really love it, though. I think that for every magical moment guests have, there is probably a cast member having one, too. While I was working the parade, I kept looking around to make sure everyone was staying within the safety lines, but couldn't help but take in the excited faces of the children, totally giddy at seeing Cinderella or Mickey. I love the way a little girl's face lights up when I call her Princess, or how happy people
get over getting a sticker, or yes, the fact that I actually got paid to ride Space Mountain today. (Twice!) The truth of it all is that I am sick, I am tired, I am stressed out, I am frustrated by moving issues, I miss my cat, I miss the internet, I miss having furniture, and wow, do I miss sleep, but I am *happy*. All of the exhaustation and stress is only on the superficial layers- deep down, I am better than I've been in a long time. (But I do wish my cat would hurry up and get here.)

I had eight zillion missed calls when I checked my phone after work, and I found out that the car guy had decided that his trailer wouldn't fit in my apartment complex, then said that if he didn't drop the car off today, he would charge me an extra fee, and then a later message where my mom called to give me the address of where he was going to leave my car. I live within a mile of at least 20 hotels, so I assumed he would leave it someplace like that, but I didn't recognize the address at ALL. I called mom to have mer mapquest it, as I still have no internet, and was still laying on the floor in a heap of worn-out tomorrowland costume, thus not in the mood to
drive to the place with free internet. Well, no wonder I haven't heard of the place-
Mapquest says it's 20 miles away. DUDE.

Twenty miles away is a LOT when you don't know your way around, AT ALL. Seriously,
at this point, I know my way to MK, Epcot, Target, Wal-Mart, Panera, and Taco Bell.
This is the full extent of my Orlando-area driving knowledge. And now my car is on
the total opposite side of the city. But there's another conundrum- how do I GET
there? I can't drive, because I'd have no way to get *both* cars back. Katie is the
only person I know here, and she's not available (Plus lives like an hour away, so I
don't want to drag her out), so I'm sort of screwed.

I am not too proud to tell you that at one point, I sat on my living room floor with a giant cream cheese brownie and a glass of milk and cried.

I finally got the idea to dig out the business card of the transportation company who
picked me up from the airport and see if they can help. They're available, and agree
to meet me at the Dolphin (where I need to drop off my rental car, since it's due by 2pm tomorrow, and I work till 4, so this is my only chance.)

As we're driving along towards the address, I start to recognize some street names and neighborhoods as places I was told to avoid when I was asking around about apartments. I've got a bad feeling, so I ask the driver what area this address we're going to is in.

My car is in Pine Hills.

If you live here, you probably just fell over when you read that. If you don't live here, I don't know how to explain the badness of this area, other than that it is pretty universally known as Crime Hills. The driver advises me that when I get in my car, I should lock the doors and keep them locked.

So, let's review. My car, with the keys inside, and about half of my posessions, is sitting in a parking lot in the worst neighborhood in the Orlando area. You have GOT to be kidding me.

We finally make it to the supermarket parking lot, and as we drive past the rows of the mostly empty lot, the driver and I keep an eye out for my car. We get all the way to the end, and we haven't found it. Oh, no. Then, at the same time, we both breathe a sigh of relief as we spot it out in the far row that faces the street. We both seriously thought it was gone.

I'd like to take a moment here to promote the transportation company- Murray Hill Transportation. First, both drivers I've had were fantastic- friendly and knowledgeable. When they picked me up from the airport, they included a free grocery stop, and were really nice about telling me about the area. When I told tonight's driver that I wanted to pay attention to how we got there so I would find my way home, he made an extra effort to make sure I knew the way, and also pointed out things along the way, to help me learn my way around. But even beyond all that, when I first called to ask the price of the trip, they told me $30, which I was amazed at, for a 20+ mile trip. When I called back to let them know I was at the Dolphin, they
told me that they had made a mistake, assuming that the address on that street was much nearer, but since that was what they had quoted me, they were going to stick to it. He just wanted to let me know so that I could pay attention to how we got there so I wouldn't get lost. Judging by what I paid for my airport trip, they probably should have charged me at LEAST $30-50 more for this trip. I tipped the guy an extra $20, but even with that I feel like I got off cheap. I am really impressed that they stuck by the first quote, which was seriously undercharging me. And that is why I wanted to tell you guys about them- after all the stress of dealing with the car delivery people who seriously screwed me over, it was so nice to deal with people who were beyond fair, and really went above and beyond. They have seriously earned my respect, as well as my recommendtion.

Anyway, I made it home (yay!), and brought up four loads of stuff from the car before calling it a night and settling down in bed with the computer and half the contents of my kitchen. (Note: That's less impressive than it sounds- it actually means a bag of veggie chips, a chunk of cheese, a nutri-grain bar, and some blueberries. Apparently my body is crying out in need of just about every food group.)

I would unpack my stuff, but it's already 10:30pm, and I am in serious need of a shower (and maybe that brownie- I only got around to a couple of bites earlier), and I need to be back up at 5 to hose the gunk of a 1000 mile trip off my car window so I can see to drive to work tomorrow. Strangely, I actually would love to clean the house up right now, but I think I have just enough energy to get my stuff together for work tomorrow and shower before I fall over.

To end things on a positive note, let's review: I now have my job (first payday tomorrow! Yay!), a place to live (now slightly less empty!), my car, and some of my stuff. Other than either getting my furniture here or buying new and finding a way to get it up 40 stairs, I now have all of the major moving hurdles out of the way.

Unless you count waking up at 5am tomorrow. Ouch!


erica said...

I can't believe he left your car in Pine Hills. He might as well have taped a $20 bill and a crowbar to the windshield.

Congrats on getting your car, and making it home safely!

Sangiovese said...

Crystal! There is an Ikea in Orlando...go get some furniture! You have to assemble it yourself, but you can get some great stuff! (Elmo888 from Disboards)

Kristina said...

Hi Crystal,
Just writing to say I hope everything is going well and that you are having a wonderful Christmas! Looking forward to more stories when you get a chance :).

Renee said...

Crystal...listen to Elmo888. IKEA is your I am moving out in January (long story but I used to own a house with lots of furniture and sold the house and furniture when I moved in with a boy who I got engaged to, but that didn't work out, so I moved back home with the folks at age 34 and have been here 7 months) and am buying almost all my furniture from IKEA b/c it is cheap yet good quality.
BTW, did you have a house back in MO? Or were you renting? I was curious cuz you said you left some stuff. Also, have you got your cat yet?