|My attraction, Monsters Inc. Mike & Sulley to the rescue! (Source)
As I mentioned in a previous post, I was assigned to work at Monsters Inc., Mike and Sulley to the Rescue in California Adventure. Before I started actually training at my attraction, I was assigned to work during the Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun parade...even though I hadn't officially been trained for guest control shifts yet. Everyone was nice and helped when I had questions. I also met and really got along with a girl from Soarin' Over California named Shannon, who quickly became my parade buddy whenever we had a shift together. (I just found out yesterday that she got accepted to cross-train at Tower of Terror, I'm so jealous!) I have more to say about guest control shifts, but I'll write a separate post to explain everything in better detail.
My first training shift was a closing shift that lasted until late at night. What's different about training here and my experience at the Polynesian is that we actually had one trainer throughout the entire training process. At the Poly, I had a different trainer each day when learning something new. Also, I trained with another person at the same time at Monsters. I actually really appreciated this structured set up, because having one trainer means they understand where you are, what you've covered already, and can give you more accurate advice near the end of your training process to see what you still need to work on. Training with another person is also nice. If one of you has a question, usually the other can help out. It's helpful going through that experience with another person, especially since I learn by watching others demonstrate the process over and over again.
|My sexy Monsters costume (missing the hat)
saying that because she was mine. She was extremely thorough and explained everything we needed to know, and always elaborated in case we were confused or had any questions. She first took us to get our new costumes. They're...uh...not nearly as festive as the one I used to wear for the Poly that's for sure. Sara had the most accurate comparison for me, "You look like a janitor." That basically sums it up.
After we changed into our costumes we walked over to Monsters. The first day of training is mainly filled with briefly explaining each position, describing the ride and its details (which of course includes riding the ride at least once), and reading LOTS of the Operation Guide, which honestly made me almost fall asleep. I learned that there are seven main positions within Monsters: Booth, Greeter, Unload, Load, Dispatch/Main Console, Grouper, and Grouper Assist.
Booth: Honestly, I can't say much about booth. Let's just say it's a fun and interesting way to interact with guests ;)
Greeter: When someone is at greeter, he or she is standing in front of the ride entrance, mainly in charge of answering any guest questions (yes, this is a ride, not a show), maintaining stroller parking, and making sure the wait time is accurate.
Unload: This position is pretty straightforward. We're in charge of making sure the guests unload out of their cab quickly and safely before sending it back to load more guests. If the attraction breaks down due to a monster getting loose (which tends to happen quite a bit at mine..), unload is one of the positions in charge of walking the track and helping guests evacuate safely out of the attraction.
Load: This is my favorite position, because we're constantly moving. After a semester in quick service food and beverage, you get used to the constant busy nature of the restaurant and the fast pace work environment. I really thrive in busy work environments like that, so load is right up my ally. Load starts at a small console, spiels to the guests to take all backpacks off and load little monsters into the cab first, closes the gates, checks all lap bars, then pushes the first button to approve sending off the cab before dispatch double checks from the main console to make sure everyone is seated and ready to go. If the monsters become loose in the attraction, load is in charge of evacuating the other half of the building similar to unload.
Dispatch/Main Console: This is one of the most important positions. Dispatch is in charge of watching to make sure the cabs are not backed up, eying the cameras to ensure guests are safe on the attraction, and double checking to make sure load has the guests in their cab safely. If the monsters escape, dispatch is in charge of powering down, spieling to guests, as well as powering up the attraction after the monsters are back safe in their houses again.
Grouper: Grouper assists guests into designated lanes for each cab. They're the one who asks guests, "How many in your party? Okay please go to rows one and two."
Grouper Assist: Grouper assist helps the grouper fill lanes in case row three remains empty, as well as assists guests with disabilities when they need to be loaded into a separate cab.
The first day of training we mainly practiced Unload and the Booth, and the other two days we went over all of the procedures for powering up in the morning and also powering down for closing. The very last day of training we were scheduled to have our PA (Personal Assessment), but the monsters were let loose for at least two hours, making it difficult for us to practice our spots. We did, however, practice a lot of powering up and down, which was helpful. At the very end of our shift, one of our leads took us through the positions and watched us perform each role independently, asked a few questions, and said we passed! Just like that, I earned my ears!
I honestly love working at Monsters. The people there are great and it's so much fun interacting with the children. It's nice having an attraction with no height limit, so we get to see babies and small kids all day that we wouldn't really see at larger, more intense attractions.
Even though I was trained at Monsters, new hires usually see more guest control shifts during their first few months during their probation, which I will explain more about in a later post.
Until then, have a magical day!