We receive considerable feedback regarding our site. David Koenig's
two recent articles elicited a mountain of mail. David writes: There
was so much response to my two articles last week, that I could only
run a fraction of them. My apologies to all those that ended up on the
cutting room floor.
You can contact David here.
Feedback for Suspended
First, some reactionand a grim updateto Suspended
Animation (about layoffs at Feature Animation, published
An insider from Orlando wrote:
Good article, David. Are you aware of the exact situation at
Disney Florida? Next week will be the last day for over half of
the Clean Up Department (33 artists ranging from leads and top
key assistants to inbetweeners). Four weeks later, five of the
animators will be let go, including veteran Bob Bryan and up-and-coming
stars like John Hurst and Steve Mason. I hear that
Mason already got snapped up by DreamWorks for Over the Hedge
and they're courting Hurst.
Also let go are three rough inbetweeners and up to eight of the
Effects animators. (Efx is still finishing up on Brother Bear,
so they won't get their notices until mid-September, but the character
animators and rough inbetweeners already know their last day.)
People are leaving at different times because of contract dates
overlapping, but by October of this year 50 artists will have
been laid off from the already smallish Florida feature animation
team. (This is the team that made Lilo & Stitch, Mulan, John Henry.)
A newly unemployed animator wrote:
I'm one of the many clean-up artists laid off from FA (Feature
Animation) Florida. Great article! I just wanted you to
have the newest of the wonderful titles for My
Peoples. Get this, it's now called Angel and Her No Good
Sister. Nope, I'm not kidding! Long live Walt's vision! And
It all startedand endedwith a Mouse.
Director Will Finn wrote:
I normally make it a point to ignore rumor mills (electronic
or otherwise), but since you and I once met face to face, I will
not tolerate you talking such hateful trash about Home on the
Range (the 2-D feature I am co-directing with John Sanford)
without some kind of response.
Perhaps there are two David Koenigs: one who writes unauthorized
but objective reports about Disney animation, citing credible,
credited sources, for books like (Mouse Under Glass). I
was pleased to be sought out for and accurately quoted in that
text, as were many other colleagues of Disney Feature Animation.
The other David Koenig, however, writes pieces like
Suspended Animation for the Web. This scandal sheet
not only published idle gossip about Home, but rewarded
his inside sources with the cowardly cover of anonymity.
Who does it help to start a negative buzz on Home on the Range
more than half a year before its release, other than yourself
and the insider pipsqueak who predicted it will be
the biggest bomb since Black Cauldron? Let
objective minds make of it what they will when it comes out, but
it is no service to 2-D animation to attempt sabotage to this
film just because somebody's ego wasn't stroked enough during
production. Every feature from Great Mouse to Finding
Nemo has been tarred with this tired brush by somebody and
the sky hasn't fallen yet. No wonder Disney is so keen on producing
Secondly, you report an audience preview quote that called Home
more boring than church, which your source could only
have heard from either John or myself. We quoted this remark liberally
as one of only two negative notes out of hundreds of favorable
ones given at a preview last October. John and I found the quote
funny enough to repeat, but by isolating it you have thrown it
way out of context. You could just as easily write a one-line
bio of Adolph Hitler that reads: He was a German guy who
loved his pet schnauzer and say you are not being inaccurate,
For the record, the response to Home previews in October,
April and one just two weeks ago were overwhelmingly positive,
literallyunequivocal raves from parents and kids who laughed,
cheered and applauded throughout. One typical one was from a lady
who begged us to keep making 'em just like this one!
At the end of the recent screening kids were bouncing off the
walls with glee, quoting lines and re-enacting scenes from our
film. It was like a dream come true for those of us who have worked
so hard on this film, which admittedly got off to a rocky start
and has had its share of chaos through the years of production.
What film hasn't, animated or otherwise?
Now if the two David Koenigs are really one, then I stand corrected.
However, I am puzzled by why I was sought out for (Mouse Under
Glass), but not to comment on a project I am more intimately
involved in than any other before. Maybe the fear of me canceling
out some sensational gossip from an insider with an axe to grind
was just too great. So much for objectivity.
Linda Miller wrote:
I'm a former Disney, former Bluth animator, and it sounds like
Disney's divesting itself of their institutional memory. I was
there in the Seventies when it was tacitly agreed among the veteran
animators that they would allow the art form to die with them,
and it was only by the concerted efforts of several groups of
young and dedicated artists, both inside and outside the studio,
that the art form was preserved. Then, as now, the studio blamed
the artists for the failure of their films.
In my experience (and I've been on a lot of bad movies), animation
is never the problemmost of us can tell from a long way
off that we've been handed a stinker, and by then, of course,
it's too late. Disney's treatment of its artist is an admission
of management's failure to give them stories worth making. I'm
hoping that the people in my field will stop looking to Disney
and make their own movies.
Kalvin Taylor Jr., another unemployed Art Institute
Reading your recent article really sort of confirmed a lot of
what I was suspecting as of late. It does indeed seem that traditional
animation has caught the Computer Animated virus. I just hope
that while it's taking a long cryogenic nap that a cure will be
found soon. Heh, actually I don't mean to sound that harsh, but
to see things going the way they are in the House of Mouse
it's rather disheartening.
I have been a longtime fan of all things 2-D as a child and it
was primarily Disney's efforts that inspired me to work towards
becoming a 2-D animator. Unfortunately, I feel that I have arrived
at the game much too late. I grew very discouraged and pretty
much gave up when the trends in animation tend to lean more towards
a person's skill at 3-D Studio Max or Maya than with a pencil.
There is no doubt that the computer really is just another tool
at an animator's disposal, but it's becoming harder and harder
to believe it's just a tool when more animation jobs
flat out require you have extensive knowledge in 3-D than anything
My God. I just read your latest article about what is going on
at Feature Animation. What are these guys thinking?
As an artist with computer training, you're right about the medium
not being important. It is the story, music, and characters that
make a film come to lifeit all comes down to
the human element. The computer is a tool, nothing
else. The suits at Disney feel that technology will fix their
ills. They are badly mistaken. A classic example is Miyazaki-san's
Spirited Away. While Studio Ghibli created this wonderful
film by computer, that human element was there.* It
did not have the fancy computer-generated images like Treasure
Planet, but it won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film.
Why? A good story, and likable characters.
While at an anime convention, I talked to a Japanese animator
about 3-D and 2-D animation. He stated, An animator who
does that first sketch to final drawing of a character has put
his life, his soul into that character. Sounds familiar.
Famous animators such as Chuck Jones said something to that affect.
And didn't Walt Disney say that too?
In Japan, we believe in both mediums. It's not that one
is better than another. They can coexist, nurture each other.
Pixar and Dreamworks seem to be more open-minded than Disney.
No doubt, they would welcome the displaced Disney animators with
[*As far as we are aware, Spirited
Away was made meticulously by hand, with just a few small
segments augmented by CG.]
Pioneering Imagineer Bob Gurr wrote:
Disney animation coming to an end? This story just leaves me
with a feeling of a death in the family. Are you sure all this
is really true? Certainly, time, science, and business realities
march on, but the thought of this loss of a timeless treasure
of skills just hurts.
Moreover, like the lost skills of great thinkers and craftsmen
of 500 B.C., once it's gone, the planet will never see it again.
Aaron Skoff wrote:
I'm the career advisor for our Animation department at the Art
Institute of Colorado, with too many kids wanting to get jobs
in 2-D animation.
I read your recent article about Disney. In your opinion, how
dead is the 2-D industry?
At Disney, 2-D feature animation appears to be preparing for an
extended hibernation. Hopefully there will be a reawakening one
There are other opportunities, such as commercial and television
work, although an increasing amount of this work is being shipped
overseas. And 2-D is a good foundation for learning and excelling
No, the entire 2-D industry is not dead, but it is losing its greatest
Another reader wrote:
I heard the devastating news about Disney killing off the remainder
of the 2-D animation services.
This is a low blow for all Disney fans. Disney has been in another
economic slump for a while, and I was a little relieved when I
heard that Mr. Eisner was going to unleash some aggressive come-back
plans (including some for reviving Mickey Mouse's popularity).
But I have to say, this decision to go all digital is one of the
worst moves the studio has ever done. There's still no clear proof
that 2-D is going to be extinct; for all we know, this 3-D movement
is probably just another trend.
More importantly, they've abandoned an integral part of their
heritage; traditional animation is what began the Disney legacy
80 years ago (Alice in Cartoonland, Steamboat Willie, etc.), and
is what helped the studio come so far.
Few questions: Since Roy Disney Jr. is in charge of the animation
department, what did he have to say about this? In fact, what
are his current reactions to the crises at Disney?
Also, what exactly does this suspension mean for the future of
Disney animation (as well as the conglomerate itself)?
I was informed that Roy is not too happy, but there's very
little he can actually do. He's not good at rallying the stockholders
up as Eisner is.
Disney sees the suspension as a stroke of cost-cutting genius.
I see it as corporate suicide. How can you cut out your heart and
expect to live?
Doug Higley wrote:
Just imagine, if Pixar truly had it together they would hire
the fired batch of animators and begin their first 2-D project.
This would put a well-needed thorn in Eisner's eyeball and establish
a new dynasty. The best balls are dropped balls. Keep imagining
a major 2-D project with DreamWorks distributing.
By the way: All those Princess stories are public domain. Cinderella
and Snow White could team up with Beauty to rescue Pinocchio from
a Wicked Queen. Not only legal but insidious.
Sounds very marketable. I'm thinking The Rescuers meets
Tom Lubin wrote:
I just got to reading your recent article on Disney moving out
of traditional. We are developing a community in Western Australia
that develops animation, games, and traditional and digital puppetry.
We have been amazed by how many schools talk about animation,
but teach little in traditional skills as a foundation. We believe
that you can't move to computers until you sketch storyboards,
have a traditional background in animation, and above all else
know how to shape an animated story.
Animated stories that are fun and compelling grow through the
animation process, and since most script writing has its reference
in live production, most script writing teams don't have a clue.
The animators workshop all script here. 3-D without first developing
models that give you some idea of space and what real light does
to it is just sh-t flying around the screen.
Eisner saved the company once, now someone needs to be found
to save the company from Eisner. Great animated films come from
animators that are storytellers, not click and drag guys.
Another former employee wrote:
I read with interest your recent article Suspended Animation.
Sad, but all true. I left Walt Disney Animation Florida after
completing Lilo & Stitch
and my mind is still reeling
What about Lilo & Stitch???
We made that movie for a fraction of the cost of all their recent
feature productions and it was a huge success financially
and now, 2-D animation is dead? Lilo was appealing and the film
had an engaging storyline
aha! The key, as you pointed
out. How the likes of Tom Schumacher and family didn't notice
the bang they got for their buck on Lilo & Stitch, is beyond
To be honest with you, I think the suits who are running Disney
animation just get a (sensual reaction) from computers, and they
feel, uncomfortable around artists. We are indeed,
a liability to them. After all, we think, we feel, and we speak
up when something dead is smelling up the hallways.
In any case, as long as I live and breathe, there will be fantastic
animation projects brewing somewhere. 2-D, 3-D? That's a moot
point. The corporate morons at Disney have no idea what they are
dealing with. Titanic indeed! Hopefully as the lifeboats pluck
them from the icy water they will feel some humility, and listen
to their conscienceoh, that's right, they don't have oneI
mean, listen to the conscience of the artists that created the
art form that they have been bleeding to death for the past two
decades. Like parasitic ticks clinging to the underbelly of the
fine art of animation, these corporate scum. Don't take
it personally, they say. It's just business!
Thanks, David, for presenting a conscious view of what is happening
at the Disney cartoon factory these days.
I have been a long-time fan of your work, and dedication to informing
the public of the modern Disney's doings. Normally I read your
articles and still manage to hold a bit of optimism, and a sunnier
view of the outcome; however, upon reading your article about
the current condition of feature animation, all my optimism jumped
ship like the smart ones on the Titanic.
As much as I appreciate your work and read every article to the
letter, at times I feel almost as if ignorance is bliss. I long
for the days when Disney was something more to the people who
claim to be its biggest supporters, than an icon that pays for
their poolboy. The ones in charge of the company should have profit
as an afterthought, and pride and creativity at the forefront
of everything they do. I believe that success would be earned
through dedication to such excellence. I know I'm preaching to
the choir with this, and I appreciate your understanding. I just
couldn't let this one just slip by without saying something.
Every aspect of the Disney giant is held in high regards in my
eyes. Disneyland has a special place in my heart, and so too do
the films in which I, and most every other American child, grew
up on. The extreme loss to the feature animation department of
2-D animation is especially hard hitting. It's as if Fantasyland
at Disneyland was suddenly closed off until further notice. Granted,
as a 20-year-old male, Fantasyland isn't a place I generally admit
to enjoying, but deep down everyone gets a little grin on their
face when they soar around with Dumbo the elephant, or go on a
wild ride with Mr. Toad.
I feel as if I lost a long-time family pet, betrayed and hurt.
I realize 2-D animation might have grown out of favor with the
mass public, and CG animation is all the rage, but I too agree
that it all depends on the story and the development of the characters
portrayed. As animation is such a limitless medium, it was appropriate
that fantasy and princess stories were the ones to begin with.
The classic stories were fail-safe. It is truly a tragedy that
instead of trying to fix the problem and invest a little time
and, heaven forbid, money into developing a worthwhile story,
that the entire department had to be shut down.
Thank you once again for your own storytelling, and I appreciate
your work, however disappointed I may become in the people who
control the childhoods of America.
You share my feelings exactly.
Keep the faithit may be two outs in the ninth, but the game's
not over yet.
In your latest article on feature animation it was interesting
to hear you say how bad Home on the Range is going to be. I have
a couple of friends who worked on the animation for that movie.
It appears that this movie will in fact be the worst movie that
Disney has ever produced.
These animators are embarrassed to even be connected to this
project. Eisner had his hand in ruining this effort. His philosophy
is that kids like computer games and that they like computer images
instead of hand-drawn animation. He held focus groups
to find out what kids want to see in a movie and then put it all
into the movie. As an example, he went to a movie and saw that
kids laughed when they saw men in drag
so at the end of
Home on the Range, there are bulls dressed in dresses.
This just backs up your point that what is really missing in
Disney animation is the story. This movie is so misguided that
I wouldn't be surprised if they rethemed DCA [Disney's California
Adventure park] around it.
One question: How can Eisner declare 2-D Dead with
the success of something like Lilo & Stitch?
3-D does well for Pixar because of quality in all areasan
attention to detail bar none. Pixar reminds me of upstart Microsoft
years ago vs. Disney cast as IBM from the same period.
Where is the Pixie dust? I think Eisner has Tinker Bell locked
away in his office so no one else can see her. More and more,
Mr. Eisner reminds me of Captain Hook.
When do you think Wall Street will wake up to the dismal situation
and clean house?
Unfortunately, Disney is a company that sells something called
magic; it comes in the form of movies, theme parks,
collectible pins, what have you, but what it does is build a link
between parents and children and a lifelong bond between company
and consumer. That's all forgotten by the time Disney translates
it into statistics and dollar figures for the benefit of Wall Street.
Merlin Jones wrote:
Thanks for detailing some of the under-reported horror of Disney
Feature Animation's long, slow demise.
What has happened down on Buena Vista Street is a crime against
one of our national treasures. That it was done (over the last
10 years) with such arrogance and ignorance makes it hurt all
More please. These people (Eisner, Schumacher, Stainton, Morrill,
Schneider, et al.) should be properly, publicly humiliated as
often as possible.
If people only knew the full story here
Brian Mitchell wrote:
In what has to be the most ludicrous and bone-headed move by
the Disney Company, it has thrown out the very essence of what
makes Disney magical. Disney cartoons are the look and backbone
of the company.
It seems to me that Disney was a little bit anxious to dump its
cartoon division. Originally it was said that the films were costing
too much money, and yes, they were. For any animated movie to
cost over $100 million to produce is an absolute crime. It's grossly
excessive. Was this the animators' fault? No. If the animators,
writers and directors were left to their own devices, they could
complete these films on time and on a much lower budget. Don Bluth's
features in the late '80s and early '90s were costing between
$12 and $18 million dollars with full production values
minus good stories. Has inflation increased so tremendously in
10 years that full animation has increased over five times?
Executives don't make movies. Film-makers make movies. Executive
meddling causes the budgets to rise. Blame it on the moneymen.
Because these folks couldn't get their act together or rather,
stay out of the creative process, they caused an entire division
It wasn't computer animation that shuttered Disney animation.
The shutdown of Disney animation was in the works for at least
three years. The success of Finding Nemo finally gave them a good
reason for shutting its doors for good.
The audience for cartoon animation features (and I used the word
cartoon and not 2-D or traditional animation) is still
alive and strong. As in any popular film, the concept has to be
intriguing and the content has to look like fun. It seemed like
the publicity teams behind these pictures like Atlantis and Treasure
Planet tried to make these films look as bland and lifeless as
possible (aside from making them look computer-generated in advertising).
These films also targeted the wrong audiences in that they went
after teenage males, typically not the audience that pays $8 to
see animated movies! DreamWorks' Sinbad looked like an
absolute bore with its advertising. What teenage boy is going
to be hopped up to see an animated picture starring the voice
of Brad Pitt?
Surely Pixar didn't need to do this with Finding Nemo
because it knew its core audience, the family. Aside from that,
the look and concept promised a lot of fun. As one fellow animator
put it, Pixar's producing the cartoons that Disney used
If Disney were truly using its resources, they'd start to make
cartoons again, real cartoons, and not try to imitate live action
or computer animation (and I hesitate to use the word 3-D animation,
because it's not 3-D, it's 2-D computer animation that has a dimensional
You don't have to woo the audience back to cartoon films. The
audience is there and waiting. They're just waiting for something
fun and entertaining to spend their $10 bucks on.
Feedback for Land
And, some of the reaction to Land
Locked (about some changes in where Disneyland cast
members can work, published August 12):
A newly assigned Tomorrowland cast member wrote:
Land Locking really does suck. A lot of people I have worked
with in Tomorrowland are moving over to Fantasyland and the east
side. I'm losing a lot of good friends. I'm also losing the chance
to get trained on some good rides.
The only good thing coming out of this is there will be fewer
new hires. Big huge gaps will eventually have to be filled for
attractions like Autopia or the Fantasyland routes. Big huge gaps
that will have to be filled with the A's and B's, so they can
pull their mandated hours. For a while, new hires will likely
not be hired because of the lack of hours in some areas. Maybe
that's the only good thing, that you are not watering down
the talent pool.
Morale took a shot with this announcement, a lot of people are
going to lose rides they loved to work.
Great article, as usual. I wondered if this would also help with
the lost costuming pieces that have been such a problem
since serve-yourself started. If cast members only
work one land, they wouldn't need the various pieces for multiple
costuming to lose. I know you said only about 8 percent really
cross into separate lands, so the impact may only be small.
And I think about one popular character, Manyard, who can be
seen at the Rocket Jets, Jungle Cruise, and Haunted Mansion, etc.
I wonder how this will affect him? I hope he stays with the Haunted
Mansion, my favorite of his characters.
Great point. I don't think reducing costume loss was an intended
goal, but it should definitely help in this area.
The animated ride operator Maynard is the perfect example of a
mid-1990s hire who used the Empowerment Evolution to
learn attractions all over the parkand who will be most seriously
affected by Land Locking. A co-worker speculated that Maynard might
select New Orleans Square/Critter Country as his homeroom, so he
could continue on Mansionbut spelling an end to his appearances
in areas such as Jungle Cruise, Tomorrowland, and Toon Town.
It will be interesting to see how the performance-oriented fellow
will fare during the several months each year that Mansion is in
rehab, and he will be forced to work capacity-intensive attractions
such as Splash, Pirates and Pooh.
Mark Zimmer wrote:
Your report on Land Locked was something I didn't
even know occurred! Over nine years I worked as a ride operator
in the 1970s and was moved very seldom from land to land. Yet
after five years of Adventure/New Orleans/Frontierland I did get
to enjoy Tommorrowland/Fantasyland for several years.
While change is good, staying in one area does grow on you. You
become one with the land you stay in. There is a certain stability
and satisfaction with Walt's original idea. As long as the ride
operators are trained on a variety of attractions within their
land and rotated frequently, they will realize that Walt had the
Now if Disneyland would only close on Monday and Tuesday, then
the hosts and hostesses would really enjoy the greatest perkenjoying
off times together, forming life-long friendships with fellow
I am a manager for a major retailer in America, and look forward
to reading your articles about Disney. You provide insight into
how another business giant runs its shop, and I take some of these
ideas into my own store sometimes. I applaud you for always giving
hourly cast members the benefit of the doubt.
The toughest thing to manage is change. Initial reaction among
all co-workers, even managers, is that the coming change will
be bad. No matter the eventual outcome, initial reaction is negative.
Now let me tell you, as a consumer, I would feel safer knowing
that my ride operator is an expert on the one or two
rides that he is working, rather than someone who is trying to
learn every ride in the park just so he isn't bored.
On the matter of musical managers, one cast member
states they want a manager to know as little about me as
possible. My reaction as a manager is, what does this person
have to hide? And as for losing family, it's a workplace,
people! The primary reason it exists is to make money. Friendships
and family are extra and not the reason for the workplace existing.
Why can't these cast members be happy growing friendships with
folks in their assigned work areas? Because they will always see
their employer, especially one as big as Disney, as their persecutor.
It all comes down to attitude, and the most successful, happy
employees are the ones that learn to play the game. Those that
try to turn their workplace into a surrogate family/community
are ultimately disappointed, because an employer is not obligated
to provide this for them. Dare I say, it's impossible for a business
giant such as Disney to achieve it 100 percent. Let me clarify:
any employer can indeed provide this feeling, but it's usually
evident and achieved backstage (or in my case, off the selling
floor). Friendships are nurtured in the breakroom, after hours
hanging out with your co-workers... on-stage, on the selling floor,
is a workplace, not a social place. The concept of SBT's should
be applied to extra-curriculars and employee award structures,
not for managing the business.
You end your article with the following statement: Hopefully,
management can implement the changes in a way that provides cast
members with suitable freedom and variety. I ask you, why
should management have to shoulder this obligation? The ultimate
freedom would be to not work for Disney. I would venture a guess
that those that complain about lost freedom in the
workplace are never happy in any job they hold. And why is variety
necessary? The ultimate goal in a customer service business is
making money, indeed through excellent customer service. Excellent
customer service comes from attitude, not job variety. What do
these cast members think they are getting when they apply for
an hourly position with a customer service giant?
What you mean to say is hopefully management can implement these
changes in such a way as to provide the perception that these
changes are for the good. Perception and attitude, these two concepts
are what actually lead to a successful, happy work environment
I agree that those who will have the hardest time changing are
the short-timers that only know the current way of ride operation
management. Having been with my company for almost a decade, I
see strategies and paradigms shift constantly. Hang around one
job long enough and you'll eventually see a change that matches
the environment you were hired into.
Every time I look to my workplace to provide me with emotional
fulfillment I am ultimately disappointed, because it's a business.
My family is at home, not at work. My freedoms are exercised in
my personal life, not my professional life.
You make some great points.
While your conclusion is a productive, practical goal (perception
and attitude), I maintain that some freedom and variety are helpful
in keeping ride operators from devolving into mindless robots or
bitter victims, thereby improving their perception of the change
and their attitude at work.
And I do disagree that one can't derive and hope for emotional
fulfillment from one's workplace. Over the years I've interviewed
well over 500 Disney theme park cast members, animators, songwriters,
storymen, etc., and know that 99% long for at least some emotional
fulfillment from their jobs. But I will agree that the more one
expects it, the more disappointed they will be.
David, a minor bit of information for purposes of comparison:
at one time (and perhaps still) Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
was operationally divided in two, Kingdom East and
Kingdom West. This afforded more opportunities for
the cast to work a greater range of attractions, while not being
as absurdly disjointed as the SBT plan. If it worked for WDW's
larger Magic Kingdom, why couldn't it work for Disneyland? This
would at least somewhat soften the blow for those who are affected
by the elimination of SBT's. I think it behooves Disney to find
some middle groundor at least some way to placate those
who are affected. Eight percent of the workforce doesn't sound
like a lot, until you consider how many people it takes to run
such a park.
Constantly alienating one's employees and driving a high turnover
rate is simply bad business. It's a drain on the collective pool
of talent, and it costs money in terms recruiting and training
You're right, 8 percent is a significant number of people, especially
when you consider that these are almost all veteran, tenured
CMs. I didn't mean to belittle their plight, but to be honest this
change (unlike a lot of the other goofy decisions) does seem to
A tenured cast member wrote:
I want to thank you for taking an interest in our little situation
at The Happiest Place on Earth. I have no doubt it makes good
business sense. It's just the losers are the little people who
make the magic everyday, and the suits out in TDA (Team Disney
Anaheim) have no idea how this will affect the hourly cast members
in the park.
Cast Members who were put into business units they didn't want
to be in are being allowed to petition for exceptions to go to
the units they want to be in. We aren't losing our job knowledge
right away; however, we will eventually. So I guess it will all
work out in the end; however' like you stated, most of the good
business sense will end up driving some good cast members away.
A ride operator wrote:
I think this land locked deal will, in fact, be beneficial in
the long run. I, myself, am losing some knowledge that I'd rather
not have anymore and will be spending time in the area I love
to work. I know many other cast members who feel the same.
I think the major objection that I have is more with the way
these kind of moves are handled by our friends in management.
Oftentimes, with changes such as these, the front line cast member
feels that things are being done TO us, rather than with us or
for us. Anytime someone raises this point, it is actually possible
to see an assistant manager's eyes glaze over as they push the
play button on the this is what the cast wanted speech:
Through our continued surveying of cast members, we have
determined that one of the primary concerns has been that they
would like to have a stronger sense of who their leaders are...
Not that I doubt that those sort of concerns exist. It just seems
to me that they have hammered the information that they had into
the shape necessary to implement whatever plan they already had.
Sure, the cast has trouble identifying its leadership. With constant
rotation of both assistant and area managers, and an unwillingness
on the part of the managers that we have to spend time in their
areas with the cast, rather than their offices, who wouldn't?
None of these problems will be solved by trendy manager-speak
or keeping a cast member from working the one attraction they
know in Critter Country. What we need is a management team that
puts as much emphasis on positive reinforcement as it does on
negative reinforcement and doesn't act like it's the greatest
inconvenience in the world to spend time with and listen to their
subservients without always being ready with the stock responses.
A little honesty and integrity would go a long way.
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