Kept throughout employment thrice
And still never read
Foot In The Door
When I first accepted a position at The Walt Disney Company, my parents gave me a book about the creative works of the company. I did not expect when I spent my first college summer between my freshman and sophomore years working in the employment of the entertainment giant that I would eventually spend seventeen years in total in its employment, in one form or another. Given to me the day before my plane departed – my first trip to Florida – I planned to read the book in flight, but the excitement for the summer ahead overcame my patience to sit and read about the art of Disney.
That first summer felt like adulthood. I bought my own groceries and cooked my own meals. I managed my transportation, even if I did not have an automobile. I received a weekly paycheck for full-time work. I dated a bunch. I attended weekly classes that were more enjoyable than college classes. I earned the best benefit during the summer: independence. I enjoyed the ability to be young, to have fun, and to see what life would be like when I finished college. I did not know it at the time, but I would only spend one more semester at my college. When the summer came to an end, I returned to college, interviewed with Disney again, and five months later was on my way back to Florida.
I left for the second time when my then-husband wanted to pursue a better financial opportunity. And so we did, but when that road proved to be a dead end, I again wandered back to the house of the mouse. During this third duration, I served in six different departments, doubled my income, and raised two kids, but I wasn’t the only one to grow and expand. From that first summer, just two theme parks and four hotels in Florida, the company united its sites, dabbled in a couple sports team ownerships, built water parks and shopping districts, made movies and expanded its television ownership, bought other companies, and outgrew me.
When I left for the last time, I doubted if I would want to go back, except maybe for the familiarity. I considered it not a ridiculous possibility since I birthed two Florida natives who still call the Sunshine State home. I still reference those days on my resume. I even retain a collection of merchandise acquired during my tenure and a myriad of photographs of myself from my various positions. I often wondered what to keep and what to relinquish from the branded goods I owned. Thirty-five years from the first day in Florida, I still own a few objects from before my hire date – a Christmas ornament, a winter scarf, and a book. When I last looked at the book before giving it away, the one thing that I found of interest was the plane ticket from my Florida travel tucked inside the cover. As for the history enclosed, I never read it. I just made my own.