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A couple of years ago, I applied for a job as a retail associate with one of the Disney Stores, located in the mall a few miles from my home. The manager was a total screw up; I detected this as soon as I met her during the interview. I only worked there for about a year, because the drama was just too much to endure.
At the time, I was a recent college graduate and thought that this job, which turned out to be part time, would provide me with some extra spending money; the discounts and extra perks were a nice surprise.
I just assumed that because this was a Disney company, that the managers would be better trained and educated than some of the managers who worked at the other retail shops – WRONG! I found out that the Disney Stores only hired simple minded idiots, so that the company’s administration could control them. If it wasn’t so pathetic, it would be laughable.
The store I worked at is, thankfully, gone. I don’t know whatever happened to the manger. I would hope that she eventually got caught for her stealing and was charged and arrested and imprisoned; but I don’t think Disney ever did this to any employee-thieves as they wanted to avoid all negative press, at any cost.
The manager, Maggie, was African-American and she always commented that she could get away with murder and would never be fired, because she could always sue the company, falsely accusing them of racism. Who in their right mind would think this? Who would continue to verbalize this idea? Maggie – that’s who!
Every time Maggie made a mistake or got caught stealing (more than a few times she was discovered walking out with Disney watches), she returned to work the next day, laughing that if Disney ever did prosecute her, she would sue them for racial discrimination. We all just looked at her, speechless, not knowing what to say.
The company paid for Maggie to take trips to The Magic Kingdom a few times a year for training. At the company headquarters in Kissimmee, Disney has a tent sale. People who don’t work for the company probably don’t know this, but any merchandise that is purchased and for whatever reason gets returned, or anything that is left in “lost and found,” or merchandise that is damaged in one of their stores, does not get thrown away.
All of these items eventually make their way to the tent sale. This tent sale is only open to employees. These broken, discontinued, or lost items are for sale at 75% off of the retail price. The employees love to go shopping there.
Maggie would shop at this tent sale, and buy a lot of things which, except for a chip or ding, were new. She got into the habit of going to some of the shops in the Magic Kingdom, and accidentally tapping them with her elbow, to cause them to fall, thus causing a minor chip or scratch. She knew that by the end of the day, the item which she just intentionally damaged would make its way to the employee-only-tent-sale, where she would purchase the item at 75% off of the retail price. Clever? You bet it is.
Maggie would load up her car with these items, keeping in mind that they were once brand new Disney merchandise, still with the store’s barcode stickers.
The next day, Maggie would take a few of these items to a different Disney Shop (there are so many within Disney Property: Downtown Disney, The Shops at Epcot, The Animal Kingdom, MGM…. too many to mention). She made sure to remove all of her Disney I.D. when visiting one of these other Disney Shops where no one knew her.
She would tell the manager of the store that she purchased this item a day or two earlier, and the cast member who wrapped her items did such a poor job, that the item broke before she even made it home. The manager always asked if she wanted a replacement. Maggie always opted for a complete cash refund. Of course, at that time, Disney did not require a receipt for any returns.
When she came back to work, after her trip to Florida, she was too stupid to keep her mouth shut about what she had done. She even told the other employees about how to rip off the Mouse in Florida by doing this. I could not believe it.
Well, the store where I worked got an intern from Team Disney to come and work for us, in exchange for college credits; this was part of one of those Disney Management Trainee Program. The intern heard Maggie’s lecture one day, about her process to make a couple of easy hundred dollars by doing this. The intern called the 800-number to report Maggie to The Disney Store Cops.
An investigator came from Disney’s Burbank offices, interviewed Maggie and the intern, as well as all of the other employees in the store. All of us confirmed that Maggie told all of us how to make this extra cash, by buying damaged items at the Tent Sale, and returning them for a full cash refund at one of the Disney Shops.
Those hypocrites from Disney actually fired the intern for making the phone call to them. No one could believe it. Why did they even have the 800-number posted in the employee area (a poster encouraging anyone to call and rat out a coworker who was suspected of theft), if they weren’t going to punish the offender.
When that Burbank team fired the intern, and didn’t punish Maggie (who was a thief), many of the employees, including myself, quit that job.
That Disney Mouse is nothing but a big fat rat.