Disney and Customer Service

plutoDisney World was an amazing trip from start to finish. I hadn’t been since I was five, so the experience was almost as if I’d never been there before at all. I took far too many pictures and posted them here.

FYI, mid-September is a great time to go if you can handle the Florida humidity. There were no crowds at all, and most rides had less than a five minute wait. We never waited more than twenty minutes. Another helpful hint: The $40/day per person meal plan is a steal. It includes a counter service lunch, sit down dinner, and snack every day. We routinely spent far more than that on dinner alone, although admittedly that’s partially because we ate at expensive places knowing it was all paid for. Just make reservations well in advance and you’ll be set.

Part of what made the experience so great is Disney’s unequaled customer service. Our baggage was magically whisked to and from the airport without ever having to be involved personally, for example. But the best part: everybody knows everything. Cast members (don’t call them ’employees’) we talked to at the hotel knew all about the parks, and vice versa. They all knew what rides were closed, and were very helpful and polite when I lost my cell phone. (It never did turn up, but hooray for insurance!) I don’t think we were even told “I don’t know that, but here’s who does.”

Of course, Disney has a tad more resources for staff training and equipment than most libraries do. But wouldn’t it be nice to avoid directing yet another user across the library to the circ desk or some other service location, often to wait in yet another line? It isn’t practical for every employee to be cross-trained in so many diverse areas. But what about merging reference, circulation, and any other service point into one location? The concept wouldn’t work very well for large libraries with multiple reference locations around the building, but it has more merit in smaller branches. My local public library has just such a concept.

Maybe this isn’t even a new idea, and most smaller locations work this way already. I don’t have a lot of firsthand experience with them – any insight?

Still Alive

A couple of people have asked me where I disappeared to since I last posted, and this summer in general. Nowhere exciting this month I’m afraid – I’ve just been extremely busy. My job turned one year old a few days ago, and I’m in the midst of experiencing my first start of the fall semester there. I wasn’t quite ready for the rush of professors wanting to bring their classes in. But I’m not complaining, it is definitely good to be useful. Oh, and I’m also officially Faculty now! The title change doesn’t affect what I do from day to day, but the recognition is very nice.

I also did a lot of traveling this summer. I visited:

-New Orleans
-An unintended night in Atlanta
-Passed through Nashville

I feel like I’m leaving something off that list, hmm…

In what free time I’ve had, I’ve gotten a decent amount of reading done. I finally got to finishing the Chronicles of Narnia, I’m well into the Dresden Files series, and fit in a couple of random novels in between.

In gaming, I really didn’t get to it that much this summer. But I did play through Ultimate Spider-Man for the Xbox. It’s a very short game (I finished it in a total of about 6 hours), but also very well executed. The voice acting and plot are of a surprising caliber compared to most games, let alone comic book based ones. I paid $5 for it, which was more than fair. Oh, and of course my DS got a workout while traveling.

My Netflix subscription also atrophied a bit – just didn’t have time to watch much. But I’ve lately been catching up on HBO’s Entourage, and loving every episode. After I’m done with that, I plan on re-watching all the Star Trek movies. Today’s news that the original Kirk series will be re-released with updated special effects inspired me. It’s been years since I saw most of them. But my in-theater movie highlight of the summer? Snakes on a Plane. Great cheesy fun.

On the gadget front, I upgraded my phone to a Razr. The V3m specifically, and I absolutely love it. The 1.3 megapixel camera in it performs surprisingly well outside, although it has problems indoors.

One random highlight of the summer: A behind the scenes tour of the US Space & Rocket Center’s archives, as part of our work with them to digitize their collection. I’m more than a bit of a space geek at heart, so it was an especially amazing collection to me.

So yes, life is good. I’m mostly looking forward to this oppressive southern summer’s end. Maybe I’m a wimp, but I don’t know how anybody lived here before air conditioning arrived.

Next week my fall/winter travel set begins: Disney World (!), Buffalo for a wedding, Nashville for LITA Forum, various holiday travels, and who knows what else.

On a final technical note, I see that my category links aren’t working correctly. They miss all posts made since I switched from categories to tags. Whoops! I’ll try to get that fixed soon.