Working While At WDW Parks

Thursday, March 20, 2014 10:28 AM

LostKause said:

I'm not knocking it, but I would like to know why someone would waste time at a Disney park working on their laptop? Unless someone has an annual pass or something, and are bored of all the things there is to do there, I don't understand it.

For me, it was simple. Alone in Orlando for business and had an afternoon free, but had to get a project done for work. I could have either stayed in my dark hotel room on a beautiful 80F afternoon, or done something cool and got some work done in a park, especially since I had an annual pass. It actually was a great time.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 10:45 AM

Jeff said:
Type-A overachievers are the worst at it. It's an American cultural problem.

It's funny, I'm not even remotely a type-A overachiever--in fact I'm the type of person who prefers to completely shut out anything to do with my career when I'm on vacation--and I wouldn't use the term "problem" when talking about that aspect of American culture. Reminds me of the recent Cadillac commercial that a bunch of people got all butthurt about.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 10:52 AM

I agree with Jeff. Yes, there are people who truly do need to take on work no matter where they are or what time of day it is. And yes, there are people who enjoy working in that way, and there are those who find the rewards of their job justify the demands on their time.

But the majority of such people, to me, are not.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 11:09 AM

It's the whole issue of what constitutes an "emergency".

Generally, everybody knows that so-and-so is going on vacation, so-and-so has been issuing reminders for weeks and taking Herculean steps to make sure that everything that is supposed to happen will happen during that vacation, even controlling the scheduling of that vacation to accommodate the things going on.

Then somebody forgets to plan something (in spite of repeated warnings) and so-and-so's phone starts ringing because there is something going on in his absence that he absolutely has to be there for.

Unfortunately, when it happened to me, I was on an airplane and the event was something I could do nothing with remotely. Ironically, I was one of very few people in the organization who could actually be reached when on vacation, and who actually checked email and did stuff (at night before going to bed, not while playing in parks) when on vacation.

But most of the time is it really an emergency? Does it really have to be done now?

How often is it that the report that the boss demanded today that you get it to him *yesterday* is still sitting on his desk unread two weeks later?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 12:20 PM

It's totally a "problem." What exactly is gained by this behavior, and what's the motivation? I don't understand this mentality that you get a merit badge for time spent, and that takes precedent over results. We've all worked with people who put in ridiculous hours but deliver virtually no value.

Incidentally, this is what I loved about working remotely. Face time and availability go away, and you're left with results as a measure of success. We don't know the actual hours anyone worked, but expectations and results were pretty clear. At best, most people can get five hours of useful work per day (white collar office jobs), and there is research that shows it.

And the French take a month off. Also, ask Mr. Bannister about his mandated vacation time in the UK. How do you think he got to ride every B&M in the world? :)

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 12:45 PM

Jeff said:

It's totally a "problem." What exactly is gained by this behavior, and what's the motivation? I don't understand this mentality that you get a merit badge for time spent, and that takes precedent over results. We've all worked with people who put in ridiculous hours but deliver virtually no value.

You say this a lot and to me it's the biggest fallacy of your stance.

You instantly assume more time doesn't equal more results.

Flat out - getting anything done while on vacation achieves more results than not being there.

Wanting to do more, contribute more and achieve more isn't not a negative trait.

And the French take a month off. Also, ask Mr. Bannister about his mandated vacation time in the UK. How do you think he got to ride every B&M in the world? :)

If the French and English jumped of a bridge would you? ;)

And there's countries where the need to work makes Americans look like the fat lazy overprivileged slobs we are. Just depends on which examples you want to point to.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Thursday, March 20, 2014 12:46 PM
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Thursday, March 20, 2014 1:02 PM

You're linking more work with more or better results. They have nothing to do with each other. It's the root of the TPS reports joke. I used to work with asshats at a certain huge company who made PowerPoint decks and status reports that no one ever cared about. They added zero value despite them working 50+ hours a week. I could come up with a hundred different examples like that.

Seriously, if we wanted higher productivity in this country, and asked with every single task, "Is this going to add value or otherwise advance the goal of the business?" we would have a remarkably different world. We spend too much time on things that don't matter, and the companies that get this are eating their competitors.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 1:51 PM

In other words, you're arguing efficiency. Do the most with the least amount of time/effort - the best ROI on your time. Do things that matter more and you won't have to do as much.

Great, I agree 100%.

But that approach will still get more results when done for more time than less.

Doing two things that add value or otherwise advance the goal of the business is going to be better than doing one...

...and it's probably going to take longer to do two things.

Time doesn't create quality or results. But is doesn't not create them either. Work doesn't suddenly suck or become worthless because a lot of time was spent on it.

Your argument is I'd rather have an employee that gets **** done in 4 hours than one who puts in 10 and doesnt add value.

My argument is that an employee who puts 10 hours getting **** done is better than both of those schlubs.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 1:55 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

Wanting to do more, contribute more and achieve more isn't not a negative trait.

Not necessarily, but it can be, if it has a negative impact on your non-work life.

As someone who works at a company with a parent company in France, many here in the US are jealous of their 35-hour weeks, extended vacations, and unpasteurized cheese. They're jealous of our cheap Levis and big American paychecks.

But anecdotally, very, very few of them would give up their "life first, work second" lifestyle for anything we have to offer here. They think we're idiots for making such big irreversible sacrifices so that we can live in huge houses and drive ridiculous cars.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 2:10 PM

What I've learned in this thread:

Europeans need to learn to accept cultural diversity. ;)

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 2:13 PM

djDaemon said:

But anecdotally, very, very few of them would give up their "life first, work second" lifestyle for anything we have to offer here. They think we're idiots for making such big irreversible sacrifices so that we can live in huge houses and drive ridiculous cars.

Again, a specific example on one end of the spectrum.

Here's one from the other end.

Lee would probably kill for the laid back work culture (in comparison) of the United States.

I don't think it's as simple as "working less is good and working more is bad."

This is where I'm going to agree with Jeff again, it should be "being productive is good, being unproductive is bad." It's about results. Results matter.

Time shouldn't even be part of the equation. (in high or low amounts)

You can take a lot of time being unproductive or you can take a lot of time being productive. You can spend a little time being unproductive or you can spend a lot of time being unproductive.

But with two people being equally productive or beneficial, the one who does it longer is a better asset and more productive and beneficial.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Thursday, March 20, 2014 2:14 PM
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Thursday, March 20, 2014 2:18 PM

You aren't hearing me, Gonch. People don't work 10 hours per day adding value. That's the point. More hours doesn't equate more value, except perhaps in the rarest of cases. We would have to fundamentally change everything about American business to get there.

I would encourage you to read the book Rework. It's entirely obvious, but for whatever reason, business leaders are reluctant to ask the obvious questions (except perhaps to maintain the status quo).

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 2:32 PM

I don't have to read anything to understand that if the output is X that 10X > 8X > 5X

That's all I am saying.

You seem to think that someone working longer can't be adding additional value:

Jeff said:

People don't work 10 hours per day adding value.

Yeah, you really typed that. People who work 10 hours a day don't add value. None of them? Not even a few?

And I get that your saying all work isn't created equal. But that's an entirely different issue than the time one. Time isn't the reason all work isn't created equal.

Move to results driven work and then have two people do that same results-driven work for different periods of time. The one who gets results and adds value for a longer period of time is more valuable and produces more output.

If you write useful, meaningful code fo 6 hours and I do too, but I then spend another 4 hours with my finger up my ass - I added no additional value for my time.

If you write useful, meaningful productive code for 6 hours and I do it for 10, then I did more. I achieved more results.

There's nothing mysterious or complicated about it. Time doesn't equate work. Work doesn't equate results. I think we agree on that.

But time spent achieving results matters.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Thursday, March 20, 2014 2:32 PM
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Thursday, March 20, 2014 2:39 PM

As a professional in a profession where we have figured out how to cover for people on vacations, Im still shocked businessman have not figured this out. I dont understand why people cannot trust their partners/immediate subordinates. When you ask people what jobs are considered professions the usual three that comes up are teachers, lawyers and doctors. Teachers have set up a system where substitute teachers can take over when needed, doctors have call schedules set up and have partners take their "calls" when are on vacation. Lawyers are the only ones that dont have a defined system.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 2:53 PM

TL;DR, Gonch. :) Yes, I'm saying 10 straight hours of work are not twice the results of 5 straight hours of work. Ever. No matter who it is.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 3:02 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

If the French and English jumped of a bridge would you? ;).

Well... Certainly not if the French did it...

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 3:06 PM

Doctors are typically drivers of their schedules. They don't schedule appointments during their vacations. Other docs cover their emergencies while on vacation. But when you call on an emergency basis, you can't really expect to see you doctor anyways.

Teachers aren't typically in competitive situations. At least in part because of unions which in my experience shield them from the real world (and if that was for the benefit of the kids, I could support it but again from what I have seen, it isn't but rather is for the benefit of the teachers--though that a whole 'nother topic).

Attorneys are reactors. They typically don't get to set their own schedules. Outside parties (clients, courts, etc do). Makes it much more difficult to manage schedules.

I hand off as much as I can when out on vacation. Sometimes there are things that can't be handed off. And sometimes I need to at least stay involved. There are tradeoffs involved (much like just about everything else in life). I could get a different job. Or change careers. Or even move to France. :) But I like what I do. If I didn't, my view of this issue would be different. And to be clear, I am not upset, bitter, stressed out, etc about having to spend some time working while at WDW. Some may think thats wrong, a problem, etc but its my life. I like it. I am sure I could find parts of your life that I think are wrong, negative, etc but I doubt you care (nor should you).

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 3:20 PM

Jeff said:

TL;DR, Gonch. :) Yes, I'm saying 10 straight hours of work are not twice the results of 5 straight hours of work. Ever. No matter who it is.

But that doesn't mean the results of 10 hours of work aren't still greater than the results of 5 hours of work.

And I think it depends on the work, but I think that in most cases, it's kind of funny to think that someone can't do in 10 payable hours twice what they can in five.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 3:20 PM

On the more hours != more results front, there are plenty of anecdotes as well as bona fide psychology and industrial research about why this is true.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014 3:22 PM

Working in a non-entry level IT support position, level II/level III, with system and network admin responsibilities means that if I'm needed, I'm needed.

Generally, there is someone there to cover in most cases, but there are things that I am better at solving or doing, and sometimes I need to work while on vacation. I try my hardest not to, but it's inevitable. I've come to accept that working with technology means I'm pretty much connected at all times to work. We have people all over the country who work remotely at all hours, and if the VPN connection craps out, they can't get their stuff done, which means the company isn't generating money. If the company isn't generating money, they can't afford to operate, which means I wouldn't have a job.

I'd much rather be called a douchebag for bringing my laptop into Epcot, than be unemployed because I couldn't keep the company operating. Granted, my company is medical related, and that industry never sleeps.

Last edited by Raven-Phile, Thursday, March 20, 2014 3:23 PM
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