Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Guarding the World: Deployments, Surviving the 50's thru 90's at Pop Century

Computer Pool. Can you guess the decade?
Oh goodness. Where do I even begin?

Since I put off writing this post, this isn't really about a "deployment" anymore. I'm now statused about Pop Century (PC) and Art of Animation (DAAR), so I know the 2 properties a little more intimately, but I'm still going to attempt to write this as a deployment post.

Disney's Pop Century Resort

Pop Century is one of Disney's Value Resorts, very similar to the All Star Resorts and almost identical to Art of Animation. Pop's theme-ing covers 5 different decades, the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80, and 90s and is expressed through different catch phrases and giant representations of popular items from the respective decades.

Deployment Tour

Thankfully, for my deployment to Pop, I was not alone. One of my good friends, a lifeguard at Contemporary with me, was deployed for the same week and also had Inservice with me. We both lived at Vista as well, so I drove her into work with me. When I went to All Star, security was pretty helpful at figuring out where I needed to go, so I figured I could count on security at Pop to point me in the right direction.

I was terribly, terribly wrong. Oh-so-wrong. They had no idea where Rec base was or even how to get to the pools. The lady security officer gave me a map of Pop, laughed, and basically said good luck. Not the start to the day that I had hoped for, but we got over it.

I drove in using my instincts to figure it out. It looked very similar to the set up of All Star, so I was looking for the back loading dock thinking that we could find Rec base that way. My friend and I couldn't really find it. We ended up asking at Front Desk. They let us clock in there, so we wouldn't get a point for clocking in late. But we still had to find our location. We wandered around a bit and finally just walked out to the what we figured was the main pool. We asked someone cleaning the pool deck if they knew were the Coords office was and finally!! We had found someone who knew something!! She guided us to the Coords office, and made it about 5 minutes before our shift. So even though it took us a while, we still beat our trainer.

Our trainer actually worked at Caribbean Beach usually, on the lake. He told us that he hadn't been to Pop in a long time and hoped he remember how everything worked. He also said that Pop was very short on trainers and that they were really desperate if they were calling him in to train. That was comforting...

Guarding at Dirty Pop

Pop Century has 3 pools. The main pool is the Hippie Dippy Pool, which is in the 60s and 70s section. It's shaped like a giant flower with four flowers which spray water into the pool. There are 3 guards on Hippie. It's a very easy pool to guard. The only thing that really bothers me about the pool is how much it hurts my neck to scan my section when I sit in the guard stand. The chair is sat in such a way that you are staring straight at half of your zone, but you have to crane your neck quite a bit to see the other half, which feels like it's half behind you.

Pool number two is the Bowling Pin Pool in the 50s section. Personally it reminds me more of a pineapple than a bowling pin because of the red spikey design at the bottom of the pool. There are two guards at Bowling. This is most guard's favorite pool at Pop. I got a live audit, while at Bowling so I don't know if I like it all that much. Well, I passed with flying colors, so I guess I really don't mind it.

Pool number three is Computer and is in the 80s and 90s section. Computer is some guard's very least favorite pool. Computer is probably the most straight forward pool at Walt Disney World. It is actually a plain rectangle, resembling a computer. There is only one lifeguard at Computer, which is why some people really don't like Computer. It can get really lonely. Sometimes it's a nice change of pace to guard by yourself, but it is quite lonely. I typically have to just take laps of the pool, otherwise I'd forget to even do the 5 minute rule.

I basically lived at Pop all of December, since I was deployed there the entire month and into January. Since it was December, they were playing Christmas music at all 3 of the pools. Normally each pool has it's own different music, which goes along with the decades the areas represent. I've only worked at Pop a few times when they haven't been playing Christmas music. Because of that I kind of picture Pop as a Christmas destination, since I correlate it with that Christmas loop. It was only like a 2 hour loop, so I know those songs extremely well..

Next Adventure?

I've been officially trained at Art of Animation, the newest Disney resort. I've now worked their for a week as well, so I'll write up a post on my experience there very soon.

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