Career Buffet

#13: One Day At Disney is a Disney Shorts series that features individuals and the various jobs and careers they have with Disney Corporation. Stef and Ariel highlight these stories, and their own, with the belief that diversity in skills and networking instead, of just longevity, are what create personal fulfillment.

Read the blog post for this episode for additional references and resources.

Become a member of Geek Therapy on Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/geektherapy


Stefanie Bautista 0:11
Hello, everyone, welcome to the Happiest Pod On Earth. I’m Stephanie.

Ariel Landrum 0:14
And I’m Ariel.

Stefanie Bautista 0:16
And we are Disney fans. But we are really so much more than that.

Ariel Landrum 0:20
This place. This Happiest Pod On Earth is where we dissect Disney mediums with a critical lens.

Yep, exactly.

Stefanie Bautista 0:27
And what are we breaking down today Ariel?

Ariel Landrum 0:30
We are going to talk specifically about jobs. I was actually reading an article this morning from The Wall Street Journal called “Forget Going Back to the Office-People Are Just Wuitting Instead.”

Stefanie Bautista 0:44

Ariel Landrum 0:45
Yeah, very good, good title. You know, if you want you it’s if you want some clickbait that’s, that’s it right there, right.

Stefanie Bautista 0:52
Clickbait with a little bit of info. Actual info.

Ariel Landrum 0:55
Actual info. So it was really interesting reading this article, which is behind a paywall. But I think you’re allowed to read like one Wall Street Journal article a day for free or something like that. So I was able to read it on my phone. And a specific talent consultant in the article name, Steve Catagen. We will say that they’ll totally prounce it unless someone corrects me. He, he said that previously, security was stationary. And a new job security now means that you’re more on the move, the more that someone moves, the more famous they are and the bigger their network is. And the closer they get to essentially using the movement as a career buffet to find out what they really want and how to get the best pay. The article really talks about how the pandemic has shifted things for individuals not only wanting more separation, and fluidity when it comes to work, home life balance. But he also talked about how people are really seeing that diversity in their skill base and in their their job hunting and in the way that they they navigate and work, work has been more rewarding.

Interesting. Interesting.

Stefanie Bautista 2:14

Ariel Landrum 2:15
Yeah. And it’s really it’s really resting because it’s it’s doing this versus of like the idea that some longevity means you’re not reliable versus that it means whereas instead, having more fluidity makes you a more experienced.

Stefanie Bautista 2:33
Oh, that’s very interesting. And you’re all probably wondering, what the heck does this have to do with Disney? Obviously, Disney is a big reflection of our real life lives that we portray a little bit more fantastical sometimes.

Ariel Landrum 2:47

Stefanie Bautista 2:47
But the reason why we wanted to talk about this is because on Disney+, there is a series of little shorts called “One Day at Disney.” And it describes the different jobs that people have at Disney and like what Ariel says, kind of can add to your ‘career buffet’ of sorts. I’ve never heard that term before, but now I’m probably going to use it forever. buffet as in, there’s a lot of different jobs out there. And I think for us mainly growing up, I guess you could say as Millennials…

Ariel Landrum 3:17

Stefanie Bautista 3:18
We were taught to pick a career, one of the big I guess, 5, be a doctor, be a teacher, be a, you know, somebody who works in the hospital, at least be a lawyer.

Ariel Landrum 3:30
This also may be like more Asian parents.

Stefanie Bautista 3:33
Yeah, perpesctive.

Ariel Landrum 3:33
Toting some of those jobs. But…

Stefanie Bautista 3:36
But I think many of you who might, you know, have been born somewhere in the late 80s or early 90s can relate to this notion that you need to be able to hold down one job and pick it at an early age and kind of stick to that. And there are certain I guess you could say tropes of that reflected in many classic Disney movies. Following your dreams, of course, very positive, but also it doesn’t show that there’s there’s something to learn about trying new things, different things. And I think maybe many of the newer Disney movies are reflecting that. I, I think of “Soul.”

Ariel Landrum 4:15

Stefanie Bautista 4:15
And how you know, his journey from being a jazz artist, but then also kind of stepping back and figuring out exactly what he wanted to be because, you know, he had this dream that he never really quite achieved. I know super spoiler alert. And he’s a jazz music teacher which is just as fulfilling as you know being a musician on stage. So watching those 7 minute shorts, and if you guys have any just extra time to see behind the scenes Disney stuff. I know a lot of you guys are fans of that. You will love the “Imagineering Story” like us. One day at Disney kind of brings it to the forefront of how workers are making the magic now. Not super now because of the pandemic but definitely updated. So if you’re familiar with the parks, if you’re familiar with Imagineering, you’ll love seeing these 7 minute clips of real life people describing their real life jobs and how much they love working at Disney.

Ariel Landrum 4:15
Yeah, I think and it really this article, and then just watching some of the narratives of different people, these, these jobs in the Disney shorts. It’s interesting how you could see it as like, some of these people were flighty. Something we say Millennials are that they’re inexperienced, or that they’re not reliable. And in reality, it was the networking, the variety and skill building and the desire for personal development that created career development, just like this article is saying is what drove a good chunk of these different individuals, real people, to find some of the the careers and path they were going for. And a lot of them it was, you know, taking a variety of odd jobs, I would say, or, or just taking a risk, just just trying something different that got them to this, this dream job. This this dream opportunity that has been satisfying.

Stefanie Bautista 6:15
Exactly. And on top of that, I think it’s really interesting how people tell us that, you know, you need to stay at one place in order to gain experience, but how do you gain experience when you’re having the same experience every single day.

Ariel Landrum 6:29

Stefanie Bautista 6:29
And I think seeing the journeys of some of these cast members at the park and some of these animators and the way that they’ve navigated, landing, a job at Disney is so different. Every single one is vastly different from the others. And they go through the same things that we are. You know, choosing our job has to fit in, or maybe vice versa with our lifestyles and the way that we decide to grow our families. And, you know, it’s it’s very insightful for a very short amount of time, it’s only 7 minutes. But there’s a lot to take away from it. And I think that’s what’s so great about this series.

Ariel Landrum 7:05
Yeah, speaking about it being 7 minutes. You know, if you have a job or career that’s very demanding and time consuming, if you aren’t able to binge things, or watch a whole movie, it can feel like you’re missing out on a lot of experiences. So you know, these shorts only being 7 minutes. The narrative is bite sized. It’s digestible. It’s fun. It’s wholesome. It does feel like Disney. It does feel magical. And it really is a great way to have like a breather. So for me, I do as a therapist 45 to 55 minute sessions, and they’re back to back. And so these 7 minutes segments are really good. Like, I would say, palate cleansers, particularly for me if there was a really hard session, or if I, a client and I were really processing some deep work, some some trauma work. Like I need to sort of reset before my next session. This makes it possible.

Stefanie Bautista 8:03
Yeah, it’s a great. It’s a great release. And I think, and I was telling Ariel about this earlier, when we were talking about talking about this, the series that it definitely feels like a long commercial. Disney, which you can say, with a critical lens, since we are being you know, skeptical of everything that we consume, specially media wise, you could say that everything Disney does is a commercial. But this one feels a little bit more just because it is 7 minutes, you could definitely place it in between YouTube videos that you’re watching. However, the quality and the production of it is a little bit more than a commercial. And I think that’s it, it provides us with an escape. And for you, Ariel using it between therapy sessions, it’s that really quick Disney escape that we need to kind of reset breathe, and be like, “Okay, cool. Everything’s right in the world. People are achieving their dreams. Let’s go help some people.”

Ariel Landrum 8:59
Yes, yes. It’s structured. It’s formulaic. And it’s it’s fun. It’s very Disney.

Stefanie Bautista 9:04
Yes. It’s very.

Ariel Landrum 9:05
It’s very commercial. But I think that’s what, what makes it easy to digest. I don’t have to focus on a narrative. I don’t have to follow character development when I don’t I don’t have time for that.

Stefanie Bautista 9:18
Yeah. And you’ll learn a little bit more about the parks specifically, and the media that we consume. And so the next time you go to the parks, you could be like, “Hey, I know that guy in the Nemo submarine.”

Ariel Landrum 9:29
And these jobs aren’t just the Disney parks. It is literally it is Disney Corporation. So that was that was a surprise to me, because I think like the third or fourth episode, and we meet at ESPN anchor.

Stefanie Bautista 9:42

Ariel Landrum 9:42
And it just did not occur to me…

Stefanie Bautista 9:44
Stage Steele. She’s so cool.

Ariel Landrum 9:46
Yes! And I’m like, “How is this Disney?” But it’s the Disney Corporation.

Stefanie Bautista 9:50

Ariel Landrum 9:50
They essentially own that network.

Stefanie Bautista 9:53
ESPN. Yep, yep. Yeah, and I love that episode, particularly since I’m a big sports fan and as a woman…

Ariel Landrum 10:00
She is.

Stefanie Bautista 10:03
I am. Seeing Sage talk about her story as just a girl that loves sports, but wasn’t particularly great at them. For all of you, girls and guys who play sports, but never really make it into the big leagues, that’s okay. Because you can find other things within the industry. And not just Disney. But I mean, you could apply her story to any sort of sports broadcasting or sports medicine. There’s, you don’t have to be an athlete, an Olympian to have a career in sports. And I think that’s one of the things that I really liked about hearing her story is, she was able to find something passionate. She just gets to talk about sports all day. And that’s super cool. And she, you know, opens up that door for young girls of Color also, because she is a Black woman, as a sports center anchor, and that’s huge. It’s really big.

Ariel Landrum 10:56
And it was also really interesting to see like, how much of a variety was even in her job. She writes, what she’s gonna say she writes her own scripts. If there’s breaking news, like she’s just got to pivot and make that that breaking news be integrated into that segment for the day. Again, that that networking and diversity, she must have built some skill sets to be able to, to learn and navigate and do that. Or, you know, essentially, like “Show show your worth, show me like what you can give me besides like that you can read a prompt.” It’s like, “No, I’m even writing them.”

Stefanie Bautista 11:31
Yeah. Because I mean, who wants to hear somebody talk about sports that doesn’t actually know the game and actually love it? You just sound kind of..

Ariel Landrum 11:40
“Anchor Man” it.

Stefanie Bautista 11:40
Anchor Manning. Yes. Although that is a great satire. I don’t think people want to listen to that daily on ESPN. So yeah, and I think that’s great that you mentioned that Ariel that it’s the Disney umbrella. And I don’t think that they mentioned Star Wars in this one yet. Right?

Ariel Landrum 11:59
So okay, what you should know with because there are 7 minutes segments, Season One has like 50 episodes. Over over 50. So I’m, I’m in the I think I’m in the 20s? I don’t know…

Stefanie Bautista 12:14
I’m in the 10s. I skip around and I think that’s what’s great about this is that you can skip around. You don’t have to watch them in succession if you don’t want to.

Ariel Landrum 12:22
No, no, you don’t. They do mention they do mention a specific guy. Okay, so this I can’t remember his name. But a homeboy introduces himself as “Even my parents don’t really know what I do.” And at the end of the 7 minutes segment, I still don’t know what he does. But he somehow is involved with the live events that Star Wars has. So he was helping run or was running Celebration, the the Star Wars Convention.

Stefanie Bautista 12:51

Ariel Landrum 12:51
And he has a remote control like BB-8 that he’s like, engages people with in the hallway. And so I can’t tell if he helps craft the robotics if he manages people if he’s…

Stefanie Bautista 13:03
He does it all.

Ariel Landrum 13:03
And he, he seems, again, like his background seemed to have so much variety, not just in like tech, but in networking and like passions that he said, this job was essentially like “Made for me, because of like, the way that like my, my CV, my background is.” So so he has something to do with Star Wars and BB-8 and live events for Star Wars.

Stefanie Bautista 13:27
And he loves his job.

Ariel Landrum 13:28
And he loves his job.

Stefanie Bautista 13:29
Yeah. That’s really funny. By the end, I didn’t even know what he actually does.

Ariel Landrum 13:35
Just like his parents. I don’t know what you do, either. But you seem so happy doing.

Stefanie Bautista 13:41
I think that’s like, the biggest takeaway from this series is that, you know, even if you can’t even put a job description to it. I think that’s also limiting. Don’t you agree?

Ariel Landrum 13:49
Yes, yes. I think that when it comes to bigger corporations and organizations, they’re starting to see that people want and need not only in their career development, diversity. But up… That the monotony is not only boring, but you you are going to lose a worker in that sense. And that when you individualize a job, it makes someone want to stay because it is tailored for them. And it allows their their own growth and development. Now, you know, again, looking at a critical lens. When it comes to work, you know, workers do, or employers do ask workers to do more with a lot less. So you so there’s that fine balance of like, when are you essentially abusing your employees and when are you really highlighting their growth and development?

Stefanie Bautista 14:44
Mm hmm. I can definitely relate to that. And I’ll leave it at that. But I think what we also wanted to do is kind of talk about our road, in our careers. Because for us, like I I mentioned earlier we were taught that we should hold down a really stable job no matter what it is, like demonstrate longevity, demonstrate that you can be reliable and that you won’t just leave. But me and Ariel have had different experiences, albeit similar. I don’t know if that makes sense now, but you could be the judge of that. Before we came to our professional careers now, so, Ariel, do you want to start off with the type of jobs you’ve had in the past?

Ariel Landrum 15:28
Yes, so I’ve been a babysitter. I’ve been an after school aide. I worked in the yearbook; editor and photographer both in high school and college. I was a columnist for my high, my college school newspaper. And then also in college, because I was in the art department, I was a human life model. So I was naked. I was butt naked and got paid to do it and people drew me and sculpted me. If you go to

Stefanie Bautista 15:59

Ariel Landrum 15:59
TMI. If you go to Bethany college and Lindsborg, Kansas, Little, “Little Sweden,” as it’s called, you will see a naked statue of me as “Mother Goddess.”

Stefanie Bautista 16:11

Ariel Landrum 16:12
So there you go, um, I was an intern at a methadone clinic.

Stefanie Bautista 16:18
Wow, hard left left.

Ariel Landrum 16:20
Hard left. I worked at a coffee Juice Bar at Whole Foods, where spoiler…

Stefanie Bautista 16:25
That’s where we met.

Ariel Landrum 16:26
What! I contracted with the Navy as a therapist, I was a crisis counselor. Now I’m a clinical director of my own practice, and I do QA supervising at an agency.

Stefanie Bautista 16:39
So safe to say, whatever she started off with, did not end up being what she ended with.

Ariel Landrum 16:45
Sometimes I feel like I’m babysitting adults.

Stefanie Bautista 16:47
I think thats every job girl. Food service, man, it’s all babysitting. It is all babysitting. That is so interesting that you’ve had like this super squiggly line, not even it’s not even linear. It’s just like this weird squiggly shoe lace of a line of different types of jobs that you had. But I mean, I have to ask you the question, do you still use the skills at least from 90% of your jobs in everyday practice?

Ariel Landrum 17:17
Yes. So being a columnist for the school newspaper, I write blog posts on my practice website in order to increase SEO, Search Engine Optimization. In order for people to find me on Google, I need more words that are searchable. So I have to write stuff and I don’t want to write nonsense. No, I want to write blog posts that people are actually going to read. With the yearbook editing and the photography, you know, again, some the the pictures in the article I need in my blogs, I need to be able to incorporate those things. Anything in the mental health field. So like working at the methadone clinic, being a therapist, a contracted therapist, for the Navy, even a crisis counselor, those my career path was to be a therapist. But having those variety of experiences allowed me the opportunity to see not only a variety of clients, but to better understand them at different stages in their lives. I had, you know, because oftentimes, if you’re going to be a mental health, you need to accept that a crisis will happen. But I was able to see what even that word ‘crisis’ meant in a variety of ways. Because you can have a client who who loses their partner suddenly and unexpectedly that’s that’s a crisis. And so being able to know how to how to address that and support my my clients. Definitely useful. When it comes to the the the naked modeling, I don’t have an Only Fans, sorry. But as as an artist, I have a huge appreciation for for the arts. And I tend to now living in LA live, surround myself with a lot of creators. And I do have lots of conversations about inspiration and musing. And that has led to you know, me getting referrals of other people who are creatives in therapy. When it when we’re talking about networking. that’s that’s it. Like as searchable as I can make myself on Google without paying ads, the biggest thing is referrals from networking.

Stefanie Bautista 19:19
Yeah, for sure. And I love that you said that it just expand your network. And that is like the one thing that is not taught in schools that you need to not only carve your own path, but you have to create a good network around you so that you’ll always have opportunity. We hear so many stories of people being stagnant and yes, them not being happy. And that’s also shown in many Disney movies where that person is just living in a cloud and you know, not loving life anymore, and they need that breath of fresh air and I think that’s where you know, your friends come in your network.

Ariel Landrum 19:58
And even talking about like Some of the episodes in the shorts, you get to see the “Modern Family” that shows.

Stefanie Bautista 20:06
Yes. Oh my gosh.

Ariel Landrum 20:07
They highlight the importance of the table read because that’s maybe the only time they get to see everyone at once doing the different scenes. And and that desire for connection that isolation was not was what made the show thrive. It was the fact that they got to see each other. That they get to sort of ping pong ideas and shift and change, like the script. That it’s it’s essentially the same thing, like some of the therapists I know who have had a huge burnout in therapy is when they really feel sort of isolated in the experience.

Stefanie Bautista 20:40
Yeah, 100% can agree with that. And I think that if you guys are not familiar with the show, “Modern Family,” which is now over, it was a very, very successful long running show on ABC. And the way it works, it was kind of like a documentary, sort of like the office and Parks and Rec, where they interviewed this family and their everyday lives. But many of these stories ran parallel to each other. Sometimes they never intersected. And so that’s why I think table read was so important is because they never got to see each other as a whole family. Because their stories ran in different times throughout the episodes. Sometimes you wouldn’t even see one of the families, you would only see maybe 2 out of the 3. So yeah, I think that’s super important. And now that you mentioned, super burnout.

Ariel Landrum 21:22

Stefanie Bautista 21:23
I’ve mentioned before that I am an educator, but I didn’t always want to be an educator. So ever since I started working at the age of 16, I got a food service job. My first job was at Jamba Juice.

Ariel Landrum 21:35

Stefanie Bautista 21:36
Here in Studio City, Sherman Oaks area. And it was a job that I got without any experience I like, didn’t really know anyone, I just went into the interview. Very scary. And because I landed that job, I was like, “Oh my gosh, like I need to be here for a long time while I go to college,” because I was studying and going to work at the same time. Y’all know college is not cheap. So I had to put myself through college. And so I worked there for quite some time. I think I was there for I think, 5, 5 years.

Ariel Landrum 22:10

Stefanie Bautista 22:10
A long time.

Ariel Landrum 22:11
Oh my gawd. So a baby was born learn to walk and talk and went to like preschool, the whole time you were working Jamba.

Stefanie Bautista 22:18
The whole time I was working a Jamba but and I was working and going I was working, like 30 hours a week going to school full time. So I had like 12 units. And so I needed to be at a job where I could kind of shut my mind off. And just makes smoothies. Because I was focused so much on my schooling. But at the same time, I did not know what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to do journalism at one point, because I had, you know, done journalism in high school here and there. But my parents just did not want that for me and was like you need just…

Ariel Landrum 22:18
That’s not a doctor.

Stefanie Bautista 22:19
So they were like, “Just find,” literally what they said. I’m not knocking on them and I love my parents, but they said “You could do anything you want to do after you become a nurse.” And I was like, “How does that make sense?” That doesn’t make. “So you’re telling me I have to do like 2 plus 4 years of my BSN. And then I can do whatever I want. Uhh okay?” And so what I did, I just a reclined to just doing the UC route. Everybody in California wants to go to UC school, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Francisco, UC San Diego. There’s like a set requirement that you have to, you know, make in order to go to those colleges. So I just did that. Just prerequisites the whole entire time. I worked from one soup for food service job to another. And then I ended up as a barista in like many, many different places. But I was also a barista at Starbucks for a long time, just like many people here in Los Angeles and around the world. And working at Starbucks really opened my mind to different ages of people that were at different parts in their lives. A lot of them were in the film industry, the TV industry.

Ariel Landrum 23:54
Okay. And so the dual job.

Stefanie Bautista 23:56
The dual job was a real thing. Mostly Starbucks.

Ariel Landrum 23:59
The side gig is the fact that you have a 9-to-5.

Stefanie Bautista 24:03
Exactly. And a lot of these people were working on scripts. They were in commercial. They were, you know, grips on set. They were just so many different things. And I was just like, “Oh, just because I work at Starbucks, should I be in the entertainment industry? You know, I’m a huge pop culture consumer.” And I was like, “Oh, no, no, no, no, push that out of your mind because your parents will never accept that.” So here I am going through all these jobs creating this big network. Because I know we talked about people jumping different jobs, and almost looking down on them because you just like “Oh, you know, they don’t have longevity. They don’t have you know what it takes to stay with a company.” But on the flip…

Ariel Landrum 24:40
“Flighty, unexperienced, ungreatful.”

Stefanie Bautista 24:44
“Ungrateful. Aren’t they happy that they just got hired and are working?” And so I learned a lot from the people who came in and out of those jobs as I stayed stagnant for X amount of years that I was at those jobs. And seeing their experiences, I was like, well, there are able to make it, and they’re able to survive. So why can’t I do the same thing? Not you know, I didn’t just quit my job the next day, that just wasn’t my MO. Like, it wasn’t that I was gonna do. But it may be…

Ariel Landrum 25:19
Still gotta pay.

Stefanie Bautista 25:20
Still gotta pay the bills and go to school. But it gave me an opportunity to say, “Oh, I can just do something else and try it out and see if that works.” And that’s actually how I got into education. I mean, I always volunteered to help take care of kids and be a teacher of some sorts, and every foodservice job, I ended up becoming a trainer. So I was already teaching without even knowing it. So when I had the opportunity to go teach overseas in Japan for a little bit, it kind of solidified that I was like, “Oh, these are all the things that I’ve done already working food service, it’s just I get to focus on education. And, you know, y’all know teachers don’t make a lot. So. But it was a traditional job.

Ariel Landrum 26:01
As they should, but…

Stefanie Bautista 26:02
As they shouldn’t, but that’s a conversation for another podcast. Disney hire me.

Ariel Landrum 26:09
Disney U.

Stefanie Bautista 26:11
Disney U. So yeah, that brought me into education. And then I was able to go back, finish all those things do the credential. And now I’m a Programs Coordinator, which is a position that’s not even in the classroom. I helped create programming for after school and for sports.

Ariel Landrum 26:28

Stefanie Bautista 26:28
And for arts.

Ariel Landrum 26:29

Stefanie Bautista 26:30
All the things that I loved about being in school. I love the basic subjects don’t get me wrong, and I can teach the hell out of them. But my favorite parts of the day were art, or music. Where technology, computer classes, how they called it in the early 2000s. I love teaching all of those things and finding talent to teach those things better than me. And I feel like that is because I was introduced to so many different talented people working those food service jobs. That now I use that networking and that knowledge to seek out talent that can do their jobs way better than I could ever because I can’t do everything.

Ariel Landrum 27:09
And then I’m curious for you, because this is definitely what it is for therapists. And I think it is this way for teachers. There’s a large amount of interning that we have to do that we don’t get paid for.

Stefanie Bautista 27:21
So much. So much interning.

Ariel Landrum 27:22
So like that methadone clinic. When I was an intern and not licensed to work there. I got a stipend for $100. I so I had to do the double job. I had to work at Whole Foods with you because I also had bills to pay.

Stefanie Bautista 27:36
Yeah. Definitely.

Ariel Landrum 27:37
And I think that’s the same for teachers. Correct?

Stefanie Bautista 27:39
Totally. So when you’re doing your your student teaching, it’s either you’re very fortunate that you don’t have to focus on anything else except your lessons and your plans and doing your exams. Or you could be like the other 99% of the population who has to work at the same time. So at that point in my life actually was, and I can’t even wrap my head around how I did all this. I was working at Whole Foods for 40 hours at a new store. This is when you and I weren’t working anymore together.

Ariel Landrum 28:07

Stefanie Bautista 28:08
It was a new store. I was working there 40 hours as a barista. I was finishing up my master’s program and my credentialing and at the same time making; so I was making lesson plans. I was tracking all these I was basically like the second teacher in the classroom. And on top of that, I decided to get married? And plan a wedding? Without a wedding planner?

Ariel Landrum 28:29
Okay, so technically, she was already married.

Stefanie Bautista 28:31
I was already married. Yes.

Ariel Landrum 28:33
But you decided to get your wedding on?

Stefanie Bautista 28:35
Yes. Because you know, every little girl’s dream is to have her dream wedding. So that’s what I was achieving my freaking dreams damnit.

Ariel Landrum 28:42
All of them.

Stefanie Bautista 28:43
At the same time, and honestly from an from a mental health standpoint, that wasn’t not okay. Because I crashed and burned so bad after that. And I think I took maybe a year or two of just doing just going through the motions and just you know, finding a job that had me grounded for a little bit. Because we don’t think about the ramifications of working yourself that much. Like those are three really big life events.

Ariel Landrum 29:14
At once.

Stefanie Bautista 29:15
At once. And so you know, like lesson for you all out there if you’re young please don’t burn yourself out. Take it easy.

Ariel Landrum 29:24

Stefanie Bautista 29:24
Take it easy please because you will have a better quality of life and you will be able to enjoy stop watch a 7 minute Disney short. Be able to do those things and you know, just just be.

Ariel Landrum 29:36

Stefanie Bautista 29:37
And I wish I had known that.

Ariel Landrum 29:39
And even like as stuff saying you know some of us have a level of privilege. So if you have the privilege to do your student teaching without worrying about finances. Without you know having to juggle marriage and family in there with it. Use it to uplift your peers man. Be very grateful for that level of privilege because I I remember witnessing Stef do this superhuman stuff at the time. And I was I was just shocked that she she still had the energy to also try and enjoy life. Still went to the parks.

Stefanie Bautista 30:11
Gosh, I still went to so many concerts, I think that was like a one time I couldn’t stop.

Ariel Landrum 30:15
So many concernts.

Stefanie Bautista 30:17
And I went to Disneyland all that time, I think at that time because the Annual Pass or yeah, the Passholder program was affordable. It didn’t skyrocket to those, like prices at the time. That was my release. Excuse me, um, that was totally my release, I would go to Disneyland. Sunday’s are my Disney day. And it was like time for me to just go to the park, decompress, not think about anything, turn off, unplug, and just sit on Main Street and eat my churro in peace. Me and my husband, my fiancé at the time, and we would just, we wouldn’t even ball out guys like we were so on a budget. And I think this could be an episode for another time on how to do Disney on a super super budget. Because

Ariel Landrum 30:59

Stefanie Bautista 31:00
You guys, I have gone to Disneyland with just $20. And I was able to make it stretch the whole entire from 8 am to midnight. Because I was balling on a budget apparently. But anyway

Ariel Landrum 31:15
We digress.

Stefanie Bautista 31:16
We digress as always.

Ariel Landrum 31:18
To to pivot back to our original shorts. I’m curious for you, Stef. In regards to the job shorts, was there a job that you were like, “Yeah, I want to do that?” O like a story that really hit you?

Stefanie Bautista 31:29
Yeah, definitely. I do want to mention something else right afterwards? Well, actually, no, I can mention it now.

Ariel Landrum 31:35
Do it now.

Stefanie Bautista 31:36
So in in my journey of self discovery, I actually applied to Disney University

Ariel Landrum 31:42

Stefanie Bautista 31:42
And I got rejected.

Ariel Landrum 31:45
Aww. Why would they do that?

Stefanie Bautista 31:47
So what happened was after like, decided, “Oh, you know, I want to, I want to do something different. And like, let’s just, like throw things at the wall and stick.” I found about Disney University. And if you don’t know about it, it’s basically a Disney internship, like huge internship program, you have to be enrolled in a either community college or a State University. And you apply for the Disney University, and you get to work at the parks. See behind the scenes. And you know, for those of you who might not want to know what they want to do yet, you can do that internship. Disney University, get those credits, and then maybe find a job that you like. Network at the same time. So you have to go through this interview, right? And then so everything was all cool. I was like, I got this in the bag. I go Disneyland all the time. And then I think it was the question that said, “Have you ever lied on the job?”

Ariel Landrum 32:32

Stefanie Bautista 32:33
And that is such a tricky question. If you guys have worked different jobs, it’s such a weird question to ask too.

Ariel Landrum 32:38
Yeah. Of course.

Stefanie Bautista 32:39
Because there’s so many…

Ariel Landrum 32:40
We worked as baristas, of course we lied.

Stefanie Bautista 32:42
We lied a lot guys.

Ariel Landrum 32:43
“How are you? Oh I’m good, how are you?”

Stefanie Bautista 32:45
Isn’t just working in job lying the entire time, especially if you want to do it for the rest of your life? But anyway, they asked me that, and I was just like, “Well, it’s Disney. So I have to be honest, or should I just lie just to get the job?” But then that would be me lying. And so then I went…

Ariel Landrum 32:59
To the question about lying.

Stefanie Bautista 33:00
So then I decided to tell the truth. And I was just like, “Yes, I did.” And then it gives you an opportunity to explain and I said, “You know, I lied in order for you know, a customer to choose something different.” And it wasn’t like a bold faced lie. It was one of those, “Let me check if I have it in the back.” And then you go and check, but you already know that you don’t have in the back. And you just report like, “Oh, I’m so sorry. Like, maybe can we offer this to you instead?” That kind of situation I explained. It was like such a full explanation. And then I got my results. And it said, “Oh, we are so sorry. But unfortunately, you do not fit the role of what it takes to be a participant in to Disney University you can try again,” in I think it was like 12 months, or a year? And I’m like, “I ain’t got a. I don’t have a year to spare.” So I was just like, “well, Disney doesn’t want me anymore. So what am I gonna do?”

Ariel Landrum 33:48
Heart crushing.

Stefanie Bautista 33:49
Super heart crushing. Because I was like, “Oh, you know, like, I’d be in the parks and everything.” And I was like, “Maybe I can move Anaheim.” It was so disappointing to me. Like, “Am I not worthy?” And then…

Ariel Landrum 34:02
How did you how did you handle that rejection? Because if we’re talking about

Stefanie Bautista 34:06

Ariel Landrum 34:06
You know jobs, I think that, okay, statistics show that apparently, women, particularly Western women will only apply to a job if they meet 100% of their criteria and Western men have been raised to apply if they only meet 60%. And the big chunk of it either way, is fear of rejection. So for particularly for women, we expect it apparently from the psychology standpoint, so we don’t apply unless we know that we’re going to get it and so in this case, you felt like you really knew.

Stefanie Bautista 34:38
Oh I thought I had it.

Ariel Landrum 34:39
So rejection like?

Stefanie Bautista 34:41
It was devastating. It was so devastating and I think I probably had to process it over a couple months and I think I think at that time too, I think back to it. I consider just going into the medical field because I was like, “If I can’t even qualify for Disney, some thing that I love that I’m definitely not worthy of doing anything else other than what I was told that I needed to do in my life.” So I had applied to like those vocational colleges. And if you go to vocational colleges, all the power to you guys are doing just amount, the same amount, if not more work, then people are doing at universities, for jobs that we really need. But I went to one of those orientations, I think to be a, I think it was just like a medical assistant. And it just wasn’t for me, I, I, I was interested from a scientific standpoint and as an educator, but it wasn’t something that I thought that I could do every single day. And I think that’s, you know, what set the spark to really finding something else. And that’s kind of probably how I made it to Japan. Taught over there because I just wanted to get away. And I think you know, that that Disney University failure in my life is what really set me on that trajectory of like, “You know, what, let’s just take yourself out of everything that you have been going for, and reset and put yourself in a new environment.” And it was totally refreshing for me. And I was able to figure it out.

Ariel Landrum 36:10
Yeah, I think the the importance is that it’s that continued taking a risk, right? If you if you don’t apply if you don’t try, it’s already a no, because you didn’t create the opportunity for a potential yes. And I mean, soul crushing, because it’s Disney, right?

Stefanie Bautista 36:28

Ariel Landrum 36:29
But it doesn’t sound like it would determine what you knew was right in your heart for you. And I think that’s the other thing is sometimes we get rejection from, I was rejected to so many agencies that I wanted to work out. Really big name agencies that I thought were going to, you know, be where I was going to have my longevity. And I could have let that deter me from continuing on in my career to become a therapist. But it was like, “This is where I know I fit in. This is how I want to develop.” And it sounds like for you once you knew education was potentially something that you wanted, once you went to Japan, it solidified that and then you realize that even education the way that it was presented to you it didn’t even have to look that way.

Stefanie Bautista 37:13
Yes, exactly. And I’m still continuing to find that out. And I always tell people who are teachers associates and people who are doing their student teaching that you know, expand your horizons. Because sometimes your talents can take you elsewhere in the field

Ariel Landrum 37:28
A whole world.

Stefanie Bautista 37:28
A whole new world.

Ariel Landrum 37:30
How many times am I gonna sing that song?

Stefanie Bautista 37:32
So many? At least didn’t miss name thing today.

Ariel Landrum 37:37
So far, so far.

Stefanie Bautista 37:38
So far. But, yeah, that was a, you know, short little story that I actually forgotten myself, because like I said, it was probably so traumatizing that I just pushed it out of my mind. But I think the overall message of the Disney shorts, there’s so many gems in in these 7 minute episodes. Like the animator who migrated from El Salvador had to be away from his family. I love that story so much and how his mom just like never gave up on him and gave him that opportunity. And also, yeah, Sage, Sage Steele, and you know, her doing her thing as a sportscaster. I do wonder and Ariel talked about this, why they inserted Bob Iger in an episode. Like guys, he is the CEO, I’m pretty sure that although it’s attainable to be the CEO, we can push that episode back a little bit. But yeah, I love seeing how the park works. And I love seeing the people. I’m way too shy to ask any cast member, you know, how they’re doing. And so this is a really great way to, you know, see everything through their eyes as Disney fans and Disney workers.

Ariel Landrum 38:44
And you know, I think in regards to the commercialism, like this could be seen as a recruitment video.

Stefanie Bautista 38:54
Yeah. But are we really mad about that for young kids?

Ariel Landrum 38:57
No, no, I think like, again, in in jumping and take, and how you took the risk to apply? It’s like, well, what, why not? Like, if we can inspire someone to say like, “Hey, I think I think I’m an animator let me try and animate,” like and “let me just apply.” Because again, the worst you’re gonna get a no and you can continue to find other no’s till you get a yes. But if you don’t put yourself out there, if you don’t create that network that fluidity, then it will always be a no. I think for me, like one of the stories that kind of stood out. That also makes me think is very similar to that. I think we talked about like, almost almost doing more with less, but it actually being good is there’s a ranch hand woman who is a horse rancher who takes care of all the horses at Disney World. And so she shows and that, that it’s pretty much a majority of women, which is very unusual for the ranching industry. It’s usually a male dominated industry. So majority of the ranchers are women taking care of the horse. And she also dresses up as the carriage driver for Cinderella for the weddings. And she has to be the one who, like, steers the horses.

Stefanie Bautista 40:11
How magical.

Ariel Landrum 40:11
Yes. And then she also gets to play the the trolley conductor with the trolley horse that pulls the trolley. And that that is essentially that’s part of our job. That’s an expectation of our job. But it makes sense because it’s all her taking care of these horses. And she gets to play around and be in makeup and costume and engage with like guests. And also make sure that the horses are safe that they’re getting their needs met. And it’s like all she’s ever wanted to do was like work with horses. And it’s like, now you work with Disney horse.

Stefanie Bautista 40:42
Yes, yes. And that is a huge theme throughout a lot of these episodes where they just know what they want to do. But they didn’t even think about Disney in the first place. And they end up doing it there anyway. And there’s so many different, I mean, if you really take a big step back, you’re creating many worlds in one place. And to order in order to create those little worlds, you need to have people who have expertise in those worlds. We’re else it’s just gonna look super fake.

Ariel Landrum 41:12
And it was interesting to hear her narrative because it was like she met this person who essentially gave her the opportunity. While she was working, I think it was either at the bar at the feed store. It was something weird like that. And someone, he was like buying feed for the horses. And she was just talking about her passion for horses. He’s like, “Oh, come see the Disney stables.” And then that was it. And she’s just been working there forever. And no one thinks like, “I’m gonna be a ranch hand

Stefanie Bautista 41:38
“At the resort.”

Ariel Landrum 41:40
“And then also dress up in costume and be Cinderella’s carriage driver.” Right? So that’s part of that, like your dream sort of expands when you don’t make it so small.

Stefanie Bautista 41:50
It makes me think of those little questionnaires that we have, like kindergarteners fill out. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And they give you like the tiniest line. And you know, these kindergartners they write super big. Can you imagine a kid writing, “I want to be around China, Disney and you know, drive Cinderella around.” It would have to take like 3 different, you know, 4 different pages of paper…

Ariel Landrum 42:10

Stefanie Bautista 42:11
To explain it. And I think that’s, I think that’s really what we should take away from, you know, talking about our jobs. And, you know, doing this through the lens of “One Day at Disney,” is that you don’t have to fit yourself into a small box. Your description does not have to be 16 characters long.

Ariel Landrum 42:29
Nope. Nope.

Stefanie Bautista 42:30
It can be whatever you carve it out to be, because everybody’s super unique, individualistic, and we all have amazing talents. And “One Day at Disney,” is just one of those reflections of that.

Ariel Landrum 42:44
Yes, yes. I think that that it’s almost like a breath of fresh air to hear that people can be more than just the one career title, the one hat, and that, that you have the right to live your life as expansively as possible. And essentially calling back to that original article we mentioned, that that was it. People wanted to live a more fulfilling life that meets multiple areas of their needs. We’re talking about basic human needs. Like it’s more than just a paycheck that pays my house and food.

Stefanie Bautista 43:19
Yeah, yeah, definitely. It doesn’t have to just be a means to an end. Yes. For lack of better words. But yeah, I mean, thank you guys for going on this journey with us.

Ariel Landrum 43:33
We got deep we shared some stories.

Stefanie Bautista 43:34
We got pretty deep. Yeah, we really did. And I think you know, as we talk about how Disney plays this role in our lives, we’ll we would love to hear you guys and your stories. Definitely because we know our stories are just, you know, what is it a blip in the universe?

Ariel Landrum 43:50

Stefanie Bautista 43:50
And, you know, everybody’s Disney journey is so different. But yeah, if you have any interesting jobs, either at Disney or not Disney, Disney related, go ahead and tweet. Tweet at us @happiestpodGT, or also, DMS. Let us know your story on Instagram @happiestpodGT.

Ariel Landrum 44:10
Everybody have a Disney day.

Stefanie Bautista 44:12
You too.

Ariel Landrum 44:15

Stefanie Bautista 44:15
We’ll see you next time.

Media / Characters Mentioned
  • Disney
  • Disneyland
  • Cinderella
  • Disney Parks
  • Finding Nemo
  • Submarine Voyage
  • Modern Family
  • ESPN
  • Sage Steele
Topics/Themes Mentioned
  • Jobs
  • Career Paths
  • Following your dreams
  • Diversity
  • Networking
  • Burn-out
  • Animators
  • Imagineers
  • Rejection

Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.

 Website: happy.geektherapy.com
 | Instagram: @HappiestPodGT | Twitter: @HappiestPodGT | Facebook: @HappiestPodGT |
 | Stef on Twitter: @stefa_kneee | Ariel on Instagram: @airyell3000 |

Geek Therapy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission of advocating for the effective and meaningful use of popular media in therapeutic, educational, and community practice.
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