Hello, Fellow WOE Friends,
This weeks interview is with a waitress we met on our second day of our WOE vacation. The interview was not planned, the same with Craig's. We had just checked into the Family Hotel the day before and this was our first full day the the WOE Complex. Sally, my daughter, and I had just finished riding rides in the State Fair. We were walking around for a while in Show Town, when we decided to grab a bite to eat.
In case you were wondering, this is from Chapter five, of the World of Entopia - The Story. I am currently working on making the story easier to read on the website, thus eliminating you having to download it in Word or PDF, or slide the screen back and forth. I should have it done soon. Hope you enjoy!
Here is where we pick up -
We took the elevator to the roof of the Comedic Co. to eat lunch at The Comedy View. This restaurant overlooks the right-hand portion of Show Town, so you can see The TV and Movie Stage Tour, The Hologram Theater and Houdini’s Theater. If you're using your meal plan, you can order any entrée from the menu.
The meal plan entitles you to breakfast, lunch, and dinner at any restaurant in the Complex. Drinks are always free, and you get plenty of food with each meal. You can also add additional food to your order and pay extra, but believe me, you usually won't have room. You can have the breakfast buffet at your hotel, lunch at the Complex, and order dinner to your suite if you’d like. You are also entitled to snacks throughout the day and the midnight dessert buffet at your hotel, all with the food plan.
After just five minutes of looking at our menu, our waitress came over and introduced herself. “Hi, I’m Julie, and I’ll be taking care of you for lunch today. May I take your drink order and bring you a free appetizer?” The appetizer is included in the meal plan and includes: Onion rings, mozzarella sticks, and a few others. The honey rolls were free. We could choose one appetizer, because we had at least two people eating with the meal plan. For every two people eating, you get one free appetizer. She also said, ”You can have the fried food baked if you’d like. That includes the fries and onion rings.” She also told us about the healthy section of the menu that had wraps and salads. All the food items had a calorie count and the number of points if you’re on Weight Watchers, for those who wanted to stay on their diets on vacation. Julie was so nice and covered everything on the menu since we had never eaten at a restaurant at the Complex. She spent nearly five minutes going over everything. Then she said to take some time to make up our minds, and she would be back in a few minutes to take our order. But before she left, she told us about the call button at the table; a little device sitting in the middle of the table that has a button to call your waitress or waiter. This saves you from having to watch for them when they pass back around or wait for them to come back to check on you. If Julie needs to go on a break, she hands her call button device transponder to whoever is covering for her, which is usually the “float” waiter or waitress.
There is no tipping, so all they care about is making sure your service is terrific. If Julie is talking with guests and her paging device goes off, she can just hit the “busy” button, and the table request will then go to the “floater.” Or, if the floater is covering for someone else, then the supervisor; who may handle the request themselves or assign it to someone else. Each request is handled within two minutes or less. Julie come back with our drinks and appetizer and took our order. Once she knew what we wanted, she gave us a payment device called the Payment Cube, which allowed us to pay using our finger with our food plan. If you have someone in your party that isn’t on the food plan, they can pay separate. She came back soon to check on us and to take our empty plates and to refill our drinks.
The food arrives on a cart delivered by your waiter or waitress, not carried by a tray. Julie brought our food on a cart and had everything ready to go. The cart has extra napkins, plates, utensils, butter and other condiments. The cart was stocked, and Julie was prepared. Each entrée was covered for protection from germs and temperature. Our meal was wonderful and fattening. As I mentioned earlier, we love our fatty food, so watching our weight on this vacation was out the window. Once we finished our meal, Julie came back to take our plates and asked if we wanted anything else. We said we were stuffed. But I did ask her if I could interview her since I was on a working vacation. She said she would love to and could take her break in five minutes and meet us in the employee lounge. As we did the night before, we just got up from the table and walked out. I could get so used to this! No bill to pay and no tip to leave.
We found the employee lounge next to the kitchen and met Julie again. She invited us to have a seat on the couch. There were a few more employees in there, but they didn't seem to mind and even chimed in. I explained to her and the others who I was and what I was doing. I told her I was going to interview Steven C. and she immediately had a huge smile on her face.
I said, “You know Steven C?”
She said, “I know him. Everyone knows him.”
I asked her, “Is that because he is good or bad, that everyone knows him?”
She said, “Oh, very good! In fact, this place is here, and I’m here because of him.”
I asked her to explain what she meant.
“Steven C. is the creative mastermind behind everything here at the WOE. Most everyone has been positively impacted by this place,” said Julie.
“I’ve heard about him, and I have an interview set-up with him, but I don't know much about him yet. It seems like he’s not a public person,” I said.
“He’s not. He rarely gives speeches or heads up meetings with employees. He’ll show up to them, but seldom talks in front of a crowd.”
Jennifer asked Julie, “What is his official title or job responsibilities?”
“He’s referred to as the Executive Director of Entertainment and sometimes the President of Operations. No one knows exactly, because he never sends out emails that have a title after his name. He just signs his e-mails as Steven C. He’s not even listed in the management flow chart, but he can tell anyone what to do, and he can never be fired.”
Another employee in the employee lounge who overheard us, named Bobbie said, “Steven C. comes up with all the great ideas, everything from the attractions, shows, employee health care, the living community. Then he shares them with the members of management and the engineers, who then implement the idea or make changes. He’s also terrific with remembering names and can recall certain things about you from a conversation you had with him three years ago.”
Julie then said, “This place saved me and my families’ lives. They took my husband, son, and I from living in our car and gave us a place to stay with good jobs.”
I said, “How’d that happen?” Julie then told me her story.
“Three years ago, we were living in New York City. My husband, Jeb, was a lawyer for a big financial firm making over six figures a year. Our son, Jacob, was in private school and I was a stay-at-home mom. Jeb’s firm got caught up in a federal inquiry and was then forced to pay millions in fines for illegal activities. The bad press caused the company to lose business and subsequently they down-sized.” Julie continued, “Jeb always thought something wasn’t right, but wasn’t that close to the situation to really know for sure. Once he lost his job, no one wanted to hire him because of all the negative publicity. Within six months, we had to move out of our apartment in New York City and into an apartment in New Jersey. I started waitressing to bring in some money. Jeb still couldn't find work and tried taking his own life by shooting himself in the head. Fortunately, he didn't kill himself, but was in the ICU for six months. With no health insurance, we were sued by the hospital and lost everything but our older model car. I used to shower at rest stops and we washed our clothes at laundry mats. We lived in our car for three weeks, because even though I was still working as a waitress, our credit was ruined, and we couldn't get or afford another apartment.
Then one day, I waited on a customer named Roy. He told me he was an employee scout for the WOE and thought I was a great waitress. I told him my story, but he told me he already knew it. He said he talked to others who knew me. I knew it couldn't have been my parents or Jeb’s parents, because we didn't tell them what happened because of our pride and a few differences we had had with them in the past. Roy asked if I was interested in trying a temporary move to the WOE for three months and seeing how things work out. I said. ‘I’d love to!’”
Julie continued on and said, “The next day, Roy came back to the diner and handed me all the information, including plane tickets and $1,500. He said to get some new clothes and rent a hotel until the trip and donate the car. One week later, we were here and were put up in the employee apartments. Jeb was given a job in their legal department and I got a job here. Our son goes to school on the property and Jeb still gets treatment when he needs it. After the three-month trial, they moved us into a larger apartment, and soon, we will get a small house on property. All paid for.”
Jennifer, Sally and I all sat there with our mouths open. I said, “That’s remarkable!”
Julie said, “That’s WOE. And Steven C. is behind how this place operates.”
Julie had to get back to work. So, we thanked her and hugged goodbye.
What a story and what a turn-around in someone’s life. As we headed back to our room for a rest, I said to Jennifer, “That was amazing!”
She said, “This place is amazing.”
I couldn't wait to hear more stories and meet Steven C. This is going to be a truly remarkable experience.
Thanks for reading! Until next time,