Sabbatical

23 Mar

Sabbatical

Sabbatical –

  •  Webster’s Dictionary: any extended period of leave from one’s customary work, especially for rest, to acquire new skills or training, etc.
  •  Urban Dictionary: The time a businessman spends passed out on the hotel lobby floor after consuming too much alcohol at a business event.

Whatever your definition, that’s where I am. I quit. Resigned. Retired. Left the Company. Removed myself from the situation. I’m on sabbatical!

Wait, you left your job without having another? Uh oh, did you feel that? That shaking of the earth was my father rolling over in his grave. Okay, let me explain.

For the past two years I’ve worked between 75 and 82 hours per week. No days (or nights) off for 3-4 months at a time.  Still, I believed I could make a difference. Make magic. So why leave, you say? Well, even codeine has an expiration date. After a while, its magic gets to be more like a parlor trick and it gives you less of a high.

I’ve become very good at compartmentalizing my life. I’ve never really explained here what it was I’ve been doing for the past two years. Yes, I believe I quite generally stated that I worked on a cruise ship. But I never specifically said which one or what I did. So here goes – my name is Carole and I worked for Disney Cruise Line. I was Manager of Youth Activities. Yes folks, I was in charge of the children. That statement will either make you very scared or it will make you laugh uncontrollably while saying, “yup, that makes sense.”

Disney

Me and some Friends

What did I love about my job? Oh lots. I loved seeing new places (well, as much as I could see in the 2-3 hours off I had. And new places? Not so many new ones unless you consider that sparkly slot machine at Atlantis a new place), meeting new people, learning more about leadership, dreaming with Imagineers (I used to have Imaginary friends, now I have Imagineer friends), having Captain Hook wave to me as he walked past my office, knowing princesses (Cinderella’s my favorite and I always wanted to go shoe shopping with her) and generally, making magic for children. Oh, and sparkles! I loved taking a break from reports and E-mails to do arts and crafts where I would invariably end up covered in sparkles.

Why did I leave, you ask? Oh, those reasons are more complicated. You see, this was never meant to be long term. If you recall, in the year preceding these last two, things were, shall we say, a bit tough financially. Oh, who am I kidding, I was so broke I couldn’t even pay attention (any further questions on this please refer to, ‘I’m From the Government and I’m Here to Help’ or, ‘Yes Virginia, There is a Mortgage Modification.’).

This wasn’t just about the money (okay, at the time it was mostly about the money). I never had any intention of going back to my previous life working on board cruise ships (add over five years to these past two). I was truly ready to leave the past in the past. It’s a bit like going to live in the college dorm, only I was in my 40’s. But the job presented itself and, as my house was due to go on the auction block in a month, I wouldn’t have anywhere to live anyway.

So now, here I am. The situation is much different now. I was able to pay off some bills, save some money and even have a lovely vacation in England (yes, you can read about the unplanned adventures beginning with “On a Wing and a Prayer”). And another benefit, I have The Walt Disney Company on my resume (or my c/v if you’re from Europe).

The decision to leave certainly wasn’t like buying that Snickers bar at the grocery checkout. It was definitely not an impulse buy. Last year I spoke with my manager about transitioning off ships and into a land based position with the company. One big challenge, I won’t live in Florida. Nothing against Florida       but. . . okay, sorry but I do have something against Florida. Tried it, hated it. In order not to outrage any of my Florida followers I will leave it at that (so unlike me).

So, you want to work for Disney and not live in Florida? Believe it or not, it can be done. California, England, Tokyo, Paris, Shanghai, the list goes on. Still, I was told that it may need to be a lateral move (fine by me) or even a downgrade (not so fine). I’m not twenty-two years old anymore (I know from my photo you find that hard to believe). I have made certain advances in my career by gaining knowledge and working really hard. Going backwards is not in the plan. I did a lot of networking (much with the PR and Marketing departments) but I was also open to outside opportunities. After all, I keep getting told how great it is to have Disney on a resume. Well, let’s just see if Uncle Walt has some influence outside his own company.

Sure enough, this summer I was approached by a company who found me on LinkedIn (yes, it is a valuable tool if used correctly). You can read about the exploits of my interview process at, “Kuwait Just a Minute.” And while I was hoping they had continued interest in me for their Russia location, Kuwait seems to be far behind schedule so Russia? As they say in Russian, “Не звоните нам, мы тебе позвоню.” Still, I continue to stalk this company as they have franchises worldwide and I believe they cannot live without me (confident, aren’t I?)

Bre and me in Alaska

Bre and me in Alaska

I should also mention something else that happened this past summer. My friend BreAnn took a break in her chemo. and cruised with me in Alaska. At the end of the trip she commented, “They don’t pay you enough. I don’t know what they pay you but it’s not  enough.” When I arrived home after this latest contract and received the call that Bre wasn’t doing well, I went over to her house. I climbed into bed with her, held her hand and told her I was quitting. At this point she wasn’t responding to much. She opened her eyes and looked at me and said, “Good, you need to.” Well, there you go. Promise your dying friend something and changing your mind is not an option.

In the meantime, I’m on sabbatical. Surgery and other issues done,

Weeds

My Weed Garden

it’s time to enjoy it for a bit. Okay, still setting up my life again. Getting my taxes done, securing health insurance, getting internet for my house and attempting to kill my newly acquired weed garden (it turns out that, as much as they may look like herbs, you cannot cook any sort of edible chicken with them). Also, a little time to enjoy riding my new bike, doing yoga, reestablishing friendships that I have (unwillingly) had to ignore for the past two years, a bit of traveling (beautiful, exotic Chicago) and hot bubble baths with scotch and candles (wait, not bathing in scotch – water in the tub, scotch in a glass).

Windows-WineOh, and another thing I get to do on a regular basis now – write. And while I enjoy being a bit cliché and sitting at the coffee bar drinking a latte or espresso while writing, it turns out I am just as inspired sitting in the park drinking a bottle of wine.

Stand by while I find some new adventures or perhaps, just make fun of the world in general. And, if you’re looking to hire me, well, I’m not cheap but I can be had.

Aaahhhh. . . Sabbatical

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3 Responses to “Sabbatical”

  1. Laura Zera March 31, 2013 at 11:40 PM #

    Thanks for the laugh, Carole. Enjoy the sabbatical. Oh, and Florida doesn’t want you, anyway.

    • Carole Rosenblat April 1, 2013 at 8:33 AM #

      Thanks Laura. I am enjoying it. But unless I win the lottery I will need to start thinking about a job soon. In the meantime, more wine.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Come Fly With Me | My Own Adventure - January 5, 2014

    […] I left my job at Disney Cruise Line for some very much needed R&R (you can read about it in Sabbatical). It’s been wonderful. I did a lot of yoga, drank good wine and scotch, reconnected with friends, […]

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