Not Everyone Likes Disney-Style ‘Guest’ Service

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Karen Stabiner asks in an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times: What ever happened to being a plain old ‘customer’?

I don’t know about your friends, but my friends never ask me to pay when they invite me over for a good time. "Guest" implies free, or at least it used to. Lately, "guest" seems to mean something new — in return for paying for goods and services, we get the illusion of pleasant social interaction. No surly cuppa joe for a guest, no siree, but a customized, extra-hot, extra-dry, half-caff soy cappuccino served up with a smile, a little conversation and a polite "Thanks, have a nice day."

We used to be "customers," but now we’re "guests." It makes me feel ever so slightly self-conscious, like I should’ve dressed better to stand in line.

I’ve heard complaints liket this one before.  But I prefer Disney’s lingo.

4 thoughts on “Not Everyone Likes Disney-Style ‘Guest’ Service”

  1. In comparing the “guests” of Vintage Disneyland with the “guests” of today, it wouldn’t hurt the slobs to dress a little better! I’ll do Whit one better: send Karen to Tragic Mountain if she wants to look like a slob. She’ll fit right in.

  2. That’s funny, I’ve always preferred the Disney mantra on this. It implies that once inside, you don’t have to justofy yourself by doing anything. And Disney parks are so wonderful, you could have a wonderful time just walking through.

  3. There’s quite a difference between being a ‘guest’ at a Disney park and being one at a retail store. Disney actually treats you like one. Every cast members seem to really love being there, and who can blame them. If you’re in Wal-Mart or the like though, those people are in a pretty hellish job being paid minimun wage. Calling customers ‘guests’ is just absurd. The level of service is going to always be questionable there no matter what they call you.

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