MOM’S PANEL MANIA
“Will today be just like every other day of the past week?” I ask myself while I assemble the day’s breakfast. The endless waiting is starting to wear me down. Based on the pattern of past years, it is certain that the first cuts for Disney’s 2010 Mom’s Panel will be made known at any moment.
As soon as the application process began a month ago, a congregation of hopeful applicants gathered on a thread in the Disboards, an unofficial Disney information forum. Ever since then, various personalities have been discussing a broad spectrum of Disney topics and getting to know each other while they sit in the virtual “waiting room.” I joined them a little over a week ago when the thread was brought to my attention.
It has been fun to have others help occupy my thoughts to pass the time. It has also been reassuring to know there are many who cannot pull themselves away from their computers until they are notified of Mom’s Panel progression or lack thereof. But after a week of obsessively following this thread, monitoring Twitter, and checking my e-mail, hoping to find any trace of evidence that the first cuts have been made, I wonder how much more my family can handle.
My permanent position at the desktop has brought most household maintenance routines to a screeching halt. The laundry pile has grown into Mount Washmore. I can’t even bring myself to inspect the contents of the ironing basket. I am a couple weeks behind on grading homeschool papers, and the bathrooms of my home could probably qualify as a set for Christina Aguilera’s music video, “Dirrty.”
Yet we just got through an “un-notified” weekend that was followed by Columbus Day, a day when many companies schedule a time-out. It seems like the selected applicants would have to be notified soon or they may not be able to make travel arrangements for the required Disney training days. This is what keeps me glued to my computer monitor with index finger affixed to the left-click button of my mouse, refreshing, refreshing, posting and refreshing.
It is almost noon. There are intense rumors that the e-mails are definitely going out today. One of the primary supervisors of the Mom’s Panel sent out a tweet on Twitter confirming this very notion. My finger is alternating between my e-mail inbox, Twitter, my Facebook feed page, the suspenseful thread on the Disboards and my e-mail “junk” box (which might collect the notification from a new but incredibly important address). I must know the second there is any indication that individuals have been picked for Round 2 of the Mom’s Panel selection process, or I may die.
Then something happens. I catch a post of particular interest on the Disboard thread. A poster named, “missy28” announces that she has jumped the gun along with “JIMINY1313,” skipped waiting for a Round 2 e-mail confirmation, pulled up the recruiting page on Disney’s website and tried her luck at being given access to the Round 2 questions which are only available to the eyes of selected participants. She is in! She has made it! No confirmation e-mail is necessary. She has found a way to start Round 2 on her own.
Do I dare try to imitate this method of “notifying” myself without waiting for a formal invitation by e-mail? My nerves kick into high gear. I carefully consider whether I’m ready to have my hopes dashed should I be denied access to the Round 2 questions. While I mull the notion over in my mind, I continue to closely watch the progress of the thread on the Disboards.
Questions naturally ensue. How did she do it? What were the exact details of finding the secret, virtual path to the coveted Round 2 application? Along with that, congratulations to missy28 trickle in.
It is confirmed that the long-awaited e-mails have still not gone out. Someone posts that when they tried to pull up the Disney site, they were informed that it was momentarily experiencing technical difficulties. Has there been a sudden rush to the site, causing the system to crash?
It isn’t long before a link to the recruiting page is posted. Someone reports they were turned away and denied access to the questions due to their login not being validated against a database of approved applicants. I gasp. This is turning into the real thing.
A round of well wishes and expressions of crossed fingers begin to stream in. Another poster has made it into that hallowed Round 2 question page. There is a flurry of posts that follow. “What are the appropriate ‘buzzwords’ for catching the attention of the individuals reading our applications?” one person inquires. Another one wants the link to the recruitment page posted again. Some others proposition that attempting to access the questions before receiving an e-mail invitation is like slinking in through a “back door” and not in line with the Disney spirit.
I consider that as a Neurotic Disney Mom I’m not opposed to getting to Disney through a back door. I would pry open a jalousie window and squeeze through its slim glass slats if that were necessary. I did it once in high school when I got locked out of the house accidentally. I certainly would do it for the sake of Mickey Mouse. But am I emotionally ready to handle the consequences of being denied access if that is my fate?
Another post appears. More people are being turned away at the virtual “back door.” Hearts are broken. Egos are bruised. Some begin to wonder why they have been shut out while others are deemed worthy. I tremble. Which side of the fence will I find myself on in my moment of truth?
As a mixture of “accepted” and “invalid” posts continue to appear along with congratulations and condolences, I realize that I can stand it no longer. I must know. I cannot wait for the expected e-mails. My nerves are raw, and my heart will go into cardiac arrest if I continue to strain it with my anxiety.
Feverishly, I scroll back to find a post with the now infamous “back door” link. Clicking on it, I’m taken to an initial page of congratulations of which I am aware is not the true test of acceptance. One more step is required. I must select the box located at the bottom of this page that requests login information. Here is where my login information will be checked against a list of approved applicants, and I will either be permitted to progress on to Round 2 or be denied.
My arrow is carefully placed over the box that should tell me all. My index finger is poised and ready to crash down on my mouse’s left-click button. I take one last breath to consider if I really should dare to test my fate, and with a great sense of finality I make my request to login.