Did you feel it today at approximately 2:30 Herb time? I’m sure even from Atlanta you would have felt the rush of air as, collectively, 74 people heaved a big sigh of relief! The toughest part is behind us. WE ALL PASSED! No big surprise to most of you, I am sure, as it is already all over facebook. But for those who are not tethered to the social media I thought that I should confirm it. And to those who are coming behind us, I hope you will rest easy. You, too, will pass! For those who only wanted that assurance you can stop reading. For the rest of you, here’s how our day went!
We started with a presentation from provo. If you are in the June 18th class, you should already know that these are the caterers here. So, “ho, hum” you are thinking, right? But here’s some facts you probably didn’t know: Southwest goes through 87 million packages of peanuts in a year and 29 million cans of water and larger stations like MDW And LAS can go through 3500 bags of ice per day! And did you know that a company can not only hedge fuel, but can hedge peanuts?? With that many served per year, that sure could help the bottom line. Who knew? Looking at the pictures of their warehouse I would LUV to switch places with them for a day. What an operation!
We then had everyone’s favorite recurrent subject, HAZMAT. I would love to tell you that there is something new and wonderful about HAZMAT training at Southwest, but, aside from our entertainer/trainer, it was the same old thing we’ve heard before. The one bright spot in the class was that, yet again, on-line Southwest flight attendants in the building for recurrent stuck their head in just to say hi and welcome us.
After lunch we lined up and waited our turn to take our final in the computer room (and, yes, it is multiple choice!), but then you know how that all turned out already!
Inflight Base Operations came in to introduce themselves afterwards. Although they are not much into titles, Sonya and her team, Henry, Mike and Steve (often mistaken for Billy Bob Thornton, Elvis and Val Kilmer) have the very important role of supporting us at our bases. When they came out and said, “We have hit the jackpot” – referring to us – we were in awe. Will the LUV never end? With their open door policy and “You are our customers” attitude, how could we not succeed under their leadership? When Henry talked about the “Ideas and Inquiries” tab on SWAlife he defined it as “Engaging employees to make this a better place to work”. I am not sure any of us could imagine such a thing. We really DO feel like we have landed in flight attendant heaven! Here the purpose of management is to lead us to our best potential because, as Sonya put it, “It’s all of us together”.
Even Strategic Planning (and I’m still not sure I understand what they do) spoke of how a leader can be molded by those he leads. What a concept! I left this day, once again, in awe of this new company of mine (because I have passed the final now and those wings are in touching distance) and looking forward to the day that all of you are proudly here with me. Thank you, Southwest, for seeing the value in merging our two companies. We will do you proud!