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All in a Day's Work

Explorer C
About 11 years ago, I started reporting directly to our President, Colleen Barrett. She told me at the time that my job would require me to do some pretty "off the wall" things from time to time. I was so excited about my new position that I eagerly nodded in agreement without giving it another thought. About three weeks after that conversation, I reported to work on a typical morning to find a note taped to my office door. It read, "somehow during the night a small kitten made its way through my doggy door and is loose somewhere in the house. Please go over to my house and see if you can find it. If you do, please go house to house and see if you can find out who it belongs to. Thanks. Colleen." That's when our prior conversation came back to mind--talk about one of those "a-ha" moments! All worked out well--I found the kitten, and found it a home. This was going to be an interesting job, indeed! Just yesterday I found myself lying facedown on a mannequin in the hallway. I was struggling to pull the go-go boots off of her very stiff and rigid feet. After all, she's been wearing them for at least 15 years now. Next I was meant to remove the 1970's hot pants uniform--this proved to be even more of a challenge! I had to remove both arms and a leg just to get the outfit off. (Oh, I guess you should know why I was doing this! Because our uniforms over the years have been so different from those of other airlines, we have them all displayed on mannequins on the 3rd Floor of our Headquarters Building,FA_Mannequin_3rdFloor.jpg and we needed them for our upcoming 35th Anniversary Annual Awards Banquet.) Talk about a mess--I was up to my neck mannequin in body parts and embarrassed to boot when a male Coworker came around the corner!! The look on his face said it all! As I mentioned in paragraph one--I just never know what crazy assignment is around the corner! I once had the good fortune to help our PR Department mail out thousands of inflatable airplanes to elementary schools around the country. Since I am a FIAM (frequent inflatable airplane mailer), I happened to notice that the boxes this particular shipment came in was larger than normal, so I decided to open one of the boxes. Now, I've been told on occasion that "I must be living right," but that never rang more true than on this day! The boxes were full of life-sized dolls!!! (And I'm not talking about collectable Madame Alexanders either . . .) Need I say more? I think one of my favorite assignments of all time would have to be when I traveled with Herb to beautiful Burbank California for his "walk on" role on the TV show, Wings (the comedy about a New England commuter airline--not the Howard Hughes movie). I don't know how many of you have ever been on a live TV set, but it's pretty exciting--especially if you like to sit around for hours just waiting for something to happen--anything. Because Herb was an "extra," we were treated to the same food and beverage as the rest of the cast, but we had to wait our "turn" to enjoy it. When we were finally able to approach the catering table, my mouth watered as I took the last crumb of tuna? or was it chicken salad? To this day I have no idea, but I continued to search for anything that appeared to be edible--what about the garnishes that someone had taken off the catering tray and placed on top of the rubbish bin? It would have to do. I guess my point here is that being on that set was about as exciting as watching paint dry--but I had a secret weapon--I had Herb! Even though Wings was written as a comedy, the script didn't even come close to the natural comedic charm of our dear Herbie! Herb_on_Plane_Tail.jpg He had not only me, but the cast and crew in stitches!! About six hours later, it was finally showtime! As I sat in the live audience awaiting Herb's "walk on role," I thought to myself, "geez, I'm hungry..." The whole point of this particular post isn't to brag about my heroic efforts with the kitten or the inflatable, uh, err, toys, but to point out what a diverse position I hold. Only at Southwest Airlines would I have the Freedom to have FUN while doing a job that I love! Of course, I have 20-years worth of whacky stories, so stay tuned!!