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Are T-Shirts a Core Competency?

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My wife bought me a T-shirt the other day. I think she forgot that I've been adding about two new SWA T-shirts a month to my collection. (Who started this madness anyway?) SWA_Herbwrestle2.jpgThrow in the occasional giveaway blood donor T-shirt and an assortment of slogan shirts starting or ending with "Aggie Dad" to the mix, and my closet rivals any "T-Shirts R US" kiosk in the mall. But when I saw my new T-shirt, I instantly knew why she found it irresistible. Four simple words across the front--Will Work for Fun. Yep. That pretty much sums it up for me. (For the answer to Jeff's question, "Who started this madness anyway?" click the photo)
22 Comments
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Excellent! Can I, uh, borrow that?
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Hey Jeff, I am a T-Shirt addict as well. About once a year I go through my T-Shirt drawer and pull out all of the SWA shirts that I have not worn the in the past year. I can't tell you how many bags of T-shirts that I have stored in my garage. I just can't seem to throw them out. Sometimes I go and look at them and it gives me a visual timeline of my life at SWA. I still have the 1st anniversary shirt from 1996 when the Oklahoma City Reservations center turned 1. We turned 10 last year. I actually still wear the 25th anniversary (Wendy's table) shirt because I get a kick out of it seeing peoples reactions. There have been some industrious and creative people here who have turend theirs into quilts. I am not that crafty. I can tell you that without a doubt my favorite reads "Marry Me, Fly for Free."
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Yup...wearing a new "DING" t-shirt today, as a matter of fact!
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I love that Jeff! Any chance you can tell us where she got it? Wish we'd thought of it first.
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Robin, I'm saving mine to have made into a quilt.
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She got it at Dillards...I hope you find one.
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"...assortment of slogan shirts starting or ending with 'Aggie Dad'..." WHOOP!!!!!
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It must be funny to see strangers glance at your shirt and then laugh.
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Glenn, you are free to "use" whatever you want from my blog, but my t-shirt collection is not for sale!
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Marry me...Fly for free! I luv that! We are currently using t-shirts in some locations that say "Work with me....fly for free". I like the earlier version even better.
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Gosh, we've been doing T-Shirts since I started in 1977. I remember back then, when Southwest was selling sex (hot pants, knee high boots, "LUV" bites,) I had a T-shirt that said, "I had a Nooner on Southwest Airlines". Wish I still had it, it would fetch a small fortune on EBay. Nona Rogers, CSS
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Nona...your old t-shirt comment made me LOL and speechless!
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Dear Jeff , after 19+ years of working for an airline with big red tails I think SWA sounds like fun.
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In 1992, sitting in a new hire pilot class, I remember Herb coming in and talking about SWA to the new pilots. We had 115 airplanes and were doing quite well. Someone asked Herb what he thought the next big competition for SWA would be. Herb thought for about 5 seconds and said " I think the next big competition in the airline business, .... will be the competition of the balance sheets,............ and I fully intend to win that one." Being an econ major, I knew that I had found a place to call home. I was offered a Job at United about a month later, and respectfully declined, mostly because of my experience with Herb Kelleher on that first day of class. Now it is 14 years later, and the airline world has collapsed. Southwest has prospered. Talk about vision! Don"'t look for a good job, look for a good leader!"
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Ive got my share of t-shirts, too. I'm a former URC employee. (Anybody from URC out there?) I had to retire from SWA when the Utah Reservation Center closed. One of the saddest days of my life. I have many wonderful memories of working for SWA and flying. Speaking of the slogan, 'Marry me and fly for free' I saw it on someone's licence plate frame at work one day. It was great!
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Al, I don't think a week goes by without hearing a good Herb quote. He is right on target about the importance of Leaders and People. I heard someone say at a conference last week that "Culture eats Strategy for lunch". Strategy is important but if you don't get the Culture right...forget it.
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Lorry, LUV the license plate idea. If the job market keeps improving, I may have to try it again!
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I remember several years ago hearing a good joke. How many SWA Employees does it take the change a light bulb? 5.....1 to change the bulb, 2 to blow up the balloons and 2 to sell the t-shirts. After 20 yrs I have a HUGE assortment of SWA t-shirts and I'm thinking of doing the quilt thing too.
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I hadn't heard that yet. Very funny!
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i've now heard three incidents of passengers being hassled by SWA employees for their attire. in this day and age, what kind of person would care about someone's attire on a airplane? not to mention, SWA stewardesses (as they used to be called) wore hot pants and were all about sexing it up. now they kick people off a plane for wearing inappropriate clothes?? what a bunch of hippocrates!!!! i will no longer be supporting SWA with my business.
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Hey I really like Southwest Airlines and since some of you work there, and it seems that you have tons of them, I was wondering if maybe one of you would like to send me a free shirt???:) P.S. I live in Phoenix, AZ which is pretty much run by Southwest.
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I could be wrong (very wrong) but I thought the "Attire Incident" was due to a customer complaint. A customer with children on the plane. I definitely see how you say it is a bit hypocritical for SW to refuse service to someone with more clothing than the FAs used to wear. But SW has changed their image since then. They have gone to a more family friendly outlook. So please don't give up on us just yet!