This is a crazy place to work. Being relatively new to Southwest, I am still learning about our unique traditions that combine to make this such a FUN place to work.
My learning started when I was driving into the parking lot and checking my speedometer to make sure I was not going over the posted speed limit of 18 mph. Pretty random speed, but I assumed it had something to do with our stellar safety record. I must admit that attending my new hire class wearing pajamas was also a new experience for me, but, after all, we were putting our last 737-200 plane to bed.
As I went to set up our department tent at last year's "32nd and Last" Chili Cook-off, I did ask someone, "why is this going to be the last after 32 years?". Only to find out that our original Employees initially started with the "2nd and Last" Chili Cook-off because there was so much speculation (from others) that we wouldn't be around for a 3rd year. Incidentally, I thought this year's "33rd and Last" Chili Cook-off will go down in history as one of our best. But I think I'm finally getting it. Our department Culture Committee recently raised moneyÃ¢â‚¬¦you know bake sales and stuff, to fund our Easter Egg Hunt, Halloween skit, Holiday party, and the most bizarre to me, the Message to the Field Tailgate. Having worked for three other major companies, it blows my mind that Employees will raise money to buy matching Company T-shirts, hire the "Hamburger Man" to cook burgers, buy a few adult beverages, and go celebrate in anticipation of the "Message." The Message to the Field is a series of events around the country where our Employees gather to hear from our leaders Gary Kelly and Colleen Barrett. A state of the Company message is delivered, and Employees stand and cheer (in their matching T-shirts). The tailgate occurs prior to the Message and would rival most Super Bowl parking lots. Maybe lots of Companies do this type of thing but it was new to me. Would you buy a Company shirt, bake a cake, and volunteer to give up an evening to cheer your Leaders? I hope so. If not, you should check our Careers page at southwest.com.