You may not think of fine décor when you think of Maintenance, but here in Houston Maintenance, we’ve got decorating down to a fine art. We take a lot of pride in our entries in the Company’s gate-decorating contests during the holidays, and it shows. I don’t mean to brag, but this year we led the Maintenance category for both our “40 Years of LUV” Valentine’s Day gate and took second place with our “Lordy, Lordy, Look Who’s 40” anniversary gate. Halloween is a big deal at SWA, but this isn’t our first rodeo.
In 2010, Houston Maintenance was asked to decorate a gate in the terminal for our annual Halloween celebration. Our Maintenance Culture Committee got together and, after much discussion, we came up with a flying saucer painted like a SWA aircraft. We added a half dozen aliens and created an “alien invasion.” Our space craft carried a banner that said “Bags Still Fly Free!” We had a blast, and I learned really quickly that we have lots of talented folks working at Houston Maintenance!
Fast forward to 2011; we are discussing our gate selection for this year’s contest. In keeping with our original idea, we wanted something Halloween-scary, but still involving airplanes. We remembered the movie title “Snakes on a Plane.” Although the real movie was kind of cheesy, we decided to create our own version.
I had also recently watched the old 90’s movie “Anaconda” about giant snakes in a jungle that hunted and ate people…yikes! With that, the troops were rallied to create a scary jungle-like tree (made from a roll of brown paper). We twisted limbs and used flour and water (making papier-mâché) to harden them into the form we wanted. The same was done to a large tube, using glue, water and paper, to create our airplane. It was suggested that we cover swimming pool noodles for our snakes…but after much discussion our larger than life snakes were born from air conditioner duct and a few yards of material held in place with hot glue. Trust Maintenance to come up with an innovative, practical solution!
I’ll be the first to say “Houston Maintenance Rocks!” We LUV a challenge and will continue to show our Southwest Spirit. So count on us to “Own It”…every chance we get!