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What's Cooler Than Being Cool? An Ice Machine

Explorer C

We all have things about our jobs that we dread each day.  For most of us, there is a glimmer of hope that enables us to tolerate where we work.  Here at Southwest Airlines, they not only treat us well, but we come to work each day looking forward to the special family-oriented environment.
I remember coming in for the first day here at the Customer Service and Support center in Phoenix.  I was overwhelmed with the new job.

Making my maiden voyage to the breakroom, something caught my eye: not one, but two huge ice machines.

Ice Machines

An ear-to-ear grin formed.  I was so excited over what many would see as a basic breakroom item.  Every single day since I started here, I visit with the ice machine.  We have a very special relationship.

Of course living in the Valley of the Sun, it makes sense.  But this goes far beyond quenching my desire to cool down.

My Coworkers are aware I have an affinity for the ice machine, but we all share one common adoration at the Phoenix Center: the People.

We have a team leader, Edith, who has a special gift for the culinary arts.  She started 'Soup Saturday,' when she makes a giant batch of soup.  The soupy fare ranges from chicken noodle to beans and franks, left on the counter for Employees to enjoy.

Edith Making Food

Over the years, Soup Saturday has evolved to what we now call the "PC Café."

Employees have pitched in donations varying from a popcorn machine, a hot dog cooker, crock pots, and the heavier machinery: two ovens.

Every weekend, Edith donates her time and talents to whip up a multitude of delicious foods and treats for sale.

Edith isn't alone.  We have another Agent, Janice, who started a tradition here that also involves food.  We leave out a couple loaves of bread, a couple jars of jam/jelly, and peanut butter.  A donation jar, and you have a quick snack to help you get through the day.

The simple gesture is enough to help anyone be more productive.

Then there's Patti P.  If you get her taking your reservation, you will discover a bright and shiny individual set on making your phone experience as pleasant as possible.  Patti P. is equally bright off the phone, donating pens that seem to constantly disappear to the Agents and Admins.  She sings us songs when we need a pick-me-up, and created a billboard in our breakroom that highlights the wonderful Spirit of all of us here at the Phoenix Center.

We're all here for the People, whether it's our Customers or each other.

People are number one, but dig a bit deeper and you find that food comes in a close second.

However, that's all trumped by the one thing that helped me realize this is the best place to work: the Ice Machine.

I mean, really... it's an Ice Machine.  ICE!  How cool is that? (Get it?)