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Roll It Forward

mmessina
Adventurer C
 There are a zillion things about our Culture at Southwest Airlines that never cease to amaze me.  Our CEO, Gary, dressed in full drag handing out peanuts on a Halloween flight; Employees are all on a first-name basis with not only our CEO, but our President (Colleen), and our Co-Founder and Chairman (Herb); and the fact that no one at the Company even bats an eye at the fact that my job as Culture Activities Representative is more often referred to systemwide as "Culture Chick." All of that and the thing that still gets me every time is the paper towel situation in our restrooms here at Headquarters.  Now, I have not spent quite enough time in our stations to know if this marvel exists in every Southwest city but hopefully after this blog, it will not only be all over Southwest Airlines, but all over the world! It started almost four years ago when, as a Temp, I began noticing that every time I washed my hands in the ladies' room, paper towels were magically waiting for me.  It was pretty cool that I didn't have to touch the germy lever, and I thought to myself, "that was really nice of someone; I guess I'll roll some out for the next person."  Then it kept happening.  I used the restroom on a different floor; there were the towels.  Another department; there they were again.  I was hired on as a fulltime Employee and worked at the Data Center (in a different building!); the paper towels were rolled out for me like I was some sort of dignitary!  I once pointed this out to someone in the restroom with me at the same time--a longtime Employee who has since retired from the Company--and her response? "That's our Culture for you."  That was like music to my ears; it's things like this that you can't explain to people when they ask why we LUV our jobs.  I asked men if it was happening on their side of the restroom world, and yep, you guessed it, of course it is.  And just the other day when I mentioned that I wanted to blog about this, I was told that some Interns in the building had recently been curious about this very phenomenon!  Of course there are occasions that I don't find paper towels waiting for me. And to that I say, "WHY, Southwest, why?"  In this crazy germ-conscious world that we live in, can't we look out for each other a little bit?  If you already have towels in your hand, you have a shield against the germs on that lever, so roll some paper towels out and you might just be responsible for saving someone from their next cold, then maybe they won't take a sick day, then you will be saving the Company money AND keeping our unique Culture alive!  Whoa, I got a little fired up there-- sorry. Of course this won't work for those stacks of paper towels, those pesky air dryers that never get your hands dry, or those cool motion-detector dispensers, but there are still millions of restrooms that haven't caught up with that technology. Think of it as our own version of pay it forward-ROLL IT FORWARD, People!  Do it at Southwest Headquarters, in airport bathrooms, in your own workplaces, in restaurant bathrooms, in shopping mall bathrooms, in gas station bathrooms, all over the world--think of yourselves like those bathroom attendants at fancy restaurants and clubs that hand you something to dry your hands on, only you won't be expecting a tip from anyone, but you will get the satisfaction of knowing you might make just one person smile!
7 Comments
Laura_Runge
Explorer C
Seriously??? You mean the whole world doesn't do this??? This is a perfect example of how, after 14 years working at Southwest Airlines, I have become so accustomed to the small gestures of kindness that my Coworkers demonstrate every day, that I forget it's not like this in the "outside world." You simply get used to it around here. Thanks, Mallory. And, to all of you out there, YES--roll it forward!
Anonymous_Cowar
Explorer C
Often when I walk in the bano and see the roll-it-forward paper touching the waste bin and see all its wet spots on it I wonder how this is "helping" fight germs? Please say "No" to roll-it-forward. And if you must, please don't pump the handle so much. Sorry for the counter-view, but I guess every coin has 2 sides 😛
Kathi
Explorer C
I am all for the Roll-It-Forward concept Mallory! After my second, maybe third experience of this HDQ phenomenon I LUV-ed it and started doing it everywhere I went. My favorite is when I roll it forward for someone who is waiting. Their look is amazing and I always get a thank you. It's so cool how many of them roll it forward for the next person too. Southwest is so unique in our Culture but I always just figured this was a case of a memo gone out at some point in time. Thanks Mallory, for clearing the air, and for spreading our Culture to the world! And thanks Colleen for adding the "seat gaskets" to HDQ also! 😉
kfrancis1
New Arrival
I'm a three-tug girl. That leaves about a good 10 inches to grab and dry your hands with. : )
Tamra
Explorer A
i love the "roll it fwd" campaign, and i try to do it everywhere i go.... i must say, i am glad we finally got rid of those awful brown paper towels we use to have in the ladies restroom here in MX. ouuuuchhhh! those things were really paper...i had paper cuts from drying my hands with them. isn't it silly the things we will blog about lol....
pthompson
Explorer A
It hasn't taken hold yet here (men's) on the 3rd floor by Ground Ops, but I'm doing it now after reading this blog!
chad-murphy
Explorer C
GREATNESS! I love the "Roll it Forward" blog! Mallory and I have talked about this in the past, and I think it is the greatest thing. Let's go Maintenance, let's get the "Roll it Forward" going in the garage! 🙂