No, I’m not referring to Bobby Boucher from the Adam Sandler movie of the same name—he makes sure (in a very comical way) that his college football team is sufficiently hydrated until joining the team and discovering a unique (and hilarious) approach to tackling. I'm referring to me, and I'm a waterboy of a different sort—I water flowers and plants as a parttime job. Okay, let me explain.
Colleen Barrett is perfectly willing to entrust her Employees with practically any responsibility, no matter how big or small. Well, eight years ago when I was new to the Executive Office at Southwest, Colleen sent me a memo asking if I'd be willing to water the vast array of flowers and plants in her backyard during the summer months. Of course, she pays me out of her own pocket. As I'm sure our bloggers will agree, this is not the kind of request a company President would normally make of one of his or her own Employees. Most Leaders in Colleen's position would hire professionals to do the job, but Colleen constantly looks for ways to include her Employees in just about everything, making us feel like Family.
After quickly accepting Colleen’s offer, I was given a key to the gate leading to her backyard so I could let myself in to water during my lunch hour or after work. Thanks to Colleen, I have enjoyed countless peaceful moments enjoying the beauty and wonder of nature—it’s almost like I’m in my own private arboretum.
I'm not a horticulturist, and I can't tell you the Latin names of flowers and plants. But over the past eight years, I've learned proper watering techniques and, more importantly, I've felt great pride in knowing that Colleen has entrusted me with something so dear to her.
A Thousand Thanks, Colleen, for your friendship and Leadership over the years. You have always been, and will forever be, Southwest’s Matriarch.