Saturday, December 29, 2012

10 miles & The End of an Era Part I

Who wants to run 10 miles on Christmas Eve?? Nobody?? Thought so!  Did it anyway.  Blah blah blah.  Nothing exciting to report.

What I really want to blog about is something completely different.  The end of an era.

Yesterday was my last day working for Southwest Airlines.


I started as a wee baby intern in May of 2009, four days after I graduated from college.  I had been given the opportunity to start either May 20th or June 1st.  I knew that if I waited until June 1st that I wouldn't be as excited/motivated to start working full time, so I chose the 20th.  

I'm so glad I did!

There was only a handful of us that started that day so it wasn't quite so overwhelming.  The first person I talked to was Tim, who turned out to be a UT student.  Of course I had just graduated from OU and so I didn't know if we could be friends or not.  haha.  Fast forward a few years and we're still good friends!

I got to learn the ropes of the job before the other two interns in my department started, and got to know the team.  I was also in charge of choosing who sat next to me and who sat across the room.  Out of the two options, Jenna and Natalie, I chose Jenna to sit by me.  I want to say we had 65 interns that summer total, but I might be completely off, it might have been closer to 80?  I'm so old now I can hardly remember. ;)

Dress like a cow day for Chick-fil-A

The great thing about Southwest (one of them anyway) is that they hire a lot of like-minded people.  They're fun and outgoing but driven.  So from our first intern happy hour we were excited to get to know each other and talk about the trips we would go on with our flight benefits.  We ate lunch together, spent a few Thursday nights at Blackfin, attended deck parties, participated in the intern Amazing Race, and tried to get pictures with Gary Kelly whenever we could. Oh, and we worked our butts off.

That summer was a nail-biter for me.  2009 was not a good year to be looking for a job, and since I had already graduated and didn't have plans for grad school, I was desperate.  The area I worked in wasn't always busy enough for 3 interns, and I was doing all that I could to find work and stay busy.  Eventually I started going over to the maintenance hangar half the day to work with that part of the department.

Passing out peanuts!

They were always busy, so there was always something for me to do.  The Supervisor there was Angie, and I was continually going back and forth to her, asking what I could do.  She took a chance on me and let me have a lot more work than just something to keep me from being idle.  And when she was out on vacation I sent some of her emails and managed a little more of the workload.  She said that she would do all she could to help me get hired, even if it meant a contract position.

Jumping on the bed in Vegas.

The day before my internship was supposed to end, after a summer of applying for other jobs and not hearing back anything, I scheduled a meeting with my Director.  I'll never forget it.  It was 9 in the morning and I was on the verge between a panic attack and just sobbing.  What was I going to do?  I had no job and no prospects for a job.  But in the meeting he told me that he had found out the day before that they could hire me, even during the hiring freeze.

He went over a few of the terms and I thanked him and then did what most girls would do.  I went outside and called my mom.  Bawling.  Full-on ugly cry.  "What?? What is it??" my mom was saying on the other line.  "You can't just call me crying and not say anything!"

"I have a JOB!!!"

See how excited I was??

1 comment:

pam said...

I so remember that day! So proud of you Honey!