As an Intern, each day at work is bound to be a day of firsts. As I prepared for my first Monday at Southwest Airlines as the Communications Intern in Network Operations Control, I only knew that I would be taking part in a volunteer event for the duration of the day.
I arrived early and sat down at a long conference room table filled with full-time Flight Operations Employees. Instantaneously, the nerves kicked in–airline acronyms were being thrown left and right, and I immediately felt incapable.
“Here we go,” I thought. “My first and last Monday.” I listened restlessly as one of the women in charge, Amy, carefully explained to the room what we had signed up for. We were calling Fellow Employees who were stationed or living in the areas affected by Hurricane Irma, asking them if they were okay and documenting any further details about their situation and security. My heart fluttered in realization–this was a mission that had nothing to do with me and everything to do with the well-being of fellow Coworkers and fellow SWA Family Members.
A call list was placed in front of me with unfamiliar names and cell phone numbers to call. I was to be the reassuring, helping hand on the other end of the line. Immediately, I was overcome with humility. This event was so much greater than my internship, greater than my nervousness and trepidation. My first Monday at Southwest Airlines and they immediately displayed the “Warrior” in Warrior Spirit, the “Servant” in Servant’s Heart, and the “LUV” in Fun-LUVing Attitude. Hundreds of calls were made, thousands of words of encouragement and understanding were exchanged, and not a single complaint was uttered.
As I left the room at the end of that life-changing Monday, I realized something incredibly important. No matter what road this internship leads me to, I will be fortunate enough to always carry with me the memory of the beautiful acts of servitude I witnessed in this small conference room filled with new faces and compassionate Hearts. To personally converse and check-in with a veteran Employee and have them thank me for the kindness of this Company was both extremely surreal and breathtakingly awe-inspiring.
I fought the urge to say, “I am only an Intern, please do not thank me,” and instead, took the opportunity to further recognize such a wonderful Company by simply saying, “Southwest will always put your well-being first," which is a statement I knew held only truth. As I write this now, all I can say further is that the people of this world may have experienced love in their lifetime, but I am so lucky to be one of the fortunate Employees of Southwest Airlines who get to experience LUV.
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