Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Whoops! It's been a while...

Somehow it donned on me today that it had been a hot minute since I wrote a blog post. Then I looked to see how long it had been and it has been over a month! I am so upset with myself for letting this go so long. Here's a quick little recap about what I've been up to since February 12th.

February 13th I went to my first NBA game at the American Airlines center to see the Mavs play! I haven't been able to go back but I would in a heartbeat, I do love attending any sporting event.

Valentine's Day is kind of a big deal at Southwest (being the LUV airline and all ;)) and we were able to attend the Heroes of the Heart award ceremony. This award goes to a department that doesn't directly interact with external customers but has gone the extra mile in their work over the last year. It was very cool to get to be there. Then that night a group of us that are all single (and some that have significant others far away) went out for dinner and drinks for Valentine's.

That next morning I flew home to Kansas City, my parents found a new car for me and I had to go home to get it tagged and to bring it back to Dallas. My dad picked me up from the airport (after I almost slept through my 6 a.m. flight, oops!) and we got to catch up and have breakfast together. Then he dropped me off at my mom's so that I could take car of my car responsibilities - did I mention that a week after my wreck my mom had rotator cuff surgery? That made dealing with insurance companies that much more complicated. Thank God for my stepdad Mike and his patience, he stepped in a took care of everything and I could not be more grateful.

I got my car taken care of, and was able to swing by and see my sister Anne, catch up with her while she cut my hair. Then right before I was about to hit the road to Pittsburg to see my friends my brother Jake stopped by the house and I was able to see him too! It was so great to see so much family even though I was only in town for a few hours.

I decided to head to Pittsburg on Friday and spend the rest of the weekend with my friends because it would cut two hours off my drive time on Sunday and I hadn't seen most of them for two months and I missed them like crazy! Seeing everyone was so good, I had a really hard time leaving Sunday but I just had to remember the bigger picture - easier said than done.

The drive back to Dallas was long and not so fun when you're all alone, but I made it back in one piece!

The next weekend I traveled with Elly and Heather, we were determined to make it to the beach. We decided to try and fly into Orlando and drive about 45 minutes to Cocoa Beach. Flights were getting worse as the day went on but the nonrev gods were with us and we made it! We got to Orlando around 11 p.m. - hadn't made any hotel or rental car arrangements since we weren't sure we were even going to get there - and looked at each other like "now what?" Then walked up one of the flight attendants from the flight we just got off. As we were frantically looking at our phones to try and find hotels he said "You guys need some help?" and we graciously accepted any and all advice he had to give. He ended up helping us find the crew hotel and get the Southwest employee rate AND he informed us that he was also headed to Cocoa Beach the next day and could give us a ride so we didn't need to worry about renting a car. He was seriously our travel guardian angel. We hit up the beach with him and his friends Saturday and then headed back to Dallas on Sunday. We couldn't have planned the weekend any better.

Still craving more time on the beach Elly and I headed to San Diego the following weekend with Carrie, Conner and Corey. We caught the early flight Saturday morning and immediately after landing found a little brunch spot with bottomless mimosas - I was in heaven. After getting our money's worth of mimosas it was time to head to the beach. We went to Pacific Beach which was full of what seemed to be locals. It was a gorgeous day and the beach was equally as beautiful. Some how all of us were exhausted and what was meant to be a nap/rest time before going out turned in to just going to bed. We were up and at 'em early the next morning to catch our flight back. On the flight back we got to fly on one of Southwest's new 737-800 aircraft, I have a new liking for planes after being on them so much the last couple of months. The 800 is so pretty! If you have a chance to fly on one, you will immediately know what I'm talking about.

Monday, March 4th was Southwest's Message to the Field. Message to the Field is basically their "State of the Union" if you will, to reflect on the last year and get excited about what is in the year to come. In true Southwest fashion there was a giant tailgate prior to the event to get everyone pumped up to hear the Message. I thought it was awesome to get to be here for - we got to hear CEO, President and Chairman of the Board, Gary Kelly, speak about where Southwest has come from and where they are going. As if I didn't already want to keep working for this company enough as it is, after getting to hear the Message, I want to stay even more.

Being the second week in March and Spring Breaks starting it became harder for us to get places, since we travel on standby. Somehow Elly, Heather and I found a way to make it to Austin for the start of SXSW, well for the day on Saturday at least. We hopped on a 9:45 a.m. flight there, toured our way around 6th street and caught a 6:50 p.m. flight back to Dallas. It was a very short and sweet trip but it was a blast! I even got to run in to a friend, Ivan, from school who happened to be there for the weekend.

After last weekend being a traveling nightmare it was decided that we would all do St. Patty's weekend in Dallas. Friday I tagged along with Elly and some of her friends from college to go watch the KU vs. TCU baseball game in Ft. Worth, I realized I hadn't been to a baseball game since my internship with the T-Bones and that I actually missed it!

Saturday was the big St. Patty's parade on Greenville in Dallas. We all met at Erin and Elly's apartment, since it was walking distance to the rest of the day's festivities, and for lack of a better explanation acted like we were in college again. It was a great day.

Now that I am all caught up, I plan on not letting that happen again!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Social Butterfly

The best part about Mondays while working at Southwest has to be the fact that they end with a Deck Party. Seriously, genius. What better way to make the least favorite day of the week exciting than by ending the day with a party for everyone. This week's theme was Mardi Gras and when you walked in you were greeted with beads and the line to stand in for keg beer and sandwiches. Have I mentioned the live band that was also there? So. Fun.

This deck party seemed to last longer than the others, or I stayed longer - not sure which, but I do know I had a great time. Then walking out to my car a new friend hollered over that some people were going to Katy Trail Ice House for a little bit, so I tagged along to that as well. This particular Monday was a very social one and I got home a little late (10:00ish), but I had a lot of fun getting to know everyone better!

I did not however enjoy the little amount of sleep I got.

Tuesday I had a follow up appointment to make sure I was doing okay since my accident and I am but still sore in my shoulder so I will be heading back to the doctor in about four weeks. The rest of the day at work consisted of making some digital signs, photoshopping the usual picture and then of course decorating the department for Valentine's Day! Cindy (another lady in my department) and I decked out Cabin Services with anything heart or cupid shaped we could find - including a strand of heart shaped christmas lights. Pretty normal day.

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A weekend in The Big D

Thursday at work was the intern scavenger hunt, a.k.a. "The Not-So-Amazing Race". We got split up in to teams of seven and were given clues that had us running (seriously RUNNING) all over headquarters until had collected all nine clues and successfully completed the tasks at each stop, all of course pertaining to Southwest history and trivia.

Early on my team had determined that we wanted to win. I just didn't realize how serious everyone else was until we were seriously sprinting from building to building and my face was the same color as the red Pitt State shirt I was sporting. Each stop was a lot of fun and it paid off to be running like we were because we came in 1st by the skin of our teeth. Thankfully we won, because my face was bright red until 4 p.m.

This weekend I had originally planned on going to visit my friends in Pittsburg, but the whole getting in a wreck sent those plans down the drain, so I decided to stay in Dallas for the weekend. Erin and Carrie (two other interns) were also staying in town so the three of us hit up happy hour at Blue Mesa. Their happy hour is a steal, $4 cocktails, $2.25 draws and a free quesadilla bar - sold. While at happy hour we decided that we should continue the happiness and go out in Uptown that night.

While at happy hour we also found a concert to go to the next night. Saturday Carrie and I went to Fort Worth and met up with some of her friends from college and went out to dinner and then to Billy Bob's Texas to see Easton Corbin.

I loved Billy Bob's. The place is enormous - there is a concert area, multiple bars, a dance floor and bull riding. It was great people watching and the concert was great! I only knew a few of his songs but he did quite a few covers and did them well.

Sunday consisted of doing nothing and watching the Grammy's. I loved it.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"We'll pick you up" ;)

So today was a rather uneventful day compared to the last few, but nonetheless still eventful.

There was a whole fiasco with the rental car situation that forced me to wait until today around noon to get one (basically if you have an out of state license and are under 25 you have to jump through hula hoops that are on fire while juggling to obtain a rental car). So I get picked up by Enterprise (kudos to their marketing department for the "we'll pick you up" because that is basically the only reason I chose them, cause I needed to be picked up). I get in the car and make conversation with the guy that came and got me, it's way to awkward if you don't.

The conversation was fine, we talked about not being from here and blah blah blah I tell him my life story somehow, and at the end of the ride he says "Do you like to go out?". I replied "yeah!", thinking that since he is into the music scene he is going to tell me some cool places to check out - he did not. He then asked if I would like to go out some time. He literally "picked me up"- not really the service I was looking for, Enterprise.

Nervously I answered "Oh... yeah, sure", no I did not care to ever go out with Jerron, but I didn't know how to politely decline since we were still in the car (at this point I am awkwardly fidgeting with the handle trying to unlock and break free but was having no such luck). I decided to take matters into my own hands and ask for his information so that I could choose to not use it. Jerron then holds up the paper that he used to find me today and says "Oh, or I already have your information, if that's cool" (keep in mind he used the GPS on his phone to find my house and called me from the same phone to tell me that he was outside). Sorry, but that wasn't cool with me.

I later called enterprise and informed them of the wonderfully awkward situation one of their employees put me in and to asure that he would not have access to my personal information. The branch manager was super apologetic and told me there would be disciplinary action to follow, he then asked if there was anything rental wise he could do for me. I was surprised by this and didn't know what to ask for, so now I get to return the car with an empty tank instead of making sure it is filled to the amount I started with. It's really coming down to the little things to make me happy now-a-days.

After that wonderful start to the day I finally got to return to work! I was so happy to see my team and other interns :). It was a short day but to avoid some of the rush hour traffic I hit up happy hour with some fellow interns and other southwest employees. It was good to see some of the friends I have made as well as meet some more new people.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Sunday I was driving home from the airport and I had talked to my mom on the phone almost the entire drive home. I was about three exits away from mine when we hung up, it was about 2:00 p.m. I had pulled up to some stopped traffic and had just stopped my car in the right hand lane, when I heard screeching tires and then a black SUV slammed in to the side of my car. I had ended up in the middle of the busy highway before I even realized what had happened. Those that know me, know that I cry in most situations. So there I was crying and screaming in the middle of the highway in my smashed up Gertrude. I truly believe God was with me on Sunday though because instantly this man, Jayson was at the side of my car telling me to breathe and stay calm and that he was going to help me. It then hit me that my windows were busted out and there was glass everywhere. Another lady came up after him and told me she was a nurse and wanted to make sure I was okay. The two of them had to be my guardian angels because I don't know what I would have done without them.

The nurse was already on the phone with 911 and Jayson had already taken pictures of the scene. Then he came, crawled in the passengers side and helped me move my car off the highway. I was too emotional to know what to do so he ended up moving the car for me. While he went and talked to the police the nurse stayed with me and held my hand until the paramedics and firemen got me out of the car. The both of them called my mom and my cousin for me, since a crying screaming girl isn't really a good phone call to receive.

My back and neck hurt instantly so they put me on a stretcher and in the ambulance to take me to the hospital. The ride to the hospital was almost as scary as the wreck itself. I was all strapped in and down and couldn't move - which I hate.

Finally I got to the hospital and got vacuumed off (there was too much glass to know what to do with) and they started assessing my injuries and doing the whole admitting process (I really wished Cassie could have been there this time). In between getting a chest x-ray and two CAT scans, we tried to find the super bowl. Just my luck, my room didn't get the channel it was on. You've GOT to be kidding me. I finally got to leave the hospital with some serious pain meds at about 7:00.

After leaving the hospital I had to go to the impound to get my things out of my car. I had a full suitcase among other things that i didn't want sitting in my open car all night, and I wanted to see the damage.

Then I needed to get my prescriptions filled - will one of my friends working in healthcare explain to me why it takes a year and a half to do? I finally got home at 9:00, running on about four hours of sleep and pure adrenaline at this point I just about died.

Monday was full of phone calls and naps due to the pain medicine. Tuesday was much of the same.

I did however, receive these beautiful flowers from the Cabin Services department at Southwest! Made my day a little brighter for sure. :)

Getting a rental car is becoming a pain because I'm not 25 or a resident of Texas. The police report hasn't been posted yet so I still haven't been able to file a claim with the other insurance company. Oh and I am broke so the whole buying a new car things has been a fun thing to look in to as well. Basically this has been the crappiest week ever. Maybe by the end I'll write a survivor's guide to totaling your car: the saga of dealing with insurance, rental cars and the stress that comes with it. You know, trying to look on the bright side ;)

Playing Catch up

I have been really bad about keeping up with this over the last week so I'm going to catch everyone up to speed very briefly. 

In my last post I had said that traffic hadn't been too bad right? well the very next day I learned ust how bad it really could be! Long story short, that day it took me four hours to get to work. I was stuck behind a fatality accident and literally was parked on the highway. 

Thursday January, 24 I got to go to Phoenix for the day for work. We are working on a video project with Flight Attendants and we flew out there to film some of them. That was a long but awesome day! 

Friday January, 25 was my first time getting my "flex" day off. I work 7-5 every day and then get every other Friday off. Having this day off is going to be wonderful! I loved having the extra time to run errands, sleep in and just take some me time. 

Saturday January, 26 I went with four other interns to New Orleans for our first non-rev trip. We found out the Mardi Gras had already started and there would be parades to go to and a ton of other New Orleans traditions to soak up. We ended up meeting some guys from Florida and exploring the parade scene with them - very fun! We woke up early the next morning (11:00) and flew home with no problems. It was a very fun and stress free trip!

Last week was pretty mellow, Wednesday after work I got to fly to Austin for work. We were filming another Flight Attendant for our project - he was a riot! Since we left on the last flight out we stayed the night at the same hotel as the crew and then flew to work in the morning - that was awesome, the whole getting to fly to work thing. 

As the weekend approached we planned out next non-rev trip, this time to Nashville! 

We flew out to Nashville right after work on Friday (three other interns, a girl who works full time and myself). Once we arrived and got set up in our hotel we headed out for dinner. There was this really cute place around the corner called Music City Flats. They had delicious flatbreads and an assortment of beer and wine. After dinner we got ready to go out for the night and waited for some more interns' flights to get in and meet up with them. 

We went on on Broadway (made me miss Pittsburg), which was pretty close to heaven for me. This is the street that is referred to as "NashVegas" it was decked out with bright neon lights, live music EVERYWHERE - like I said heaven. We bar hopped for a bit and then called it a night when the bars started closing. We got a late start so we were confused when the lights started coming on. 

Saturday we enjoyed sleeping in, a late brunch, some window shopping and having a relaxing day. Then once night time rolled around we got ready for the night, ate some dinner at Whiskey Kitchen (the name is what sold me on the fact that we had to drink - I mean eat - there) and then hit up the main drag to go out again! 

After meeting some extremely interesting people and two stepping the night away we headed back to the hotel, around 3 am and had to be up at 6 to make our flight. We're quite an ambitious bunch. 

Sunday morning came all too soon and we packed up quickly and rushed off to the airport. The travel day home was slightly uneventful, until I started to drive home - this will be continued in my next post. 

I know this was kind of boring and short and sweet but I wanted to ge caught up before the next part of my story cause it is a lot all at once. 

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

You don't get MLK Jr. Day off after graduation

Monday came a whole lot faster than I expected (and I was a little upset that all my friends had MLK Day off and I didn't, but I guess that's what happens after graduation huh?), but it went by just as fast as it came.

Southwest offers classes to employees as interns through their University for People. Monday started out with a class for the communication interns about how to communicate the Southwest Way. This class was interesting since Southwest has a very unique writing style and even their own style guide (which varies from the standard style guides we have been taught all through school). It is going to be a challenge adapting to writing differently than I have my entire life but will be fun to get to play with the different terms and phrases that are unique to Southwest.

After our writing class we had an intern meeting to learn about one of the greatest perks we have - TRAVEL! As interns we have free travel privileges on any Southwest flight as standby passengers, which means there is an art to traveling as an intern. I could not be more excited for this opportunity and get to see all of the places in our beautiful country that I haven't, and get to visit friends and family!

On Friday I turned in my first draft of an article I was assigned to write for our internal publication Onboard that is produced for the inflight crew. Monday I had gotten my draft back with feedback from the editor - which was positive! :)

After work on Monday was a Deck Party (another AWESOME perk for interns and employees). Deck Parties happen every Monday after work and are basically a company wide happy hour. It's a great way to unwind after the day, and makes a Monday, not seem so much like a Monday. It's also a great way to meet people in other departments or get to know other interns.

I was so drained from the weekend and the start of the week that I was actually IN BED before 9 p.m. and dead asleep before 9:20.

Even though I was asleep so early, Tuesday morning came all too fast. Getting used to this waking up at 5 a.m. thing is taking some getting used to, but the commute isn't as bad as I expected (I will regret saying this). I'm starting to get a routine down in the morning, even though I'm half awake.

We are still learning how to do some basic things that our position requires like how to upload the communication materials we are making to the proper outlets and the ways that those differ for the two departments we handle. Tuesday was mostly comprised of that. I did however get to make another digital sign, which is one of my favorite things I've gotten to do. Digital signs are displayed on monitors in each of the bases and throughout headquarters to serve as reminders or things to come. I enjoy making these because it allows my creative/design side to show.

Every Tuesday is our department meeting where we all touch base on what were working on and get assigned new tasks. Each day we are being given more responsibility, but they are doing a wonderful job of not piling on a ton of new information at once. Everyone is also so helpful and nice, it's not scary to admit you don't understand something or to ask a question.

Tuesday night I was pretty lame. I pretty much came home, made one of the best grilled turkey sandwiches ever (it had sautéed peppers and pepper jack cheese on it too) and watched the KU game with Jason. I was also in bed again before 9 p.m. As Jason said to me "welcome to being an adult!"