Have you ever had that feeling that you’ve known someone for years after you only a few short hours of chatting? What if you could multiply that feeling by 50? What if you also shared with those same 50 people a strong feeling of pride and belonging, thousands of kilometres from home, because you work in the same company? How crazy is that?! Yet that is what we are experiencing on the LiveDifferent build, but it doesn’t end there.
Floating in the Caribbean Sea at the end of the day trying to loosen up muscles that are exhausted and stiff from heavy work, I drift among 20 or 30 other WestJetters and listen to snippets of conversation that range in subject from the day’s intense heat to how each of us fits into the large company that is WestJet. It is fascinating and gratifying to hear, over the dinner table, questions like the one I heard tonight: “If I were Gregg Saretsky and I told you I could change one thing that you see as a problem at work, what would you tell me to change?” Of course even more fascinating are the answers.
We are thrown together in a very emotionally and physically intense situation far removed from our everyday experience of life, and we witness amazing connections and passage of understanding between WestJetters from many departments. Suddenly you see an understanding and empathy for each others’ work as people share issues, insights, knowledge and suggestions as if this were a dedicated team of people put together to breakdown operational roadblocks for WestJet – but we are here to build houses!
Apparently houses aren’t the only things we are building here. Everyone knows that we are building knowledge, understanding and insight into the lives of some extremely humble Dominican families, but we will all leave here with knowledge, understanding and insight into WestJet as well. Talk about a win-win scenario! Go WestJet!
Chris, First Officer – LiveDifferent Hero Holiday, 2014