A Snack and a LEGO
There are many iterations of me. The corporate jet captain. Industry expert. The founder and president of our non-profit. The partner. The mother. The Starbucks drinker. Today, in the aviation industry, we discuss these roles as the imperatives of diversity, equity, and inclusion. However, there are moments where the intersectionality of all those iterations of me meet.
Our industry calls it authenticity – the disruption of the status quo. When it happens, wow, it feels so good. But when we celebrate authenticity, magic abounds. Born is the creation of belonging. Measurable value always follows.
This past weekend, I was traveling for business. I had several meetings scheduled and was excited for the conversations approaching. As I sat in my hotel room researching, staring out of the window overlooking the park, watching all the Bride Tribes in their celebration processions, I heard a bizarre sound. An alarming noise came billowing out of my tiny computer soldier – the donated laptop that has helped facilitate the many Hera projects. And also, my logbook lives in there!
My laptop suddenly sounded like it was popping popcorn.
I did what everyone does in this situation – I jumped up and closed the top—thinking that whatever disaster was about to happen would not if I just shut the lid. Surprisingly, that did not work, so I gathered myself and shut the whole thing down. I ran through the mental checklist we all do when troubleshooting an impending technological disaster, and I rebooted. The popping came back. My only choice was to ask for help.
As I walked into the Apple store, I was greeted by my first tech genius momma. She was kind and professional and offered me a seat. She listened to my popcorn description without judgment and immediately brought over her team lead – the second tech genius momma. They did the next right thing with exceptional customer-centered care and a model for belonging, creating measurable value. They understood I had some critical meetings, needed this computer to work, took my laptop back, and opened it up. After a few minutes, they came back with my solution in hand: A tiny snack and a tiny LEGO.
Yes. My computer had ingested a now dehydrated piece of food. And a tiny lego hand. Ironic. But not very much so. As I am, all the iterations of me ascribed.
While this situation may have caused judgment and embarrassment, it did not come from either position. These highly functioning tech mommas openly shared their own stories of caregiving and working, with no airs. None of them asked me who was watching my children; something often asked me in my professional career. They celebrated the success of the situation!
How powerful is that?
I was able to have my meetings because my fellow caregivers knew exactly what happened and were able to fix it – not only because it was their job but because they understood. There is nothing like the camaraderie of another person completely getting what it’s like to be jumping through fire hoops every day.
Here’s to the tribe of caretakers everywhere helping each other get through the tiny snacks and tiny LEGOS.
Founder & President