By: Joelle Charbonneau
As writers, we talk a lot about The End of a story and The Beginning of one. Yesterday, I was incredibly fortunate to celebrate a real life event that encompassed both. My mother’s retirement from United Airlines.
Since United moved its headquarters, we all took the trip downtown to Willis Tower (formerly and yet still fondly known as the Sears Tower) to eat cake, tell stories and laugh with a room packed full of people who worked with my mom. For those of you keeping score, my mother’s world championship artistic roller skating career was the inspiration for the Rebecca Robbins mystery series. Obviously, she didn’t roller skate at United….or at least not much. She held three different jobs in her multiple decades at the company. The last was in corporate recognition where she worked with programs that applauded employees who went above and beyond in their jobs as well as worked to recognize the retirees as they stepped away from their careers. And not only did she formally congratulate people for their milestones and outstanding achievements, she found ways both large and small to make her fellow coworkers feel special and appreciated. Small notes…fun e-mails…Hershey’s Kisses on people’s desk.
Mom lives as she works – by recognizing others.
So—today, I dedicate this blog to my mom, Jaci Charbonneau. Mom, you are the most amazing lady I know. Thank you for the inspiration, your love and for showing me that the best rewards in life come from thinking of others first. The world is a much better place because of you.