The origin of Memorial Day is traced back to the Civil War and is a day of remembering the men and women who gave their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Memorial Day also marks the start of summer in minds of most people. Many of us will take time to reflect over this extended weekend on the benefits of time away from work.
There is some encouraging data that suggest more people will be using their time off for vacations this summer (versus staycations). The AAA has reported Memorial Day weekend car travel is expected to increase 1.2 percent nationwide and the summer outlook looks good as well. The U.S. Travel Association estimates Americans will spend about $725.4 billion on travel this year, up 3 percent from 2011. One other proxy for increased confidence and demand: Our phones are very busy here at Trase Miller.
Work hard, play hard is an adage that suggests a good balancing act promotes good results for a company and happiness for an individual. Companies that have a disproportionate amount of people that live by this motto are generally very successful organizations. Trase Miller is one of those kinds of companies. It is also one of “Eight Rules For Creating A Passionate Work Culture” according to Paul Alofs who writes a column for Fast Company magazine.
This weekend, many of Trase Miller’s team members will be playing hard and flipping burgers for their friends and families, however given our 24/7/365 reality many of our professionals will be here in our contact center working the phones. We salute those selfless men and women who made ultimate sacrifice for our great nation AND we salute those Trase Millerites that are working over the holiday weekend.
If you are reading this within 10 days of 9/11/11 and you put a TV on at this moment there is most certainly a tribute or a documentary or maybe even a news fill about 9/11/01. To some of us it’s unsettling to watch. To some of us it’s unsettling to even think about the anniversary of one of the most horrific days in American history. But how many of us really remain committed to the promise “never forget”?
The majority of Trase Miller employees will never forget. Though we are probably not all that unique from ordinary American’s, we reflect on 9/11 with a certain perspective. We are unique in that the vast majority of our employees have been HERE for 10+ years. We remember the panicked calls from stranded passengers. We remember panicked calls from families of travelers that day.
And we remember the layoffs. Many good people lost their jobs here at Trase Miller in Tulsa because of the 9/11 attacks and killings. That’s at a local level. But on a macro level think about it. The 9/11 economic (ongoing) impact is staggering. It has been estimated by Mueller and Stewart (“Terror, Security and Money” – Thank you Wall Street Journal) at $330 billion + $360 billion in incremental homeland security spending + 1.3 trillion in war costs in Afghanistan and Iraq. Wow.
The people most affected by 9/11 are people who lost their loved ones (Nearly 3,000 on 9/11 and more than 6,200 US troops). They will never forget. The brave public servants and volunteer heroes that rescued over 25,000 citizens on 9/11 will also never forget to be sure. And the men and women that serve and protect our country as a result of the 9/11 attacks/murders are in harm’s way every day. How can they ever forget?
Speaking of volunteers and anniversaries - - - Trase Miller is a company culture of caring and this year marks the Tulsa Area United Way's 20th Annual Day of Caring. It is a day dedicated to volunteerism. The Tulsa Area United Way's 20th Annual Day of Caring is one of the largest events of its kind in the nation. During this day, more than 4,100 volunteers log more than 30,000 hours of work on 360 projects across the Tulsa area. Many Trase Miller employees will be there and this is our 15th year of participation.
Volunteers: We appreciate YOU. Brave protectors of our liberty: We appreciate YOU. Those innocent people that lost their lives to the jihadist fanatics: We appreciate YOU and the ultimate SACRIFICE that was made without choice.
It’s a short week for us Americans and most of us took the day off Monday July 4th to relax and renew. Some of us took time to reflect on how truly fortunate we are. If you take a few minutes to think about how brave the signers of the Declaration of Independence were in 1776 it’s a really astounding thing.
So thinking about bravery gave us pause and reminded us how brave our own people are right here in our contact center in Tulsa. We deal with the general public and we do it with a sense of duty toward the brands that we represent but we also operate with a true sense of optimism. We are optimistic about the human condition and that people call us because they need our help. True sometimes people call to yell when their vacation is not going as planned but we do not let that influence our belief in the goodness of people.
Our people are well trained and well travelled (over 40 countries) so that gives us confidence that we can handle anything that comes our way. But what we do is NOT easy. When a call comes through our customer care representatives are talking and thinking and typing all at the same time. It takes bravery to do this and this week’s blog is dedicated to the dedicated. We were open on the 4th of July as we are 365 days a year. Our holiday staff would have loved to have been at a family picnic or a ballgame or just chilling in their back yard but they were here instead. We appreciate your dedication and bravery and we appreciate YOU!