I might just like this story more than any other I have written this year.
News reaches The Moodie Blog of a special employee recognition, one that is close to my heart. It concerns a certain Carolyn ‘Suzie’ Grider, who has worked at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport for 25 years. Actually ‘worked’ is a misnomer. Suzie, who is employed by SSP, just loves going to the airport each day, where she sees herself as being in the people business rather than the restaurant or bar trade. “It keeps me busy, it keeps me going,” she says. “Plus I love people. I’m a people person.”
Suzie splits her time between Tigin Irish Pub and Cousin’s BBQ, also operating the Grab ‘N Go kiosk at both locations during early opening hours.
Her employers nominated her for the first-ever ‘Team Member of the Year’ at the annual Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Awards (to be held in Helsinki on 21 June), owned and organised by none other than The Moodie Davitt Report.
Courtesy of Dallas Fort Worth Airport’s Twitter account, watch as Suzie discovers that she’s one of five global finalists for the award and that SSP is generously flying her to Finland for the gala ceremony.
I’ll let local Dallas TV station WFAA take up the story. “Travelling can be stressful, especially when taking an international flight. But there is one woman at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport who helps passengers forget about that stress for a moment. Her name is Carolyn ‘Suzie’ Grider, and she’s been working at DFW for 25 years. You can hear her infectious laugh and hollering through Terminal D from Tigin Irish Pub.
“Hi! How ya’ doing, sweetheart?” Suzie asks. Customers and co-workers call her ‘mama’.
“After decades of pouring love to others, it was time to give back to Suzie. On Monday, her manager pulled her away from her day-to-day tasks, asking for help with something. She brought Suzie upstairs above the restaurant where co-workers from SSP America and DFW Airport were waiting for her with a bouquet, sash and cake. This long-time employee was in tears.”
“SSP surprised Suzie with a commemorative sash and all-expenses trip to Helsinki, Finland for the FAB Awards gala dinner and ceremony on 21 June. Though she has worked at the airport since 1993, Suzie has never taken a plane out of the country.”
According to WFAA, Suzie returned to work after the celebration and wore her sash throughout the balance of her shift so she could share the good news with her customers. “I’ve got to share the excitement with somebody!” she said.
Suzie, FAB-ulous Suzie, is now hell bound for Helsinki, where she will join the other four FAB finalists in the Team Member of the Year Award. All she needs now is a passport.