Robin Weber stands in DPP’s Employee Spotlight this month. Robin has been the Human Resources Manager at DPP for nearly two years. It sounds like “fancy footwork” characterizes a lot of Robin’s experiences.
What do you like best about your job at DPP?
I experience a new challenge on a daily basis and am continuously learning new ways to make a better mouse trap. In Human Resources, you have to keep abreast of the changing legal environment while keeping a pulse on the organization as a whole. No two days are ever the same so I never get bored.
Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I was a Flight Attendant Manager at a major international carrier based in Detroit, MI. It’s a job that keeps you on the go and always has you putting your best foot forward. We had over 20 international flights per day that had to leave on time with over 300 passengers and crew. Trying to herd cats can be quite interesting and rewarding. Working late nights in the middle of thunderstorms trying to reassure passengers and crew that they will leave before the crew goes illegal takes some finesse.
The most challenging day I faced was September 11, 2001. I went to work at 5:30 am that day and got home at midnight. I remember the girl in the cube next to me standing up and screaming after receiving a call from friends in NY when the first plane hit the Twin Towers. We all rushed upstairs to the bar to watch the news. The FAA made all carriers land planes at the nearest airport. We had crews all over the world. Flights from China and Japan were landing in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Bangor, Maine, just to comply with the FAA. Crews were worried and we had no information to provide. At 26 it’s a daunting task to remain calm and confident when questioned by a 747 captain who’s been flying for 40 years.
Over the next three days, we had to focus on the business of keeping communication open with our crews who were stuck in the far wonders of the world, keeping employees positive who hadn’t been able to reach family members and wondering when the FAA was going to let us fly again. When we were finally able to fly again, the most heart-wrenching scene was to watch a flight attendant refuse to take a flight because there was an Arab American passenger. The fellow passengers were trying to give her money to ensure a departure. I had to balance the needs of the business with compassion to deal with this young woman’s fears of flying with this man. After 30 minutes and much rational counseling, she finally agreed to take the flight. The Arab American man, stood up, hugged her and thanked her for doing her job. It left me in tears to realize we are all just human with irrational fears that we must face to get through the day.
If I could do it over again, I would:
Not be afraid. Not be the wallflower. Just go out and do it no matter what people think. As Barbara Blau is famous for saying, “Even when you fall on your face, you are still moving forward!”
What’s on your “bucket list” of things to do in Columbia?
I can’t wait to visit the new attractions at the State Museum. Being able to see a star gazers show in the new planetarium or feel snow and smell hot chocolate when watching the Polar Express in the 4D theater sound so exciting. The Museum has really invested in Columbia to bring new experiences to our citizens and I can’t wait to enjoy them all. Although, as a foodie, I would love to enjoy a Farm to Table dinner hosted by City Roots Farm. You have the pleasure of enjoying locally grown and sustainable foods prepared by local chefs. Each meal takes advantage of the month’s harvest. Each time I read an announcement for the next dinner, my mouth simply waters in anticipation.
What’s one food you wish had zero calories?
My Dad’s lasagna. I’m only able to enjoy it about once a year and it’s simply sinful. I think I might have the pleasure in two weeks when I visit my family in Seattle and can’t wait.
What was the last book you read, and what did you read it on (print, Kindle, etc.)?
I’m currently in the middle of two – The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, by Stieg Larsson, and The King’s Deception, by Steven Berry. Each has elements of adventure and history. I find the mix of the two fascinating. I’m a paperback girl all the way. I’m afraid if a tablet malfunctions, I’d lose my mind if I couldn’t finish the book at a good part. Knowing my luck, the battery would die at the best part and I’d end up throwing the technology across the room. So I stick with the basics.
What words of wisdom do you try to live by?
“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” ~Robert Schuller. When you think about it, we are the only ones stopping us from success. Dance in the rain, it’s quite liberating.
Spain. I had the opportunity to complete a Study Abroad in Seville while in college. After four months, I feel in love with the country, its people and cultures. I felt at home. Seville is the most beautiful place I think I’ve been that retains its history while mixing in modern day life. The Flamenco is a story weaved within the dance and captivates the viewer.
Each month we shine the spotlight on one of our in-house staff. We hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into the culture at DPP. You can connect with Robin on LinkedIn.
Image: Flickr | biker_jun