So, I just dropped Amy off at Corpus Christi International Airport. I love that I can get to the airport in 20 minutes and drop Amy off 45 minutes before her flight. I love that security is quick and easy and they say to you, “you come through here a lot”. I am amused by the fact that we have 6 gates! I giggle each time when I read the sign about our international airport. They are correct in calling it that, there are flights to Mexico. While I am amused by our airport, I love its convenience and ease of travel. I was at my car, after getting my bags that were checked through four minutes after my scheduled arrival time on my last trip! That never happens at Midway or O’Hare! On the other hand, I miss the options for travel times at those other airports. All told, I am growing to love this international airport!
I had a colleague point out that the title of this blog is moving to Chicago. I am showing my lack of technical savvy in that I can’t figure out how to change the title. I apologize to my new home, but ask that everyone accept that I know that I am in Corpus Christi, I’m just a computer dope. Maybe next time I’m in Chicago, my kids will fix it for me.
I joked in Chicago that the city couldn’t decide if it was Midwestern or a city. They cut you off in traffic, but then wave. Here, people are just plain nice. Everyone says hello. People ask you where you are from. They wish you a nice day. And, all that is out in the community! In the hospital, they take it to another level. Everyone greets each other with a large smile. People go out of their way to make everyone feel comfortable and appreciated. Now, the downside is if you don’t feel like talking or making eye contact, then you kind of stand out. I almost had to tell the waiter at one restaurant, “Your story is really interesting, but can I have my food now” as he stood there telling me his life story while holding my dinner! I’ll take these minuscule inconveniences in order to have the warmth and welcoming culture any day!
A business associate/friend in Chicago heard I was moving to Texas. He is from here and he took time out of his busy day to prep me for my arrival before I left Chicago. After spending over an hour with me (at least I bought him breakfast) telling me about the culture and the do’s and don’ts, he shared an email he sent me with more about Texas culture with his Texas buddies and they offered more advice. I will share some of what they offered here and in future posts:
“Get to know people, embrace a few traditions (college or high school football, hunting or fishing, boating or sailing, bbq or tex-mex, alt/country music, hardwork/mowing your own lawn), forgive some incidents of dumb-assed ignorance (and there’s a HUGE difference between well-intended ignorance and intolerance down there), and impress with skillsets they admire (treating their children and winning at poker would be recommended #1 and #2), and you’re going to be in good shape. That said, have no patience for intolerance.
Use “y’all” a lot, never say “yeehaw”, show that you care to learn/aren’t judging, don’t fall into “liberal yankee” traps/unnecessarily feed stereotypes (unless you know how to make yourself the butt of your own joke), and learn the fine art of knowing when you’re supposed to speak your mind bc ppl really want to know and simply be pleasant bc no one gives a damn. The latter is more common than the former, assuming those same people know that you’ve had a good meal recently.
The fusion of toughness/strength fused with fairness/generosity is the Texas spirit. Doesn’t matter if you’re a liberal yankee or conservative southerner. It’s all respected and cherished…even if not understood. There is strident liberalism, open mindedness, and true artistry if you’re paying attention. In the end, stand tough in the face of a few punches in the nose and you’ll start earnin your Texas stripes right quick! Oh…and maybe take someone’s money who thinks that they’re a good car player to get folks attention.
As you can see, I love my home state and hometown and this officially scratches the surface of insights/perspectives.”
They also sent some amusing memes.
More to follow….
As far as how things are going at the hospital: I feel like I am definitely getting my feel for the place. There haven’t been any huge surprises (which is great) and they really are committed to doing a great job for all the kids of South Texas. People are extremely receptive to my suggestions and are including me in the right things. My learning curve is still very steep, but people are happy to take the time to get me up to speed and have been ridiculously accepting of my perspectives and suggestions. While I was truly skeptical picturing myself a Texan, I am embarrassed to say I had an unfair bias about what I would find here and am now thrilled to be here!