I've hit my one-month mark in Montana working at Glacier Park International Airport, & I think... no, I know... that FCA is entitled to an apology. I had a conversation with a coworker last week that has been on my mind every single day since. So the purpose of this post is to clarify a previous blog entry, as I think there has been a miscommunication that I am not happy to be working at FCA, or that I dislike the people I work with here — both of which are not true representations of my perspective at all. This is the technology age, so in theory, I could simply delete the entry & pretend it never existed. But the words have already been said, & the words are not as easily forgotten with a click of a button or a tap of the finger. With that in mind, if something I wrote has ever hurt your feelings, made you question my intentions & character, or made you feel negative in any way, this is your invitation to speak to me about it — whether you work here at Glacier, or if we’ve never even met but something I said struck you in a painful way.
This blog is written from my first-person perspective to share my photographs, my stories from travels & trails, the many encounters with anonymous passengers, & to share my heart. The writings are comprised of my personal opinions & emotions that I experience just living day-to-day life, which can sometimes make it nearly impossible to be politically correct in any given situation — we are all human. We are all full of valid emotions. I have a lifetime of experiences & beliefs that continue to shape me & how I respond, react, & learn from certain situations, just like you, the reader, have varying perspectives from your own personal experiences that have shaped you as a person as well. But, in the end, at our very cores, we are all the same. We are all composed of a variety of life experiences that have uniquely shaped each of us.
I write about current events happening in my life, how they make me feel, & how I use those events to teach me a bigger life lesson. My first few weeks here were difficult, but I resolved to continue to stay positive. I’m new here. I don’t know you, I don’t know your journey. You don't know me, you don’t know my journey. When I got here, I allowed a small handful of interactions to shape my opinions. Opinions that I then wrote about to express my honest frustrations & the lack of inclusion I experienced. When I first arrived in Montana to hit the ground running, I had a lot of preconceived expectations for what life would be like, for what this station & the work would be like. When the transition turned out to be contrary to the rainbows & unicorns I had in my own head, I thought maybe I had made a mistake. This may have been my first temporary transfer, but I poured my whole heart into it. I left behind some of the best friends I have ever known, I sold whatever possessions didn’t fit in my car, & I legitimately went completely broke getting here. Seriously, I paid for gas yesterday with dimes & quarters. I’m not saying that looking for sympathy, I’m saying that because those are the risks I knowingly & willingly took to get here. I knew what was at stake, & still I came here.
I have been in the industry for less than one year, with only one previous station of experience under my belt. If I compare the two, which I did, I recognize the countless varieties of ways to accomplish the same tasks. What works for Colorado Springs may not work for Kalispell, & what works for Kalispell may not work for Colorado Springs. Again, the comparisons I made through a previous post about the two stations were not to be spiteful — they were intended to just be comparisons & contrasts to what I was accustomed to at my home station, with a tone & word choice that was intended to be lighthearted. Everything from TSA checking bags to the use of FIDS boards, the operations here are vastly different. What was meant to come across as informative differences were interpreted as me bullying the station, & for that I am immensely sorry & forever apologetic. I understand that no two stations operate exactly the same, which was my purpose in writing about the differences between the two.
My first few days here were difficult, I am not going to pretend they were easy. But I showed up to work with a smile & extended kindness, even though I was fighting my own internal demons & struggling to fit in. I had to find my voice in a crowd where I couldn’t even hear my own thoughts. I had to learn when I should offer help, & when I should just sit back, watch, & learn something new. I had to manage how to be a productive member of a team where I felt like, sometimes, I was more of a hinderance than a help. I came here not knowing what these people knew. I came here not knowing what their expectations of me would be either. Collectively, we, as an entire team, know the job top to bottom. As individuals, we all have varying degrees of knowledge to share with one another, which is why it’s so important to work together, both here as one station & in this industry as a whole entity.
Point blank, my first few interactions at FCA weren’t necessarily all positive, nor were they all negative. That’s not a secret, that’s the truth, & that's the price you pay when you uproot yourself for a new experience. Over recent weeks, through various irregular operations situations & by toughing out the hard days alongside my teammates, my original opinions & perspectives have changed & transformed into a more positive light. Everyone at this station is passionate about their work. Every single one of them. Everyone at this station busts their backs to get the job done right & with the utmost efficiency. Every single one of them. They are all proud of their work & proud of their station, as they should be, so I understand why my original interpretations were taken so personally. For that, I apologize. I clicked immediately with some people, & had to work hard to earn respect from some of the others. Does that mean I dislike this place or these people? Not at all.
I came from one station that operated one way, with different resources, & now I am at a new station that operates another way, with a different set of resources. This transfer was definitely a learning curve between the two, one that I will continue to learn from even after I leave this beautiful place. I am more than happy to sit down & talk with whoever needs further clarification, to extend a face-to-face apology to anyone who feels victimized by my words & experience. I am genuinely sorry that people have a misperception about my intentions here. I am genuinely sorry for giving some of you the wrong impression. I am grateful for the opportunity to work here & for the opportunity to learn from each of you, despite what you may have heard or read about my first encounters here. I have no ill feelings towards the airport, its staff, its operations, or my teammates, & I hope that over the next five months in fulfilling this transfer, each of you are able to see my true intentions & character.
Megan Elizabeth is a storyteller based in Kalispell, Montana. Take a peek at her blog & portfolio, drop her a line, & follow her story on Facebook & Instagram.