Roller Coaster COVID-19

This is an original article written by Justin Ellixson-Andrews, a Talent Acquisition Manager at JSX, a sponsor of Let's Thrive Now. JSX is a hop-on jet service offering short-haul flights between Arizona, California, Nevada, Washington, and Texas. Learn more by visiting

Does anyone have a map? Anyone else feel like they’re navigating this storm we call “COVID-19” blind? As an Orlando native, I’m used to rollercoasters. You know, the kind where you wait in line for hours to experience a 45-second thrill. Well, this is a new kind of coaster. One without lines (definitely do NOT queue up – unless you want 6 more weeks of winterrr… shelter-in-place). One many of us did not see coming, nor would have thought was a reality given the boom of hiring over the last several years.

Picture this: you’re walking through the airport on a moving sidewalk, jamming to your favorite Pitch Perfect cover, paying no attention other than to think how is it 2020 and people still stand on the left when clearly social norms call for standing on the right, when all of a sudden you come to an unceremoniously abrupt stop, forgetting to momentarily pause walking so that momentum may catch up before the end of the sidewalk. Welcome to COVID-19. If the virus was a ride, that is how I envision it to be. Things were going great, until they weren’t. Now, instead of jamming to covers of your favorite song, you’re stuck somewhere between being thankful, and being humble.

Thankful and humility – two feelings which describe the perplexing conundrum that I call “new-normal.” Thankful to be employed, and humbled knowing so many of my peers, friends, and family are not as privileged. “They” say companies will be judged by how they treat their employees throughout this pandemic. From my view, I could not be prouder of my employer. But how can we voice our pride while still being sensitive to others who find themselves under a different set of circumstances? Ask my team; I’m not one to shy away from necessary (keyword there) conflict. This scenario, however, has me stumped. Pre-Coronavirus I would not have given a second thought to gushing over my employer (even using the words “employee” and “employer” evoke a cringe-worthy feeling). Under current circumstances, am I allowed to brag (yeah, I said it)? What a roller coaster!

Maybe instead of bragging about my company – we’re officially dropping the e-word(s) – I’ll brag on my colleagues. Gone are the days of “business hours.” Those in need don’t find themselves seeking help M-F 8-5 CST. “That’s not my job” has become “how can I help?” When a Crewmember asks if you’re willing and able to assist in an emergency, at JSX, we’re not just talking about aircraft doors. It’s not just that it’s the right thing to do… we WANT to do it. Even when it’s clear boarding has ended, the door is closing, and the engine’s roar intensifies, my colleagues have remained ready to answer whatever call may come next.

As “Into the Unknown” blares in the background, I’m reminded we are not yet out of the woods. Hard days are not over, sacrifices will still be made, and as someone who has moved 5x in 1 year, I can assure you unpacking ALWAYS takes longer. After the most recent move, I promised myself that it would be the last for a while. 2020 reminded me not to make promises I cannot keep, but I am really looking forward to this round of unpacking. It will mean we made it. We did it. Against the struggles, the trials & tribulations, and the sacrifice, we survived. The roller coaster is over. Bruised and a little too shaggy, we’ll be standing as a much stronger collective. So, yeah, I am thankful, and I am humble.

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