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Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

July 18, 2008 - 4 Comments

On our internal employee website, there is an amazing story of a Cisco colleague based in El Salvador, Rafael Cobos. Rafael is a systems engineer and was on a flight to Honduras in horrible weather when, upon an obviously rough landing, his plane “crashed through a fence before spilling out into the street amid traffic and pedestrians. Cobos’ face slammed into the seat in front of him, injuring his nose. The plane broke into two sections before grinding to a halt in the side of a hill. At least two vehicles were trapped beneath the fuselage.”Not a good start to the day for Rafael, to be sure. What makes this even more incredible is that Rafael, after helping fellow passengers exit the plane, (tragically, two passengers, the pilot, and two bystanders lost their lives) then realized he needed to get his passport stamped, so he went back into the airport and asked to go through immigration, broken nose and all. He was in Honduras to present to a customer, so after a visit to the hospital he went to the customer site and made his presentation. Clearly, above and beyond the call of duty, but one more example of (Cisco plug alert!!!) how important our customers are to us. And, the lesson in all of this comes from Rafael who says, “(w)hat they say is true: When you live through something like this, you appreciate what you have more.” So, make sure you take the time this weekend to count your blessings and maybe give your wife/husband/kids/moms/dads/brothers/sisters /aunts/uncles/friends an extra hug…or e-mail or facebook message of appreciation.

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  1. I am a Rafael´s friend and salvadorian also but i live in Panama. The reaction of my friend is normal in our culture: facing adversity is the way to survive and never give up while you have breath"". Congratulations Rafael and it is normal in your personality."

  2. Preppycowgirl, My goal was to highlight an amazing employee and his dedication to his customers in the face of tragedy, as well as share his outlook afterwards: “(w)hat they say is true: When you live through something like this, you appreciate what you have more.” I apologize for failing to accomplish these goals with you.I have changed the title, as you are correct, this is not something to make light of. It was my failed attempt to capture our amazing employee's reaction to the plane crash.And, finally, Cisco does a lot on the Corporate Social Responsibility side of the house, for our most recent Corporate Citizen report, see here:

  3. Plane Crash, Schmlane Crash is the most heartless title I have ever seen in a blog post from a corporation. At least your transparency is clear...Using a plane crash as an excuse to pitch Cisco, even when people, including your employee, were seriously hurt. I get the pride, but wasn't there a better angle that could have been used? How about a corporate donation to the folks injured?

  4. John, I totally agree with you. Sometime, or often, we lose sense to what are the best things to consider.Carlo