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We Are YVR: Jat Puri, Customer Care Representative and Community Leader

We Are YVR follows a day in the life of people who work at YVR, but also do great things in the community. Today we are following Jat Puri – or trying to follow Jat Puri – as he makes his way through a day of creating a safe and welcoming airport environment and being a leader in the community.

Jat Puri smiles for the camera wearing a blue suit and red and blue striped tie.

0600 – Waffles and Berries

Breakfast of yogurt, blueberries, strawberries and waffles with a cup of tea on the top left.

Luckily for Jat Puri, he is more organized than he looks first thing in the morning. When he sent us his morning video clips, he laughed and said, “I really had no idea I looked like that in the morning, yikes!”

Jat is one of those people (organized) who gets everything ready for work before he goes to bed, carefully ironing his suit and shirt (Jat’s trademark formal work attire is pristine daily) and deciding what he wants to eat for breakfast. For the record, his breakfast of choice on this morning was waffles with yogurt and berries. Fuel for the day – he will need it with the pace he keeps.

0730 – The Early Worm

Jat Puri works in the Airport Operations department at YVR, and that means getting to work when the passengers do, which is early. It’s a good thing it only takes Jat seven minutes to get to the airport from his home in Richmond. As part of his job, he works closely with many of our great partners at YVR to ensure the terminal is always look its best.

The Airport Operations department at YVR is responsible for making sure every single passenger flying through YVR has a great experience. Everything from terminal cleanliness, accessibility programs and information and assistance are all under their umbrella. It’s a big job for an airport that welcomes millions of passengers per year. Nowadays Jat spends a lot of his time managing the Caretaker program, a newly-formed internal team that carefully inspects all aspects of our terminals to ensure we are providing a safe and clean environment for our passengers and employees.

Jat is the perfect person for the job.

0930 - Floored

Jat wearing a grey sweater in the terminal looking at his cellphone.

After a Daily Operations meeting which pulls together key team members for a morning snapshot of the day ahead, Jat hits the floor. The first thing we notice is how fast Jat walks. It’s like he is in fast forward. As we followed him on his Caretaker walk he greeted every person with a friendly hello, kindly offered assistance to anyone who looked even remotely out of sorts and is constantly picking up something he so lovingly calls TOD (Terminal Object Debris). From cigarette butts to fallen luggage tags, Jat carefully searches for anything that might be out of place.

“I want our customers to leave with a good impression of the airport. I take pride in my community and the airport is a part of this community. If I can see the TOD, a customer definitely can,” Jat remarked. 

1200 – Smoothie Time

Jat’s morning so far is both typical of a regular day at YVR but also indicative of the airport environment. Every day might look a little similar on paper, but each morning brings new passengers, new challenges and new operational issues to meet and overcome. As Jat breaks for a smoothie lunch, he’s a regular at Booster Juice, you can see why he takes such pride in his work as he stops along the way to say hello to colleagues, and again, help passengers. This was a theme throughout the day as Jat left no passenger unassisted or piece of TOD to remain.

1800 – Giving Back

While his YVR work day has ended, Jat still has more to do. He makes his way home and quickly whips up a homemade vegetarian pizza for dinner. Jat forced us tell you that while he did put together all the ingredients, the dough was not in fact homemade. As if that one distinction would change how mind-blowingly prepared he is for everything in his life. After he takes his pizza out of the oven, he carefully plates it and sits down at his coffee table to begin his online board meeting.

Ask anyone who works with Jat, or knows him at all, and they will likely say he is kind, thoughtful, caring and loyal. Not only has Jat spent 15 years in various jobs at YVR airport, he also sits on the Board for four different local organizations: West Richmond Community Centre, The Heart of Richmond AIDS Society, the Pacific Rim Cruise Association and Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives.

“I was working as a coordinator for the Green Coat Program and a lot of the volunteers I worked with had other volunteer commitments outside of the ones they would do at the airport,” Jat said. “I’m very lucky that I work with them because they really inspired me to seek opportunities in the community. I didn’t realize what I could give. I didn’t realize until I got onto the Boards that regardless of what age you are or how much experience you have or what jobs you’ve had in the past, there’s always opportunities for you to give back and your experience somehow will be transferrable.”

2100 - Elementary

It isn’t until 2100 that he finally gets to unwind with a little Sherlock Holmes on Netflix (the BBC version for discerning Sherlock fans). Much like the eponymous detective, Jat’s mind is always whirring away and even as he enjoys his daily dose of television, he is already mapping out the next day and planning his morning. Tomorrow’s breakfast will be cereal and fruit and his favourite blue suit is pressed and ready for action.

2230  - Lights Out

Jat brushes his teeth, puts on his pajamas and crawls into bed – another day of keeping the airport clean and safe and contributing to his community behind him, he will need to rest up to do it all again tomorrow. If you ever run into Jat at the airport (emphasis on run), say hello and ask him what he’s up to. If you can keep up with him, he will tell you all about the amazing things he’s doing in the community and at the airport to help take care of people.

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