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We Are YVR: Fatiha Ait Sayed, Quality Assurance Manager, Mom and Waffle Chef

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 follow Fatiha Ait Sayed as she shows us how she juggles management and motherhood.

Woman stands outside the airport smiling.

0645 - Catch-up commute

Fatiha is a morning person, and it’s a good thing, as she hustles in the mornings to get her family ready to get out the door and off to school so she can get to work by 8:30 a.m. every day. She commutes every morning from Surrey. Her and her husband drive into Richmond together and part ways at the Canada Line Skytrain station. It’s on this commute in that they call their friends and family in Morocco to catch-up with one another and listen to podcasts together. 

0830 – The first time 

Eleven years ago, at the age of 22, Fatiha first stepped foot into the airport as a person immigrating to Canada from Morocco. Today, Fatiha steps into YVR as a Manager of Operational Health and Safety (OHS) and Quality Assurance (QA) for Dexterra.

Fatiha is part of the team responsible for putting together some of the rigorous health and safety protocols and cleaning procedures at the airport during COVID. “Enhanced cleaning, it’s something that I’ve dealt with when I worked in hospitals, so I knew right away which products to bring in, what’s effective and what needs to be done.”

0900 – Put your heart into it

Woman adding paper to a staffroom bulletin board.

As we sit down in the Dexterra office with Fatiha and she works on her morning reports, we hear more about her drive. And we feel we must caveat this with the fact that we have never heard anybody speak as passionately about their job as Fatiha speaks of hers.

“I just put my heart in whatever I do. Every role that I’ve played, I enjoyed so much. And that’s how I excelled at it because I really put my heart in it.”

1000 – Tip-top Shape

Woman tests a bathroom soap dispenser

Because travel has been for essential reasons only over the course of the last 18 months, YVR optimized its terminals by closing the A-B Gates. Later this week, we will be reopening the terminal and to prepare, Fatiha and the Dexterra team are meeting with YVR to do a walkthrough of the space to ensure everything is in tip-top shape before it reopens.

On our way back from the walkthrough, Fatiha decides that it would be a great time to perform a few audits of the bathrooms to ensure everything is clean and tidy for our passengers. We won’t keep you on your toes – the bathrooms all passed the test.

“No two days are similar. Every day is different. Every single day brings its own challenges and that’s what I like about it.”

1230 – Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3

As a Quality Assurance Manager, Fatiha spends quite a bit of time testing the surfaces at YVR for cleanliness. One way she does this is through the use of luminometers and surface swabs. Multiple times a day, Fatiha swabs high-touch surfaces to ensure they test below our threshold, which is below even what hospitals allow. If they happen to fail the test, she calls to dispatch cleaners immediately to clean the area.

1400 – Potluck Time

Fatiha’s collegue, Andrea, is moving on to a new position and the Dexterra team has lovingly put together a COVID-safe potluck for her as a send-off. Lots of air hugs and farewells to be had.

1545 – And more testing

Woman uses a swab to test a parking payment machine.

The airport is always looking for new and better ways to work and Fatiha and the Dexterra team are working with YVR to collect more data using those luminometers we mentioned earlier. We head out to the parkade to swab test the parking payment machines as well as the exit machines.

“What I love about YVR is innovation. It’s a place where innovation is constant and you’re always on the edge looking at what’s new out there. You cannot just sit and relax.”

Her job at the airport brought together two of her childhood dream jobs of being a pilot and working in healthcare as a surgeon. Aviation and healthcare in one job. A dream come true.

1700 – Who makes it best?

Three plates of spaghetti and a yogurt on a round dinner table.

After a very busy day at work, this super woman heads home to continue her second job of being a mother of two. Apparently the Samy, 9, and Yunus, 6, think dad makes the best spaghetti (which is what’s on the menu for tonight), but mom makes the best waffles.

2100 – Bedtime

At last, it’s time for bed and everyone is exhausted. She tucks her sons into bed and kisses them goodnight with a promise of more kisses in the morning. Much like she puts her whole heart into her job, it’s obvious she gives even more of her heart to her family at home.

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