Well I have arrived in the city by the bay.
And I just have to say. Travel is weird.
I used to travel a lot for business. A few years back when we had much bigger budgets, and frankly I was just much more into it. I had airline status! And platinum hotel status! You wouldn’t believe some of the suites I got upgraded to. But when we seriously started TTC, I scaled it back a lot. There were a lot of somewhat ‘optional’ trips that I opted out of. And a number of big international meetings fell right in the middle of ER and/or ET timing – guess which I chose. And even when I could swing the schedule, I just wasn’t that into it any more. My status is all gone. And today I made the decision to not renew my airline club membership, I just don’t travel enough to pay several hundred bucks to sit in cushier chairs and each free cheese and crackers.
And now that I’ve been out of it for a while – I look around at these business travelers and I have to either laugh or cry. Most of them are pathetic. Waaaay too self important. They all seem quite annoyed that they couldn’t manage to get upgraded. Wearing their suits (I never did that), hammering away at their PowerPoint’s on the plane (rarely did that), and they are so desperately attached to their cell phones (sometimes multiple) and their blackberrys – they don’t put the things away until told multiple times by the flight attendant. Oh and the best part is the books they read – all this getting ahead in the corporate world crap, or managing teams crap. On today’s flight for example – the woman next to me had a book titled “how to sell yourself” – now I’m pretty sure is wasn’t that kind of selling yourself, given the big diamond ring and the suit. So it’s one of those books that these desperately ladder climbing corporate types are always reading. And then the guy next to her is reading a book about how to be a consultant. I just couldn’t be bothered. Don’t get me wrong – I have a great career and I’d like to see it go further. But I just have never been so consumed by it as these people seem to be. Seriously – don’t these people have lives? Don’t they have anything better to think about?
….like obsessing over pregnancy symptoms, for instance.
Oh – and besides from the business travelers, the rest of the experience is equally unpleasant. Ok, people hacking up lungs all over the place? is there a TB outbreak nobody warned me about? And why is everything so dirty? Literally – I get to the hotel room and the first thing I do is wash my hands. And the sudsy soap I’ve lathered up on my hands is this dingy gray color from all the dirt on my hands. And it has only been a couple hours since they were last soaped up – in the bathroom at the airport on the other end.
People who haven’t done a lot of business travel may think it’s awfully glamorous. But it’s really not. It’s dirty and desperate and cut throat.
But alas. Here I am. With my PIO and my heating pad and my estrogen patches and my antibiotics. Not an HPT in sight. And my meetings don’t start ‘til noon, so I will be sleeping in.
And sorry if you're one of the desperately ladder-climbing corporate types who reads those 'team building' books, and I've offended you. But really - get a good old fashioned trashy novel to read on the plane! and enjoy the fact that you have two whole hours without your email pinging and your cell phone ringing every 5 seconds.
Oh – and did I mention that I wasn’t emotional? Well, I just got teary-eyed watching American Idol. That’s a bit much. But you have to admit – Sherman’s story was kind of touching.