Wednesday, January 31, 2007

not all it's cracked up to be

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.

13 comments:

serenity said...

Funny. I travel for business, too, and I do it as low-maintenance as possible. I fly the night before I need to be there - in jeans. I bring a REAL book and try and avoid working, unless I'm really really swamped.

And I refuse to get a Crack.berry because I'm afraid I'll get addicted to it.

Some people like the corporate ladder thing. Me, personally? I just like being good at my job.

Anyway. I can't wait to hear tomorrow's results. :)

Keeping The Faith said...

Carol,

You have been amazingly strong holding out on the HPT's. I'm so proud of you...can you pass me some of that willpower during my 2WW :-)

I want you to know that I'm thinking of you. I hope you hear the words you've been waiting for tomorrow. A BFP with an uneventful 9 months to follow.
-Faith

Twisted Ovaries said...

I used to travel internationally for three weeks out of every month-when I first joined it seemed glamorous and fabulous, but in the end I was exhausted, fed up, and over the travel for work thing. I now tend to travel internationally for fun but domestically for work, and even that is very occasionally.

And I know the feeling about IVF interrupting the work schedule. I can't help but think it's a good thing.

Beagle said...

When I was small, my family flew quite a bit and I was enthralled with it. I thought the flight attendants had the most glamourous of lives and airports where like heaven. I actually wanted to be a flight attendant at one point. My father told me to get a waitress job and pretend I was in the air and see if I still liked it (at that time he did all his business travel alone and, like you, was really starting to hate it). It's the best dad advice he ever gave me!

Now flying is a means to an end and usually an annoying means!

Good for you leaving the HPT's at home. Hang in there.

I liked Sherman too. But I'm not enjoying AI as much this year. They are putting too many sorry souls on the stage. Let's have at least a few who can sing.

Tinker said...

I had a job like that a long time ago, except I had to drive everywhere; I certainly envied the fliers back then. Now, I'm not even so keen on flying for vacation. I do love to go places, but 8 hours and more in a cramped seat loses its appeal in a hurry.

Jamie said...

I love San Fran -- it is beautiful!! I hope you get at least a little time to enjoy it.

I had to laugh at your reference to Idol. That made me bawl too -- only I am not currently on any hormones to blame it on!

Wishing you the best for tomorrow -- you have had such willpower with those HPTs!! Please let us know as soon as possible!!

GLouise said...

Ha! I love this post! I think you have just described some of my colleagues!

Sparkle said...

I've never understood why people would love to 'travel for work'! Travel for me is holidays.
Can't wait for tomorrow's results.

Stephanie said...

I am not in the business world so I don't think I have ever read a book on how to climb the ladder of corp. America. But I would fly first class anytime I could. You get to cut in line at security then board first, enjoy plenty of over head storage and don't forget the free alcohol!

Hopeful Mother said...

Yeah, travelling has lost its glitz for me too.

I had tears in my eyes for Sherman last night too - but I'm also hormonal in the 2ww right now also... so who knows. But he was sweet.

Wishing you the BEST kind of news tomorrow. I am trying to emulate your strength in staying away from the POAS, but will probably do one the night before beta...

Bea said...

You make all kinds of sense. Have "fun" at your meetings, and good luck with those POI shots.

Bea

DD said...

I've been thinking about you and hoping you are holding up.

Nickie said...

I totally cried at Sherman's audition. Very sweet!