Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lessons From Business Trips...

The trouble with travelling is you're never guaranteed an internet connection. This is why I haven't blogged all week. I had no internet. It was a nuisance.

However, I'm back now. Unfortunately, my brain is a wee bit fried having just arrived home a short while ago. Thus, I won't be too deep tonight. In fact, I'm going to be a little bit of a cheater. I'm going to simply make this a list of things I learned on my trip this week.

1) Flying sucks. This is NOT a new revelation. It is, however, a renewed one as it inevitably is whenever I fly. My first plane was cancelled. I was supposed to be rescheduled the next day. Fortunately, I got rebooked for a short while later than my regular plane. Unfortunately, this led to a 3 hour delay in Detroit and arrival at my hotel room six hours later than originally scheduled. However, two of my coworkers who flew out on the morning flight I was originally rescheduled on ended up having major engine trouble. Instead of landing in Chicago, they had to be rerouted to Milwaukee and then were driven down to Chicago in a bus. Moral of this story? There's always someone far worse off than you.

2) A bistro is a cool little cafe. They belong in France, really but you can find nifty bistro-type places all over the place. A bistro is NOT a vending machine. Sticking a sign over a vending machine that says "Bistro" does not make a vending machine anything other than a...vending machine.

3) Travelling with a 23 year-old-coworker is rather like travelling with a child. I had to check him in because he didn't know how. I had to guide him around the airport and tell him what to do for security. Then I ate dinner with him and watched as he drank several long-island iced teas and a beer. I'm glad I'm not 23 anymore.

4) It's nice to like 99.9 percent of your coworkers, including ones from all the branch offices of your company. The .01 % is a woman who was a wee bit intense, scary and very much "LOOK AT ME, I'M FABULOUS" in all of our sessions. Also, she had REALLY scary eyes as in "I'm going to focus on you now and make you think I'm fascinated by what you're saying but, really, I'm planning on how to rip out your heart and eat it."

5) When you're served a five course Italian meal, it's actually relatively easy to avoid eating like a pig. Family style helps because you control the portions. Also, if you don't keep scarfing the appetizers, that helps. However, it's really nice to go out to dinner and have a five course Italian meal.

6) No matter how much I learn, how nice the people are and how comfy my hotel bed, I still miss my dogs.

7) When you're in a hotel room and the TV in the bedroom doesn't work, that sucks.

8) When you have another TV in the hotel room (because it's a suite), that's nice. However, the sad thing is that once upon a time, staying in a hotel room with a flat screen and cable TV was a luxurious treat for me. Now, I have a TV similar to those in hotels and I now have DirectTV. Thus, hotel TV is just...normal. There's something sad and jaded about that.

9) Having an Amazon Kindle makes air travel fabulously easy. It's just a bit of a nusiance to have to turn it off for takeoff and landing but it's a small price to pay for having a ton of books in one handy little gadget.

10) I have to do my job really well this year because if I meet a certain quota by the end of August, I get to join the company all-expense paid trip to London.

12) Even though a hotel claims to offer "free wireless", when you have to pay $14.95 for 12 hours of usage, that's not really free, is it?

13). Meetings in Chicago in January...not the best idea. It was freezing-raining and ice. When you have to wear 'business casual' which includes high-heeled boots, that's a bad plan. Note to my company: Next time, can we have a 'casual' attired affair? Snowboots, chunky sweaters and jeans are way more practical and comfortable for sitting in a room for eight hours and learning stuff.

and, finally...

13. There's not place like home. When you land at your home airport and know your car is only a short distance away which will, in turn, take you home....there's something lovely and comforting in that. Absence makes the heart grown fonder and so does travelling on any airline...

I'm sure there's a lot more things I learned but for now, that's all my brain will allow me to type. It's back to work tomorrow, as usual so I'll be back to my regular blogging schedule. Thanks, as always, for reading!

Happy Thursday!

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