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I’m no George Clooney but…

Posted on March 5, 2010 | By bmasterson | No Comments

 

Brian Masterson?

Some think it’s all fun and games when traveling for business.  Movies are made about it (Up in the Air, Airplane, the list goes on), books are written about it, and hundreds of stories are told at businesses all over the world. Different cities, different countries, new faces, new adventures.  To be fair, I have traveled more than my share in my short time of business travel, and have visited hundreds of cities and towns around the world. I have visited friends halfway around the world, eaten interesting cuisine, seen some amazing things, and had my share of fun. Someday, I hope my children can experience the same things I have been able to experience.

There is another side of business travel that most either do not know about, or care to think about.  The DARK SIDE of business travel.  From sitting next to and meaninglessly chatting with the nameless (and sometimes smelly) faces on airplanes, to eating dinner on your own (again), getting lost because the GPS you rented is not working, driving through snow/ice, it’s not always glamorous as some folks think it is.  Think about it in these terms – for a normal week long business trip, it takes about 6-8 hrs of preparation –  setting up appointments, booking flights, finding hotels close to the meetings, booking car rentals, figuring out directions to each appointment.  The list goes on.  And this is PRIOR to you even leaving.

So the night before, you pack up, confirm your itinerary, send it to loved ones, recheck it, go to bed.  Next morning, you wake early and head off to the airport.  There of course, you encounter long lines, crying babies, tons of people that are not “frequent travelers” and confused on where they should be, go, do.  Wait in line for your ticket, wait in line to get through security, get patted down because you look like you might be bad news, wait in line to get some food for the plane (because we all know how good(not) and cheap (NOT) the food can be on planes).  Then of course, you get to wait in line to get onto the plane.  Just too much fun.

So you get there, rent your car, take your train, get picked up, whatever your means of transportation may be for this leg of the trip.  Head to the hotel, first meeting, and so on and so forth.  This of course assumes the airline has not lost your luggage. This goes on for days and in some cases a couple of weeks.  No sleep in the hotel, wake up early to construction; eat a crappy FREE meal at the hotel, and the days starts again.  Honestly, there have been trips where I literally forgot not only what room number I was in, but what HOTEL I was staying at.  At the end of the day you eat alone or sit at a bar and talk with some stranger that is in the same situation as you.  Small talk, blah blah blah.  Gets old, you know?

As I mentioned initially, frequent travelers may say they have their share of fun on the road.  However, each trip is not just a joy ride.  Live one day in another man’s shoes, they say, and you will truly have your eyes opened to a whole new world.

It’s what we do, and we love it.

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