Monday, April 26, 2010

Some Reflections on Business Travel

Friday night, I arrived home, late, on my last commercial flight in the forseeable future.  We move in ten days, to a place driving-distance from family and friends.  No security lines, weight limits, narrow seats or mucus-filled oldsters.  As such, this trip made every effort to stick in my mind for a long time.  Let's talk about some of the highlights.

I've never had problems with hotel rooms since they started offering non-smoking rooms.  However, I managed to wake my first morning with a glorious glowing rash on my chest.  I'm quite happy it didn't appear elsewhere, and very happy it went away after a few days, but I don't think they're using enough ammonia and arsenic in their detergent, since I still had skin. 

And I know housekeeping is dealt a difficult, thankless task, making the room appear new every day.  However, if I take the velour decorative pillow off the bed and hide it in the corner, it is not necessary for you to put it back on the bed every day.  If I move the coffee table into the opposite corner, instead of in the middle of my path, it is not necessary to replace it to perfect shin-contusing feng-shui position every day when I go out.  And I am eco-conscious.  Not always eco-friendly, as evidenced by my rental car, but at least conscious.  You do not have to throw away my drinking cup every day and replace it with a new one by the coffee machine, leaving me to realize once the aspirin are dissolving in my mouth that I have to find a new one and extract it from the military-grade plastic bag in which it is contained. 

I will say that the desk staff at the hotel are great, and after spending 14 nights there in the last 25 days, they know me by name. 

And yes, I had a "grand" time in my g-man car for the week.  I'd love to tell you I got some wonderful 7 MPG or something, but since the car didn't have a trip odometer, I can only guess.  I still can't get over the size of the trunk on this thing, but while I like lots of storage space, it sours me some when I have to lift it back out, over a two-foot ledge.  On the plus side, my car didn't burst into flames on the interstate.  The same cannot be said for the pickup truck 1/4 mile ahead of me on said interstate.  I've never seen flames shoot from a car, and that they were shooting down and licking up between the cab and bed, where the driver and passenger were unaware of them, only made it more interesting.

I may have mentioned, some time back, that I was felt up by a security guard at the Tampa airport.  Hey, my sex appeal knows no bounds.  However, as if I didn't already know I needed to lose some weight, I was again given the special privilege of entering the glass box at Akron-Canton Airport, and having my tummy-tum felt up with a little too much excitement by a man with a bad '70's mustache.

At least I didn't get the extra-special double-secret security check in the back room, like the young woman behind me in line.  She emerged from security sobbing and red-faced, fumbling for her cell phone, surely to call mommy and daddy.  Amateur travelers.  Gotta love 'em.

We hit what was the most turbulence I've encountered in 18 years, and I was afraid to even take an in-flight beverage.  Because bad things could happen

I have one more business trip this week, but at least I get to drive my own car.  I assume it won't burst into flames.  I also assume I won't get felt up.  But hey, the week's still young.


Frank Irwin said...

Whenever I stay at a hotel, I just leave the Do Not Disturb sign out the whole time. I don't need maid service every day. I certainly don't get it at home.

Mala said...

Not felt up yet? Weren't you supposed to see Bev?

And Frank leaves the Do Not Disturb sign up so the maid doesn't alert the police. Just sayin'

Elliott said...

Sadly, Bev's travel plans didn't work out quite right, and they were delayed getting into their condo so we had to cancel dinner.

And it does put a damper on butchering random drifters and truckstop hookers in the nude if Housekeeping walks in on you.

Nej said...

I usually leave the DND sign on my door. We're not messy people. We reuse our towels, we dont' fill the garbage cans, I tend to use the clothes iron every day, and don't need it put away each time (I haven't mastered the art of packing without wrinkles yet). :-)

MJenks said...

I don't know, man...a week when I can't look forward to being felt up by a stranger is not a week I want to live in.

Daisy said...

Last time I was on an airplane was a couple years ago. Went with my family to Florida. Security decided to pull my 14 year old son out for the "special treatment." Apparently, the skinny, red haired, freckle-faced all American boy next door look appeared extra threatening that day.

I love it when I stay at a hotel and the staff come in to clean up after us. I'm pretty much the only one who ever does it at my house, so I'm thrilled to have somebody else do it for a change. :D

Good luck with the move to Ohio. I hope everything goes smoothly for you.

tracey said...

We were in Orlando for a conference last week & spent hours going through the most convoluted bassackwards security I've ever endured. The lines merged & split for no discernable reason & security glared & yelled if you asked a question about which direction or which line to be in. It's that special kind of hell that is filled with sun burned kids, dad bitter over what they've just spent, moms seething with quiet fury at the dad who isn't helping schlep all the crap through the airport & surly teens pretending they aren't with the dorks who keep calling their name & trying to make eye contact. brutal.

wv - fartmo. I don't have a clever definition but the 8 year old boy in my head thinks it's funny.

Frank Irwin said...

Tracey, it's simple. When you eat mo' beans, you fartmo.

dogimo said...

Haha! I thought you said, mucus-filled oysters. I was like, damn dude, I'm sorry to hear it!

Frank Irwin said...

Isn't "mucous-filled oysters" redundant? Regardless, it'd be a good name for a band.

Elliott said...

As to the mucous - the woman across the aisle from me kept coughing up 'something', I don't know where she was spitting it, I didn't want to look. However, I did see her reach for her husband's bottle of water each time. Isn't he the lucky man?

As to oysters - I want to enjoy them, I really do. I like them deep-fried on a po'boy, but otherwise I've had nothing but bad oysters. Could be a fluke, but part of me says they shouldn't be room-temp when you consume them raw.

Tracey, I think passing through security in a 'resort destination' is the worst. Nobody has patience and the ratio of screaming children and disorganized first-timers is much higher. Thankfully, I'm driving to Orlando this morning, no security checks.

Daisy, they have to isolate the freckled kids, keeps them from looking like they profile.

Thanks for the words of encouragement on the move. I trust all will go well, but Monday-Tuesday next week will be all-out chaos.

Jenks - if I could pick the stranger, I'd be more willing. But when it seems more often than not to be old men, I take issue.

Nej, you and Frank have the right idea, I think.

MtnMama said...

Oh, Elliott! I don't miss business travel AT ALL. I always put up the DND sign because I like to put things where I like them and don't want them moved, either. I'd love to sleep on a hotel bed with sheets with a thread count over 12 and a decent pillow. That would be heaven. My own bed at home is the one place where I have endulged myself and I have trouble sleeping anywhere else.

San Jose, CA, "International" airport is the WORST. I had two ugly fat women with ill-fitting gloves "accidently" dump the entire contents of my carry-on bag on the filthy carpet of the security area as they sorted through my carefully packed contents for contraband. I always wear simple clothes and slip on shoes, don't check luggage, keep my possessions few and to hand, and am appalled with most of my fellow travelers. When I flew with my daughter, I had a carseat to lug around and that was hell. So glad she's outgrown that, now.

Be nice and share!

Bookmark and Share