On the Road Again; My 22 Hour Day

I get to travel for work.  I say that I get to because really, not everyone does.  Some of our newer and younger employees talk about their first time to travel for the company and it’s a privileged discussion and so I will continue to revere the opportunity to represent myself and my location in person in a distant location.  In this case I traveled to our headquarters in Redwood Shores (bay area) California.

The Story

For clarification California is two time zones West of my happy Midwest home location.  I’ve spoke of traveling before and I always have a people story to take home with me.  This time my story involves the captain of my flight.  While in the security line waiting to shove my carry on items through the xray machine I encountered this older airline guy with an official shirt and a lanyard that said US Airways airline.  This was the airline that I would be flying.  He looked kindly at me with eyes that said ‘hello I need to cut in front of you so will you please allow this to happen without incident’.  I decided to engage in this conversation but out loud and said you need to go in front of me, it looks like you are an important person in my morning.  He smiled, looking relieved that I could read eye language.

He asked if I was flying US Airways and I said (out loud) that I was and headed to Phoenix.  He told me that he would be on my flight (based on his uniform I was pretty sure he was and he would be in the driver’s seat) and he continued that I was the important person on the flight and they couldn’t do things without folks like me flying with them.  Nice.  I told him that still it was key that he get on first ahead of me.  And off he went.

So here’s the connection.  Imagine my surprise when I’m sitting three rows back in economy on the isle and I look up to this nice older man with a US Airways ball cap standing in the doorway of the cock pit looking straight at me.  I connect with the glance and he gives me a big smile and a wave like a kindergartener would; just happy to connect.  The flight attendant saw me wave back and said to me “oh good, he wondered if he would be able to find you on the flight.”  I felt really good about my travel connection.  Happy Karma.

The Day

So travel is good, travel is a privileged, and travel is exhausting.  This was my schedule Monday morning.  All times are listed in Pacific time.

1:10am  alarm goes off.
1:18am  Words with Friends on my phone in bed
1:22am A shower and getting ready for the day (bags are packed and ready to go at the door)
2:09am Put garbage at curb on way out to the airport
2:18am Pick up Kayla, my travel cohort for this trip
2:44am Arrive at Omaha’s Epply Airfield and park the car
3:08am I’m thru security and have a coffee and muffin
3:39am  Seated in 7c waiting for take off (pilot just waved at me)
Read Berkshire annual report on plane
5:28am Touch down in Phoenix
7:40am On the plane ready to go to SFO
9:40am Landed SFO headed to pick up luggage they made us check (grrr)
10:21am Go get rental car and drive straight to office
10:52am Goal Achieved!!  Made it for Monday’s all hands meeting in the office
11:40am I got to desk after Kayla’s tour of the office
12:00pm Lunch at the office cafeteria mmm Greek
12:48pm Meet with Noah my new analyst friend.
1:37pm Back at my desk responding to and sending emails
2:00pm Attend the UX team meeting
3:00pm Get some pop chips for a snack (much needed)
3:10pm emails and desk discussions with those who walk by.  Last chance to catch some folks in Omaha
4:40pm Leave office – we’re headed with co-workers to eat in downtown San Francisco (thanks for driving Tym!)
5:29pm parking downtown headed in for Dinner
6:43pm Paying for dinner
7:04pm depart the restaurant and leave, headed back to the office by Cal-train.  We walk about 1.5 miles to the station in the nice night air.
7:45pm Purchased train ticket but missed last train by 5 min, 50 minutes to the next train.
8:00pm headed two blocks down to Lucky Strike for drink (or in my case a nice chair to rest for a bit)
8:24pm Get on the train, it leaves at 8:40
9:35pm Arrive in San Carlos to get in the car and head back to the office for our car
9:50pm Arrive back at our hotel and check in
10:05pm In the room, unpack, wash face
10:45pm – set alarm for tomorrow morning, unconscious in minutes

Travel is a privileged.  The people I meet and the experiences I have make me a richer person.  Travel is exhausting.

Cheers – travel well.