Thursday, March 09, 2006

Look out Georgia, here I come!

I have been home a week, long enough to buy milk, unpack, and do laundry.  Now it’s time to leave again.  *sigh*  Really, I like the traveling part of my job … but I must confess I liked the old travel schedule much better than the “New and Improved” schedule.

The old way, I’d make appointments for two weeks, maybe three weeks straight.  I’d hop in a car (rental, because there’s no way 1,500 mi a week makes since on a personal car – no matter what type of mileage the company pays you) and spend three weeks driving to any appointment east of the Mississippi.   (Well, not really, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana were all car trips too.)  Now most people wouldn’t see the beauty of this schedule, so let me point it out to you.

  • When you drive, you don’t have to lug luggage through an airport.  You can take along things that don’t fit in a small suitcase (like hiking boots), but still pack in a small suitcase.

  • You never have to go through security with a rental car.

  • You never have to pull a laptop AND a projector out of your carry-on case, remove your shoes, take off your blazer (ok, truthfully I am never that dressed up when I travel), shove your shit into a bin – watch it go through the x-ray machine and explain:

  • No – that’s not a shot-gun shell, it’s a roll of quarters for laundry

  • No that tangle of wires isn’t ominous!  Please don’t make me take them all out.  It’s just my power-strip, extension cord, long phone cord (because most of the place I stay or conduct demonstrations in do not have wireless internet access), and cat-5 cable.

  • You can take extra books to read and not worry about where you’re going to stick them – or how much the weigh.

  • You can sit in a comfortable position for many, many hours in a car, unlike an airplane.

  • You can stop anytime you want to … for any reason.

  • You can take as much or little time as you want to eat … and you can eat at real meal-times – not as you dash from one connecting flight to another.

  • When you arrive at your destination, you already have your car!  No lines, no worrying about landing after the rental counter has closed for the night.

  • You can make detours to see interesting things.

  • No one takes “your” arm-rest.

  • You don’t have to return to the place your trip started from, you can just make a big circle with your appointments.

  • When it’s time to head home, you can start when ever you want.  If you need extra time with a customer, no worries. No flights to reschedule, no plains to miss, no meetings to cut short, and you’re never stranded by missed connections.

Truthfully, I think traveling by car is much more relaxing than plane travel.

Now here’s the “New and Improved” scheduling

  • Any travel more than 100 miles requires a plane trip

  • You cannot be out on the road for more than 5 days straight

  • This means EVERY WEEKEND you are either LEAVING for a trip or RETURNING from a trip!  No rest between trips.

  • You cannot book the first flight out or the last flight out … because of “cancellation issues”, (like middle of the day flights never get cancelled)

  • It is okay to fly out on a Sunday, but it’s not ok to say over a Friday night

So … between now (actually February 26th) and June 18th, I will be gone every other weekend.  I don’t really believe it’s going to stop in June either, that’s about the time the new windows marketing program will be released.  So, June and July will be calling on Merchants, Brokers, and County Buyers.  Then in August I’ll be traveling for the regional seminars.  So pretty much expect me to be gone until the harvest starts in September.

This week … Georgia.  Where in Georgia, well let me tell you.  It sounds GLAMOROUS to say I’ll be flying into Augusta.  Unfortunately I won’t be STAYING in Augusta.  If you get out your Georgia state map …. Look due south, and a little east of Augusta.  You would see the “metropolis” of Midville.  Yep that’s where I’ll be for a week, Midville, GA.  I think it’s slang for “Middle-of-Hell” Georgia.

The trip after this one?  Back to Georgia … and onto??? Statesboro!  Woo-hoo!  Statesboro actually has a dot inside it’s circle on the map.  Even more exciting?  My whole trip will not be confined to Statesboro … I’ll also get to travel to …. Metter!  What’s the matter, you’ve never heard of Metter?  Well, I promise, I will report back.   I will have one good day/night as I get to spend some time in Savannah that trip.  I plan on making the most of the visit. (Big yip 24 hours.)


Silly Old Bear said...

Ya know, I never travel on business, and in all my jobs in 20 years post-college I can count my business trips on one hand (Houston, back to Houston, St. Louis, McComb Mississippi).

I'm often jealous of people that "get" to travel, but after reading your account I'm not so sure.

I think I'm more suited to the Bono kind of travel - private jet, catered meals, limos, assistant to do anything you want. Yeah, I can do that. And pay me millions, too.

Mit_Moi said...

silly old bear ... I've tried to steal Bono's gig from him, but he's pretty selfish. Something about the fans expecting someone who can CARRY a tune, not burrying a tune