Work travel is this weird reality limbo.
On the one hand, it’s work and you’re away from home and really busy and all you do is run from meeting to meeting and rush trying to find your conference room and it’s not in any way like a vacation. On the other hand, since you’re not at home, you don’t have to remember to load the dishwasher or fold the laundry and you go out to eat and if you do manage to leave the mass of meetings in time to do anything other than sleep, your only choices are to lay around and watch TV or go down to the hotel bar and have some wine.
Unfortunately, my first meeting yesterday was at 8am, and then I didn’t leave the office until 11pm, so there was little time for the TV or wine, but theoretically, I could have done those things without feeling guilty that I should be sanding walls or cleaning off the driveway.
Things would be less frantic for me if I planned longer trips. But despite laundry-free days and theoretical wine-filled nights, after about three days, I’m absolutely ready to go home. I miss P.; I miss my bed; I need to get some actual non-meeting work done; I really need to get to sanding those walls.
18 meetings in two days is plenty anyway. I’ve had so many meetings this trip that I’ve gotten entirely too lazy to even type up notes. Instead, I’ve been using my camera phone to take pictures of whiteboards. When I get back to the office and start to act on all this stuff, it’ll probably go something like:
“Hmm… that fuzzy part – that looks a little like a coffee cup. Maybe this meeting was about how I should drink more coffee. I’ll just pop over to Starbucks. OK, I have my latte. What now? This squiggly line might be saying I’m supposed to design and document a whole new system, but maybe I just didn’t get the whole whiteboard in the picture. I bet that line points over to some other team and they’re going to be doing all that work. Excellent. I’ll just drink my coffee then.”