Last week I took the second business trip of my new career — the second of many, I’m told. Since that’s pretty much all that’s going on in my life, I’ll recap the highlights… hmm, let me put that in quotes… “highlights” of the trips:
Trip #1 – Seattle, Washington
- After my longest flight so far, then riding to the hotel in a vehicle with atrocious New Car Smell, I had more than a little travel sickness for the rest of my first day there. (Apologies to the Hampton Inn for what I did in your lobby trashcan…)
- During meetings about the project, I met about thirty new people and had considerable trouble keeping their names straight. (Does no one wear name tags anymore??)
- There’s a lot of… waiting… involved at these meetings. That may be the hardest part. (Thank you, Tom Petty.)
- Actually, the hardest part is being new and having to learn what the heck everyone is talking about. Until then, I try to listen, look thoughtful, and not say anything to embarrass the boss.
- One of the guys on one of our teams is very cute and nice. He’s also very taken which should go without saying because those are typically the guys I find attractive!
Trip #2 – Augusta, Georgia
- I was thrilled to be closer to home.
- However, my room overlooked a noisy four-lane highway, and I got little sleep the whole three nights we were there.
- On the bright side, my room had a Jacuzzi tub, and yes, I *did* make time to soak in it all three nights we were there. I credit that tub with helping me keep my sanity, because…
- From something the boss said during our pre-meeting meeting, I concluded that he wasn’t impressed with my report from the first trip. I found the thought that he was writing me off after one experience very, very frustrating, and I was stressed about it for the better part of the trip.
- Then the first day of meetings started with a walk in the cold (albeit light) rain from building to building looking for the correct conference room.
- I think I’m catching on to learning new people. I was in charge of recording attendees’ names in the meeting minutes and that helped me put names with faces.
- A nice part of these trips is going out for dinner with our team of five to eight people. I’m pretty quiet – as usual – but there tend to be some good conversationalists in the group.
- On the trip home, the boss said – without prompting from me, because I was afraid to ask – that it seems I’m catching on to what I need to be doing. That really helped put my mind at ease. I mean, I know I’ve got much to learn; I just want to feel I’m at least moving in the right direction!
Jeff said that some people he works with are impressed with my new traveling job, and my first thought was, “Obviously, they’ve never traveled like that, or they wouldn’t be impressed at all.” It’s true that traveling is taking some adjusting to, but I’m trying to make the best of it. I just remind myself that I could stay at home all the time – and still be unemployed.