Adventures in Business Travel – Part 725

It was only on July 4th, while knocking back pints in London with bob that i decided to seriously consider purchasing a condominium and moving. A lot has happened in the past two months… most of it good, just a lot of it!

Work responsibilities, of course, have not been placed in a magical suspended animation state so that i can happily pursue all of these life issues, mind you. There has been a bit of stress percolating there as well. 

For the past three Wednesdays, i have been summoned to The Mothership*, preparing a high visibility presentation for an advisory board well above my pay grade.  Beyond the garden variety conference trip, where i drink my weight in coffee during the day and alcohol during the night, this effort has required me to DO things.  Can you believe it?  They expect me to DO something for that paycheck?

WIth the final event scheduled for 8 AM this morning, my team and i needed to fly out yesterday.  The other two members went out mid-day, but worrying about leaving a large dog – with gastric distress – on his own in my new white-carpeted crib, drove me to schedule a later flight.  This gave me time to stop home en route to the airport, and take Mr. P for an additional walk, praying for full colon blow and blessings from the carpet gods…

Fussing with notes for the pet sitter, turning on exterior lights so she could find the front door, and getting my work gear assembled, i rolled my briefcase/overnight bag to the garage and prepared to head out – making another run into the house to put out the key to the mailbox.

Oooh – minor miscalculation!  New place is about 10 minutes further from the airport.  Should have left a little earlier!  Driving maniacally, i arrived at the airport less than an hour before my flight, but tickled to find relatively close parking in the credit card lot!  A hint of good travel karma, for sure!

Until i noticed that i had forgotten my briefcase/overnight bag.  i had to make a quick check – Work ID card? Credit cards?  Yep.  Enough to get me there.  i was wearing jeans, a tank top and a dress jacket** with sandals.  Walking to the ticketing counter, i was trying to remember stores near the airport… and calculate if i could possibly get there before closing time.  Flight was due around 8:20 pm… the nearby mall?  Closes at 9:00 pm.  Tight…

Despite these annoyances, i slept like a rock on the plane***, with a rare on-time arrival.  During taxi to the gate, i googled a local discount store – open til 11 pm – assuming i wouldn’t make it to the mall.  Hopping in a taxi, explained my destination and predicament – and he assured me that i could get to Macy’s by 8:40 pm.  And we were off!

The Eastern European Mario Andretti behind the wheel kept his word, and i was burning a hole in my credit card for a dress, stockings and shoes**** by 8:55 pm.  On the way out, there was even a woman still at the cosmetics counter.  I asked if i could get emergency mascara and eyeliner?  “Sure, no problem”.  Of course it was no problem for her.  Spending 40-fucking-dollars on eye crayons?  HUGE problem for a woman who normally buys the cheap shit at the drugstore, never spending more than $5, usually getting the “buy one, get one free” deal. 

But i was on a mission… be there for my team looking professional and “together”, and more importantly – to get my ass in bed and be asleep before 10:00 pm…

Presentation went well by all accounts this morning – satiated customers on the other side of the table.  By the time i was nestled into my window seat for the return flight – looking good enough in the new dress and heels to have gotten a few leers from the TSA guys (and gal) at security – i was ready to chalk this one up as yet another “Save”.

Until the adorable 13 month old baby in the bulkhead seat directly in front of me decided to audition for the Metropolitan Opera*****.  Holeeeeeee FUCK could that kid scream!  Anything i had resembling ear protection/noise abatement was still in my briefcase in my garage.  At first i was feeling bad for the mother… must be terrible to deal with an out-of-control squawker on a plane.  After fifteen minutes?  My blood was boiling.  Nowhere to move on a crowded flight.  Considered napping in the lavatory, but there was only one on the regional jet, so it would be rude of me to try…

Poor little diva screamed for no less than an hour… and was asleep just before landing.  It was everything i could do NOT to wake her up as i got off the plane by screaming in her ear.  And the frazzled mother?  Sat and apologized to each and every one of us as we disembarked… i was nice.  Told her that someday the little darling will grow up, do drugs, run off with a biker and make her life a true living hell – and she’d look back on this day and cherish the memory.


* East coast headquarters for my organization.  Funny term for it, though, as there are remarkably few women at the ol’ “Mothership”.

** less wrinkles if you wear ’em than if you pack ’em… so jeans and a jacket is a standard travel outfit for me…

*** NEVER have a problem sleeping on planes.  Usually asleep before the door is closed, and frequently sleep through landings… it’s a gift…

**** Ridiculously cute shoes, which turned out to be ridiculously uncomfortable as well.  i was reminded by a friend tonight that such is often the case – that which is painfully cute will cause you nothing but trouble.  (sigh)

***** i can sleep unless there’s a screamer within 3 feet of my ears.  i did manage to sleep through some of the early squawks, apparently, only waking up when the kid had reached a noise level LOUDER than than front row seats at a Gwar concert…

15 thoughts on “Adventures in Business Travel – Part 725

  1. Maybe you should call it the “Motherfuckership”…

    Great save.

    You need some of those BOSE “world-cancelling” headphones, methinks.

    The only thing worse than a screaming toddler on a plane is the antsy toddler that spills its soda all over you. At least that’s been my experience. I never fly without ear plugs.

  2. Oh for the joy of earplugs. And yes the amazing thing is that they are multi-purpose. Work well for snoring husbands and nagging kids.

    And why does life rush at you like that some times. It is as if big chunks of it fall off and hurtle at you like meteorites. Perhaps a little reminder that we need to return to the silence of our space pods from time to time?

    Beam me up Scotty!

  3. You, DaisyFae, are my hero. I’d have been a screaming wreck.

    You win the travel-dominator wand and crown. Infanticide is still illegal in most states, though. Mores the pity.

  4. rob – like that. it is now the “Motherfuckership”. used to have the Sony noise canceling headphones, but can’t find them at the moment. You see, they are in a box somewhere…

    MdW – yes, the meteorite metaphor works. except i’m trying to be patient — there is nothing really bad going on. i’m still a lucky, spoiled puppy. just a very overwhelmed, and very tired one… with a “to do” list as long as next year…

    kyknoord – i should totally start farting in meetings. not just “silent but deadly”, but the “Strike a pose and let ‘er rip” kind! they’ll never let me out again! brilliant, as always…

    alex – usually, i can even deal with low-level squawking… and have great sympathy for the parental units involved. but this kid was a world class, brain-piercing monster! she might have enjoyed a trip to the lav… to sit with momma for about a half hour…. but the poor kid was sweaty, exhausted… kinda hard to stay pissed off at her.

    nm – i’ve run into children in business class before. makes me want to whack the parent with an old, tattered airline magazine.

    dolce – early on, i’d considered offering to help the mom. hold the child, do some distraction, etc. might not have been a bad idea – no, not from the infanticide angle, but from the “Mom is getting increasingly anxious and the baby is feeding off that” angle… sigh. live and learn… and stay awake on a plane.

    paisley – i do occasionally scream at parties! but not during the keg stand portion of events! thanks for the kind words!

  5. In the rarified air of investment banking, the amount of money you make is in direct proportion to the amount of your time they expect from you. Ask Bob about L! If you get said promotion, (good wishes for you) I hope you like what you’re doing because you might be doing a lot more of it!

  6. now… see? here’s this little door right over the wing. open that and the “Crying Children Section” is right outside, just this side of the “Smoking Section”. mind that first step, though…

  7. unbearable banishment – oh, i’m not going after promotion. in fact, i’ve gotten the last one i could possibly get about 6 years ago, and that’s fine with me… i’ve taken myself out of contention for future ‘executive’ opportunities precisely for the reasons you cite above. Fuck it. Life’s too short to work that hard…

    kono – do you give an imaginary boy imaginary benadryl? i sleep best with a shot of nyquil with a beer chaser, but that’s just me…

    john – Welcome to The Park! Glad that you came out of lurker status to share your knowledge of infant sedation! Good stuff…

    Fweng – Welcome to The Park as well! My guess is that you were off on yet another stag adventure that week. Next time, i’ll definitely check in first!

    gnu – they usually don’t let me near exit rows. there was that one time where i drove the flight attendant batty by constantly ringing the call bell and asking her to show me one more time how the door works. Just in case….

  8. Pingback: Too many late nights… « Trailer Park Refugee

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