Tales from the road, part 865

Flight from Chicago to Denver yesterday morning.  Shoehorned into row 32 of a 767 Cattleliner – one of the WORST for legroom.

In front of me is a short woman of some sort.  All i can see are nicely manicured nails on a feminine hand against the window before take off, and wisps of a few strands of dark hair peeking above the headrest in front of me.

Yay.  Short chicks rarely recline the seatback so no need for me to fish out my Knee Defender set from my backpack.

Tactical error.  As you have certainly guessed by now, Shorty McFuckyou slammed her seat back before we had leveled off out of O’Hare, pushing my seatback tray into my gut.  This led to a rather angry closing of my tray, along with a few shoves to push her seat up enough for me to stow the SkyMall catalog back into the pocket.

Rather than do the professional, adult thing, and ask her to straighten her seat a little to allow me breathing room, i proceeded to tuck in for a nap – with one of my knees wedged against the back of her seat.  With every shift or adjustment i made, she got a nice jolt from behind.

Mature?  You betcha.  But this is life on the road.  And it’s sometimes a full contact sport.  We do what we need to do to balance the need for public order and civility, and the need to keep our aggravation from leaking out of our bodies in the form of aggressive acts delivered onto the faces of fellow travelers.

This is not a “fun” trip.  This is work.  i’m along for the ride as the “management like object”.  Show we care, learn what our folks are up to, meet their collaborators.  Literally, i am “meat in a seat”. 

My travelmates?  Two “nice” colleagues.  One older and seasoned.  One younger and enthusiastic about life, the universe and everything i used to care about.  The elder gent has done a nice job of logistics – i don’t need to worry about driving, logistics, maps, meeting locations, etc.

Meat in a seat.  Getting paid.  While i was playing the “I’ve Got The Armrest, Motherfucker” game with a large, odorous gentleman on my flight this evening, i calculated the amount of time i’ve spent on my ass so far on this trip.

Day 1 – total time on ass: 8 1/2 hours (4 hour meeting)

Day 2 – total time on ass:  11 1/2 hours (3 hour meeting)

Projected Day 3 – total time on ass 20 hours (8 hour meeting plus transcontinental red-eye flight to get me home early on Day 4)

So the next time i get a cushy, “fun” business trip – somewhere lush, exotic and populated with my Dawg Boy posse, i am going to remember this one.  And check my guilt at the first airport gate…

36 thoughts on “Tales from the road, part 865

    • yep. what we call the “O-dark-hundred” cattle car flight. up at 3am, ass on a plane at 6am, on a train for an office somewhere by 8am, ass in meetings that have no purpose until 5pm, backto the airport, and on a plane full of smelly, tired people doing the same thing by 7pm, home by 10pm.

      oh, the fucking glamour…

      • That’s the one. Except we don’t have direct flights to DC, and are an hour behind. So it was almost noon when we got to the Dept. of Wasted Time, and damn near midnight when I got home.

  1. I never enjoyed the business trips. I’d inevitably end up somewhere with poor sanitation and suspect food being shouted at by seemingly hostile people in languages I didn’t understand.

    A lot like being back at school, in other words.

    Sometimes someone threatened to shoot me, usually for no good reason.

    On the rare occaions I did get sent somewhere desirable (like the time I got sent to talk to some people in the Bahamas) it always coincided with hurricanes, outbreaks of denge fever or (once) a coup d’état.

    And people chide me for being an unadventurous traveller these days.

    • the story of one of your trips to russia should be enough to make me stop whining… this is just ass and mind numbing. but i like to think of the fun i shall have someday when i cash in the airline miles and hotel points. helped me to play in greece last summer…

  2. On my first travel-for-a-living gig, we had a charter jet for a superstar dance tour. Somewhere in the back of my early 20-something mind, I understood that this, in fact, was not how things usually rolled.

    Now even the pilots and flight attendents are making high-profile pushbacks. I applaud them. I so so so very much wish that the bozos at Amtrak figured out how to make their trains even minutely affordable, instead of the bone-headed process by which we charge our people to move on the rails. The Europeans have understood for years that travel ought to be civilised (note impressive spelling .

    I think, Daise, you ought to match up your engineering skills with your indignant butt-time calculations and start Air Daisy–bringing common sense and decency back to air travel. I’ll handle PR. We’ll make millions and hire other people to travel for us, while we take a leisurely trainride somewhere interesting where they spell things with S’s and know how to dress.

    • are you trying to convince me to run away to europe with you? well, if you’re not, then you better cut out this ‘adventure on a train’ talk, because i’m ready to go!

      i tried amtrak. REALLY wanted to like it. it blew chunks.

      like the idea of a no-bullshit, no-asshole airline. before you can buy a ticket? you must demonstrate the ability to board and disembark from an airplane without spending more than 30 seconds standing in the aisle… oh, and booze is free after 5pm…

  3. Loved my flight to Syria…12 hrs on a very very crowded plane with extra large couple with extra large child behind us. the little bitch whined the whole flight till somewhere around 3 am when I turned around and told her to be quiet,people are trying to sleep. then hubby turned around a few minutes later and told her to “shut up” in arabic and that got her parents attention. The man..super sized mind you, told the gentleman next to me that if he didn’t like him pulling and pushing on his seat to get comfortable that he should have chosen another seat. He got a stern talking to from the flight attendants, didn’t help much though. I hate spoiled people who think the world revolves around them. Thank goodness our flight back was a little better.
    I hate people who don’t control their kids. That’s what Benedryl was created for. A little dose before the flight takes off and it’s nap time for the whole flight.
    I don’t fly well..get very nauseous on take off and landing. I have chosen not to eat at all but still break out in cold sweats and hyperventilating by the time we’re on the ground. Hubby thought I was faking till he touched me and found me coated with sweat…that’ll teach him to never doubt my illnesses.

  4. Do those knee defenders really work?

    For all the flying you do, don’t you collect frequent flyer miles and convert them to upgrades? Or is that not allowed by your employer? ‘Cuz if not, well, that really sucks.

    I was reading somewhere that employer required air travel could now be grounds for harassment type complaints, because travellers are subjected to radiation (body scanners) or severe groping (TSA “pat downs”). I don’t know why y’all can’t do video-conferencing, but if you absolutely have to be there in person, why not take the train?

    • depends on the equipment, but for most aircraft they will at least limit the travel of the seat in front of you to something reasonable. but you need to keep your lap tray down for it to work. beats taking the headrest in the teeth.

      upgrades? what are those? much travel stateside is now done via regional jet. there ARE no first class seats. i just hit elite status on one airline so i’ll at least have a shot at upgrades. i’d never burn miles on an upgrade – those miles take me overseas on holiday. i’ll take the domestic travel inconvenience rather than give that up…

  5. i no longer even try to be comfortable on a plane. i book a window seat, put on my eyeshade and go the to fuck to sleep. i also take drugs. xoxoxox

    p.s. the MITM has to fly next week and he’s already crying about it!

    • you are a trendsetter. in fact, i’m sure that the woman in front of me who reclined her seat so rudely is one of the short asian women that you’ve blown off on the interweb dating thing lately. it was an act of rebellion. against YOU. sucks to be the center of the universe, doesn’t it?

  6. Amenski! Guilt is for pussies! Plus I’m one of those ‘short chicks’ and you’re right, I rarely tilt my seat back, unless some fuck keeps raming their knees through my back, then all bets are off. I just thought of another thing, the more I’ve flown in my life the less chatty I am, and the less I care about someone who wants to chat.

    • somehow, the reclined position is more uncomfortable than the vertical. which must have been by design… and i agree. if the person behind me is rude, mangles my seat, and kicks? they get it full bore… i don’t chat either. and i don’t reply to people who try to chat with me. unless they are older folks, and then i will generally do more than grunt and put on my headphones…

  7. I don’t sleep on planes, I read. I don’t recline the seat ever. They were not designed for proper spinal alignment no matter what you do, so why screw up the space of the person behind you.

    If you feel like you are getting less and less space, that is because the airlines have put the seats closer together.

    Supersized people should have to take the train. I also believe that if your ass won’t fit in the seat then you should be charged for two. If you weigh as much as two normal people, you should be charged for two. Maybe flight costs should be based on how much you weigh. After all, if your baggage is overweight, you have to pay for that. This is because the amount of fuel an airplane uses is directly related to how much weight it is carrying. So there could be ranges of price. Step on the scale folks, right along with your luggage. Your ticket price is based completely on the amount of weight you, your baggage, your carry on and your purse amount to. Pack light? Pay less. Another incentive to maintain a healthy weight, if your pancreatic and cardiac health are not a big enough one.

    • i used to read, but since i’m in a near constant state of sleep deprivation, i now just snooze. and am usually asleep before the door is closed and we’re on the runway. sleep through landings, too, if i’m tired enough.

      i like the idea of ‘pay as you weigh’. there would be incentives for people to stay healthy if they want to get the juicy conference trips, as businesses might restrict flights to those who are maintaining a healthy weight, or travel light… Hmmm….. i think you’re onto something!

    • made it back, two smaller, nice gents on either side of me on the redeye flight, but i still couldn’t sleep. bagged a couple hours in the airport/final leg. after a delay that got me home at noon, i managed to get another hour on the motorbike, then happy hour with my breast cancer broads. life is sweet…. work for a day, then a weekend! i’m a lucky, lucky puppy.

  8. Professionalism is highly over-rated, as is civility and the like, i never put my seat back and i’m 6fucking4, if anyone should get a pass it’s me, you’ve got style though Ms. Daisy, lots of it and i like it.

    • ‘style’ is different than ‘class’, of which i have none… and at 6’fucking4″, i’d not only encourage you to recline, i’d offer to pull my seat from the floor and scoot it back a little further…

  9. I love you more and more with every passing post!

    I do the same thing, and when/if the person in front of me turns around, I say, “gosh I’m so sorry! I have the longest legs! Poor me, right? With the long legs and the big boobs (and this is where I shake my boobs at them). Life is so hard for me!”

    • thank you, dear! i still track your fever, but don’t always comment! i like your approach the ‘leg and boob’ defense is pretty bulletproof! might have to swipe that… the one time a person turned and glared at me? i just smiled sweetly. when he turned back around, i shoved the seat once more for good measure!

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