Thursday, May 15, 2014

I Couldn’t Get The Timing Right Today

I begin this post as I have many others. It was way too early to be getting out of bed this morning but somehow, after about 4 hours of sleep, I managed to crawl out of bed and into the shower. While it may be a great time of day for some, five in the morning is not a good time of day for me. But, some work days begin earlier than others and today was definitely one of those days.

I was moving particularly slow this morning and quickly started running behind. About 20 minutes behind schedule, I got in passenger seat of my wife’s car, and we were off to the airport. We pulled up to the US Airways terminal with what I thought was plenty of time… that thought persisted until I got in line to go through security. 40 minutes and a security checkpoint change later and I was finally on my way to the gate. Normally I arrive at the gate in plenty of time to sit and relax before flying, this morning I didn’t even have time to hesitate, and I walk right onto the plane. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised with a front row, first class seat.

Surprisingly, given the fog, we took off on time. The next two hours comprised a large number of bumps, so I was told, and a lot of sleeping. Some people can work the entire flight, from gate to gate, like my boss sitting next to me. That is something that I have never been able to do. The best way for me to be productive is to get as much sleep as possible so that I can get work done later. By the time the plane touched down in Atlanta, we were running back on schedule. By the time the car service dropped us off at the client’s office, we were running ahead of schedule.

This is when the fun began. While the meeting was long, over six hours of constant discussion, it was a great back and forth both of information and opinion. This was a discovery and messaging meeting that is a fascinating thing to watch let alone participate in. By the time the information fire hose is turned off at the end of the day, you have all the information you need and a lot of ideas that you don’t. It is also a great opportunity to get to know the people at the company and find out a little bit about how they go about their work as well as a little about themselves which comes out is little drips throughout the day.

Before we had a real chance to breath, the day had passed and the car service was calling us wondering when we were coming down since they had been waiting outside for the past 45 minutes. Oops, time to wrap things up and head out the door. And just like that we were on our way back to the airport to catch a 7:50 plane back to Philadelphia. Even running behind and the notorious Atlanta traffic, we got to the airport with enough time to sit down for a quick bite to eat. With egg and cheese sandwiches and Pepsi (I know, I was shocked) in our stomachs from Der Waffle Haus, we walked over to the changed gate and got settled in our aisle seat in the middle of the plane.

Two and a half hours and some restless sleep later we were back in Philadelphia and waiting for transportation home. So, nearly 17 hours after my day started, I walked back into the apartment. Even though I was obviously dragging, I was wide awake and ready to get things going after an excellent day and meeting. However, my first business day trip (via an airport) is a little nuts when you think about it. Oh well, sometimes you have to do what you have to do and I prefer sleeping in my own bed and coming home to my wife. So, while hectic, it was a good day all around.