Wednesday 9/24 – receive e-mail about a big prospect meeting from our El Paso team. They want me to attend. It’s in 9 days. Shuffle some other things, look at airfare. Tough to get to El Paso. Can take a non-stop on Delta (and earn the frequent flyer miles!) but it’s twice as expensive as the 1-stop through Dallas. Take one for the team and book through Dallas.
Tuesday 9/30 – Wake up. Fly to Miami. Become aware 10 minutes into flight that sinuses are not really as far past the recent cold as thought. Agony in head and ears. Arrive at hotel in a serious ‘hood. Hotel under construction. Pouring rain. Spend a few hours trying to log into computer, give up. Meet colleagues for dinner. Go back to room and fall into bed.
Wednesday 10/1 – wake up at 5:30 and spend three hours cursing at Dell, the Wells Fargo IT people, the Marriott internet connections and the computer gods in general. Have to leave for meeting without presentation materials. In more pouring rain. Mortified. Make it through the meeting with minimal damage. Even manage to catch an earlier flight back to Atlanta. Suffer through ear pain again. Spend an hour on the phone with IT people trying to fix computer after bursting into tears with frustration.
Thursday – 10/2 wake up at 5:30 to pack for El Paso trip. Kiss the kids goodbye and head out the door. Rush to office to login in to (hopefully) fix computer problem. Then to airport. Traffic. Park in the expensive lot as others already full. Head to Dallas. Agony. Land in Dallas. Eat a small tasteless meal. Ascend to 30,000 feet for the fourth time in two days. Agony, Revisited. Land in El Paso. E-mail the colleage that I’ve just landed in El Paso and want to talk to him about Friday’s meeting. Colleague e-mail’s back “Why are you in El Paso? I’m on my way to Houston for the meeting.” Drop jaw on floor. Pick up jaw. Collect bag at baggage claim. Walk to ticket counter. Purchase ticket to Houston. Ascend for 5th time in 3 days. Bride of Agony. Land in Houston. Have choice of renting a pick up truck or a cute sports coupe. Pick the coupe, despite being in Houston. Coupe reeks of cigarrette smoke, has broken side mirrors and navigation that says my hotel address does not exist. Arrive at hotel at 8:30 (9:30 body clock time) to eat overpriced restaurant food in my room. Answer e-mails for 3 hours since computer is (finally) working and collapse in bed at midnight.
Friday – wake at, yes you guessed it, 5:30 to research company with whom meeting in 3 hours. Find out my company is acquiring a competitor with a larger specialty group than I currently run. Wonder what the hell that means for me. Take smelly, broken car and go to meeting. Meeting goes well. Go to airport and ascend again. Son of Bride of Agony. Arrive home at 7:00 to – hugs from my family, a clean house, an excited dog and a wonderful feeling of…just….being….home. 🙂