I have been fortunate enough to not have to travel for biz in over 2.5 years. The main thing that has changed: Bluetooth.
I also had the opportunity to see, wandering around its natural environment (i.e., a business travel hotel), a certain organism that I don't encounter into often in the circles I run with: The Corporate Guy Who Is Clinging to His Edginess.
- He's wearing Dockers but has an awkwardly-large gold hoop earring.
- He leaves the complimentary hotel breakfast early to go outside and smoke a cigarette with the sucked-in-cheek eye-squinty drag of someone who still looks at their reflection while smoking and practices looking cool.
- His sunglasses say: "I'm trying really hard."
I find these dudes fascinating. I want to make a reality show about them. I want to know who they thought they were going to be when they were younger. Who is this person all these little signifiers are pointing to? What is this identity they are not yet willing to let go of? Ill-suited minds are dying to know!Also from this trip: somebody was having a VERY...um...rambunctious and vocal great time in a random Silicon Valley hotel at 8:00 AM on a Monday morning. Those of us blearily trudging our way down the hotel hall heading to all-day conferences were glad that somebody was having fun.
Speaking of fun, I guess my hotel was trying out some new features as I was apparently staying in an entire Magic Fingers ROOM. The WHOLE THING randomly vibrated. Like things would jiggle across the desk. I was too exhausted at the idea of packing up my crap so I didn't complain, but Hotel: what the heck?
And that was about it. I was expecting to have all sorts of laffs from the trip, but this client - despite all of The Crazies I tell you about - actually seems to be populated by smart, not crazy, likable people. It was, quite frankly, a little disconcerting. Possibly my and my counterparts' roles as Gatekeepers keeping out all the crazies DO actually do something more than drive us to despair and refined carbs? I honestly hadn't considered that possibility.