Friday, July 3, 2009

Hit the road, Jack

My recurring problem with consulting is being what an ex client I saw on the plane last month referred to as a road warrior. It's a cool sounding name created by the makers of laptops and backpacks for those of us who are professional gypsies. I sometimes crave a desk, a PA, and my own coffee mug, rather than camping in someone else's office, sharing their printer, and learning the hard way what from the canteen is edible.

My preference at the moment is where I am sitting now - my study at home, with everything I need in reach. The downside: the kids know I'm hiding in here. The kids, and of course my wife, are the main problem I have with travelling. Being in a hotel at someone else's expense is cool. Until the second month or so. When any of the following are true, then it's been too long:
  • You remember the names of the hotel staff, and vice versa.
  • The place you most often bump into friends is the airport.
  • Your dog wont let you through the gate.
  • You know the room service menu and which rooms to avoid, but can't remember which button opens your garage.
  • You know what's under that foil over your dinner before you peel it back. And it's not good.
  • The wifi profiles on your laptop are into three figures
  • You know, to the minute, how long it takes from alarm to check in
  • You know the foibles of every hire car on offer, but can't remember which side the wipers are in the one you left at the airport. Or where you parked it.
Travelling to clients is part of the job, unfortunately. It means you get to go to some great places, but some really dodgy ones too. The lifestyle tends to breed a self reliance bordering on the anti-social. So if you try to engage me in conversation on a plane, please don't be offended if I'm a bit monosyllabic to start with...