Friday, August 30, 2013


Not Quite One Of Us

Dear Happy People,
Most of you know I am a consultant.  

If you've never been one, and if everything you know about consulting comes from stuff like House of Lies, you have a skewed view of the lives of real consultants.  

Here's the real deal: 

It is an exhausting way to make a living. The next time someone suggests that I only work 4 days a week, I may stab them with the spork I am using to eat my $5 airport yogurt.

My Monday work day starts right after you finish dinner on Sunday.  I will either board a plane in an hour or so, or catch a nap and leave before 3AM, depending on which flight corporate travel will approve due to costs.

I will haul my technology and everything I need to have for a week in a city I probably don't know all that well to an airport 2 hours before boarding time. I will strip off my coat, shoes, belt, jewelry, scarf, and sunglasses, and empty all my pockets. I will provide ID and travel documents at least 3 times. I will haul my laptop out of my bag, have my person and belongings x-rayed, get patted down, and re-dress and re-pack my briefcase. 

If I want to have anything to drink between now and halfway through my flight, I will spend $2-4 on a bottle of water after I make it through security. I probably don't buy much to eat, because living on airport fast food is a good way to shorten your life. I might grab a yogurt if I can find any. The same yogurt that costs a buck at the grocery is $4-5 here.     

Since I probably have an hour to kill at the gate, I might try to get some work done--- but that involves finding somewhere to plug in my laptop. Easier in some airports than others. At my regional, it is simple. At the next, bigger airport, it is all but impossible.  In O'Hare it is a pipedream.

It is now somewhere around 5am.

We spend entirely too much time away from our homes and families. Airports are not glamorous places and eating all of your meals in restaurants gets really old. It doesn't matter all that much that  our jobs can take us to interesting cities, because other than the airport, hotel, and office, we rarely have time to see them. 

We work hard. 


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