Travel. Business travel. I hate business travel. Not as much as I hate idiots though. The main part is I don’t like being away for a long time and having others need to sacrifice for Pearlsky (such as the nanny staying overnight). In this case I traveled two weeks in a row, and I am tired. Everything, luckily, was fine when I got home.
My first trip was interesting in that a major multinational big shot company called on many smaller companies that support them, and invited the CEO’s and the like to come to a resort for a few days. I, my friends, was one of those supporters. Since they want us all to be one big happy family (they use the word eco-community), we actually had what amounts to a couple of social mixers (informal activities designed to get people to inter-mix and meet). I found myself at the wheel of a small Israeli Defense Force’s all-terrain vehicle and next to me was a gentleman I did not know. The conversation over the next few hours was very interesting. Within a few minutes (seconds, actually), we realized that we are direct (and active) competitors. After a bit, we actually came up with some things we can work on together for mutual benefit, and that was cool. Then I happened to ask if he had a family. “Yes, a wife and two boys. You?” And I responded with “I am divorced and live with my disabled daughter.” No big deal, right? His response? “Both of mine have disabilities.” Conversation from then on was easy …
The second trip was more straight business. A major conference with exhibits and such. I see many people there every year and I have been somewhat influential in my small part of the industry, so I am always on my feet, on the go, talking and, well, shmoozing. I met an old friend in the hallway. He worked for a large company and often brought in my tools that supported his stuff, always a great guy to work with. He is now with a new company and hopefully we will be doing work together again. Anyway, it was an informal running into each other, and he said to me “How is your daughter?” To which, I said, “You know, with her disabilities it is always something, but in general, things are good.” I’ve known him for a dozen years, and he responded with “You know my brother was severely disabled.” Wow, that never came up. His parents were told to give up the brother when he was born (mid 1950’s). They kept him in the house, took him out most evenings (more socially appropriate then), he was as severe as our kids, and died in his early 20’s. On top of that, my friend’s son is mildly disabled (a stroke after brain surgery to remove a tumor). A connection on an entirely new level.
I get to my hotel late, I’m tired. There is a trainee at the front desk of the Hilton. I tell her my name, she punches it in the computer, and says “I’m sorry, we are all out of rooms.” I told her “That’s your problem” and the manager stepped forward and said to give me an upgrade to the executive floor. See, I’m such a big shot. I go to the room (and have to use my room key-card in the elevator just to get access to the floor!) and get ready to shower and go to bed. The phone rings, it is the front desk, they have a delivery for me. I tell them to bring it up, just come in and leave it, I will be in the shower. I come out, don’t see anything, and go to sleep. At 11:30 (and my “body time” was later) the phone rings and wakes me up. “I am sorry to disturb you, but may I ask your name?” I tell him, he says “Very good, sorry to bother you, there may have been a mix up, we are all set. Good night.” So I try to get back to sleep, and at midnight, the phone rings again. “Sorry to bother you again, Mr. SingleDad, but we need to pick up the delivery that is hanging in your closet.” “Right now, you idiot?” “Yes, I am sorry.” So I got dressed and handed the moron some clothes they delivered in error while I was in the shower. I did not fall asleep for an hour after that, and with some jet lag, well, it was not pretty. At least I did not have to get up until 10 the next morning. But I did. At seven. When my phone rang, this time my cell. It was Visa. “Mr. SingleDad, did you spend $37.49 in Milano Italy yesterday?” “No, I don’t think so.” “How about $42 in Texas.” “No.” They cancelled my card right then. My only credit card. Yes, I have a business one.
Pearlsky was good. I am told she missed me. It is nice to think that maybe she did.