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Traveling, revisited…

To support a corporate initiative, I have been traveling a lot in 2017.  The phrase, “traveling a lot” is relative.  I’m traveling a lot more than I have in recent years; but I’m not traveling nearly as much as my boss or the other true Road Warriors.

Of course, none of us business types travel nearly as much as my friend Monica who is a flight attendant for United Airlines.  With her seniority, Monica has a degree of control over her travel schedule.  As such, she occasionally encounters a passenger that takes the same flights for business purposes.  One such passenger gave Monica a compilation of travel humor that she in turn shared with me.

In 2017 we know that the skies may not always be “friendly”, but we can fly with a smile on our face nonetheless.  I mean, a plane flying in the air is by itself an amazing feat:

So when you’re on your next late; cramped; bumpy flight, here are a few tales to help your disposition, all courtesy of Monica and our favorite Unknown Sage:

Tower: “Delta 351, you have traffic at 10 o’clock, 6 miles.”  Delta 351: “Tower, give us another hint.  We have digital watches.”

A student became lost during a solo cross-country flight.  While attempting to locate the aircraft on radar, ATC ask, “What was your last know position?”  The student replied, “When I was Number 1 for takeoff.”

Taxiing down the tarmac, the DC10 abruptly stopped, turned around and returned to the gate.  After an hour-long wait, it finally took off.  A concerned passenger asked the flight attendant, “What was the problem?”  “The pilot was bothered by a noise he heard in the engine”, explained the flight attendant.  “It took us a while to find a new pilot.”

The pilot was sitting in his seat and pulled out a .38 revolver.  He placed it on top of the instrument panel, then asked the navigator, “Do you know what I use this for?”  The navigator replied timidly, “No, what’s it for?”   The pilot responded, “I use this on navigators who get me lost!”  The navigator proceeded to pull out a .45 and place it on his chart table.  The pilot asked, “What’s that for?”  “To be honest, sir,” the navigator replied, “I’ll know we’re lost before you will.”

A DC-10 had an exceedingly long rollout after landing with his approach speed a little high.  San Jose Tower, “American 71 heavy, turn right at the end of the runway, if able.  If not able, take the Guadalupe exit off Highway 101 and make at right at the light to return to the airport.”

After waiting what seemed to be an interminable amount of time taxiing, an unknown aircraft complained, “I’m f***ing bored!”  ATC responded immediately, “Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself!”  Unknown aircraft replied, “I said I’m f***ing bored, not f***ing stupid.”

The controller working a busy pattern told the 727 downwind to make a three-sixty, a move normally used to provide spacing between aircraft.  The pilot of the 727 complained, “Don’t you know it costs us two thousand dollars to make even a one-eighty in this airplane?”  Without missing a beat the controller replied, “Roger, give me four thousand dollars’ worth.

O’Hare Airport Control, “United 329 heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one-o’clock, three miles, eastbound.”  United 329, “Approach, I’ve always wanted to say this – I’ve got that Fokker in sight.”

Here’s to getting home safe, Road Warriors – not everyone can do this for a living.

GAP

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Is your world flat or round?

Almost 6 years ago I ventured out into the social media world for the very first time.  I know I wasn’t the original “explorer”, but it was a big move for me nonetheless.  Permit me to share an updated, slightly wordsmithed version of my very first blog post, beginning with:

People told Columbus the world was flat.  He didn’t insist it was round.  He got in a boat. 

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How cool was that!  No debate; no argument; no headlines; no hype.  They said, “Impossible!” he said, “Get me to a boat!”  Then he got in that boat (funded by the original venture capitalists); and proved his point.

How about that as an example of commitment to success?  “Hey Chris, the world is flat you know.  If you try this you’ll just sail right off the table into oblivion.”  “That’s OK”, he might of said, “I think we’ll be all right.”

What about you?  What are “they” saying you cannot do?  Do you agree with them?  Are you looking back at the land for your sense of security?  Or are you looking out across the ocean and on to your future?  Are you debating – or are you doing?  Where are you turning for the fuel to maintain your positive, can-do attitude?

It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. 

Babe Ruth

If you’re reading this then you’re on my boat.  Welcome to The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©.  The next time you’re having one of “those days”, filled with too much negative input from “them”, come back aboard for a little positive reinforcement.

I’m using a social media platform as my vessel, naturally – it is the 21st century after all.  Some people today might say, “Gary; Linked In, Face Book, Twitter are fun and all; but a vehicle for ongoing business-to-business, business?  Impossible!”  Well, what do I know?

I’ve spent the last four decades of my career perfecting professional selling skills.  You remember – permission-based prospecting; discovering the customer’s goals; presenting solutions; closing the deal?  Remember?  Are any of those skills still relevant today?  Is the world still flat?

Or have we in business actually shifted to Likes, Groups, Tweets, and other, electronically-impersonal means of getting ink and contract to meet and money to change hands?  Were professional selling skills important only when the world was flat?  Well, what do I know?

Best-selling business author Jim Collins wrote about:

The Tyranny of the OR vs the Genius of the AND.

To me, it’s not social media – or – the old way.  I think social media will be important.

But, I would also like to believe that building business relationships still plays a key role in the customer’s success.  I would like to believe that knowing what you’re doing is still critical to a sales person’s success.  Being a product expert + a technology expert + a competitive expert + a business person are the key characteristics our customers value.  But, what do I know?

Similar to Columbus, no one knows ahead of time what changes social media will bring to the future of my profession.  I’m certainly not going to argue about it.  I’m getting in my social media boat – I wonder if I will fall off the face of the earth?

I hope you join me for the ride and visit www.TheQuoteGuys.com often.  Bring a friend!  After all:

No sense in being pessimistic.  It wouldn’t work anyway. 

Unknown Sage

Here’s to the New World.  Thanks Chris!

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

 

April showers…

Ahh, April; springtime in the Rockies!  What a wonderfully eventful time of the year.  Monday it was 75° in Denver; in the 50’s yesterday ; snow today.  Never quite sure what Mother Nature has in mind for us in April, true?

According to Wikipedia, the month of April has progressed in a very eventful way:

April was the second month of the earliest Roman calendar;

…before Ianuarius and Februarius were added by King Numa Pompilius about 700 BC. It became the fourth month of the calendar year (the year when twelve months are displayed in order) during the time of the decemvirs about 450 BC, when it also was given 29 days. The 30th day was added during the reform of the calendar undertaken by Julius Caesar in the mid-40s BC, which produced the Julian calendar.

Eventful.

April is a very eventful time in the sports world, too.  The NBA is winding down their regular season and gearing up for the playoffs; the NHL too.  Winter sports you say?  Well, those winter sports haven’t ended in the winter season since last century.  The NFL stays relevant in the spring with their college combine followed by the college draft.

April holds opening day for Major League Baseball in cities across North America.  My beloved Cubbies even hosted the first game of the season at venerable Wrigley Field Sunday, April 5th.  They lost – shut out by the St Louis Cardinals 3-0.

Now to be a Cubs fan is saying something about optimism (and hope!).  The Cubs last won the National League pennant in 1945 (70 years ago); and they last won the World Series in 1908 (107 years ago).  No wonder we are referred to as “die hard”!

Of course, April 15th was the deadline day for filing our income tax returns – there’s an annually eventful ritual for American taxpayers!  Even Hillary Clinton chose the month of April to announce her presidential candidacy.  Let the season of political commercials commence.

But mostly, April weather and the spring season remind me of my Chicago roots; of optimism; and of hope:

Life in Chicago 

60° above –   Floridians wear coats, gloves and wooly hats.  Chicago people sunbathe. 

50° above –   New Yorkers try to turn on the heat.  Chicago people plant gardens. 

40° above –   Italian cars won’t start.  Chicago people drive with their windows down. 

32° above –   Distilled water freezes.  Lake Michigan’s water gets thicker. 

20° above –   Californians shiver uncontrollably.  Chicago people have their last cook-out before it gets cold. 

15° above –   New York landlords finally turn up the heat.  Chicago people throw on a sweatshirt. 

Zero –    Californians fly away to Mexico.  Chicago people lick the flagpole. 

20° below –   People in Miami cease to exist.  Chicago people get out their winter coats. 

40° below –   Hollywood disintegrates.  Chicago’s Girl Scouts begin selling cookies door-to-door. 

60° below –   Polar bears begin to evacuate Antarctica.  Chicago’s Boy Scouts postpone “Winter Survival” classes until it gets cold enough.

80° below –   Mt. St. Helen’s freezes.  Chicago people rent some videos. 

100° below – Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.  Chicago people get frustrated when they can’t thaw the keg. 

297° below – Microbial life survives on dairy products.        Illinois cows complain of farmers with cold hands. 

460° below – ALL atomic motion stops.     Chicago people start saying, “Cold ’nuff for ya?” 

500° below –  Hell freezes over. The Cubs win the World Series!

 Unknown Sage

Hang tough, fellow Die Hard Cubs Fans.  2015 is our year!

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

 

Business Travel oh yea…

I just returned from a business trip to Montreal.  There and back; safe and sound; but I’m reminded of the grind business travelers face today.  If you’re a Road Warrior and reading this little ditty – I salute you!

I’ve been off the road and have retired all my 1K; Platinum; Gold; Premium; Preferred badges of honor.  Believe it or not, back in the day business travel was actually enjoyable.  Meals; upgrades; overhead compartment space; leg room!  Even the flight attendants had a sense of humor:

During a flight on a small airplane, the Flight Attendant asked a passenger if he would like to have dinner.  “What are my choices?”, the passenger asked.  “Yes or No”, the Flight Attendant replied. 

Unknown Sage 

Occasionally the pilots would join in:

Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with broken clouds; but they’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. 

Unknown Sage

But traveling in 2015 is a whole new ball game.  Extra fees replace extra leg room.  Upgrades?  Forget about it.  BYO food and beverage.  And hope our checked bags eventually show up on the carousel.

Today’s travel is tougher for everyone; travelers and airline personnel alike.  My Montreal trip harkened me back to an era where nothing dampened the Road Warriors’ sense of humor – nor that of the airline employees working on our behalf:

After every flight, pilots fill out a form called a gripe sheet, which conveys to the mechanics problems encountered with the aircraft during the flight that need repair or correction.  The mechanics read and correct the problem, and then respond in writing on the lower half of the form what remedial action was taken, and the pilot reviews the gripe sheets before the next flight.

Never let it be said that ground crews and engineers lack a sense of humor.  Here are some actual logged maintenance complaints and problems as submitted by pilots and the solution recorded by maintenance engineers. 

(By the way, this airline is the only major airline that has never had an accident.) 

P = The problem logged by the pilot.

S = The solution and action taken by the engineers.

P:  Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.

S:  Almost replaced the inside main tire.

P:  Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.

S:  Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P:  Something loose in cockpit.

S:  Something tightened in cockpit.

P:  Dead bugs on windshield.

S:  Live bugs on back-order.

P:  Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.

S:  Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P:  Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.

S:  Evidence removed.

P:  DME volume unbelievably loud.

S:  DME volume set to more believable level.

P:  Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.

S:  That’s what they’re there for.

P:  IFF inoperative.

S:  IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P:  Suspected crack in windshield.

S:  Suspect you’re right.

P:  Number 3 engine missing.

S:  Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P:  Aircraft handles funny.

S:  Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P:  Target radar hums.

S:  Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P:  Mouse in cockpit.

S:  Cat installed.

P:  Noise coming from under instrument panel.  Sounds like an elf pounding on something with a hammer.

S:  Took hammer away from elf.

Unknown Sage 

Yes here’s to you, Business Travelers; and to the airline employees too; getting us there and home safe and sound; thank you all for all that you do.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

To the Road Warriors…

I used to be a Road Warrior.  My boss still is one.  The toughest kind too – international travel!  Last century business travel was an adventure – first class upgrades; upscale hotels; prepared meals; interesting destinations.

Business travel also played an important role in long-lasting relationships:

The secret to a successful marriage is a husband who travels. 

Lisa Kwiecien

In this century we have seen a great deal of change in the travel industry – to the detriment of Road Warriors.  If you know a Road Warrior (or are married to one by chance), let’s all take a moment to salute how they literally go the extra mile to earn a living.  Add in inclimate weather and holiday congestion and our Road Warriors work extra hard for each and every extra mile.

Current or former – all Road Warriors have those one or two “you had to be there” stories, true?  Don’t get me wrong – our stories are not always ones of disaster.  More along the lines of overcoming adversity I would say.

Here’s an excerpt from my favorite story – it’s the one that literally launched Penny or a Pound Publishing and my hobby of motivational writing.  Enjoy:

            How Steve & Gary Made it Home for Christmas

Christmas week and I’m in Baltimore, Maryland.  In this post-9/11 world the airlines have been transformed.  It used to be you could just show up at the airport and change your ticket to another flight almost at will.  Especially for us seasoned, “1 K”, Road Warriors.  But in 2006, not so much.  Well, I was booked on an evening flight home on Wednesday, December 21st and in over 25 years of business travel; I had never not made it home for the holidays.

Wednesday – I was wrapping up my last business trip of the year.  We just finished lunch so I checked messages before going into my last meetings of the day.  The first voice mail message was from the airline – a computer generated voice told me my flight home has been cancelled.  The second message was from my wife – “it’s snowing heavy in Denver” with a little more than just a matter-of-fact tone in her voice.  My first call was to neither the airline nor my wife – I called the hotel I had checked out of earlier that morning and reserved a room for tonight; just in case.  (Not my first rodeo.)  I’d call my wife back later.

My client decided to shorten our afternoon meetings – after all, it was four days before Christmas.  They thought maybe I could catch an earlier flight home.  I thanked them for their consideration without mentioning the weather conditions in Denver.  In the taxi back to the hotel I called my wife.  “We’re having a blizzard” she blurted, “They’ve closed the Denver airport” and followed almost crying,” Are you going to be able to get home for Christmas?”  “Sure Dear”, I responded, “Don’t worry.  You know I’ve been a Road Warrior for 20 years.  I’ll make it home just fine.” 

I listened to see if she heard any hint of confidence in my voice while in the back of my mind I was wondering, “How the hell am I going to get home for Christmas?”

If you’d like me to email you the full story – let me know.  And if you’d like a hard copy of my booklet Road Warriors © please include your mailing address.

Here’s to those who travel for a living today.   I don’t miss it one bit.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:  www.TheQuoteGuys.com

Here’s to you – Business Travelers…

I’m just back from a Pasadena “fantasy” trip (more on that next post); headed out on my first 2014 business trip.  Oh yea, now I remember what air travel was like!  Let’s take a moment and salute our army of business travelers (aka “Road Warriors”).

Thankfully, I’ve been off the road and lost all of my 1K; Platinum; Gold; Premium; Preferred status levels.  Back in the day business travel used to be tolerable.  Back in the day, business travel also played a role in our relationships:

The key to a successful marriage is a husband who travels.

Lisa Kwiecien

It’s difficult for those of us who don’t have to travel for a living to fully appreciate the hardships of those who do.  The Road Warrior works an extended day; starting early to beat traffic to the airport; working late to catch up on emails.  Preparing for tomorrow’s appointments after completing today’s.  Hearing from the spouse about what broke at the house; unable to assist with the repairs.  All done during different time zones, before or after what everyone else considers “normal business hours”.

Yes, being “on the road” is tough.  At least such challenges don’t dampen the Road Warriors’ sense of humor – nor that of the airline employees working on their behalf:

After every flight, pilots fill out a form called a gripe sheet, which conveys to the mechanics problems encountered with the aircraft during the flight that need repair or correction.  The mechanics read and correct the problem, and then respond in writing on the lower half of the form what remedial action was taken, and the pilot reviews the gripe sheets before the next flight.

Never let it be said that ground crews and engineers lack a sense of humor.  Here are some actual logged maintenance complaints and problems as submitted by pilots and the solution recorded by maintenance engineers. (By the way, this airline is the only major airline that has never had an accident.) 

P = The problem logged by the pilot.  S = The solution and action taken by the engineers.    

P:  Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.

S:  Almost replaced the inside main tire. 

P:  Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough. 

S:  Auto-land not installed on this aircraft. 

P:  Something loose in cockpit.   

S:  Something tightened in cockpit. 

P:  Dead bugs on windshield.

S:  Live bugs on backorder. 

P:  Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.

S:  Cannot reproduce problem on ground. 

P:  Evidence of leak on right main landing gear. 

S:  Evidence removed. 

P:  DME volume unbelievably loud. 

S:  DME volume set to more believable level. 

P:  Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.    

S:  That’s what they’re there for. 

P:  IFF inoperative.    

S:  IFF always inoperative in OFF mode. 

P:  Suspected crack in windshield.

S:  Suspect you’re right. 

P:  Number 3 engine missing. 

S:  Engine found on right wing after brief search. 

P:  Aircraft handles funny.  

S:  Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious. 

P:  Target radar hums.  

S:  Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics. 

P:  Mouse in cockpit.   

S:  Cat installed. 

P:  Noise coming from under instrument panel.  Sounds like an elf pounding on something with a hammer.  

S:  Took hammer away from elf. 

Unknown Sage 

Yes here’s to you, Business Travelers; to a stellar 2014; to getting there and back; traveling home safe; thank you for all that you do.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website based on my book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

To the Road Warriors…

I used to be a Road Warrior.  My boss still is one.  The toughest kind – international travel!  Last century business travel was a fun adventure – free upgrades; upscale hotels; prepared meals; interesting destinations. 

Business travel also played an important role in long-lasting relationships: 

The secret to a successful marriage is a husband who travels.  

Lisa Kwiecien 

In this century we have seen a great deal of change in the travel industry – most of it to the detriment of Road Warriors.  If you know a Road Warrior (or are married to one by chance), let’s all take a moment to salute how they literally go the extra mile to earn a living.  Add in inclimate weather and holiday travelers and our Road Warriors work extra hard for each and every extra mile. 

Current or former – all Road Warriors have those one or two “you had to be there” stories, true?  Don’t get me wrong – our stories are not always ones of disaster.  More along the lines of overcoming adversity I would say. 

Here’s an excerpt from my favorite story – it’s the one that literally launched Penny or a Pound Publishing and my quite satisfying hobby of motivational writing: 

            How Steve & Gary Made it Home for Christmas 

Christmas week and I’m in Baltimore, Maryland.  In this post-9/11 world the airlines have been transformed.  It used to be you could just show up at the airport and change your ticket to another flight almost at will.  Especially for us seasoned, “1 K”, Road Warriors.  But in 2006, not so much.  Well, I was booked on an evening flight home on Wednesday, December 21st and in over 25 years of business travel; I had never not made it home for the holidays.

Wednesday – I was wrapping up my last business trip of the year.  We just finished lunch so I checked messages before going into my last meetings of the day.  The first voice mail message was from the airline – a computer generated voice told me my flight home has been cancelled.  The second message was from my wife – “it’s snowing heavy in Denver” with a little more than just a matter-of-fact tone in her voice.  My first call was to neither the airline nor my wife – I called the hotel I had checked out of earlier that morning and reserved a room for tonight; just in case.  (Not my first rodeo.)  I’d call my wife back later.

My client decided to shorten our afternoon meetings – after all, it was four days before Christmas.  They thought maybe I could catch an earlier flight home.  I thanked them for their consideration without mentioning the weather conditions in Denver.  In the taxi back to the hotel I called my wife.  “We’re having a blizzard” she blurted, “They’ve closed the Denver airport” and followed almost crying,” Are you going to be able to get home for Christmas?”  “Sure Dear”, I responded, “Don’t worry.  You know I’ve been a Road Warrior for 20 years.  I’ll make it home just fine.” 

I listened to see if she heard any hint of confidence in my voice while in the back of my mind I was wondering, “How the hell am I going to get home for Christmas?” 

If you’d like a copy of the full story – just let me know. 

Thankfully today, I’ve lost all of my Elite, Premier, Platinum, statuses.  I don’t miss it one bit. 

GAP 

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website and book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

April 1st; weather; and baseball…

Ahh, springtime in the Rockies!  What a wonderfully eventful time of the year.  Today, of course, is April Fools’ Day.  What pranks and practical jokes have been your favorites over the years? 

Spring Break you say?  Do you have something planned for April?  Cruising is a popular option.  Except for Carnival Lines – they seem to be offering a continuous parade of April Fools’ pranks lately.  Reminds me of this tale from Roger Smith: 

There is a story about a little boy who was frightened coming aboard a famous cruise ship.  He asked the first sailor he saw, “Sir, do ships this big sink very often?”  “No”, the sailor said, “only once.” 

They say that April showers bring May flowers.  Of course, in Denver we’re still “in play” for snow.  In April of 2005, we were the recipients of a 30” blizzard that shut the city down for a few days.  At least my horses enjoyed it:

 Img2003-03-20_0003 copy

 

April is also a very exciting time in the sports world.  The NCAA basketball tournament wraps up shortly.  (March Madness spills over into April these days, I guess.)  The NBA is winding down their regular season and gearing up for the playoffs.  Collegiate hockey; spring lacrosse; NHL; indoor, professional lacrosse; the NFL draft; collegiate spring football; you name it. 

And yesterday was Opening Day for the 2013 Major League Baseball season.  The Houston Astros made their American League debut beating the Texas Rangers 8-2.  “American League debut?” you ask.  Me too: 

A reminder: The Houston Astros, members of the National League since their inception in 1962 (though back then, they were the Colt .45s), move to the American League West this season. We mention this because, frankly, if we didn’t, the 2013 Astros might scarcely have drawn your attention, beyond the likelihood that they’ll lead the major leagues in losses with a total higher than 100. 

 Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN.com

But mostly, April weather reminds me (and our Unknown Sage) of my Chicago roots: 

Life in Chicago 

60° above –   Floridians wear coats, gloves and wooly hats.  Chicago people sunbathe. 

50° above –   New Yorkers try to turn on the heat.  Chicago people plant gardens. 

40° above –   Italian cars won’t start.  Chicago people drive with their windows down. 

32° above –   Distilled water freezes.  Lake Michigan’s water gets thicker. 

20° above –   Californians shiver uncontrollably.  Chicago people have their last cook-out before it gets cold. 

15° above –   New York landlords finally turn up the heat.  Chicago people throw on a sweatshirt. 

Zero –    Californians fly away to Mexico.  Chicago people lick the flagpole. 

20° below –   People in Miami cease to exist.  Chicago people get out their winter coats. 

40° below –   Hollywood disintegrates.  Chicago’s Girl Scouts begin selling cookies door-to-door. 

60° below –   Polar bears begin to evacuate Antarctica.  Chicago’s Boy Scouts postpone “Winter Survival” classes until it gets cold enough. 

80° below –   Mt. St. Helen’s freezes.  Chicago people rent some videos. 

100° below – Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.  Chicago people get frustrated when they can’t thaw the keg. 

297° below – Microbial life survives on dairy products.        Illinois cows complain of farmers with cold hands. 

460° below – ALL atomic motion stops.     Chicago people start saying, “Cold ’nuff for ya?” 

500° below –  Hell freezes over. The Cubs win the World Series! 

Hang tough, Die Hard Cubs Fans.  2013 is our year! 

GAP 

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website and book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

Saluting the Road Warriors…

I just returned from a trip to San Francisco for our company’s annual sales kick-off meeting.  It was the first business trip I’ve taken in months.  I use to be a road warrior like many of you – but I was fortunate enough to get off the road about 2 years ago. 

My trip to San Francisco brought back many memories – the security lines; cramped quarters on the flight; difficulty sleeping in a strange bed; adjusting to the time zone change; a litany of additional taxes on the hotel room – you know, the works! 

During this trip, it also occurred o me that there has been lost of “noise” in the sporting arena about the impact of travel on professional athletes.  Permit me to take football as one example and digress for a moment. 

The 2012-2013 National Football League season has come to a conclusion.  The NFL Super Bowl XLVII Champion has been crowned.  One of the consistent commentaries I picked up on during this past NFL season had to do with travel. 

Time and again we would hear some radio or TV personality (often a former player) moan about the difficulties such as the Seattle Seahawks traveling all the way to Washington DC to play the Redskins; 4 hours in an airplane; 3 time zones difference; not being able to sleep in their own beds the night before the big game.  You’d think they were traveling by covered wagon! 

Call me uncaring, but the idea that travel has a big impact on an NFL player’s ability to perform at their highest level is a bit over the top.  Their “trips” consist of a single destination; in a chartered plane; with private security screening; pre-arranged ground transportation; high-end hotels; baggage concierge; and catered meals. 

In the world of business travel, I believe road warriors are the true super stars.  Take my boss for instance, who was responsible for coordinating my company’s sales kick-off meetings.  After his 5 days in San Francisco, he took a 1-day trip back home to the Midwest, and then flew Sunday to London for the sales kick-off in our European Region.  Three days in London and then he was off to Sidney for the sales kick-off in our Pacific Region.  Then a 19 hour flight back to the Midwest; executing his job at peak performance throughout. 

No chartered flights; private security screening; pre-arranged ground transportation; etc.  My boss, and so many other business professionals that must travel for a living, are the unheralded super stars. 

Now I’m no poet, but permit me to conclude with a little ditty I wrote many years ago when I was a proud member of the road warrior team:

 A shared prayer from the Mayflower to the modern day road warrior:

We know before leavin’

The ride will be bumpy

The quarters will be dumpy

The stewards will be grumpy

And still we must go.

We know before leavin’

The days will be long

ETAs promised will be wrong

Success smiles on only the strong

And still we must go.

We know before leavin’

Our family will pine

We’ll miss children’s prime

We barter money for time

And still we must go.

We know before leavin’

To no one we sob

While pursuing our job

Our energy travels rob

And still we must go.

We know before leavin’

And we pray every evening

Lord, get me home safe

And I’ll call the rest even. 

GAP 

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Giving Thanks…

Thankfully, early reports indicate we had a successful “Black Friday” and “Small Business Saturday” of retail sales.  Thankfully, we have “Cyber Monday” to contribute to our economic recovery. Thankfully, we have retailers who are able to brave the “Advertise & Hope” approach to sales.  Thankfully, I chose a Business-2-Business sales profession where we can go out and “sell somebody something” vs. waiting and hoping shoppers visit our establishment.  

Thankfully, we spent time with family, friends, food and fun with a little football and even a movie thrown in during the Thanksgiving holiday.  Thankfully, there were a few quiet moments to reflect on all we have to be thankful for. 

Thankfully, our holiday provided a break from the traffic congestion and daily stressful routine we call “going to work”.  Thankfully, I live in Denver where it actually was 70 degrees on Thanksgiving.  And thankfully, we have those Unknown Sages who help us re-kindle the peace and the power of maintaining a positive perspective: 

            Welcome to Denver:  

The morning rush hour is from 5:00 to 10:00 AM. The evening rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:00 PM.  Friday’s rush hour starts on Thursday.

Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere.  Denver has its own version.  The car or truck with the loudest muffler goes next at a 4-way stop.  The truck with the biggest tires goes after that.  Blue-haired, green-haired, or cranberry-haired ladies driving anything have the right of way all of the time.

North and South only vaguely resemble the real direction of certain streets.  University and Colorado are two boulevards that run parallel.  Geometry evidently not working at altitude, these streets intersect south of C470.

Highway 285 runs North, South, East and West and every direction in between; it can be found in every section of the Denver area making navigation very interesting.  You can turn west onto southbound 285; you can turn north onto westbound C470; and you can drive southeast on the Northwest Parkway.  This is why Denver uses the additional driving directions of “out”, “up”, “in”, “down”, and sometimes “over”.

Construction barrels are permanent, and are simply moved around in the middle of the night to make the next day’s drive more challenging.  When you see an orange cone, you must stop and then move ahead slowly until there are no more cones.  There need not be construction, just cones.

If someone has their turn signal on, wave them to the shoulder immediately to let them know it has been accidentally activated.

If it’s 70 degrees, Thanksgiving is probably next week; if it’s snowing, it’s probably the weekend after Memorial Day.

If you stop at a yellow light, you will be rear-ended or cussed-out.  A red light means four more cars can go through.  Not three; not five.  Four.  Never honk at anyone.  Ever.  Seriously.  Never yield at a “Yield” sign.  The yield sign is like an appendix; it once had a purpose but nobody can remember what it was.

Just because a street on the east side of town has the same name as a street on the west side of town doesn’t mean they’re connected.    

                                  Unknown Sage 

Thankfully, I’m back out on those Denver streets heading to work.  Thankfully, we are expecting snow later this week – we need the moisture.  And yes, we really did have snow last June; about a week after Memorial Day. 

And thankfully, I have readers who enjoy reading my occasional pieces of peace. 

GAP 

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©  Please check it out Subscribe.