Believe me. I'm working.

February 14,2008
Skaddadle
Todd Lieman( )

I left the fabulous spring conditions of the Bay Area for where I sit now – awaiting snow in Omaha, Nebraska. It’s my first trip to Nebraska, and while I haven’t really seen any of it, I can say without a doubt, that people in the Midwest are unbelievably nice. I’m not a huge fan of business trips. I don’t really enjoy being away from my family. I know such trips put a huge burden on G. And, while these trips are all about business, I know that G sometimes feels as though I’m getting a free pass. I am, after all, going out to dinners, and admittedly, it’s not like I’m working non-stop (as is evidenced by the fact that I’m writing this while watching an NBA game on TV). So, while I feel as though I’m working, G feels like I’m on a mini-vacation. The thing about traveling, whether it’s business travel or not, I suppose, is that you have to get used to a different room, different mattress, pillows and especially different shower fixtures than you’re used to at home. It seems like the first thing I do every time I enter a hotel room is try to figure out the shower and alarm clock. Seriously, what’s the deal with hotel showers? I sometimes feel like such an idiot as I try to figure out how to get hot water. Or how to get the water to even turn on from the shower. There seem to be a maze of strange switches and buttons that I’ve never seen in a residential shower. (Except, that is, for my friend Jesse’s house. Before staying at his pad, you have to complete a 30-minute online tutorial on how his shower works. It’s a mix of physics and luck to work his shower.) The alarm clocks in hotels are worse. The only reason I bother trying to figure them out is that I can’t think of many ways I hate being jolted awake more than by a ringing phone. So, I try the clock. Usually, I’m forced to give up. But, on those rare trips where I figure it out…I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. But, I seem to have veered WAY off the path I meant to take. What I really wanted to write about was how business trips are work…not vacation. Right now, it’s about 10 degrees outside. It’s snowing. It’s gray. It’s dark. It’s miserable. And, I have about five hours until my flight. I’m not happy. This isn’t fun. So, even though I’m not hanging with the kid, or doing anything helpful at home, this time away shouldn’t count against me. Not that we keep track of who got more “me time” with boys or girls nights out, but there are those moments when G might say, “Well you were gone last week for two days and I…” Wait! It was a business trip. To freezing cold, snowbound craziness! I had to hang in an airport for five hours because there truly wasn’t ANYTHING to do! You’re going to get a massage, or hanging with your girlfriends for a weekend because I was in hell?!?! That can’t be right. (Yes, I’m a weather wimp.) So, seriously…I’m working here.