It’s usually a good idea to look back if you want to move forward. I did just that with this blog. Reading over the postings from the last few months has given me good indication of where we’ve been. I couldn’t help but notice a bit of a negative streak at times. Not wanting to be a “Pessimistic Pete” (unless Pessimistic Pete makes obscene amounts of money and lives in Hawaii) I decided this particular blog posting would be a little more optimistic. Don’t want people thinking I complain about the travel industry all the time. There are some bright spots. For example:
Peanuts on planes! Who doesn’t love this? I actually get excited when I see the flight attendants handing out those nutty-licous morsels. I will confess that I ask for an extra bag. This has got to be one of the highlights of flying. If you’re in first class, you are really in for a special treat. You don’t get just peanuts, but a variety of nuts including cashews, walnuts and almonds. They even heat them up for you and put them in a tiny, warm bowl. How’s that for first class service?! It’s the simple things that make me happy. [Editor’s Note: We don’t book Dan in First Class – though he constantly reminds us that he deserves it. It’s just that he travels so much for training that he has accumulated enough miles to get upgraded. Another bag of nuts for our buddy Dan!]
Complimentary upgrades on car rentals! Most times I get stuck with the auto class that is one level above the foot powered Flintstone mobile. I always ask if the class of car I’m getting has “cruise control.” They predictably say “no.” I then look down at the floor dejected, mumble something about the *bean counters at work not letting me get a better class of car and how far I have to travel. This is pathetic, I know. But nine times out of ten, they upgrade me to a higher class of vehicle. I throw in a trembling lower lip and clutch a worn, one-eyed teddy bear if they seem unmoved at first. Now I’m styling with cruise control, power windows and locks, cd player, the works!
Hotels with suites! Staying in a standard hotel room and staying in a suite is like the difference between summer camp and a week cruising the Greek Islands. Four days in a standard hotel room is depressing. Four days in a suite is like having your own personal apartment at the hotel. I run from room to room giggling like a school kid just because I can. I sometimes pretend that I’m lost and that I can’t find the bedroom. I call down to the front desk to tell them that I’m the King of Siam and would like some wild boar brought up. (They never seem to have that.) Anyway, it’s a liberating feeling and makes the difference between actually wanting to go back to your hotel after a long day of training and wanting to sleep in the car. (If you got the aforementioned upgrade, you may genuinely be better off.)
There is a silver lining in every cloud. You just have to find it. Business travel is a pretty cloudy monster. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.
*To the Accounting Department: The above-mentioned tactic only works if I malign you guys. You know how much I admire and respect your department and that is why I visit with you so often when I can’t figure out my expense envelope or I need something. You are the wind beneath my wings! By the way, can I get an advance on my next paycheck? [Editors Note: Dan, you left your teddy bear in my office…by the way he got your advance.]
Get helpful hints about behavior management.