Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Business Travel

I had a job interview today.  It was a field based management position for a southeastern grocery store chain.  The job would include supporting a large geographic area and it would require about 60% travel.  The interview went really well and I think I have a good chance at getting the job.

I used to have a job with my last employer that was about 20% travel. It was not a lot, but it was enough to know that business travel is not as glamours as some people think.  When I was traveling, i went to a lot of cities:  Boston, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Nashville, Toronto, Kansas City, and the list goes on and on.  Each of these trips had a similar rhythm.

1. Get to the local airport way too early.
2. Fly to the city of the day
3. Rent a car
4. Drive to the hotel
5. Drive to office or store
6. Drive back to hotel
7. Repeat 4 - 7
8. Drive to airport
9. Arrive at home airport very late
10. Get home after midnight

You never have time to sight-see in these cities.  If you are lucky, someone will direct you to a good place to eat so you can avoid the restaurant chains.  When you get home you are always beat.

When I was traveling before, no matter how bad the trip was, I was always coming home to people who loved me.  K and kids were waiting for me and they were glad to see me.  It always amazed me how fast my kids hugs could erase the memory of endless hours in airports.

If I get this job, the travel rhythm will be similar but the frequency will be more.  I think I can live with that.  There is one thing that will be different, tough.  When I come home, I will come home to an empty house.  There will be no one there to greet me.  No hugs to wash away the stress of the trip. No one will be glad I'm home.  This will make it harder, for sure.

In a way, I am jealous of both K and T.  Both have family they come home to each night.  Both have people waiting for them who are glad to see them.  T's mom has dinner on the table when he gets home from work most days.  He sits down with his parents and sisters and together they decompress from the day.  When K gets home from school, she is greeted by our kids.  AJ is home shortly after her and that all sit down for dinner together.

I come home to an empty house with only the fish to greet me.


Max said...

I am 20. But know exactly the ache you feel right now. It hurts a lil every time. And then there is that one time where it all hits you and its awful. The worst part? You have to keep going like it didnt happen. If it gets better for you before it gets better for me, lemme know how you did it. If I get better first, i'll let you know. Deal?

JustAMike said...

Jim - it is a tough adjustment not living with your kids. You can compensate by making special times with your kids when you do see them.

When my ex and I physically separated ppl told me that it would be a hard adjustment for me. I had never lived by myself before (for 48 years)! I have to say, except for missing the day to day lives of my kids, I am truly loving living on my own. It was no adjustment at all. It's great not having to get agreement on how I live or when I do things. It's a freedom I had never experienced before but I'm really liking it.

This isn't to say that I won't welcome cohabitating in the future. I will enjoy that again but in the meantime, I am enjoying being on my own at home. In fact, I am making plans to have my youngest son live with me (his desire to leave his mom too) and I'm already having thoughts about how that's going to impact my current new life.

Nothing is ever simple is it?

Best wishes!

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