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.
I am gay man in his 40's who was married for 18 years to a straight woman, who is still my very best friend. We have 4 children together. She is now remarried and we still want to be supportive of each other and make a stable family for our kids.
Cast of Characters
Jim: That's me
K: The wonderful woman I married in 1993. We divorced in November 2011, and she is still my best friend.
T: My ex-boyfriend. We were together from 2008 to 2013. He is still an important person in my life.
AJ: K's new husband. They got married December 2011.
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