Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Business Trip

I drove down to Tucson this afternoon. Thursday's project: Teaching a workshop on Equal Employment Opportunity to a group of supervisors. (Word is they're sharp. I'd better be rested.)

As with all business trips, this has been a reminder of the importance of systems. Years of running through airports on my way to remote consulting/training gigs taught me one thing:

Have a routine and do not part from it.

If you carried three bags last time, do so now. If you put everything near the front door last time, do so now. Know which items go where. Always have the essential items within reach. Don't even think of surrendering them to the mercies of the baggage handlers.

And, if time permits, avoid the baggage handlers entirely by driving.

The last one seems strange in a time-conscious world, but the fear is a stress-producer and the best way to reduce fear is to increase control. Why do airports create stress? Because we are having to rely upon the kindness of strangers who can lose luggage and delay flights. Driving puts you in control. You've got the passport and the gold and the open highway. Odds are you'll get there.

You may be somewhat crumpled, but have you seen the folks at airports? Hang around O'Hare and you'll think large numbers of the passengers just arrived from war zones. In a sense, they have. They've just escaped from a long tube filled with their hacking, wheezing, compatriots, most of whom do not want to be there and who act like it.

Think of that as you pull out onto the highway, slip a CD in the player, and sip a cool drink. That too is part of the routine. Marcus Aurelius had it right: Where a man lives, he can also live well.

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