Sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight. Is he kidding? The Screaming Baby Express? To say that business travel has degenerated into a nightmare condition is an understatement. The following are my experiences on a recent business trip.
Terminal security. Moo. Shuffle through the chutes, drag the wheel bag. Shoulders hunched, peering at my watch. Do I take off my shoes or not? Am I carrying outlawed objects? I am nervous. Please don’t make me miss my flight.
Waiting to board. Noxious smells of stale fried foods. People hoarding two seats, attempting space and privacy. Crowds crush in. Relentless noise of announced flights, some totally unintelligible. Senselessly redundant admonitions guised as safety announcements such as don’t leave your bags unattended. Really? I am going to walk away from my bags in all this chaos? Oh please.
Onboard, wedged into a too-tight space. Stuffy hot one minute, freezing cold the next. Oh no, I’ve dropped my pen. Let me twist into a pretzel-like crouch and attempt to pick it up. A glimpse under the seat makes me want to rush and take a shower. Oh well. I never liked that pen anyway.
Then the babies start up. The howling, wailing, screeching. They just vocalize what the rest of us are thinking. I am cramped, crowded and uncomfortable and I want to be back on the ground.
Please deliver me from this air-bound prison. Build me a world where I can work productively and never leave the ground. Let me Skype, VIOP, conference call. Give me a webcam and a smile and I’d be happy. I am not anti-social, I am anti-cattled. Come to think of it, cattle have it much better. They get to eat when they want and relieve themselves when they need to …