Amusing Musings of a Character Curious About Culture

Some Rants, Raves and Ramblings about All that I See

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Does It Have to beThat Miserable?

October 31st, 2009 · 75 Comments

Our company has a travel policy that just doesn’t make much sense.Well, actually, it’s intended purpose does make sense, saving money, but its shortsightedness makes me miserable.

Our previous travel policy stated that if you travel internationally for more than 5 hours, you can travel business class. The underlying premise makes a lot of sense – if you are travelling that far for that long, you want to be able to get some rest on the way over so that you can be fresh and ready to go for meetings. I can tell you firsthand that getting rest before meetings, not to mention just some basic sleep, is extremely important. There is nothing like being seen nodding off in front of your clients.

Our current travel policy states that only directors are now allowed to travel business class. Wait, let’s put this into perspective. General managers like myself are the ones who are responsible for getting in front of the clients and are expected to say things meaningful. Directors usually travel to have internal meetings with other directors over some beer, wine and a tasty cheese platter. They are not in front of the client trying their best not to look at their navels with heavy-lidded eyes.

I respect our company regulations. I figure that those who dictate this policy would know what they are talking about, right? Well, on this trip to Asia, I had a horrible flight in Economy Class between Copenhagen and Bangkok with a women hell-bent on decimating the liquor cart literally crawling over me all through the night in her quest to continually empty her bladder. This, of course, would allow her to fill it up again with whiskey. More than a few times in the night I woke from just starting to drowse off to find a strange woman crawling over my lap. All of this in the name of saving the company a few bucks.

So, after getting through a night of fitful sleep in Ho Chi Minh City, I flew up to Nha Trang, a beachside resort a little ways up the coast of Vietnam to meet with some clients. Even after several glassfuls of strong Vietnamese iced coffee, I still found myself drifting off and fighting the urge to excuse myself to go to the toilet to get 5 minutesd of sleep. It was miserable.

We checked into a hotel on the beach (they’re all on the beach here) and decided that since I am here and arrived here in a very economical fashion that I would not also save the company more money by checking into a standard room. The rooms here are cheap, $50 for the standard room, but after passing by some of the deluxe rooms on my way to the standard room at the back of the hotel, I rode the lfit back down to the lobby and upgraded myself. For an extra $25, I’ve checked myself into a deluxe room with a wraparound balcony overlooking the vast beach here. A beautiful room!

And you know what? I think that I deserve it.

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Tags: Rants

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