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Old Man Rodney’s Travel Advice

December 8, 2017

Travel as much as possible

I read as a young man starting out in business. I realized yesterday, as if I needed any reminder, that I am no longer a young man. I’m still in Lexington, Kentucky. My big 18 month, high-profile project roles on. For this trip we added an additional desktop engineer to our travelling team. We decided that we needed the extra help in Lexington. Calvin has done an awesome jobo.

Last night we went to dinner at Mark’s Feed Store. Calvin, James, our report specialist, and me. We were technically peers, but it was clear that I was the senior person present. I’ve worked with Calvin and James for years. In fact, they started in our operations team. They have worked their way up from agents to mission control analysts and now they are in roles with slightly more responsibility. However, if I were asked, they were men that I would choose for my team.

Men. . .yes, technically, but it was obvious that when I was their age, they were not. As in “not yet born.” Normally, I don’t feel old. “Age is just a number.” “You’re as young as you feel.” All that stuff. Nope. Not feeling it. Definitely feeling my years.

The conversation ranged all over. One of the most mild comment was

Mother Teresa is kind of like Hitler.

As, they delivered the free slices of buttermilk pie (free to first time diners if you ask) the conversation turned to travel. I’ve been travelling for business since my WordPerfect Days back in the early 1990’s. This was Calvin’s first trip and James had started travelling when he got added to the project team. And while they were both doing a great job, They were not making some of the stupid mistakes I made over the years. But, I realized that maybe I had some knowledge to share.

Okay, you guys are doing great on the trip, so don’t take this the wrong way. There are a few travel rules you might find useful.

RULE 1: Don’t Wear A T-shirt To Texas

Okay, it didn’t say this exactly, but that’s how i remember it. It was my first trip for Microsoft. The Redmond based company had a typical dress code. You had to wear clothes. I was fairly conservative: I wore pants. On my first trip I took basic jeans and t-shirt. Unfortunately, the trip was with my boss. He noticed. I don’t even bring jeans anymore. But, I do make sure to wear pants. . and no t-shirt.

RULE 2: Skip the Surf & Turf at Sizzler

Again, I was with my boss. He was taking the team out to eat. I opted for the steak and lobster. It was the most expensive thing on the menu and more than my boss was ordering. Keep your entree choices in the middle of the menu price range. And if possible, don’t buy something that costs more than your boss.

RULE 3: Don’t get Drunk

Even if you have a totally cool boss, don’t over indulge.

While you are travelling, you are always on stage, always being watched. Make sure that you conduct yourself in a way that you wouldn’t mind being discussed at the next senior management meeting.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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