Over the last few years, International business travel has become less fun, and in my opinion the parties responsible for this are Microsoft, Apple, and the other leading edge technology companies.
Time was when travel was an opportunity for business people to go incognito for a short while, at least while in transit to and from the destination meetings. For myself, anyway (since I have a strong contemplative nature that borders on the ani-social) a business trip offered a refreshing opportunity to go off the grid for a little while and temporarily drop the responsibility of bossing people around. There used to be a nice element of anonymity to business travel that made it a freeing experience for me, and undoubtedly for the people who have to work with me daily.
For this entire morning I’ve been directing employees from afar via computer, signing contracts and approvals, and otherwise making myself a huge pest to staff members who, I imagine, were looking for a break from my meddling while I was gone. My email browser can tell me, in an instant, which of the employees are using their computers at any given moment. If I was being really diligent, I would be making some notes on which employees seem to be slacking off today. Alas, in the modern business environment, the cat is never away, and the mice don’t get to play all that much.
I have told people, though, that I will be truly off the grid early next week when I travel north of London to visit another geezer (our esteemed and grumpy Professor) and his lovely wife. Secretly, I hope the home office has some fun in those days when I’m not in touch, and perhaps take an extended lunch or two and leaves a little early if spring starts early in Minneapolis. I have to pretend to be sternly disapproving of this behavior, but quietly, it makes me smile with subversive approval.