Sunday, October 05, 2008

Have Job, Will Travel

Hey everybody! It's been a long time since I've posted. I think the longest time since we started the blog. All the excuses are the same so I'm not going ot repeat them. In addition to the usual reasons I don't post I have a new one: Facebook. It's true. I've avoided the social-networking site the same way I've avoided all of the other fads on the internet (like photo-sharing and blogging...). I really dig it. It's easy to keep in touch with people and all that, but the thing I really like about it is that people don't have anything to maintain. With this blog, Mandy and I have to always be posting to remind people it exists. If we don't, people rightly stop dropping by. After we start up again, slowly people start checking it again. With Facebook, everyone you have connected with is a potential source of communication. So, even if 99% of the connections don't generate anything new, odds are 1% will and that'll be enough to keep you coming back.

I'm not writing this because I'm going to stop posting to the blog, I just write it to say if you're reading this, and want to stay in closer communiacation with us (other than email, telephone, or in person), Facebook is probably the most consistant way to do it.


During my junior year of university life I had to take a class called “Script Writing 101.” I had taken several writing classes, but never anything directly related to the creation of stories for cinema. I can only remember the teacher’s first name, Gretchen, because she worked with friend of mine at the local public access station. She was a nice lady and an apt teacher, though I haven’t thought of her in more than four years.

For our final project, we had choose between writing a script for a short film or the first act of a three-act movie. Being more of a “concept” person, and less of “completing anything I start” person, I decided to go with first act of a full film approach. Further, I had learned that we could do an adaptation, if we so desired. So, not only did I not have to write an entire script, with beginning, middle, and end, I could just crib the idea from someone who is generally regarded as person who has them. I immediately thought of Walter Kirn’s glorious book “Up in the Air.”

The novel “Up in the Air” concerns the life of one Ryan Bingam, a man who literally lives on airplanes. He refers to the netherworld of airports, rental cars, and hotels as “Airworld” a kind of no-man’s-land where marketing ideals and the American Dream actually exist. He claims that there is nothing better than smoking a Marlborough cigarette on the back of a horse or drinking a Coke in a cheesy 50s dinner. It gives one the feeling that they are moving with the right forces.

You can call me Ryan Bingam. Not in the literally sense, of course. I have a residence, a loving wife, a slobbering dog, and two deranged, increasingly feral cats. Unlike Ryan, I really do like my job, my coworkers, and my life. The main thing we two have in common, is we both spend significant amounts of time in Airworld. I wouldn’t go so far as calling it home the way he does, but I am a frequent visitor and have a green card.

I started working for Global one year ago today. Much has changed in that year, both in terms of the logistics of my life, and how I have changed due to my circumstances. Sympathy doesn’t suit this kind of a post. I don’t write any of this to illicit an emotional response. My life is the sum of my personal decisions, for which I take full responsibility. There is no unseen power forcing my hand in any of my choices. I firmly believe that if we like or don’t like an aspect of our own lives, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Here are some statistics to get us started. I am only including trip I have documentation for. I’m sure the numbers are a bit higher, but I’m hoping err on the conservative side:

Over the course of the past year, I have been on 81 documented flights.

I have changed at least one time zone on all but four flights.

Six of the flights have across the Atlantic Ocean, and one has been across the North Sea (between Norway and Ireland)

Average flight time: 3 hours

Average number of flights per trip: 2.7

Total amount of time gone on business (not including working Denver): 30% of the year (or 3 out of every ten days).

Here is a link to all of the sites I have visited, a little information on each site, and the number of times they have been visited. LINK

If I may, that’s a shit-load of traveling. Prior to this year, my average annual flights were somewhere around 2-3flights. Total. In effect, I have been on 27 times more flights this year, than any year previous.

When I took the job, I was told, in no uncertain terms, that travel would be required. After asking if I was comfortable with air travel (to which I lied in response, saying “Of course I’m comfortable with it!”), I was asked if was married.

I said, “Yes.”

The owner looked away for a bit and asked, “Happily married?”

I said, “Yes, extremely.”

He sighed.

“How long?”

“Have I been married? About a year and a half.”

Again, the sigh. “Did I mention there is travel involved?” He said with a wry, British smile.

My next post will be “Lessons Learned from being on 81 Flights in a Year”

The next will be, “How my life has Changed as a Result”

Stay tuned for some tips!


Mandy said...

Looking forward to the tips!! And for you to stay home more than 1 day.... :)

Anonymous said...

Hope within the next year or two you are home a little more, we are planning to take a vacay and visit you and then Stu and Syd. :)

Jess, Trev and fam

Jess said...

I know of one flight that I am excited for you to be on next month!! Can't wait!

Keep on keepin on!