Regular Life

Regular Life

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

Double-Edged

My department has shifted to remote install when the customer is amenable to it. So, rather than fly off to somewhere new when my next turn at a new installation came up, I drove into the office as usual, then sequestered myself in a vacant corner office.

That last part, I didn’t mind at all. I have enjoyed my own office in the past, and my first foray into remote installs was a welcome return to that aspect of office work.

The other part, however, was a bit of a letdown. Work knows, so I don’t think I’m risking anything by mentioning it here (insert music of impending doom).

Those who travel extensively for work will think I am nuts, but three or four week-long trips per year keep it a novelty for me. Being from a small town and until six years ago living in a fly-over state, and lacking my own travel budget, I see business travel as an opportunity, not a hassle. The Monday-Friday scheduling helps, too.

Often with the enthusiastic help of the customer, I always scope out locally-owned restaurants for lunch and dinner, and almost invariably find a nearby notable site to visit. All of this is in addition to the superb work I do while on the clock, of course.

Then, as those who read here know, I write and post pictures about it. Firsts still excite me, and that includes meeting people from other regions of the country and seeing the sites, no matter how mundane they may seem to those who take them for granted.

Speaking of mundane, my lunch breaks during my first remote install featured the same boring food as my normal workday lunch — a sandwich or leftovers from home. If I couldn’t go out for lunch and see something new, at least this time I could close the door to “my” office and find true solitude.

Not being on the road means more time with my family, and that is a good thing. Sure, a break is nice occasionally, but the time that I had two install trips in one month was kind of rough.

We don’t expect the onsite installs to go away, as the complexity of the job and the customer’s preference sometimes will dictate that we make a physical appearance. Generally those will come with destinations in or near larger cities, so while the frequency of travel posts here will be curtailed, I might not have to try quite as hard to find something worth sharing.

Everyday life between trips might be another story.

6 Responses to Double-Edged

  1. Yeah. You’re out of your mind. But then, when I traveled, I never seemed to be ” off the clock.”

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  2. “Sites?”

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  3. Hmmm. I guess in context, you did mean “sites.” Mea culpa. But “sights” would have worked as well.

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  4. When the commercial below aired in 1989, I KNEW, it was prophetic. Today, it means more than ever. We’ve lost touch with our customers through email, voice mail, texting and faxing.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa6Id-7SdRQ
    Remember, this commercial was made in 1989!

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  5. Dave, good shot. I remember this commercial as well. I used to fly a lot on United. At the time, it made shudder!

    Now, we’re not only losing touch with customers, but family and friends.

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  6. It’s amazing Pops, just how a certain commercial will stick with you. That one always did for me. I remember the boss, going to talk to his old friend, who had just fired him because he didn’t know who this company was anymore.

    And yes, family and friends too… I found that out all too sadly a few years back.

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