Work travel has always been a mystery to me. I’ve done it once before, but at that time it was just my boss and I. This time, I’m with my entire team staying at an Airbnb in Phoenix. Instead of me working on a solo project out here, we’re at a summit that focuses on developing our skills and learning from our counterparts. Without getting into it, I’m finding all of this fascinating and I’m nerding out over my profession right now.
With that being said, there have been several setbacks along the way. Looking past the time change and the over-packing, I’ve had a lot that I need to get out in the open. For example…
I got bullied by flight attendants.
When we got on the plane to Phoenix, my coworkers and I immediately realized that we had booked seats near each other, and simultaneously pulled out drink menus. Somehow or another, we all decided that we were going to order vodka sodas once the drink cart came by. And we did. And it was good.
That is, until I finished mine with an hour and a half left in the flight. When the flight attendant came back to collect our trash and I asked for another shot of vodka, she nodded politely and moved on. My coworker behind me ordered a whole second drink. The next time I checked, she had gotten hers before me. I crossed my arms out of frustration, and in doing so, knocked the half-full can of seltzer water off the tray table and onto my lap.
I pushed the button for assistance, and one of the flight attendants came over within a minute.
Me: Hi, I accidentally spilled, could I have some napkins?
Flight Attendant: (Giving a disapproving look) You know, some people you just can’t take anywhere.
Me: No, you see, I had asked for another drink but it never came and so I went to—
Flight Attendant: (Handing me a stack of napkins) Oh, well I don’t think I can give you another one now.
Well, joke’s on her, because an hour later, the drink cart came around again for last call. I ordered another vodka soda and looked out the window at the clouds and mountains passing by.
I was enjoying it until I felt a tapping on my tray table. When I looked back, I saw a new flight attendant frantically motioning that I needed to flip my tray table up. Okay, no biggie. So I pulled my drink off and flipped it up, continuing to look out the window.
A few minutes later, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Sure enough, it was the same flight attendant. This time, she was pointing at something and mouthing words with the urgency of a plane crash. I pulled one of my earbuds out.
“I need that!” she yelled, pointing at my drink.
“Wh…what?” I asked, feeling confused.
“I need that now,” she said again, “Either finish it right now, or give it to me.”
My drink was almost full. I realized a few minutes later that we were landing, but in that moment, I was terrified. I’ve been told by my friends to finish my drink plenty of times. That’s something I’m used to. However, being told to finish my drink by an apparently terrified flight attendant was a new one. Want to know how much I know about airplane safety? Nothing. And so I chugged a full vodka soda in front of her and gave her the glass.
I got fucked up on cold brew again.
Day one of our summit in Phoenix, and this time, the high temperatures were in the 80s. No way in hell I’m drinking hot coffee. Within the first two hours, I had downed three of these bad boys. At one point, my boss asked me in front of everyone why I was standing up in the back of the room, and I straight up told him that I was “fuckin’ wired, man.”
Not a great look when you’re meeting your key stakeholders for the first time.
I ordered something called a “Hipsterita” when the rest of my colleagues ordered Old Fashioneds.
Yes, I normally order whiskey drinks. No, I would not normally order something called a “Hipsterita.” With that being said, on our first night, I realized that I had never told some old friends in Phoenix that I was officially in town. I had gotten some snaps of margaritas, and for some reason I felt compelled to send one back. I don’t know why, but this place didn’t have a regular margarita on the menu, so I ordered the next best thing.
It was a standard margarita with some local IPA mixed in. Feel free to give me shit about it. Lord knows my coworkers did.
I almost lit my boss on fire.
Speaking of that first night, the Airbnb we’re staying in has a fire pit outside. With that being said, since we’re staying out in the desert, we can’t exactly have a wood fire (for some weird Phoenix fear of burning down the state), so the thing runs on propane.
Lighting a propane flame for a fire pit is very different than lighting a propane flame for a grill, as we learned very quickly. I was having a beer with my boss when we decided that since it was about the same size as a grill, we would turn the thing on full blast.
He asked me to hold his beer, and I stood back as he held the long end of the lighter inside the fake coals. I heard it click once, then twice. On the third time, the fire basically engulfed his left arm, causing him to jump back and me to squeal like a high school freshman girl getting asked to the prom. Once the adrenaline wore off, I handed him his beer back and we sat down and talked about our expectations for the rest of the week, ignoring the fact that we could have had to call 911.
The week is half way over, and tonight we’re supposed to hit the town as one whole team, counterparts and all. Let’s see what happens..
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