When I travel for fun, I'm not too concerned about how I present myself. I wear my comfy traveling clothes and my carry-on bags usually consist of backpacks or large purses bursting with trashy magazines and snacks. However, when traveling for business, I like to think I'm a professional, and I try to present myself as such.
Yesterday, I made my way from Ottawa to Atlanta and demonstrated, on numerous occasions, why I'm the Bridget Jones of business travel. It all started out well. I got to the airport, checked in, and my colleague and I made our way to the lounge to wait for our flight. I even bought an "intellectual" magazine, Lapham's Quarterly, instead of my usual People or US.
Leaving the lounge, I almost left my very business-like carry-on bag behind which my colleague kindly pointed out. Then, on an hour-long flight from Ottawa to Toronto, I managed to read all of three pages of my "smarty-pants" magazine, which was quite fascinating indeed - it's a historical, cultural and intellectual analysis of celebrity. It's the smart person's People. But my God, it was so much more demanding to read than my usual gossip rags.
I think I'm becoming dumber with age. I came across proof of this not too long ago when I found some dissertations I wrote in university, attempted to read them, and realized I could barely understand what I myself had written. Apparently, at one time, I was quite the intellectual. Of course, that was before The Bachelor, America's Next Top Model and Wipeout. But I digress.
Then we arrive in Toronto for a connecting flight to Atlanta. For some reason, my fairly sleek carry-on bag on wheels manages to collide with or get stuck on every post, wall, elevator door and escalator stair I pass by or come in contact with. This does not jive with my cool business travel persona which evidently, only exists in my head, not in reality.
Boarding the plane to Atlanta, I realize there is no room for said carry-on bag in the overhead compartment over my seat. So, I decide to walk back a few rows to find a spot for it. I managed to find some free space only to discover that my carry-on would not fit into the overhead compartment on this smaller plane. Sweet Jesus.
Imagine, if you will, a salmon swimming upstream, against the current. This was me, trying to get back to my seat, against the tide of passengers still boarding the plane, in a too narrow aisle, with a small suitcase in my hands. I decide to shove it with all my might under the seat in front of me and rest my feet on the still protruding portion of my bag. I also had my very business-like attache bag with me.
At one point, the flight attendant noticed the small mountain of luggage under my feet and told me this was unacceptable. I explained that my suitcase did not fit overhead, so she very politely took it away. Luckily, she was quite nice, or sympathetic to my plight, and found a spot for it somewhere else on the plane.
Of course, when we landed, this meant I had to wait for everyone to get off the plane before a flight attendant could retrieve my bag and I could head into the airport. Good times.
Imagine, if you will, a girl trying to act casual but ending up running, arms flailing, scarf flying about, shoulder bag slipping off occasionally, and tugging on a piece of luggage on wheels that always seems to get stuck on something.Yep, that's me, trying to be a professional business person.