In the early 1990s my job required met to travel from Washington, D.C. to New York City every two weeks for team meetings. I had co-workers that wished they could go as often so they could have a leisurely dinner and maybe take in a show, stay in a company-paid hotel overnight, then fly home the next morning. That wasn’t my life.
When I had to go to New York, I had to be standing at the day care center at 6:30 a.m. when they opened. I’d fly down the Dulles Toll Road praying I wouldn’t get pulled over, screech into a parking space, and literally run through the terminal to be on board for my 7:15 a.m. flight.
My flight up always seemed to be on a twin propeller plan, which was like riding a bumpy lawn mower for two hours. At LaGuardia, I’d catch a cab to the office and hopefully arrive just before meetings started at 9:30 a.m.
After back-to-back meetings, I’d take a town car to the airport, praying that traffic wouldn’t make me miss my flight (my prayers were always answered). Next I’d pray that my flight would land on time so that I could literally run to my car, pray I wouldn’t get stopped as I flew down the Dulles Toll Road, and screech into the day care center parking lot minutes before they closed at 6:30 so I wouldn’t have to pay $1 per minute per child. Then I got to go home, cook dinner, check homework, get the kids to bed, and about 10:00 p.m. finally get to sit down. Flying to New York every other week was no fun.
On the plane I usually plugged in my own headphones and channel surfed the music selections. On my last trip to New York I was listening to Shattered as the plane touched down. The timing was perfect, with Mick singing “Go ahead, bite the big apple” right as the plane passed LaGuardia’s “Welcome to the Big Apple” sign. Now Shattered always reminds me of the chronic exhaustion and corporate insanity during that time of my life.