Anatomy of work travel

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Those of you that have ever asked me what I do for a living, besides bitch and moan (which to be honest, feels like a full-time job anyway), well you’ll know that I am a technical support/field engineer. If you don’t know what that actually is, I’m the guy that goes somewhere at the drop of a hat and stays there until either one of two conditions are met.

1. The job is done and I’m allowed to go home or,
2. The job cannot be completed because someone else didn’t do their job

Normally it’s number two. This does inevitably mean that I travel frequently and in erratic patterns. If I have a territory, it’s UK & Europe. I’m often to be found wearing down shoe leather on the streets of London or being taken ‘the scenic route’ around small Spanish towns by a taxi driver that obviously saw me coming.

This time it’s London and another night, another overpriced 1970’s throwback hotel. SW6 to be more accurate or at least somewhere near there. Again with the iphone, my convenient travel photography companion.

Being a general technical monkey means I get to spend 9/10 hours a day either standing next to a server rack or piling up a stack of cardboard boxes to form a crude bench. 5434367060_623a4353f3_d

I used to really enjoy travelling for work. Like really. I’d jump  at the opportunity to do a job in Letterkenny (which for someone driving from Cork is a hell of  a round trip to do in a day). Now I’d take it or leave it. It’s a welcome break from the routine but any regular business travelers will tell you that it gets very old very fast.

Sure there’s the odd pint of ale followed by the occasional kebab. Sometimes there’s even a colleague on skype at 11pm taking the piss.

It’s swings and roundabouts. If you don’t learn to take the good with the bad you’ll go nuts. I’d never been to either London or Spain before and I’ve never been to either on holiday. Wait, that sounds kinda sad.

The ‘experiences with most Spanish people’ is another rant for another day but it was pointed out to me recently that Londoners have very little in the way of brain to mouth filter. In Ireland, we might think someone is a complete wanker or have a complicated inner rant about some situation or scenario but it rarely comes out of our mouths in the same  graphic detail. Not even ranting and raving  though. It’s everything. You know when people on twitter post updates about every single thing they’ve done that day? A minute by minute, blow by blow account from the time they wake up in the morning to the time that they shut their eyes at night. That’s mostly been my experience of Londoners so far.

However, most of the ones I’ve met will also come out and tell you exactly what they think of you in all the colours of the language rainbow. Yes, I’ve been sworn at a lot by Londoners. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a part of my job spec. In summary, business trips (unless they’re booze fueled junkets) are mostly shit. G’night all!

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