Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Baby's First Business Trip.

Today I got to put on my big-girl pants and hop on a plane to Houston for my very first business trip! Once I arrived at the airport, I was surrounded by suits and briefcases. Finally, I thought. I've graduated into the real working world, jumping on early morning flights to make important meetings in neighboring states. I received my formal initiation into this elite world when my professional seat-mate asked me during our decent, "So, what brings you to Houston?" This guy was the real deal. Earlier on the flight, he chatted insightfully about how surprisingly full the plane was. "It's always the 6 or 7 a.m. flights that are packed," he mused. "That's why you always schedule for the 8." He wore suit pants with penny loafers (easy removal through security, people). His OtterBoxed-smart phone cowered on his lap next to his single carryon that contained his suit coat. He wore a lightweight NorthFace in its place. I stood up to take off my winter coat. "Never know if it's gonna be hot or cold on these things," he said. He was right. You don't! That's why you always pack your suit coat and wear your trendy NorthFace, DUH. Professional. Back to my initiation. "So what brings you to Houston?" I wasn't sure how to respond. How are these conversations supposed to go? Is he my single-serving friend now after that awesome jacket conversation? (See: Fight Club) Should I tell him this is my first business trip? Should I try to impress him with my humanity by telling him what nonprofit I work for? How much information is too much information? There's too many variables here! "Uh...business," I stumbled. His perfectly coifed salt-and-pepper cowlick stared back at me. "Work trip," I clarified. You know, just in case he was unsure the definition of "business." He sat silently. It was then that I realized, in my distressed jeans and oversized sweater, to him I probably looked more like a spoiled 14-year-old on her way to visit a rich stepfather than a sophisticated businesswoman. When my parents took my sister and I to Disney World once, we thought it would be a great idea to trick people on our flight into thinking we were from a foreign country by speaking only in gibberish. Nobody bought it. Mr. Professional wasn't buying it either. "It's our day off today," I continued, desperately trying to convince him I was really a 25-year-old woman with a full-time job and health insurance rather than a bratty teenager. "Save the suits for tomorrow," I offered. He laughed politely and magically disappeared into the Blackberry and P-card mist! No. Actually, he just sat silently next to me the rest of the flight, uninterested in my little business fantasy world. So much for those big-girl pants.

No comments:

Post a Comment