Monday, October 23, 2006

Airborne to elsewhere

Due to a Code Red Marketing Emergency that waylaid my Friday and bled over into the next morning, I was in a decidedly foul mood heading to O’Hare Saturday afternoon.

I’m usually pretty good at maintaining perspective about my job: Nobody ever dies in marketing.

There’s the occasional bruised ego, but that’s about as bad as the injuries get in my fluffy little line of work.

The trouble lies in helping others maintain that same perspective.

My biggest challenge in that regard is the folks with a fondness for firing off ugly little ill informed e-mails after regular business hours.

You probably never do it, so I’m at no risk of offending when I say this: Only pussies use e-mail to solve the occasional perceived Major Business Crisis.

Ironically, these are the same brainiacs who can’t be bothered with reading messages sent to them before blasting everyone else for the Profound Lack of Communication that invariably causes every business challenge known to humankind.
Our pilot is one of those classic irritating types who loves the sound of his own voice:

“This is Captain Blah-Blah speaking. We’ll have you landing in San Francisco at 15 minutes past the hour of five o’clock, that’s a 5:15 p.m. arrival into San-Fran-cisco. Blah blah crew blah blah temperature blah de friggin’ blah blah blah.”
Back to Saturday.

In spite of the ugliness of the previous 24 hours, the closer I got to 22C on American Airlines flight 1835, the better I felt.

Now, with my ass planted comfortably in an aisle seat and a cold Diet Pepsi next to my Mac on the tray table, life is good again.

I call it the state of Elsewhere. And for me, being Elsewhere is one of the best natural highs ever.
By the way, Lorna Doone cookies rock.

Why do I only eat them when I’m on planes?
So here’s my San Francisco ritual: I cab it to the hotel, check in, and drop my bags in the room.

Then I waste no time heading out into Elsewhere, excited and alone.

I people watch. I shop a little. But I mostly just wander the city by myself until I get tired around 10 p.m. and head to bed.

It is one of the most joyful feelings in the world. I just can’t wait.
Maybe it’s because my job is fairly boring (again, nobody ever dies.)

But being on a plane alone heading to Elsewhere is a mini adventure.

Elsewhere means new people, new sounds, and new smells.

It means being where nobody can find me for a while.

It means being reminded that the world is so much bigger than my backyard.

And it provides a much-needed boost when reckless and idiotic evening e-mailers rock my normally well-preserved perspective on life.
I am listening to: Plane sounds
I am reading: An article about Barack Obama in Harper’s
And I am: Elsewhere