Why I Hate It

Cowgirls have To-Do Lists

Cowgirls have To-Do Lists

Why I hate to travel, all the time and every single time I do it. After nearly a year of not traveling, I had forgotten just how much I truly hate to travel. I spent more than twenty years as a road warrior, every week on the road, Sunday night out and usually, if I was fortunate Thursday night back home with Fridays spent catching up on expense reports, conference calls and all the rest of business activities necessary to keep my life in order. This was my life for over twenty years. I wanted out, I made a conscious decision to get out, that did not quite work. Now I am reminded why I wanted out.

All the reasons why I Hate Travel, in no particular order.

There is the schedule itself usually dictated by clients leaving you with approximately 16 waking hours unless previously scheduled on Friday to see; doctors, hair stylists, manicurists, dentists, friends and family. Of course, did I fail to mention during this short time home there are also things screaming for your attention such as house cleaning, laundry and shopping because frankly whether or not there is a spouse or family one still must have at least some food in the house and in my experience, no one but me is ever going to put it there.

Why do I Hate Travel? Because this is absolutely no way for a normal person to live, it is not romantic, it is not exciting and it surely does not make me at all happy.

Let’s talk about hotels, just for a brief moment. When you travel for business you are not staying in Five Star hotels, no most of the time you are staying in chains, sometimes they are fallen stars. If you are like me, you only have a few 170380_13053106480012593076_STDrequirements some these days are harder to meet than others. I don’t want to leave my room in the middle of the night for a cigarette, don’t hate me I smoke and believe I should be able to do so in the privacy of the room I am paying for. But let’s talk about the rest, shall we? Starting with closets without enough hangers and those f’ng hangers that do not come off the rack, I am constantly fighting them. Then there are the mattresses, has anyone ever slept in a hotel and gotten a good night’s sleep, I toss and turn all night and wake every morning feeling like I have run an Iron Man. As a coffee drinker, I ask only one thing please, leave me more than one small packet of real coffee; I have learned to ask for more on check-in and every single night when I arrive back. Then there are the dangerous as all hell shower/baths, why in all that is holy don’t hotels simply install showers stalls rather than these tubs with showerheads? Narrow tubs, no traction and add to this flimsy curtains that stick to your skin actually climbing into your crevices when you are trying to bath, gad I hate bathing in hotels.

Finally, why do I Hate Travel so completely and entirely?

Airports and flights, it is getting worse and worse. No matter where I travel, I notice the ‘cost cutting’ measures first, the lack of human interaction when checking in. If you need assistance, you had better plan on a long wait. Then there is Lines form at the security line at Denver International Airport at as the TSA works to clear passengers for their flights.TSA and the security process, come on boys and girls, you have anywhere from 3-5 lines you could open up and you have a line of people waiting to get through security, tell me again why is only one of the lines open? By the way, please explain to me why I have to take my computers out, my shoes off, my coat off, my sweater off; damn do you want me naked? By the way when it comes to TSA, could we please have a line for seasoned travelers and another for those who are on vacation with families, I know very elitist of me but really the next time I am behind a family of four struggling with children, strollers and too much carry-on luggage I think I will scream, loudly.

Finally, we get to the airlines and the flights themselves. They are in another round of cost cutting and they are idiotic in their methodology. I can only talk about the one I fly the most often, bet you can guess given I live in the Dallas area. Now I have flown this airline for most of my career, I am a Million Miler on them, retain my Gold status for life even if I never fly again. In truth I have flown more than 1.5 million miles on this airline alone, this doesn’t count other airlines, all together between the four primary airlines I fly I have well over 2 million air miles, this means miles I have flown not all the additional miles I collect in other ways. The benefit of being an ‘Elite’ member of the club is upgrades when they are available, when they aren’t the flights are even more miserable. These days though even First Class flights are fairly low class, there is no service unless you ring your bell repeatedly and demand attention from the apathetic attendant’s, there is no meal service for any flight under 2.5 hours, even if that flight is during the dinner hour, if you are lucky they will throw you a bag of peanuts. Drinks are served in plastic cups, coffee in paper.

Don’t get me started on Coach where you are kicked in the back, stuffed together as if you are an anchovy and must keep your elbows so close to your ribs you can’t breathe for an entire flight. Service? Forget about it.

So far, no flight has left on time and thus no flight has landed on time!

Now I remember I hate travel; truly, I do. I want a real life. I want to be home after a day at work. I want to write and read, sleep in my own bed. I want the opportunity to have dinner with friends, family or someone I love. Hell, I want to enjoy travel because I am going someplace romantic to get away from it all.

Just a slice of life!

Everything is not You

The Wild Child returns or was it truly the Prodigal Daughter

My annoyance is at a high point, really, I don’t tell others what to do with their lives I would prefer if others would show me the same courtesy. I am going to rant this morning; I might even descend into raging. This may indeed be one of my off the grid, not so politically polite vents. If I offend you, well not going to apologize for it.

Let me say up front, I am a smoker. I have been a smoker for 45 of my 56 years on earth. Yes, you read that right I started smoking when I was eleven (11) years old. I quit one time in all those 45 years, it was the most miserable two months I spent. Smoking is part of who I am. I enjoy the taste of my cigarettes. I enjoy cigars too. Hell, I was shot because I stopped for cigarettes. After I was shot, I had to give up drinking for the most part, the one vice I kept? Smoking!

I am not stupid. I fully understand the risks and I accept them for myself. I also happen to know, I do not have a genetic predisposition for any of the normal outcomes of smoking including cancer.

Don’t smoke? Good for you, if you never smoked even better for you really. If you are an ex-smoker, you did a great thing for yourself, you quit when you were ready. There you see I can be polite. Now, please keep your non-smoking / ex-smoking opinions and self-righteousness out of my face and air space.

It is already true I cannot go out for a meal and enjoy coffee and a cigarette afterwards. The non-smoker brigade has stripped me of that pleasure. It wasn’t enough for restaurants to provide a segregated smokers section, no indeed you wanted more dammit you wanted it all. Then you went after bars and billiard rooms, now I can’t go play pool and fire up a cigar while I rack’em up and play. Another tick mark on your side, never mind smoky pool halls were once de rigueur or that they are privately owned not public places and you could choose to not patronize those that allowed smoking.

I just spent a week looking for a hotel in Duluth, MN for a two (2) day stay, I looked at my normal chains, nothing. I looked at some others, nothing. I looked at three stars, then two stars, then even one star nothing. I thought maybe it was Duluth.

After my search yielded terrible results, I called Intercontinental, owners of Holiday Inns and other properties. I am an Ambassador member of this chain, supposed to yield me privileges, not so much. I asked if their holidayinnproperties were now smoke free and was told yes, they were moving that direction, while some of the older properties still allowed smoking all new properties would be smoke free. New properties included properties that had undergone renovation.

I will be cancelling my membership with Intercontinental and moving all my points to my airline miles, currently I have over 100,000.

Marriott_NoI wasn’t really shocked when the Marriott chain went entirely smoke free. This was years ago and after all it is owned by Mormons, why wouldn’t they take the first opportunity to jump on the Smoke Free bandwagon. It should be noted, their Asian and European properties are not smoke free, only the North American.

When they went smoke free I moved all my points to airline miles, at the time I had over 800,000.

On average, I stay in hotels 170 days per year. Yet the on-going campaigns of vacationers have driven many hotel chains to become “Smoke Free”. This creates unsafe environments for women who smoke, forcing us out of our rooms at night onto city streets or unguarded front entrances for a cigarette. There we are, huddled on a bench 50’ or more from front entrances out of the light and unseen by the front desk  the perfect target for perverts, rapists or other unsavory characters because you want to make certain entire hotels are smoke free and could care less if we are safe. Your drive for smoke free hotels for your 5-day vacation has created an extremely high-risk situation 170 nights per year for me.

I smoke. It is my choice to do so. I don’t smoke in your house nor would I ever think to do so. I don’t throw my butts on the ground; I have an ashtray in my car. When I smoke outside I make certain I am not near a crowd, I stand downwind whenever possible and throw my butts in the nearest bin.

You don’t own the public parks though you want too, I know. When you stop driving your cars and polluting the air, I will consider not sitting on a public park bench and smoking. My taxes, by the way pay for that bench. My taxes from cigarettes, my hotel taxes in your cities as well contribute to your parks, roads and other comforts.

I don’t complain when your children rampage up and down hallways when I am trying to work or sleep. You are on vacation, your 5-day holiday and I understand you might not be up to controlling your monsters. I don’t complain when you’re next door having that party you always wanted, I get it really I do. It is the first time you have been away from the family and the conference is great, free alcohol and that girl you met at the bar looked great after your seventh martini.

What the hell though, why is it you insist on smoke free hotels? Is it really too much to ask that I am allowed a room somewhere in the hotel with an ashtray? Up to now most hotels put their smoking rooms at the end of a hall on a single floor usually in a place well away from other rooms. Why can’t you be satisfied with that? Why do you need the entire f’ing hotel?Kickm

In fact why do you need everything?

#smokefree #smoking

%d bloggers like this: