Monday, November 17, 2008

Not doing much today

I'm just a bit out of it today. I don't feel well. I don't feel particularly bad, but I don't feel like doing much of anything. Just tired and a bit down in general. Like writing this morning's post took all the energy I had, and now I'm just going to watch TV and look at stuff on the Internet.

The thing is that I used to feel like this a lot, as I used to feel like this most days after I had been away for a week, which for about a year and a half happened maybe three out of every four weeks. There was all of this travel, which I mostly did not care for, mostly to places that were not that interesting.

And I didn't even knit then, so I was trying to make a quilt or something.

So my husband had another traveling job, and we had this routine, though it was at different places. So the first thing was to see how far away the job was, and compare that distance to what was on the chart. If the distance between home and the job was some number of miles or less, then that wasn't far enough away for the company to pay for motel rooms, so I stayed home that week and my husband drove back and forth from wherever the job was. Now that happened about once a month or so, and that was the only time that I might see my family or any of my friends. If the job was more miles away than that, but still under a certain other number, then you were supposed to drive to the place where the job was on the first day of the job, which was almost always a Thursday morning, and then stay at a motel that night and all of the nights after work, except for the last night of the assignment which was almost always a Monday. So if that happened we were driving at least an hour and probably more in the dark in the middle of nowhere usually Texas in someplace that we were not familiar with, after he had already worked at least nine and a half hours at the actual job. So that happened a lot, except for a few times that we found cheap places to stay that cost the same amount of money to stay for a whole week as the company had agreed to pay for the four nights. And then there were times that the place was a few more miles away, and the company paid for a motel room the night before the job, so that he wasn't late for work Thursday morning, but they did not pay for a room the last night, as they did not care if he fell asleep at the wheel and died Monday night after the assignment was finished. There was some magic number that got them to pay for both a room the night before on a Wednesday and the night of the last day of work on Monday, so that he could sleep before driving home on Tuesday. I don't remember for certain what the magic numbers were, but it seems like it was divided up between jobs that were less than 60 miles away, jobs that were between 60-100 miles away, jobs there were between 100-200 miles away, and jobs that were more than 200 miles away. So if you worked someplace that was almost 200 miles away, almost didn't count, and you had this really long drive home some time after eight in the evening. And if the map and/or the odometer said that it was just over 200 miles away, but the company computer said that it was just under 200 miles away, then your request for Monday night's motel room to be reimbursed was declined, and we just had to pay for that ourselves, and the job just didn't pay enough to begin with.

So I was quite in the habit of having a long drive either on Wednesday or Thursday morning, and spending most or all of Thursday in a motel room not feeling quite right, But then, being in a motel room there was not much else to do but watch TV anyway, or perhaps read a book that I had brought or else work on some craft project that I had. Then while I was there I had to figure out how to make the 10 dollar a day meal allowance for one person feed the two of us. Then a few days later I had to pack everything. Sometimes I spent Monday in the motel room and we had a really long drive home on Tuesday. But most of the time we didn't have the motel room on Monday and I had to spend Monday in a store or something, or maybe trying to find a place to read, and then we had a long drive home that night. So after that I usually didn't feel so great the next day, usually Tuesday, or sometimes on a Wednesday.

He had that job for a year and a half. At first it was kind of exciting to go places, but it was not usually anyplace interesting, and I quickly grew tired of the schedule. Either Monday night we would drive home late and be tired the next Tuesday, or maybe Tuesday morning/afternoon we would drive home and then be tired from that on Wednesday. And then either Wednesday or early Thursday we would have to drive someplace else, which would make me tired too. Some weeks we drove home on Tuesday and just to had to rush about and wash clothes and such so we could turn around and drive someplace else on Wednesday. Sometimes this was a trip to the Houston area, and then maybe we got to spend Wednesday afternoon or Tuesday morning in Galveston, or maybe we went to San Antonio a few times. But mostly we went to boring places in Texas and Oklahoma, where the only things that we did besides the job was maybe find a nice Mexican restaurant, watch cable TV in the motel, maybe find someplace to do the laundry, do a bit of shopping at Walmart, and then once in a great while find a place to watch a movie.

Just thinking about back then makes me tired.

Maybe I'm tired today out of habit. But that should be all of it. He doesn't have that job anymore, and we're not off to someplace else today or tomorrow. In fact, there is no travel scheduled for this week, and right now there is no travel scheduled for next week, and we'll just have to see what happens after that. But there's no travel for me for a while, and even after there is travel scheduled, I don't have to go with him.

But I'm still sitting here wasting the day, and I still feel a bit bad just about that. I keep meaning to post this other thing about the headaches of business travel, but I haven't finished it yet. Business travel can really have a lot of headaches, so it will be a long post.

1 comment:

dmarks said...

"Business travel can really have a lot of headaches, so it will be a long post."

How true. My blog's name that appears in the URL, "in a holding pattern", was out of intent to blog about business travel. Yes, I've been in holding patterns orbiting above cities in airplanes.