Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Business Travel

I'm traveling again. On business. Which, I've decided, I detest.

No offense to my colleagues who happen to read MyndFood; I don't dislike what I do at all, and I enjoy all of you that I work with. But business, in my (admittedly jaded) estimation, is 20% actual productive activity, and 80% people trying to uncover some obscure problem in order to justify their existence (or in the absence of an actual problem, inventing some new, revolutionary business concept that then-due to it's conspicuous absence within the organization in question-becomes a problem).

Hear me out-please.

I'm at a two-day seminar. I know what I paid for the seminar (it wasn't inexpensive, by any measure), and at the price I paid, multiplied by the number of attendees (thirty, give or take), the seminar tuition alone cost the attending companies about $100K. Add to that the cost of a hotel stay for two nights ($179 a night-a bargain, to be sure), parking ($15 to self-park; $20 for valet-per night, that is), and travel (I'd guess $600 per person, on average), you could probably tack on another $40 to the total pricetag of the seminar. Not to mention the opportunity cost associated with 30 or so highly paid professionals sitting in a room on the coast of California for two full days. Assuming the average person in the room makes $130K per year, that would add up to somewhere in the neighborhood of another $45,000.

For a grand total cost of around $185,000.

Money well-spent if there's anything to be gained by participating.

But, invariably, I receive a flyer for some seminar, read through it, get excited, and register. I attend, and find myself agreeing-wholeheartedly-with almost everything they have to say. But also realizing that they're not really telling me anything I didn't already know. Not that I'm some business prodigy. The reality is, when you parse it all down, the basics of business are pretty intuitive. It doesn't take a genius to get the concepts right.

But common sense and intuition don't sell. So intellectuals (admittedly, very bright, competent and talented people) go out, wrap their suble flair around a common sense concept, develop a Powerpoint presentation, throw out business buzzwords, and charge a fortune to speak about them.

And then people like me come, nod their heads, smile, and go back, enthused, and make some sort of (hopefully positive) change.

Do you see, though? They're not really instructors; there's nothing there to instruct. They're cheerleaders. They exist to get us (the business community) excited about some concept, to get us enthused and pump us up, make us believe we can affect positive change (or, make us believe that we NEED to change-whether we do or not-THEN make us believe we can do it).

But, alas, I freely admit that I'm jaded and dejected. Because I sit here in a beautiful hotel room, overlooking a magnificent golf course, a stone's throw from a gorgeous beach-alone. You see, I'm projecting. There's probably some truth to that whole diatribe, but the simple fact is, I am of the firm opinion that the enjoyment in life is found in sharing experiences with those you love. Happiness doesn't exist in my world unless I have someone to share it with.

So, a beautiful hotel, the ocean, and even the opportunity to learn-none of them have any interest to me.

Because I'm alone.

I miss you...

1 comment:

Shane said...

Genesis 2:18 - Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."

When you are always with someone that was specifically “designed” for you, and you have to spend time away from that person, nothing else can fill that void in your heart. God Provided Adam with every imaginable piece of paradise and pleasure, but it wasn’t enough, he needed something more. Not only did Adam have a perfect paradise, he had God on a more personal level then any of us do now, yet he still needed something more. Admit it men, WE NEED OUR WIVES!