Sunday, April 10, 2011

Business Travel

i've had to fly around a lot for this job.  i know there are a lot that fly even more than me, but i am still shocked at some of the stuff ppl do or don't do, or dont have the ballz to do, but just makes sense?  for example, occasionally, i have to catch the morning flight out for a meeting in the day.  ill get picked up, go to the airport, go through security, get on the plane, sit on the plane, etc.  how long do u think all that shit takes?  unless ur on a 45 minute flight (and even if u r), it'll be quite a while before u r face to face with clients or whatever.  so if ur getting up at 6am, why the fuck would you put in your full suit, jacket tie and everything?  depending on the length of the flight, im ridin in sweats and a tshirt (or maybe my suit pants) and a tshirt. something comfy.  will crash on the plane with my bomb eye mask and wake up refreshed. change in the bathroom and then laugh at all the foolish bankers in their equally crinkled suits.

of course all this depends on circumstances.  so if you just have a day trip, it may not make so much sense to wear ur birthday suit.  will keep shirt and tie in my bag and put it on after - coat hung up in plane closet.  one pair of shoes.  if ur gone for a few days, long flight, definitely dress down a lot.  if i'm going on a longer flight, and so am leaving in the afternoon for a meeting the next day, there is no fucking reason to travel in work clothes. generally i dont even dress that formally for work, but before i leave, i'll just change in my office, in the airport lounge or something.  i remember one time i was going to a meeting somewhere where it was drippingly hot and humid, and the plane was replete with fucking corporate monkey types for this deal. meeting was the next morning, and we were all on the afternoon flight.  i distinctly remember when we all got off the plane, i took a look around at all the twats lined up on the curb waiting for cars-- a partner in his khakis with a pressed buton down oxford tucked in with 'loafers', bankers in full suits, associates in disheveled dress shirts and swamp ass, random dicks in tweed jackets and corn cob pipes.... it was like a parade of douches and turd sandwiches....

but i was no twat. i was sportin short thai pants and sandals and a cut off tshirt...and while the comfort i enjoyed in the 30 minute wait in some backwater airport and hour long drive to the hotel was excellent, the satisfaction i got from seeing others secretly burning with envy was priceless.  i know wat u all r thinking: how can you dress so casually in front of your superiors or clients and not feel...[embarrassed/lowly/unprofessional]?  well, sir, there's ur fucking answer, what the fuck goes into that square bracket in that question? it doesn't even make sense to me. who the FUCK CARES. what are they going to do, fire you cuz u had more sense them then to anticipate weather and comfort or whatever? first of all, anyone who is at or around your level, whether a banker or lawyer or client's client or whatever is not gonna care at all. your senior people may thumb their noses at you but they secretly also would like to do what you do - they "cant" because they've become so brainwashed by all the fecal fumes they've been inhaling over the past ten years that they believe they need to do this. most of the time, the ultimate clients are most casual of all. (this all varies from place to place though, especially geographically, like California is going to be a lot more chill than New York, then there's the midwest, the south, London, Spain, Asia - but whatever the place, i think you should just be comfortable.)  the last thing anyone should worry about is what other people think about you. what really matters is ur...um...legal ability. haha. but seriously, if u can execute a deal well and respond to clients and shit no one cares how u dress, they won't say shit to u and will respect ur style. seriously. then they may even follow ur example.

now when i travel, there are a few other tips i have, some of which r pretty obvious and some may depend on circumstances:
  • Flying: u can miles for flying, tax free. use it to the max. stay on one carrier and ride up those perks. im at a level now where i get lots of complimentary upgrades, lounge access, last minute guaranteed seats, etc.  even the bursar comes out and greets me by name when i'm on a flight. i don't even fucking know what a bursar is. i know one partner he had to fly from europe to china, but he took flights with two stopovers just so he could stay on one carrier.  we have a lot of flexiblity in booking our own flights so take advantage. so while this gig lasts, ill max out all the perks. when u fly business, stock up on all the face wash and moisturizer crap they have in the lounge/busines class bathrooms. load up on fruits, water and snacks in the lounge before ur flight. save cash by eating meals there. depending on the airline's policies, u can maximize ur chances of getting complimentary upgrades if you (a) choose flights that are peak travel times and (b) check in first.  for the former - on business travel days, it may be tough cuz there probably isn't a first class and if there is, the uber uber elite will get it because it will be full of monkey douches filling up the ranks, but u never know. for personal flights tho, if ur flying economy definitely pick the fullest flights (ask ur firm travel agent) then ur chances of getting bumped up r super high (or if ur flying business, same thing). for the second part, if u lok on ur boarding pass there's a number - sometimes it's called a booking number or something - but it tells you when u checked in basically. if a class is overbooked, and there are people of the same elite status as you, the person who checked in first gets the banana. so always check in as soonas you can online - on ur bb or thru ur secretary or whatever.  Eye cover - mentioned above, when i go on flights where i'll want to sleep, get a decent eye cover it really helps. i got some fucking crazy one that's tempurpedic or something and it covers all those pesky gaps where light comes in. awesome. Headphones - sometimes nice to cancel out all the noise. like the bose qc series for that.  u can afford a ll this shit trust me. also, if u ever have to fly out somewhere and need to be there friday afternoon, and it's a decent town, why rush coming back? take the weekend there and uve got a free trip. u may need to pay ur own hotel bill but whatever u can afford it.

  • Hotels: basically same as the flights - max em out. why not. one of my banker friends who is a real point whore told me about this one trick he does for starwood points - u go by stays or by nights, and he always uses stays because u can rack em up faster.  whenever he travels to a place where he knows he'll need to stay for two nights, he'll have it booked just for one, and check out the first day, and then check back in again after his meeting the second day, so he gets two stays. OR, for a one day gig, hell just go out the night before and make some excuse liek the meeting is too early to go the day of or something and the meeting will end too late to come back so gets that extra stay.  Even for hotels that dont have formal rewards, they know. i know a colleague who stays exclusively at the mandarin. they dont have points but now everytime he stays he gets free shit. chocolates, cakes, jams, flowers, bathrobes, scarves, random shit. random nice shit. nice.

  • Eating: when u r on a trip, sky's the limit on expenses baby. i got another post on expensing alone coming up, but needless to say, if ur traveling, go for broke dude. if ur doing a 300M cap mkts deal, ur $100 meal is not gonna raise any eyebrows. big fancy meals, wine, beers, smokes, dancing midgets, monkey phonics, he-she whores, whatever floats ur boat dude. i remember one partner told me back in the day when he was young they wd have these offsite pritner sessions and the whole thing was a junkit for people to get strippers and cocaine. seriously. apparently bankers still do that shit anyway so whatevs.

5 comments:

  1. I don't see why this blog isn't one of the most popular...

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  2. agreed. can i just say that it's 3 a.m. and i'm at the printers for an ipo but i am getting paid a crapload to read your brilliant blog. thank you.

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  3. academic monkeyApril 11, 2011

    Can't wait for the installment on expenses!

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  4. If you say expenses don't matter on business trips, why do you advise eating in the airport lounge to save money?

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  5. Ya I was thinking actually bout personal travel more but I eat there too sometimes when I travel for work in certain circumstances. So the two main times when I go to the lounge for food - personal travel (save money)- I fly enough that I get a lounge pass for me and friend when I fly economy - and leaving town (save time cuz I usually arrive only forty min before my flight and cuz the lounge is nice for the airline I take - but not so in any other airport I usually go to). Other reasons though I may eat at the lounge include: (1) all the food I want is in the lounge together in one place and its just easier (fruits, bottled watter, snacks, hot meals, beers, juices I can mix myself etc) (2) its more comfortable (3) it makes me feel dandy or (4) steal crap. It all depends on circumstances though, like one time I got to the airport ealry enough and really felt like a mcds breakfast so got that. whenever I am at a non-home airport, I exclusively eat at the restaurants (if any) if I have time cuz the food and at those lounges generally blow. So in reality I generally: (1) lounge at home airport unless something specific I want to eat and have time, (2) eat at restaurant at any away airport AND spend remainder of time in lounge, (3) lounge for personal travels unless the food is crap etc. Also sometimes lounges have separate boarding entries which is convenient.

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