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You know you are traveling too much when...

Occasionally, a company I used to work for would decide that I was far too productive working at home and so they would send me on the road. These business trips were usually one to two weeks long, but they are often back to back. After a few months of "If it's July, this must be Phoenix", you start to notice signs that you have been traveling too much. Here are some, most of which I have experienced firsthand.

You know you've been traveling too much when....

  1. you pick restaurants based on their participation in airline mileage programs.
  2. you carry a telephone wire punch with your laptop so you can plug the modem into even the most antiquated hotel phones.
  3. the airline ticket counter signs say "Passengers with tickets", "Passengers buying tickets", and "Steve". At LAX.
  4. you look at the parking lot and not only don't remember where you parked,but you don't remember what kind of car you are driving this week.
  5. the first button on your car radio is set to the airport parking information frequency.
  6. "Gold" is the lowest level of any frequent flier or hotel program you are a member of.
  7. the hotel desk clerk knows you by first name. So does the maid. And theguy who cleans the hotel pool.
  8. you dial "9" to get an outside line, when you are at home.
  9. you are driving down the street and you don't remember what city you are in.
  10. you sit down to dinner at home and ask your spouse for a wine list.
  11. you leave a tip on your dining room table at home.
  12. your hotel key doesn't work, then you remember that the room number you arestanding in front of was your room number at a different hotel, in a different city, last week.
  13. you care about the local news in a city three states away.
  14. you know the faces of the newscasters in another city better than the onesat home.
  15. you say you are "going home", and you mean the hotel.
  16. someone asks where you live and you say "Seat 15A".
  17. you get a birthday card from the hotel staff.
  18. you have ever had someone Fed-Ex your dog-eared copy of the OAG to you.
  19. you know what gate your flight is leaving from before you are told.
  20. you talk to the pilot and find out you fly more than they are allowed to.
  21. you get mail at the hotel, and one of the letters is a property tax bill for your hotel room.
  22. you track the stock price of your favorite airline and notice that it fluctuates with your travel schedule.
  23. you find yourself saying "This is a nice city, I wonder what it would be like to live here" and you are at home.
  24. someone asks "Where is area code 555?" and you know. And you tell them when it's going to be split.
  25. a flight attendant holds the door to the employee lounge open for you.
  26. your briefcase glows in the dark from being X-rayed so many times.
  27. the power goes out in your hotel room, but you know the layout so well you don't bump into anything.
  28. you ask the local drive-thru espresso stand which frequent flier program they are associated with.
  29. you actually consider bidding 100,000 frequent flyer miles for anything.
  30. people ask you for directions in a strange city and you can give them.
  31. you start to give directions and realize you are referring to streets in another city.
  32. you are riding the car with locals and you show them a shortcut to where you are going.
  33. you follow a highway in a strange town just to see where it goes, and you know exactly where you end up.
  34. you have season tickets to theatre or sports events in a city you where you don't have a house or apartment.
  35. the pilot says "We are passing over Durango", and you correct him/her.
  36. you use your hotel address when signing up for a collge class. And they give you state-resident rates on your tuition.
  37. people ask how long you are visiting for, and you are home.
  38. you have the phone number for the airline reservation desk on your cellular phone speed dial list, but don't need it because you have it memorized.
  39. you consider the most important channel on TV is the "Weather Channel".
  40. the travel agents for your company know you by name.
  41. you have aftershave lotion or perfume that smells like de-icing fluid.
  42. you know which airline is running double bonus miles to London this month. And Indianapolis next month.
  43. you have video club memberships in six cities.
  44. you attend the going away party for the hotel manager.
  45. you wake up and have to look at the hotel stationery to know where you are.
  46. you begin to refer to the cities you are going to by the three letter airport code.
  47. you are surprized to discover that soap comes in large bars.
  48. you have ever had a bodily injury caused by a piece of luggage.
  49. you are on the rental car shuttle bus and recognize the voice of your favorite shuttle bus operator on the radio. (On second thought, just having a favorite shuttle bus operator is enough).
  50. you have a reserved parking place at the airport.
  51. you arrange a carpool to the airport.
  52. you refer to "downtown Pierre" and are serious.
  53. the opening of the shortcut walkway between O'Hare's B and E concourses was something important to you.
  54. you step in to help out the rental car shuttle driver struggling to give another customer directions. AND you include a street she didn't even know existed.
  55. you know which concourses of the airport require you to turn on your laptop computer and which let you run it through the X-ray. In ten cities.
  56. you refer to a long weekend with your family as "three days on site".
  57. you find yourself participating with interest in a conversation about which hotels replace the soap daily.
  58. at the rental car counter, you ask for a specific model and color car. And you know it's license number.
  59. you call the airline's frequent flier service desk and they recognize your voice.
  60. you tell the ticket agent what seat number you want after you confirm what model of airplane your flight is on. And you know if this model is a substitution for the regularly scheduled one.
  61. your name is painted on the side of the airplane.
  62. in December, you decide to take a trip just to put you over the threshold to the next level of frequent flyer status for the year.
  63. the airline holds your plane at the gate until you make your connection.
  64. "USA Today" is your local newspaper.
  65. you understood every item on this list.

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This page, and all contents, are Copyright (C) 1996, 1997 by Steve Heyl,Denver, CO, USA. Thanks to Charley Cross, Bill Fleming, Art Owles, and Ron Walsh foradditions and refinements.