"Why would you expect newly hired, recent college graduates to know how to do business travel? They don't teach it in school."

Professional Business Travel

This is a note I wrote to another manager many years ago in reaction to some of my younger colleague's mistakes. It won't exactly fit your circumstances, but you'll get the sense of it:

You know Sean's work habits much better than I so I will leave it to you to provide him guidance.

I was disappointed lately with some of my junior staffers concerning their expectations for field installation trips. I found it necessary to explain that this is business travel, not tourism, even if it is to an interesting destination. We can, of course, arrange for people to take advantage of the destination after all of the work is done.

Here is some specific guidance:
  • Safety is more important than anything we do
  • We may not come home when we expect to
  • Bring more sets of clothes than days planned
  • You can't have too many tools with you
  • Expect long days, and nights, seven days a week
  • Expect delays in getting to hot, sit down meals
  • If you whine about anything, no one will want to work with you
  • Get yourself up in the morning and to the appointed rendezvous point promptly
  • Plan to have your cell phone charged and on 24 hours-a-day
  • Do not plan to spend time making major purchases, visiting relatives, or knocking-off work early to catch a TV program
  • Don't wash clothes yourself when you could be sleeping or working (We pay launderers to do it.)
  • Check out of the hotel on the last day and do not leave bags in the room
  • Get and keep receipts for everything
  • Safety is more important than anything we do (sic)

California is warm and sunny, but San Francisco Bay is freakin' cold and windy even during the day. Be prepared for the unexpected.


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