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Old 08-17-2018, 12:59 PM
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BPC and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad work trip

This is a long one, so buckle up.

Monday morning. 4AM. Trains to the airport aren't running, so I have to wake up at 4AM, catch a bus, and catch a plane at 7AM so I can be at a seminar in Cologne by 10PM. I'm traveling with two coworkers - let's call them Max and Leo. Leo is there for the seminar, like me. Max is doing other work at the same location.

Let's start by mentioning a few things I don't handle well:
  • Sleeping poorly
  • Missing meals
  • Having my time wasted by others
  • Feeling out of control of what's happening to me

This will matter shortly.

So we get to the Cologne airport, and we're in a big hurry to get to the seminar on time. Max is driving, and he's already made it clear that he was annoyed that me and Leo checked bags for a 4-day trip. For some reason. So we get our bags. He gets breakfast for himself, as I learn later. We have to hustle out of the airport, so there's no time for me to, say, get breakfast. That kinda sucks, but okay, it happens. We get to the seminar, and I'm already on low blood sugar, tired, and cranky. We start the seminar, and first impressions are pretty weak. The software seems a hell of a lot worse than what we're already using. The actual contents of the seminar really aren't particularly important, other than that I struggled with the software not working.

So okay, seminar is over, we head off to find Max. He needs a little while longer. How much longer? He doesn't say. We end up waiting an hour, then finding someone else who is willing to go out of their way to drive us back to the hotel. Then we wait another hour, because Max was taking us out to dinner. Then, he shows up at the hotel, checks in, and promptly falls asleep. Half an hour later, we call him, and by this point I am really hungry, exhausted, and starting to get sick of waiting on this inconsiderate fucker. But okay, we get food, and my mood almost stabilizes a little.

The next day, Max demands we leave early, because "he's got things to do". So okay, let's be there half an hour before we need to be there, so that me and Leo can do... fucking nothing. The seminar is dull. On the way home, it's the same story, except that the guy who took us home isn't there. Max needs another hour or two to work on his shit - and this time, he needs Leo as well, and I can't drive. At this point, I'm in a miserable mood, so I decide, "fuck it, it's only 6km, I'll just walk back to the hotel". Which I did. Google maps is bad at telling what's a "path" and what's "half a mile of knocked-down trees and blackberry brambles". Once I get there, they immediately drag me out to dinner with coworkers, which Max tells me will be on the company dime. It wasn't. We end up staying out really late, and the subjects of conversation are exactly "work" and "cars". I don't drive and couldn't give a rat's ass about cars. On the way home, Max is still fucking talking about work. I am so out of it, and so sick of devoting all of my goddamn mental energy to my job that I just ignore him.

So the next day, the same shit happens again. Again, we leave early. Again, the seminar is dull, and again it is over hours before the person responsible for driving (who happens to be 20 years me or Leo's senior) is ready to go. So again, we're just going to wait. For hours. Fuck that noise - I grab a taxi back to the hotel. I decompress a bit, and of course, there's another company dinner. Which, again, the company is not paying for. And again, the only subjects are "cars" and "work". I try to get involved and steer the conversation towards anything I can relate to whatsoever that isn't work. I feel ill, and anxious, and socially alienated. I bow out and leave, again, walking home about 5km over rough ground. Again, google is bad at figuring out what is a path, and what involves jumping over a broken cattle fence.

The next morning Max reads me the fucking riot act over leaving, because that's impolite. The seminar finishes early, so we have 3 hours to get from the location to the airport. An hour's drive, and then two hours to go through security. Nope! Max wants to keep working late. So he cuts it as close as possible, despite my objections. I'm freaking out at this point, and he wasted an hour and a half of my time. I am so done. We drive an hour - it is now 40 minutes before boarding - and Max decides he really wants to stop to pick up something from the corner store. I was freaking out at this point, basically a walking panic attack. My anxiety was firing on all cylinders.

We end up being barely on time for the flight, which ended up being delayed. By the time I was home it was 9PM. I barely had any decompression time for the entire damn trip. I was completely destroyed.

And that was my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad work trip.
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Old 08-17-2018, 01:27 PM
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So you had to work on a work trip and seem unaware of the charms of on demand transportation like taxis or whatever ridesharing company is flourishing in Germany during Uber’s ban. Also, you don’t much like Max and you are upset when people aren’t talking about what you are talking about. What did I miss?
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Old 08-17-2018, 01:35 PM
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Ugh, that sounds horrible. I hope you are feeling better now that it's over with.
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Old 08-17-2018, 01:49 PM
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What's with work not paying for all meals while you're on a business trip? That completely blows.
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Old 08-17-2018, 05:50 PM
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What's with work not paying for all meals
and taxis, how come they didn't give you a travel allowance for taxis to the seminar and back?
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Old 08-17-2018, 06:07 PM
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You are a functioning adult, at a work trip with two people who are not your direct supervisors. Presumably you have traveled before. Why did you 1) allow them to tell you when and how to travel, 2) not realize that packing snacks is pretty much standard, 3) not check beforehand what the travel allowance/process was? Google may not be great at mapping out a walking route, but it sure as hell will find you a taxi and a convenience store.
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:23 AM
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Actually no, packing snacks is not standard in most of Europe; grabbing something to eat for yourself while not asking "you guys want me to grab you something?" isn't either.

And it sounds as if they were travelling and driving together as part of one of those wonderful cost-cutting policies designed by people who've never tried to carpool with someone that had a different calendar. BPC was given information/orders which in multiple instances turned out to be wrong. That's not his fault!

Last edited by Nava; 08-18-2018 at 04:24 AM.
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:47 AM
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If I'm hungry I go get food, and I don't care who or what is in my way. "We don't have time to eat" is not a grammatical sentence in any language I speak.

Don't get me hungry. You won't like me when I'm hungry.
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Old 08-18-2018, 06:24 AM
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Actually no, packing snacks is not standard in most of Europe; grabbing something to eat for yourself while not asking "you guys want me to grab you something?" isn't either.

And it sounds as if they were travelling and driving together as part of one of those wonderful cost-cutting policies designed by people who've never tried to carpool with someone that had a different calendar. BPC was given information/orders which in multiple instances turned out to be wrong. That's not his fault!
Pretty much. Part of the point of this thread is figuring out how much of this is "my company/coworker fucked up" and how much of this is "BPC is fucked in the head".
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Old 08-18-2018, 07:10 AM
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Pretty much. Part of the point of this thread is figuring out how much of this is "my company/coworker fucked up" and how much of this is "BPC is fucked in the head".
It was a work trip so it seems reasonable for this Max guy to have been working instead of giving priority to chauffeuring you 2 about. I don't know why you didn't just get a cab when he said he'd be ages. It also seems normal for there to be dinners to meet up with the "locals", that seems pretty standard if they are people you speak to or will be speaking to in the course of work.
As for leaving for the airport, I'm like you, I like to leave plenty of time, but you didn't miss the flight and the other bloke was working so again I don't think you can really fault him for not wanting to hang about at the airport instead of finishing up whatever he was doing at work. As for the dinners, maybe you'll get reimbursement when you get back? That's not unusual, if they haven't given one of you a work credit card.
It doesn't sound like much fun, but it WAS work.
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Old 08-18-2018, 09:10 AM
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Actually no, packing snacks is not standard in most of Europe; grabbing something to eat for yourself while not asking "you guys want me to grab you something?" isn't either.

And it sounds as if they were travelling and driving together as part of one of those wonderful cost-cutting policies designed by people who've never tried to carpool with someone that had a different calendar. BPC was given information/orders which in multiple instances turned out to be wrong. That's not his fault!
If he knows for a verifiable fact that he struggles with freaking out when he doesn't eat, freaking out when he doesn't have control over a situation, and freaking out in social situations, it is absolutely on him to either communicate that clearly or do whatever is in his power to mitigate those situations. I would hope that, standard or no, even a cripplingly anxious European can figure out "I do poorly when I don't have food, and I'll be traveling **at a minimum** from 4AM to 10AM (I assume the PM in the OP was a typo) with people who may not have these issues, and then I'm going straight into a workshop; I should pack a protein bar or three to eat on the bus/on the plane/in the airport/in the car ride over."

The first day/night was on his coworker. Every subsequent issue is on the OP. Max showed exactly who he was the first day, and the OP is well aware of his personal issues; at some point responsibility has to be taken. He is a professional and presumably his company felt him capable of representing their best interests while also acting like an adult.
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Old 08-18-2018, 10:51 AM
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BPC and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad work trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
Actually no, packing snacks is not standard in most of Europe; grabbing something to eat for yourself while not asking "you guys want me to grab you something?" isn't either.


If I was someone who both hated missing meals and wanted to be in control, as he describes himself in the OP, the best way to prevent the first is by embracing the second. Pack a snack for yourself so you can eat when you need to, cultural norms notwithstanding. Especially given the vagaries of traveling- what if the plane was delayed on the tarmac, for example.

Last edited by IvoryTowerDenizen; 08-18-2018 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 08-18-2018, 11:32 AM
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The OP really has to learn how to assert himself. If he's hungry and he hasn't eaten, he should say he's going to grab something to eat, and if the other person has to wait five minutes, then he'll wait five minutes. It won't kill him. Likewise, if he's tired and he wants to sleep, he should say he's tired and he wants to sleep, and then go to sleep. There's nothing wrong with taking care of yourself.
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:17 PM
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It sounds terrible. I have been in your shoes.

Next time, skip the dinners. Tell them you're not feeling well and stay in. "Upset stomach" works well or "not sleeping well in a strange place".

Work travel is a bitch, especially when the social expectations get piled on.
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:23 PM
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Basically people learn from their experience and adjust their behavior accordingly. Thus after seeing how badly the first day went you should have made your own travel and eating arrangements for later days.
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:40 PM
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I would hope that, standard or no, even a cripplingly anxious European
Actually, I thought BPC was from the U.S., and is now living in Germany. Was I wrong?
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Old 08-18-2018, 01:12 PM
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The OP really has to learn how to assert himself. If he's hungry and he hasn't eaten, he should say he's going to grab something to eat, and if the other person has to wait five minutes, then he'll wait five minutes. It won't kill him. Likewise, if he's tired and he wants to sleep, he should say he's tired and he wants to sleep, and then go to sleep. There's nothing wrong with taking care of yourself.
Yup. I, thank god, rarely go on business trips. The last time I did it was alone, and since the company was paying airfare, I bumped myself up to first class for a couple of hundred bucks.

Once, I went to a convention with my boss. I respect him but would never choose to spend time with him. After a day of classes, I said that I'm going to go out to look for a birthday gift for my wife to take back. He said "great, I'll come with you". Well, I must have some look or body language or something and I turned to him. He immediately said, "or no, I won't tag along".

I don't know what is wrong with some people, but my boss has it in spades. (he gave me shit for going to my FIL's funeral, he got a truck load of shit dumped on him for that. I could go on.)

BPC. Really, I enjoy your posts, but assert yourself. Nobody is running your life but you.
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Old 08-18-2018, 03:07 PM
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It sounds like sharing a car with Max who was working on something completely different so had a different schedule, was a big part of the problem. Did you already know Max well? Did you anticipate he'd be annoying?

It sounds like you were crossing the ocean ("catch a plane at 7AM so I can be at a seminar in Cologne by 10PM"). Is overseas travel viewed as a "perk" at your work-place, or as a burden?

I did a lot of business travel in the late-1970's. Meals were always company-reimbursed. We worked hard, but also tried to find a little time for play. Mostly we were too work-focused to have conflicts about schedules or restaurants ... except for my travels with one guy who was a PacMan addict and, believe it or not, would stop the car at almost every convenience store to put a few quarters in their PacMan machine!

Last edited by septimus; 08-18-2018 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 08-18-2018, 03:50 PM
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Actually, I thought BPC was from the U.S., and is now living in Germany. Was I wrong?
I truly have no idea. If that's the case, then Nava's comment is even less applicable, since it was offered as an excuse why the OP wouldn't have thought to bring snacks along.

Interestingly, if we look at this for a moment from Max's perspective, he's 1) likely gotten up as early as the OP on day 1; 2) been held up at the airport by two coworkers who chose to pack enough stuff that they need to check a bag (note that it took them long enough to get their bags that he had time to buy something to eat *and* eat it with his coworkers none the wiser); 3) had to drive them to the seminar; 4) while they hang out in a workshop, he has to work- well beyond the point where they have to (according to the OP, at least 2+ hours); 5) drive himself back to the hotel which is 'out of the way' from the seminar location. Is it any wonder that he fell asleep when he got to the hotel?

I travel frequently for work; sometimes on my own, sometimes as part of a group. There's *always* a business dinner or two, but the rest of the time I sure as hell make sure everyone is aware that my time is my own. Then it's all room service and Netflix. My job is to coordinate with the person who makes the travel plans (in our case, our admin) **before** travel happens to ensure that they work best for me- whenever possible, a hotel within easy walking distance of the work site, a direct flight instead of one with layovers, etc.- AND that I know what company protocol is for reimbursement. Only once have I carpooled with a coworker, and that was because they lived in the area and were going by my hotel on their way to work. I taxi/Uber/Lyft/walk the rest of the time. And every time I travel I pay for everything myself up front, then get reimbursed later by the company, so I agree with the others that it's likely everything was covered (as long as you followed your company's protocol for keeping receipts/staying within your per diem).
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Old 08-18-2018, 06:55 PM
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It sounds like sharing a car with Max who was working on something completely different so had a different schedule, was a big part of the problem. Did you already know Max well? Did you anticipate he'd be annoying?

It sounds like you were crossing the ocean ("catch a plane at 7AM so I can be at a seminar in Cologne by 10PM"). Is overseas travel viewed as a "perk" at your work-place, or as a burden?

I did a lot of business travel in the late-1970's. Meals were always company-reimbursed. We worked hard, but also tried to find a little time for play. Mostly we were too work-focused to have conflicts about schedules or restaurants ... except for my travels with one guy who was a PacMan addict and, believe it or not, would stop the car at almost every convenience store to put a few quarters in their PacMan machine!
I think the 10 PM was a typo. I think BPC meant 10 AM, as evidenced by Max sneaking off to get breakfast.
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Old 08-18-2018, 07:29 PM
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So we get to the Cologne airport, and we're in a big hurry to get to the seminar on time. Max is driving, and he's already made it clear that he was annoyed that me and Leo checked bags for a 4-day trip. For some reason. So we get our bags. He gets breakfast for himself, as I learn later. We have to hustle out of the airport, so there's no time for me to, say, get breakfast. That kinda sucks, but okay, it happens. We get to the seminar, and I'm already on low blood sugar, tired, and cranky. We start the seminar, and first impressions are pretty weak. The software seems a hell of a lot worse than what we're already using. The actual contents of the seminar really aren't particularly important, other than that I struggled with the software not working.

So okay, seminar is over, we head off to find Max. He needs a little while longer. How much longer? He doesn't say. We end up waiting an hour, then finding someone else who is willing to go out of their way to drive us back to the hotel. Then we wait another hour, because Max was taking us out to dinner. Then, he shows up at the hotel, checks in, and promptly falls asleep. Half an hour later, we call him, and by this point I am really hungry, exhausted, and starting to get sick of waiting on this inconsiderate fucker. But okay, we get food, and my mood almost stabilizes a little.
I think you need to learn to advocate for yourself, because nobody else is going to. If you need to stop to eat breakfast, tell your colleagues, "I need to stop to eat breakfast". Don't expect them to guess your requirements.
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Old 08-18-2018, 07:54 PM
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Ol' Max uses his time efficiently.
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Old 08-18-2018, 11:54 PM
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You need to be careful with people like Max.

The thing about Max is, he is incapable of assigning a value to other people's time. I would say he assigns a value of zero to it--but that would be overstating it because Max does not consider other people's time at all. If Max could trade ten thousand hours of your time to save ten seconds of his own, he would.

It is not Max's fault, exactly--he was born with a cognitive defect preventing him from doing this. As such, when it's pointed out that he's wasting other people's time, he gets angry and confused. For him, it is like doing elliptic calculus or some other math that is beyond him. Worse, everyone else can do these calculations without trouble. So have a little sympathy for Max, here.

In short, you need to stay away from any situation where Max can benefit from your time, because he will make that trade without thinking. Bow out of interminable dinners; arrange your own transportation; set your own schedule for meals and activities. If your paths intersect with Max's, be friendly. But under no circumstances should your schedule be beholden to his.
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Old 08-18-2018, 11:59 PM
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You need to be careful with people like Max.
People who go on a work trip and work?
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Old 08-19-2018, 12:50 AM
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People who go on a work trip and work?
Didn't seem like he was working much on those late nights out or when stopping at the store just before the plane ride.

That said, I am with Max regarding checked bags for a 4-day trip. C'mon.
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Old 08-19-2018, 01:01 AM
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Didn't seem like he was working much on those late nights out or when stopping at the store just before the plane ride.
They were work, schmoozing with people in other branches is work/networking. He only went to eat instead of waiting around for the others to go through the baggage check.
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Old 08-19-2018, 07:24 AM
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Didn't seem like he was working much on those late nights out or when stopping at the store just before the plane ride.
Both dinners, according to the OP, were company dinners with coworkers where they talked about work, then on the way back to the hotel Max kept talking about work. Honestly, if one considers a work trip to be about actual work, Max is the only one who comes off well in the story.

(maybe he wanted to stop by the store to grab a snack for the plane because he knows he gets in a bad mood when he’s hungry? )
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Old 08-19-2018, 08:16 AM
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Ol' Max uses his time efficiently.
I had a client who viewed any time spent waiting in the airport as a horrible waste. His ideal trip involved him boarding just before the closed the door.

He missed a few flights.

So I always just made my own travel arrangements (especially rental car or taxi) based on whatever was convenient for me because I knew I couldn't count on him.
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Old 08-19-2018, 08:46 AM
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This sounds to me like maybe you just don't travel much? I wouldn't dream of setting off on a trip like that without a couple of power bars and caffeine pills in my hand luggage. I know what happens to me if my protein gets too low or if coffee is unavailable. I also have a book, some yarn, and a crochet hook in case I get stuck somewhere. Boredom kills.

And yes, Max is a dick. He was ridiculously unconcerned with the needs of the two people in his care. I suspect that he was not thrilled to find out that you WERE to be in his care, and may actually have had plans of his own which didn't happen due to your needs; like going to bed early the first night.

I also will not agree to any work trip outside of downtown Manhattan that doesn't include a rental car. One time stuck in a suburban hotel without a restaurant was plenty for me. But it sounds like you don't drive in general, so taxis ought to be your go-to. I agree with whoever said above, as soon as Max admitted that he needed an hour or more you should have called yourselves a taxi.

As for the meals, this is a work trip, will you not get them reimbursed? I've been in that place of just not having many resources, and having that be a real burden. But you feed yourself and get on with it. Fill out your expense report immediately and get your money back, don't let it wait. It's been my experience that a polite visit to the accounts payable clerk in charge is generally met with understanding and swift reimbursement.

Overall though, you need to do better preparation. Before I left on that trip I'd have already checked the hotel restaurant hours and what was in walking distance of both hotel and venue. I'd have packed the aforementioned snacks and reviewed the schedule with my traveling partners. For longer trips I've even been known to FedEx my big bag to myself at the hotel so I don't have to schlep it through airports.

But I spent a whole year on 80% travel once, so you learn the ropes as you go. Being a fellow anxiety sufferer, I will say there are many ways to give yourself control, and they all help immensely. Plan ahead.
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Old 08-19-2018, 10:13 AM
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Plan ahead.
Just thought it'd be good, for anyone scrolling through, to read that twice.

As someone whose default setting is "Pfft, plan ahead? That's what boring people do.", I've been bitten by that more than once.

So now, well ahead of any trip, I ask myself "Well, what could go wrong?" (said for some reason like an old Jewish comedian, with a shrug). Then I think of all the things that could go wrong:

• Luggage lost? I'll cram everything in a carry-on, or at least have clean undies in my bag.
• No in-flight snacks that don't cost more than a nice dinner? My bag is FULL of Clif bars and trail mix.
• Stuck in a strange airport? My bag's also full of magazines, a sketchbook, and a real book. And my iPod's full of music and movies.
• Stuck in a strange airport for days? (if you fly Spirit, they'll cancel half of your Thursday flight, stranding you at O'Hare, and say "We'll book you on our next flight... Tuesday!") Have a mental list of activities (took a shuttle downtown, walked through the Art Institute and found some Chicago deep-dish pizza.... mmmm...)

I'm now famous for having a Plan B, C, and D. The family will sometimes ask "We on Plan F yet?"
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Old 08-19-2018, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove View Post
You need to be careful with people like Max.

The thing about Max is, he is incapable of assigning a value to other people's time. I would say he assigns a value of zero to it--but that would be overstating it because Max does not consider other people's time at all. If Max could trade ten thousand hours of your time to save ten seconds of his own, he would.

It is not Max's fault, exactly--he was born with a cognitive defect preventing him from doing this. As such, when it's pointed out that he's wasting other people's time, he gets angry and confused. For him, it is like doing elliptic calculus or some other math that is beyond him. Worse, everyone else can do these calculations without trouble. So have a little sympathy for Max, here.

In short, you need to stay away from any situation where Max can benefit from your time, because he will make that trade without thinking. Bow out of interminable dinners; arrange your own transportation; set your own schedule for meals and activities. If your paths intersect with Max's, be friendly. But under no circumstances should your schedule be beholden to his.
This is all so totally ridiculous. Max isn't some buddy BPC went on a road trip with. They are on a business trip and Max clearly seems to be senior to him in the company even if he's not directly above him.
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Old 08-19-2018, 12:29 PM
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Why didn't you post this in MPSIMS?
  #33  
Old 08-19-2018, 01:58 PM
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They are on a business trip and Max clearly seems to be senior to him in the company even if he's not directly above him.
Since when is being senior an excuse for poor treatment of others? Granted, in some companies it might be a prerequisite for promotion.

BPC seems to have no obligations to Max. I see no reason why BPC shouldn't simply taxi around on his own.
  #34  
Old 08-20-2018, 08:44 AM
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My boss thinks it's definitely a me problem, that this trip was a catastrophe for me because of me, and that if I want to keep my job I need to step it up.
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  #35  
Old 08-20-2018, 08:46 AM
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My boss thinks it's definitely a me problem, that this trip was a catastrophe for me because of me, and that if I want to keep my job I need to step it up.
What did he say you should have done differently?
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:00 AM
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that this trip was a catastrophe for me because of me, and that if I want to keep my job I need to step it up.
How was it a catastrophe? You were miserable on the trip, but, "catastrophe" seems a bit extreme.
Other than leaving that dinner early, what is he saying was a particular problem? What does he say you need to "step up"?
  #37  
Old 08-20-2018, 09:25 AM
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What did he say you should have done differently?
Not been mentally ill? Plan better? I dunno.

Also both of the other senior IT members have written me off. Yay.
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:25 AM
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Well, I wouldn't be surprised if everyone BPC interacted with on the trip noted his anxiousness and annoyance with everything and that got back to his boss.
  #39  
Old 08-20-2018, 09:33 AM
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How was it a catastrophe? You were miserable on the trip, but, "catastrophe" seems a bit extreme.
Other than leaving that dinner early, what is he saying was a particular problem? What does he say you need to "step up"?
That BPC needs to stop being an immature whiny bitch who thinks the world revolves around him would be my guess.

Last edited by OwnRules; 08-20-2018 at 09:34 AM.
  #40  
Old 08-20-2018, 09:47 AM
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My boss thinks it's definitely a me problem, that this trip was a catastrophe for me because of me, and that if I want to keep my job I need to step it up.
Ouch.

Sorry, that's got to add to your general level of anxiety. But something like this gave me a "shot across the bows" and a chance to change my life. I started planning ahead, doing a quick spreadsheet of everything I'd need on a project or a trip, and getting those lined up ahead of time. (Yes, even meals and rides)

AND I was open and completely honest with my boss. Told her how my personality quirks had tripped me up, and how I'd make sure I could minimize those in the future. So I started emailing those spreadsheets to her before a project/trip started, and she'd either ignore them (which meant all was well), or ask "What about X?" and I'd come up with an "In Case Of X" plan.

I ended up with a promotion out of it (after a couple of painful months), I think because I was the only minion admitting my problems and working on them (and around them). So in the boss's mind, I was making more progress than the "More Capable" coworkers who stayed at the same level of Adequate Competence.


ETA: I just went back and read your rants from during the trip. This also could be your chance to quit, and find a better job!

Last edited by digs; 08-20-2018 at 09:52 AM.
  #41  
Old 08-20-2018, 09:56 AM
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That BPC needs to stop being an immature whiny bitch who thinks the world revolves around him would be my guess.
Yeah, this.
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  #42  
Old 08-20-2018, 03:34 PM
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My boss thinks it's definitely a me problem, that this trip was a catastrophe for me because of me, and that if I want to keep my job I need to step it up.
Well, that's also ridiculous. Unless you disrupted the session or didn't learn what you should have from it, there is no way it should be considered a performance issue.

It sounds like you may have been complaining a lot. Were you?

On a trip it's important to remember that everyone is inconvenienced when they are away from home. Max and 2nd guy were also working the whole time, also hungry, also tired,also frustrated about the transportation and schedule mismatch. Everyone on the trip is responsible for his/her affect on the morale of the group. It is necessary to be gracious, suffer patiently, and meet your own needs whenever possible.

I forgot to say earlier that talking about work 24/7 on work travel is just bog standard. I'm surprised that they managed to work cars in at all. There is no down time on work travel, you are lucky to sleep.

It might be worthwhile to talk to psychiatrist about treating your anxiety. It sounds like it has reached a point that it's interfering with day-to-day activities, especially work. And with a boss like that, even a usually calm person might need an aid to cope.

I also recommend fixing up your resume and getting it out there. Suggesting that someone's job is on the line is a very serious thing to say, and likely to cause fear or even panic for the employee. Either your boss is helpfully giving you a quiet head's up, or he's an abusive @$$hole. Either way, the right answer is start quietly looking for other work.

Two things I'd like to ask to put this in perspective: How old are you? Do you by chance have a vision impairment?
  #43  
Old 08-20-2018, 04:23 PM
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Next time, skip the dinners. Tell them you're not feeling well and stay in. "Upset stomach" works well or "not sleeping well in a strange place".
I've been in similar situation. After-event dinners would be considered your own personal time, unless you are earning overtime by attending a work dinner. If not, declare "jet lag" to stay in the hotel, then just slip out to do your own thing. If spotted, e.g. by a coworker camping at the lobby bar, you can cover by saying you were heading out to find some pepto and TylenolPM and got a bit lost out there.
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  #44  
Old 08-20-2018, 06:47 PM
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You don't drive, by why don't you Uber? Screw waiting for Max...
  #45  
Old 08-20-2018, 07:10 PM
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You don't drive, by why don't you Uber? Screw waiting for Max...
I think Uber's having problems in Germany right now.
  #46  
Old 08-20-2018, 07:15 PM
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You don't drive, by why don't you Uber? Screw waiting for Max...
Or taxi. Or bus. Or hitchhike.
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  #47  
Old 08-21-2018, 12:29 AM
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Yeah, this.
Did you let everyone know that you weren't happy with the things you outlined in the OP? I can see why that wouldn't go over very well. I've said what I think in previous posts, I'd suggest that that's a fairly "standard" view of how things are thought of from an employer's perspective. No, you shouldn't have to try to pretend you like people at dinners outside work hours, but it's required. This is where all that HR "speak" like "being a team player" comes from. You're meant to (at least be seen to be) put work first and to suck up the unpleasant things that might be dumped on you from time to time (if it's more than "from time to time" then it's time to look for something else).

If it was your behaviour that has made the other IT people "write you off" (if they have, you might just be feeling vulnerable and over-stating things), you might try an approach like digs describes. Acknowledge the feedback (even if you don't really agree with it), explain what drove you to do what you did, and tell them you'll do better.
  #48  
Old 08-21-2018, 01:01 AM
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BPC, you said you have anxiety issues -- are you currently working with a therapist?
  #49  
Old 08-21-2018, 02:34 AM
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I'm 24, seeing a therapist for depression but not really anxiety. I plan to bring it up in our next appointment.

And yeah, the senior coworkers have basically written me off. It's not worth the time to point out that I did something wrong any more, and if they want to show someone a new system, they do it with the other junior coworker. The boss stuck his neck out for me to be allowed to go on this trip, apparently, it was really expensive, and now he has to report that I wasn't a team player and shit went poorly. My contract runs out next year. I took it for granted that I'd get renewed. Shows what I know. Basically everyone who saw the facts on the ground agrees that I fucked up. Joy.

Thanks for the advice, everyone. Next time something like this happens, I'll keep it in mind.
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Last edited by Budget Player Cadet; 08-21-2018 at 02:37 AM.
  #50  
Old 08-21-2018, 03:00 AM
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Did your boss say, specifically, what you did wrong? Not in general terms like "you're not a team player" or "the other guys had some problems with you", but concrete examples? Did you even ask?

Because that's the number one rule of working in an organization: always be specific. If someone complains about you or accuses you of something, you have to find out exactly what their problem is, so that you can either challenge the accusation, or try to do better in the future. Generalities are fucking useless. How can you be a team player if your boss doesn't tell you what precisely he thinks being a team player is?
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