Oops scenarios in meetings

Today, while projecting for our iteration planning meeting, my google talk client popped up a notification on a new email with the title “Regarding the job opportunity xxx”  Oops.  Didn’t really want the team to see that one.

Sigh, one more application to shut down prior to meetings.  

Travel blues

I know that in a perfect world, all the presence and meeting tools would obviate the need for business travel.

However, if you live in the real world, and you are a product manager, you realize that some significant fraction of your time needs to be spent on the road.  Be it visiting customers, technology partners, or pressing the flesh at events (roadshows, tradeshows, conferences, etc).

In the new world, where the airlines are consolidating, reducing the number of seats, and working to maximize their revenue generation potential, any flexibility and perq’s you used to enjoy as a frequent flyer are about as rare as hen’s teeth.  As a Gold (or 1K) level member on United, I used to enjoy early boarding, priority baggage (not only free but with the magical flag in the tag to get your bags spun first), about 90% of the time an empty seat next to you (really nice in coach on an international flight), and a pretty liberal upgrade policy (like auto 1st class upgrades domestically).

Now, with every flight sold out, you get none of the upgrades or open seats.  The baggage still gets the priority tag, but the ground crew pretty much ignores the priority.  Upgrades are pretty much reserved for the 1K members, or global services.  And the real clincher, there are so few open seats, that you can’t book mile sponsored tickets to any desirable destination, or on convenient dates.

Add to that a plethora of canceled flights (I suspect to keep the open seats on other flights non-existent), oversolf flights, airplanes that aren’t cleaned (if you find used tissues, orange peels and banana peels in seat back pockets, well, ick).

There really aren’t any good aspects to business travel.

Remember when?

If you had an early eveneing flight, and got done early, you could go to the airport and have a reasonable chance of flying home earlier on Standby?

Yeah, those days are gone.  Too full flights, and the mentality of nickel and diming passengers to death have killed this little bit of flexibility that us frequent travelers used to enjoy.

Sigh, as I contemplate a trip this week.