Jack TenneyExtra Point

by Jack Tenney, Publisher

February 2005

Road Warriors

Business travelers are very busy people. Some are called road warriors, I assume because of the rigorous demands on their stamina to keep on schedule. They, like visiting baseball teams, dress in their away uniforms, most often grayish. They are forced to perform in other people's venues, thus never owning, to continue the sports-competitive analogy, a home-field advantage.

Having spent long stretches on the road, I have a few tips to offer for whatever they may be worth to those of you carrying toothbrushes in your computer tote does anyone still carry briefcases or attaches?

Here's a lifesaver. Literally, here's a lifesaver. When in London, Dublin or other places where people drive on the wrong side of the road look right before stepping off a curb. Otherwise you may miss seeing the bus that is about to send you on your last journey.

Here's a tort-saver. When driving a rental car (or even your own vehicle), assume that pedestrians have the right-of-way. In Los Angeles, especially in my experience, pedestrians know you will stop if they step off a curb; therefore, they don't look. A corollary to that is to assume when you are a pedestrian that even if you have a "walk" sign in a clearly marked crossway, you must still be alert for light-runners, right-turners, foreigners and fellow business travelers.

If you read newspapers on planes, trains or buses, learn the double fold. None of the aforementioned vehicles, even in so-called business or first class, have seating areas that accommodate a double-truck spread, especially if you are a Wall Street Journal reader. It takes a little practice, but once you have it down, you'll be able to read your paper standing up on a crowded subway, BART, Metro or whatever.

Research your destinations before you leave. I didn't have access to the Internet when I was leaving Monday morning and coming back Friday night. Because of that, I managed to celebrate San Jacinto day in Houston, Fasching in Munich, Patriots Day in Boston, Cherokee Strip Tri-State Band Festival in Enid, Yom Kippur in Manhattan. All interesting in their way, but not very profitable.

I hesitate to offer any advice on the joys of airline travel (with the exception of the double-fold, which is still a bit of a challenge to pull off from the middle seat in coach with the guy in front of you reclined at full tilt).

My last little extra point for business travelers has to do with rose-smelling. Long after you've forgotten the details of your two-week audit of the Dixie Cup factory in Bardstown, Ky., you'll remember the Stephen Foster Musicale. No matter where your travels take you, you'll do better by checking out the local color than crashing in front of the tube or raiding the mini-bar. Around here, I recommend the Shelburne Museum on the weekend or high school hockey matches, boating on the lake or bike path hiking. Visit Stowe or Sugarbush.

Happy trails.