Jack TenneyExtra Point

by Jack Tenney, Publisher

March 2008

Road Warrior

Teleporting for business is not a whole lot easier on your body than the old road warrior thing.

Time was, business travel meant a trip to the airport late Sunday or early Monday at the latest. Check in, get on the plane, get off the plane, rent the car, drive to the first pitch, then the next until you either got back on a plane or into a room. 

All week and/or for however long it took, you got on and off planes, in and out of rooms, and rented and returned cars until you landed back home to refresh, reload, and rear back to do it again.

Now, more and more, you work the phone, e-mail, figure out whom to fax, and hit the road (air) only when you absolutely can’t log on, patch in, IM, or leave one more text message.

So, you ask, what’s the body-wear-and-tear extra point?

Sitting all day with a phone in your ear and a keyboard on your lap puts you in greater danger of embolisms than a flight to Perth, Australia, in coach. In the old days, you used to have to occasionally run like O.J. to make your flight. There were stairs to  climb, bags to tote, and a ton more walking than however many trips to the rest room you make per day of teleporting.

That’s why there are so many infomercials about exercise equipment and diet food that you can have sent to your home. I know for a fact that you can talk on a cell phone (constantly) while on a stair-climbing elliptical treadmill. Not that I’ve done it, but I’ve seen it done and so have you. 

You can hook up your earphones (you can’t listen to rap on your iPod all the time) to a recumbent bicycle now and watch stock prices, fishing shows or Oprah (with a fancy enough monitor, all three) while spinning away your spare tire.

And soon, I betcha, you’ll be able to print, staple, collate, text message, check your e-mail, fax, cold-call — all on a hand-held device while upside down in gravity boots waiting for an aerobics class to start. 

But, you know what? You can’t do any of that stuff at town meeting. I know it’s too late to advise you about this year’s meetings but, for goodness’ sake, next year and for as many years as you can, go to town meeting, stay awake, knit if you must, but turn off your cell phone, and whatever that thing sticking in your ear is.