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iamTedKing: Jet-lagged rant from a traveling pro

  • By Ted King
  • Published Nov. 24, 2009
  • Updated Jul. 7, 2010 at 6:53 PM EST

What’s that you say? You’ve just finished up your team meetings in Switzerland, and you’re now flying from Basel back home to the United States, and you have a brief layover in Frankfurt, Germany, yet very unseasonably windy weather caused your first flight to land well after your second flight took off, so now you have a comp’ed (remarkably nice) hotel room for the night before taking the next available flight 24 hours after the original, but you have only slept four hours, and it’s now just 2:00am local time, and you are wide – and I mean WIDE – awake, and simply cannot get back to sleep, despite not having to actually wake up for another seven or more hours?

If this is you, then gosh, you’re in luck! Take the following steps and you’ll be rested, chipper, and on your way home in no-time-flat.

Begin by rolling over and over again in bed for approximately 10 minutes in order to truly convince yourself that you are in fact wide awake. Next why not get dressed and stroll around the hotel lobby, restaurant, and bar looking for day-old newspapers or surly drunk businessmen who may be in the same stranded position as you are. If you find the latter, try (although not very hard) to strike up a late night conversation for both of your entertainment.

From here it’s recommended you return to your room and watch TV anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours. Don’t worry, it will be approximately 4:00am by now so there is plenty of time to waste yet! CNN International, BBC, random German channels, and MTV are all highly recommended here.

Given the chance, fire up your Blackberry’s Gmail chat function and carry on various conversations with people throughout the world. Recommended topics of conversations include:

- training advice or a recap of the week’s team activities with your coach

- startlingly ignorant peoples’ take on global warming

- delicious drinks new to you, such as the Moscow Mule

- yule logs (the holiday dessert, not the “holiday crackler” as suggested by a recent NYTimes crossword clue)

- your mother’s upcoming sixtieth birthday celebration (!)

- medical school exams

- plans for upcoming holidays

- orange (burnt orange, that is) pants

- Monday Night Football. This works especially well if it is fact Monday night in the time zone of the person(s) with whom you’re speaking.

By now your television, which is there mostly for background noise anyway, has mysteriously lost its connection so it’s exclusively spewing fuzzy “snow” and static-like noises. Furthermore after juggling these conversations with as many as a half dozen people at a time, it is likely nearly 5:00am, and despite still being wide (and I still mean WIDE) awake, feel free to take another crack at sleep.

Shut off the television, bid adieu to your chat buddies, roll around in bed a bit more, and get some sleep.

G’night!

Oh, and if you wake up just two hours later and still can’t sleep, be sure to write a How-To guide on your Blackberry. A successful entry will be rife with sarcasm but still remain 100 percent truthful information. Additionally, the finger dexterity required for this task is a fun test of your mental acuity based on how the previous ten hours have unfolded!
Sent from my phone

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