My life-planning seems to have crunched a gear. Having spent all weekend working in the office (albeit enlivened by a great evening at the Bolshoi Sunday), the rest of the week is now looking pretty horrendous.
I am about to leave for the airport to Paris (two meetings on arrival, from about 6pm local time, interviewing people for jobs here in Moscow as it happens). Then, on Wednesday, an early morning, lengthy and important meeting before flying from Orly – a much easier airport than CdG – to London City airport, for a crucial (and likely to be very lengthy) meeting there.
My working day will begin about 08.00 Paris and end about 20.00 London (or 23.00, my body will think, as I will be running on Moscow time). NB: yes, I would have preferred to Eurostar – anything to avoid flying – but central Paris, to the City of London, is definitely quicker (in the middle of the day when Eurostar-ers clearly like a long lunch) to fly Air France to City airport. That’s City airport: go to Heathrow and your scheduling will be screwed (and you might have well as crossed the channel by steam ship).
Thursday and I am on the 08.00 BA flight to Kyiv; hopefully landing in time to go give a speech at a conference (I would have cut this, but apparently we’re sponsoring and I can’t get out of it). After the sponsors’ reception, I will head straight to Kyiv station for the overnight train to Moscow. With a fair wind we will have cleared first the Ukrainian and then the Russian border posts by about 01.00 Moscow time and then I can then sleep before the 05.30 wake up and arrival into Moscow shortly thereafter, early on Friday morning. And a full day of meetings.
When I started in my career, and decided I wanted it to be as international as could be, business trips tended to be ‘fly out the night before, dinner (sampling local culture), meeting, local networking lunch, afternoon flight home’. Now it’s five countries in four days and subsisting on airport food. Moreover, in the days before email – I am that old – business trips were rather decorous uninterrupted, thought-provoking affairs. These days, one has still to carve out 6-8 hours a day processing email traffic. It is what you do now, in airport lounges, on planes and, yes, even in the backs of taxis and before grabbing a few hours’ sleep. This is progress apparently.