This year the travel schedule is slow to get rolling, but spring is here and I have an assignment within driving distance of the office (about 3 hours). Because this assignment is fairly close, I do not have to get up early, I feel like I won a prize! Hold on to that feeling I tell my past self, things are about to get crazy.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I like to recon my work locations on my travel day. I get in my car early afternoon and start down the road; I have plenty of time for a recon before checking into the hotel. When I am about 15 minutes from the training location my phone starts to blow up with texts, “what is going on? I guess I better stop at the closest gas station and check in” I think.
The boss writes “customer has pushed back event, if you have not started travel stay home and wait for updates.”
Uh oh, I am almost there, what do I do? So, I text back “hey boss, I am 15 min from location, do you want me to turn around and come back to office?”
Boss says “not sure when the class is going to happen, don’t want you driving up and down the freeway needlessly. Stay in place until further notice. Will have more info soon.”
Like a crazy person, I am now sitting in a gas station parking lot wondering what to do now. Ever wonder why people just sit in the car in a parking lot; they don’t go in to the business and they don’t drive away. They just sit there. Well now I have a good reason to imagine why people do this.
Finally, the boss sends out another blast “trip canceled, class might be Friday, everyone who can go back home. Work from home tomorrow and wait for additional guidance.” Lucky me I am only a few hours away. I feel bad for my coworkers who had to fly to their training location; they are stuck in limbo.
Telling us to go home is all well and good, but what about the travel plans we made? In my case, I booked a hotel that has a 24-hour cancelation policy. I am going to have to pay for the room even though I am going home. My coworker rented a car and had a hotel room. These costs will also have to be accounted for.
The tricky part is related to the people who had flights. Now the company has to decide if the cost of bringing the employee home is worth it, or do they let the person sit in a hotel for a couple days hopping the class is not delayed again.
Being a budget minded person, the first thing that came to mind when the trip was changed last minute was all the costs associated with interrupted business travel. Canceled hotel rooms, mileage to and from training locations, wasted man hours and productivity, and the cost of keeping people in place until a final decision is made. What a crazy thing to happen. At least I did not have to pay for parking at the office 😊