Why Business Related Travel Is Like Chess

Sitting in the airport, on my way home to Atlanta, from an interpreting gig, I started thinking about how business-related travel is kind of like chess. Now you should know that, I’m not a big chess player: my metaphor here is mainly just about “thinking a few steps ahead.”

When I had arrived to Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson, on my way to Orlando, I marched straight to the self-check out kiosks, punched in my confirmation number, only to get a bright red screen that screamed: “NO SEATS! Go to counter for assistance.” I was confused. “How could there be no seats? I paid for a ticket on this flight.” I told the lady at the counter. The lady stated very simply that the flight was overbooked. To avoid this situation she advised that I check-in online next time. None of this made sense to me, by definition “check-in” is the process of announcing your arrival at a hotel or airport, so how could it be online? Nonetheless, I made a mental note to always “check-in” online before I actually “check-in.” Plan ahead!

Even though I was only leaving for one day/one night I found myself packing an extra work outfit: I had two pants, two tops and two cardigans. When my husband asked me why I needed all of that, I looked at him and simply said: “what if one of them gets stained or a gets a hole in it?” He giggled. But in the end, I was glad to have an extra cardigan because the one I wanted to wear did have small tear in the arm, barely noticeable, but I knew it was there, so I would have been uncomfortable. I quickly swapped it out and was a happy camper. Plan ahead!

When we arrived to the conference room where the interpreting would take place, we only had one head-set! My partner thankfully had her own head-set that she carries around. What a great idea. She planned ahead!

The more you plan ahead, and anticipate what can go wrong, the more chances you have of avoiding stressful situations.

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