This month marks my 13th year with The Company. Thirteen years. 1.33 decades. I find the idea of still being here after all that time somewhere between surprising and terrifying.
During that time I’ve seen the country grow to 14,000 employees in 195 different countries, although I’ve remained based in same office. And after having started to outgrow that office in recent years, and failing to find a decent alternative nearby, it was eventually decided to just build a new one. Next door. Well, they did tell me they’d be travel in this job.
We’ve now moved in to the new place, and having to walk by the old one each day I can’t help but reflect on some of the things that have happened during those 13 years:
- A period doing night shifts that mainly involved me sleeping under the desk. At 3 o’clock every morning I’d get woken up by a chap phoning from Yerevan, and every time the phone went I’d whack my head on the underside of the desk. I feel this explains quite a lot.
- Being ‘kidnapped’ by a customer in the Middle East who refused to give me my plane ticket home until I sorted out all the mess.
- Working at an unnamed airport in Kazakhstan, where the main method of communication between the ground crew and the flight deck involved screwing the official documents into a ball and lobbing them out the ops office window.
- The former Soviet state where women at the airport kept wanting to have their photo taken with me because apparently I looked like a Russian soap opera star. And not a good looking one, by all accounts.
- A month working at Baltimore airport, where it seems half the population are terrified of flying and insist on travelling with their emotional support dog/hamster/aardvark/ferret.
I am of course unable to put the really good stories out there…