First business trip!

“I mustn't forget my passport, remember to wear a belt and drink lots of coffee!” At least, that’s what I told myself the night before my first ever business trip.

It had been a few weeks since I had known I was tagging along for a professional fly-out and buzzing was definitely an understatement. Buzzing soon became nerves though. What if I oversleep? What if I've forgotten something immensely important? What if the client is actually a big, scary fire-breathing dragon? What if I crumble under the pressure?

I had little time to ponder and, in hindsight, shouldn’t have bothered to worry in the first place. There was no scary corporate dragon at the end of the tunnel and I was about to embark on a journey I would not soon forget.

“Malcolm! Wake up!” my mum - the post-meltdown reliable alarm clock of choice - shouted. Peering outside, into the blackened street, I realised I’d never even contemplated waking up before the sun had sprung. I’m glad I did: Sunrise turns out to be a beautiful thing.

The journey itself was a weird one. This early surely no one could possibly be up and awake? Much to my bewilderment, cars littered the roads and there were people active pre-sunshine.

When we reached City Airport, which, for the record, I had never ever even seen before, there were neither massive queues nor manic individuals rushing around to catch flights as per proper airport etiquette. The crowds consisted of businessmen, well tuned with the prospect of “glocal” meetings - “seasoned airport professionals” I like to call them.

As clichéd as it sounds, that’s when it actually hit me: This was a completely different world to the one I was accustomed to and being part of it was nothing short of amazing.

It’s hard to describe but the day felt like it lasted forever while at the same time whizzing by quicker than my brain could even comprehend. The plane journey felt as short as a commute to school.

The meeting itself was nowhere near as nerve racking as I had pumped it up to be. It honestly just felt surreal to be a part of it. The professionalism, the punctuality, the procedure all seemed completely alien to my usual “go with the flow” mentality. I learned that a great deal comes out of being efficient with your time and that perhaps there was some sense in this suited attire.

The lasting impression I was left with was this feeling of being a part of something, a connection to this wide global community of people. It was great to join a circle of professionalists who had earned their stripes and were now lucky enough to be meeting different people from all over the world on a regular basis, contributing to the mesh of different cultures making up the fabric of big businesses. The whole thing was pretty cool to say the least.


Malcolm Harriott, guest contributor, Young Brave