What is the grind?

It is this:

For most people, it’s the wake up, the morning coffee, the eyes awake, anxieties of performance rushes back into focus. It’s the email and the text messages from colleagues. It’s the irritation at the colleagues and the mild appreciation for the intern who covered you for four hours yesterday. It’s the rush to work, the mindless commute of parking the car, going up the escalator, then the sitting at the desk and typing in facebook.com

But then what is business travel? It’s a grind too. There’s glamour yes, the kind where you get to arrive in style in a taxi or even better, a black towncar. You whisk into the swanky lounge filled with designed furniture that makes you feel like you’re in a land of mirrors and DWR. And you walk into your room, so clean, so posh. Good night’s sleep yes, but it’s not like at home where other things distract you and comfort you at the same time. Maybe you log on paying $12 per day for wireless Internet, but the rush of the emails and the work pile in. You worry that you said something wrong in the email in the client, but you were terse and concise. But there’s a bad feeling and you wonder endlessly. You take that to bed. A throbbing thought in a black netted mess circling above the King bed draped in white, not yours really. You are fearful of rooms that you’re not familiar with so you leave a light on near the minibar overfilled with $7 snacks, $5, and $20 liquor bottles that you will never open.

This is the grind. You can’t appreciate the hotel the same way you would on vacation where you would arrive with your partner with gleeful smiles, carefully thinking of the days because they are endless.

Instead, this grind at the hotel is nearly suffocating. You haven’t been to this city. And from your 4th floor room, you hear the roar of a distant freeway, the pulsing lights of a distant nightlife, but you’re trapped here in front of a desk next to your beckoning bed. What a grind it is, you think, and you hope by closing your eyes, you can drift into a dreamworld.

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