Yet Another Day at the Office


It's another early Sunday morning at San Francisco International Airport.


I buy a cup of half caf, half decaf and a bagel at the usual counter, out near the end of the B Concourse. Not many people make it all the way out here, so the coffee line is shorter than at Starbucks.


I usually grab a seat across the moving walkway from gate 87A, because I like to watch the looks on people's faces when the agent announces, "Ladies and gentlemen, remember, this is not a gateway to your aircraft. Gate 87A will bring your to a shuttle bus which will deliver you to your aircraft." Then the crowd looks confused, as if wondering, "Why are we at SFO? To catch a bus?"


I enjoy looking out the big windows next to 87A, up at the scrubby hills with the water tower. That's Sweeney Ridge, and I often hiked up there when I had more free time. The ridge usually looks great in the early morning. And right on time, I finish my coffee as they announce my flight, at Gate 90 on the very end of the concourse. Suddenly I realized I was spending way too much time around airplanes.


I once worked for a really cheap and manipulative non-profit company which told me that business travel is a perk, and I was lucky I got to do it. That was a lie. Business travel is work.

Even so, I need to remember not to take it for granted, either. It's a blessing to be able to see the earth from above.


I like being able to see the plane I'll be on, and I like seeing professionals working on it.

If the pilot gets back on board after his inspection, I'll get on, too.


I don't enjoy flying.

It's so boring, sitting for hours inside a machine.


Flights into and out of Las Vegas are always packed.


Finally it's time for the ritual Closing of the Bins. Now we're getting somewhere!


Out on the taxiway, we get in line for a runway. The Captain cheerfully announces how many planes are ahead of us. I can see how many are waiting behind us.


The plane ahead of us rolls.

I've been on this plane three-quarters of an hour. I'm about 400 yards closer to Las Vegas.

In another minute or two, that's going to change, in a big way.









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