March 16, Haneda airport, Tokyo

Monday – This promises to be another long and difficult week. I’ve been billing around 13 hours per day and still giving away a couple. Just early and late calls due to time differences with EMEA & The Americas and longs days here in Tokyo. Plus another 6 or 8 on the weekend to try to keep the surface in sight.

Good for the bank account; bad for the soul.

But no complaints about work. I have always responded well to feeling needed or even acknowledged; sometimes to my detriment I suspect but it is the price for having a low estimate of my worth. I’m sure there is some further analysis there, but I am too tired to think about it.

Just got back to the hotel and it’s 6:30pm. Had my first call at 5:00am. Just having a quick bite of dinner and glass of wine and then a call from 8:00 – 9:00 and another from 9:00 – 10:00. Then straight to bed for rest before a 6:00am call with Australia in the morning.

Big meeting on Friday we are driving to, so all eyes on that at the moment. This week is prep and anticipating questions and answers. Meeting will be done by 10:00am and I leave for the airport soon after. I am on the plane regardless of the meeting outcome and I am sure they will be well stocked with Vodka.

I’ve decided to quit reading newspapers for awhile. So today (Wednesday, is day 4). I have as long as I can remember been a vociferous consumer of news from NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and some other distributors. So now I find an hour or so of my day is available and to fill the gap I have turned to ‘long reads’. These tend to be human interest, science, social science, sports or whatever articles that do a bit of a deep dive. It’s nice. Far more educational and I am now convinced that news is recycled rhetoric—at least for the moment. When I am this busy, I normally only read at dinner and just before bed. Interestingly, I am still untangling myself from automated alerts on my devices (2 laptops, mobile phone and iPad). And of course walking through the lobby of a hotel or sitting in a bar we get glimpses—so I did become aware that Rex Tillerson has resigned, but that’s not really news except in the moment in time. It was obviously inevitable—just a question of when.

Wednesday. At dinner now. These weeks have been hard. Very hard. Still going from 5am or so until 10pm every day. In my last meeting at the office today I nearly feel asleep. It was a data meeting for ANZ and Japan and ended at 6:00 and by the end I was really struggling. I came back to the hotel and am now at dinner (in the restaurant—time is so precious that I don’t even leave) and have 56 minutes to eat and get back up to my room for an 8:00 call. I am going to get dessert from the excellent pastry shop in the hotel but I also need to get downstairs to get a half-bottle of red wine at the take away store. God forbid I have dessert without red wine. If I didn’t have the 8:00 call, and if I didn’t have a 6:00am call tomorrow morning, I would head down to the main bar and have a cigar and a whiskey. Alas, I am a slave to my job at the moment.

Thursday now – down to my last 24 hours on this trip. We had a pre-read for the big meeting tomorrow which went well, so my work here is nearly done. Just a few changes.

It’s depressing to still get a little thrill from performing well in the soul-sucking corporate life. What’s wrong with me.

I am pretty much perpetually planning to quit my job and go on some grand adventure and sometimes I follow through. My latest planning adventure is to work my ass off for the next 15 months and put away a few bucks and in May or June of next summer, walk the Appalachian Trail SouthBound route. Will see if that plan gets legs or not, so to speak.

At the airport. Gate review went well. I shared a taxi to the airport with a colleague after the meeting and she snapped a picture of me in the cab—fast asleep.

Humbly submitted.

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