Business Travel

by Grace aka costofcollege

What are the benefits of business travel?

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A lifetime supply of hotel shampoo may be one benefit, but what else?  Chances to travel to places you would otherwise never go?  (That could mean Paris or Peoria.)  A break in the office routine?  (Too many breaks can be stressful.)  The ability to build up mileage and the associated perks?  (Even deluxe airport lounges can’t make up for too much time away from family.)

My perfect travel schedule would probably be one trip about every other month, planned well in advance, to destinations that have attractions above and beyond mundane office parks.

Do you like business travel, or hate it?  Do you travel much in your present job?  What would be your ideal work travel pattern?  Tell us your best and worst travel stories.

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148 thoughts on “Business Travel

  1. I travel for a week at a time to a remote location about 4-8 times per year. This is outside my regular work responsibilities and fully voluntary. I like working in an interesting place that I could not (or would not) want to live in. I also like the population I work with, and it feels like I actually ‘help’ people – which is surprisingly unusual in my line of work. I am good at my job, and that is also somewhat unique in the remote location (as opposed to my usual urban practice). There is a lot of satisfaction that comes with my travel, plus a decent hourly wage (though not higher than I make at home).

    The household disruption varies – sometimes it seems like it is a big deal, sometimes less so. It really affects DH if we have a kid going through a rough sleeping period — I usually handle the night wake ups at home, and he usually does the early mornings. It’s rough on him to do both (and it is for me as well, though he travels less frequently). It feels like an indulgence to work 12 on, 12 off with really no other responsibilities.

    Other than the frequent flier miles, there is nothing else business travel like about it – I eat canned food that I bring in my luggage, and sleep in shared housing. I have serious business travel fantasies (involving fancy meals at restaurants) but it looks like that’s not in the cards for me.

  2. I don’t travel very much for work, and that’s the way I like it. When I went to a conference in Palm Beach, DW and I took a long weekend in advance at stayed at the Four Seasons and toured all over that part of Florida. On Monday afternoon, I dropped her off at the airport and checked into the crappy 3.5-star hotel overlooking West Palm Beach airport, looked around the depressing, empty room that was going to be my home for the next three nights and said “this sucks.” Then I met some people in the lobby and went to the Cheesecake Factory in that outdoor shopping mall area. I got stuck for a night in Atlanta on the way back and had to scramble for an even worse hotel.

    More recently, when I had to go to Charlotte, I elected to drive. That was kind of nice, actually. And a coworker had his return flight cancelled, so driving worked out well for me.

  3. I’m not a big fan of business travel, but my travel is not typically to exotic locales. Here are some of things I don’t like about it:
    – I have a lot to accomplish and a lot of people to meet with while I”m there, so spend long hours in a conference room that could be in any city in the world and look just the same. I get very little time to see anything local unless I take vacation days at the end.
    – I spend all day with people, and after about two days of that it starts to wear on me. I need more quiet time
    – I am frequently still responsible for my “day job” in addition to whatever the purpose of my trip is
    – In our personal lives, bad things only happen when one of us is traveling. Every “my entire department was laid off except me” has happened while one of us was traveling, deaths of BIL, suicide of a cousin, cancer diagnosis for a parent, etc. These are things having a spouse at home couldn’t fix, but things you just want to have your spouse around for while you’re going through it.
    – It was always hard on my kids, who at younger ages required support with homework, and just general life stress
    – Air travel is just so much less enjoyable than it once was.

    Things I have enjoyed about business travel is that I seem to have a good friend from my sorority days (to tie in Risley’s question) in almost every city I’ve had to go to, so I can reconnect over breakfast or dinner with old friends. For one training week, one of my best friends was working in the same city that week, so we were able to have dinner and visit every night, because I had no other work to do and no colleagues to connect with. I got to eat nice meals and read books in the evening. It was a very nice break from the demands of small kids. For actual work, I get to meet interesting people that I typically only speak to on the phone.

  4. Milo & MBT,

    I think what I do is easier on a per trip basis because I go to the same place for months or even years at a time. So, I know that if you take the 6:15 via Terminal A the TSA line is out the door. But, if you take the 6:40 and use the Terminal B, there is no TSA line and there is a “secret” backway to Terminal A. The crappy Marriott that the client prefers is $212/night but they are more than happy if you stay at the brand new Westin that’s $189 but an extra 5 min. drive away.

    And obviously, if you travel every week you get upgraded to first class, the nicest rooms, the nicest rental cars, etc.

  5. I used to travel much more frequently, but now, it’s mostly about 2-3 times a year. That’s fine with me, because it’s now usually more of a hassle than a pleasure.

  6. Rhett, I agree – I think your experience is very different from mine. I think doing anything with frequency just makes you better at it, and it’s probably less stressful. I travel infrequently enough that I get no perks, know no shortcuts, and I no longer go back to the same place repeatedly, so every bit of it involves trying to figure out where I’m going in a strange city, frequently in the middle of the night when I miss connections because budget restraints don’t allow a direct flight. Before I got older and more curmudgeonly, I liked new places. Now I’m more of a homebody. I can see how travel would be more enjoyable in your shoes, and I think I’ve mentioned to you that my son thinks a job with your level of travel is something he would be interested in.

  7. Over the years, my business travel has spanned from out-Monday-morning-back-Thursday-night for months on end, to weekly on the corporate jet for 2days/1night, to what I view as ideal: once a month for 3days/2nights, planned in advance and to different places pretty much every month, to zero (now). I am fine with zero, but would like to get back to the 1x/mo.

    Even under my ideal, I always felt being out of the office added work to my schedule, mostly because requests that came in during my trip needed responses when I got back making the day or 2 after the trips more less organized than I wanted. Since that was many years ago, I suppose the tech advances and my comfort with same have both improved immensely, so maybe that issue would largely go away because I’d be able to get stuff done from the hotel rather than waiting to get back in the office.

    Since 9/11 my impression is that travel, business or otherwise, just isn’t as nice as it once was, especially air travel, for ‘regular folks’, not talking about the Mileage Plus 1Ks or USAir Chairman’s Preferred. So I agree with Milo, sometimes driving is best.

  8. I never travel for work except driving trips (very occasional) to meet clients and an every-other-year meeting in NYC. It is great. I like being able to go home at night.

  9. DW has been traveling more in the past year or so; often to the same place which is driveable, that being preferred, when the weather is good, but ~6 non-stops/day are offered if she wants to fly. She generally views it as a hassle, mostly because, IMHO, she likes being able to control what’s going on at home, that fewer than all of the things that normally get done when she’s home actually get done, that she worries what I or kid + I will eat (that it won’t be nutritious enough) while she’s gone. Yeah, I’ll agree not quite everything gets done, and when it does, it just might not be to her exacting standard, and yeah, we may not eat as nutritionally balanced a diet as when she’s home. But hey, we’ve survived ok so far.

    (Actually, she just got home from being away for a week, and there were no calamities in her absence. Laundry, homework, bathing, eating, getting enough sleep, school attendance, etc etc all got done and it was a lot mellower around the house than when everyone is home.)

  10. I like getting to go to new places and earning frequent flyer miles. But I don’t like the combining of business and social with strangers- especially as a younger female I feel uncomfortable with the dynamic sometimes with older men. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if they’re interested in a business relationship or something else. I also feel paranoid at the airport on the way home that my flight will be cancelled and I’ll have to sleep on the floor, catch the first flight out in the morning, and then go straight to work.

  11. Oh yes, driving on business trips is the best! No one expects you to be doing work during that time, so you can listen to podcasts and books on tape. Sometimes I’m given the choice between driving and flying and I always pick driving.

  12. “Before I got older and more curmudgeonly, I liked new places. Now I’m more of a homebody.”

    +1

  13. Rio, I had similar feelings as a young woman traveling for business, especially at large conferences. You can almost always get a hotel room if your flight is canceled and you have to wait overnight and you may have a corporate travel number that will help you if everything is full. One of my challenges as a SAHP was/is that I want Mr WCE to step into normal mode when he gets home, and he’s jetlagged after a trip to Europe or Israel. I’ve had to learn to give him a week to recover when I still plan to do everything except for the stuff that it’s important to the kids that he do. Unless the trip was really crazy, Mr WCE liked occasional business travel when the twins were babies/toddlers because he got a break.

    Fred’s house sounds like my house, in terms of his wife having higher standards than he does for nutrition.

  14. I also feel paranoid at the airport on the way home that my flight will be cancelled and I’ll have to sleep on the floor, catch the first flight out in the morning, and then go straight to work.

    Why wouldn’t you just stay in a hotel for the night and get rebooked on a flight at a reasonable hour?

  15. Business travel changed my life. It was a huge positive for the first 20 years, and then it started to interfere with the life I wanted to live. It is the main reason that I didn’t feel I could continue to work full time. My frequent overseas trips combined with DH travel was the tipping point.

    I LOVED travel when I was right out of college. It opened my eyes to states and countries that I never would have had a chance to visit. I actually remember coming home from my first conference at the Biltmore in Phoenix, and knowing that I wanted to earn enough money to stay in places like the Biltmore.

    I know that my experience was different because I was single so I didn’t mind the frequent trips. I generally stayed in large cities so the hotels and restaurants were great. If I had to travel for several weeks, I just used the weekends to explore new places. I didn’t even mind the breaks it gave me frm home with a young child. It was just the combination of two people with a frequent need to travel across country, and to Europe that just didn’t work for our family.

  16. “Why wouldn’t you just stay in a hotel for the night and get rebooked on a flight at a reasonable hour?”

    If the flight is scheduled for 9, gets delayed several hours before finally getting cancelled, and the return flight leaves at 6 then the hassle of trying to get a hotel doesn’t seem worth it.

  17. This is very timely as I have a conference starting tomorrow. It’s too close for my company to approve an overnight stay… which sucks. This conference is on the other side of the bay – not a far distance, but I’ll have an hour (ish) commute each way from my house. So, if I have to be there from 7a-8p, my full day is really 6a-9p. The travel is included in my work day, so that’s a nice perk, but it’s still a long day. If I had a boat, it would take me about half the time to travel there…

    This will be my first travel since Baby Rhode. DH is on kid duty 24/7 starting after midnight tonight (there’s just no way I can sustain the conference schedule and handle overnights). I have a feeling, when I come home Sunday, we’ll all be sleeping on the couch all day long.

    This summer, DH will travel for work, then I have 2-3 conferences in the fall… two of them pretty much back to back.

    I like my frequent flier miles… and I like taking a day or two around conferences to see some of the sites. I like catching up with friends and colleagues. I dislike having to be “on” the entire conference all day long.

  18. and the return flight leaves at 6 then the hassle of trying to get a hotel doesn’t seem worth it.

    Rebook for the 11:45am and sleep in, get breakfast, etc.

  19. I think what I do is easier on a per trip basis because I go to the same place for months or even years at a time.

    Yeah, I could see that. For the traveling that my Mom was doing when I was in high school and college, she says there were so many mornings she would wake in a hotel and not have the slightest idea what city she was in. (Someone could make a joke about this, I’m sure, but you get the idea.) For the most part, she liked it, though.

  20. I travel maybe once a year mainly to get together with colleagues from other locations. It is usually two days planned in advance and it usually involves some fun activities at the destination. A field trip of sorts. It gives me a break from being parent in charge.
    DH’s business travel schedule is heavy and he is Rhett like in his frequent flier travel habits. On personal trips, he senses if a flight is going to be cancelled and in no time he has rebooked us on the next flight.

  21. My travel is usually day trips to neighbor islands, and depending on what’s going on, it can be a full and draining day with no time to look around from one end to the other, or it can be one where I do what I came to do and then have an hour or two free to something fun before heading to the airport. Sadly, the former is a lot more typical than the latter.

  22. I have been very fortunate in my business travel – my company has operations in some amazing places, we fly bus class overseas and they don’t scrimp on hotels, ever, in any location. They also don’t scrimp (is that a word?) on safety – armed drivers in hard cars where needed, a list of approved (safe) hotels, etc. I really like the people I work with, so trips with them are a delight.

    The days of company planes are over in my industry but I caught a ride in ours while I had the chance and that was very cool. I’ve been so lucky to travel to some really interesting places. Travel has slowed for me for work, and I’m fine with that. It has picked up for book stuff, and I have very much enjoyed that.

    DH has traveled a lot in various jobs. He’s currently in California in fact and goes there about a week/month. Also NYC and sometimes Nashville. He loves this and I’m happy for him to get to go. He constantly gets upgraded and I dont (though this may change for me this year, thanks to the Penguins) so he is always declining the upgrades to sit with me. Such a nice guy. His miles have gotten us to some great locations for vacation and some lovely hotels.

    He might have the odd complaint because he has traveled so much more than I but I think we both feel that we had the best of company travel and have been very lucky.

  23. I have zero travel now, purposely targeting a career/firm move to get to this point when DD was 1 year old. Worked out perfectly for my current family situation. Right out of college traveled 50% of the time, 2 to 4 week trips to the same place with weekends at home mostly. Driving distance about half the time and long flights (DC or HI, occasionally Southern CA). I loved it. Worked with a bunch of similarly aged “kids” and a group of fun “old-timers” some of which were fantastic mentors. I had that job for 6 years and by about half-way in knew the in’s and out’s of most locations so the hassle was minimal. It was also before 9/11. Definitely took time to sight see on weekends in DC and HI. It was a government job so we got travel time as well – I miss it sometimes. Next job had more spur of the moment to anywhere in the US travel – I think I have written about the time I flew round trip from San Jose to Boston twice in one week – and was always on site during business hours – so flying evenings and at night. That sucked. I had a few trips to NY during that job and barely got to see anything, although we did stay at the Waldorf and the client was NBC so I got to see 30 Rock. Would never go back to that.

  24. Hah: from the Department of Coincidences, I am writing this from my hotel lobby in Austin, waiting for my room to be ready. :-)

    I generally find business travel to be a hassle. The biggest part is just missing family life. Right now, both of us are very very busy, so we are getting back as quickly as humanly possible, meaning no time to enjoy ourselves — I feel guilty being here for several days right now, just because DH is so so busy and is working every evening, and tonight and tomorrow DD has stuff in the evening, and it’s all just going to be a big burden on him.

    And then the other big thing is that pure travel time is not billable, so it’s easy to spend 13 or 14 hrs on “work-required” stuff to bill 8 (my worst trip was a flight down to TX + 2.5 hr drive to a site to do interviews, returning the next AM — 2 days out of my life, 5 billable hours). I mean, if I’m going to be sitting and reading and not getting billable credit, I want to do it from my big comfy chair, dammit, not at 30,000 feet. This morning, I got the joy of trying to draft a brain-twister brief on the tray table, with the guy in front’s head in my lap. Now I am killing (nonbillable) time in the lobby before my conference call starts. Friday I get to get up way before the crack of dawn for a 5:30 AM return, because I am too. damn. busy. right now to waste 9-3 traveling back on the reasonable departure. Don’t even have enough time this trip to catch up with any old friends, which is a bummer. And it’s really hard to stick to a decent diet and exercise regime when I’m out of my routine.

    Also, most of the places I go are, to use a technical term, shitholes.

    On the plus side, sometimes I get to go places like Austin, where I have friends and good memories and awesome food (just finished my Salt Lick and Amy’s lunch, thanks very much). And I love-love-love getting the rewards points — I “paid” for our Thanksgiving weekend in NYC with Marriott points, and I just sent the kids to Fla. with my mom with Southwest points. And getting the Global Traveler thing has taken away a LOT of my travel stress — I can leave later and not have to worry about security lines, I don’t have to remember where my toiletries are or wrestle the computer and shoes on and off the belt, etc. Now if I could only get my A-List status back everything would be gravy — I’d be the guy IN that exit row seat instead of the guy sitting behind him staring at his head in my lap. :-)

    Finally, on those rare occasions when I am stuck at a “real” hotel, there is no bigger treat than holing up in my room and ordering room service, knowing that I am not the one paying for it. :-)

  25. I travel once a year for two days and DH travels once or twice for work and two or three times for a volunteer board he’s on. Unfortunately both work and volunteer board are back to back starting on Friday so he’s gone Friday/Saturday, back Sunday, and then gone Monday morning through Wednesday night. I am dreading the whole get three kids off to school/daycare in the morning part, but other than that it won’t be that different than usual (DH doesn’t get home until 6:30/7:00 anyway most nights).

  26. Timely post, since I’ve been traveling more than I like recently :)

    My travel consists of day trips to a nearby city. Once per month is the usual frequency, but lately it’s been weekly. It makes for a long day – usually up at 4 am to make a 7am flight, back on the 6pm shuttle and home around 7:30. I am generally the parent in charge, and doing same-day travel means I still end up with dinner cleanup/bedtime routine, which is exhausting when yo’ve been up since 4 am. When I was doing this monthly, it was OK, but weekly is wearing me out . . .

  27. MBT – although it also means that since no other passengers are there to overhear, you end up working the entire flight on a company plane. It’s like an in-air conference, at least it was with my CEO and GC.

  28. No travel for me since I am self-employed, but I keep trying to convince DH that we need to take a trip to the Homestead and write it off as a business expense. No luck so far.

  29. Especially on Friday afternoons, this is (a) back in the day and (b) before 9/11, the company plane was well stocked with beer and liquor so after an easy 1hr flight home I was (we all were, actually)already well into happy hour. There was no business talk on that particular flight.
    Monday mornings, everyone pretty much kept to themselves…too damn early for real business chat at 7am the day after a weekend.
    All the other flights were as Ris describes.

  30. My trips are far from glamorous. Talk about fly over country, I more often will drive 4 hours for a 2 hour meeting and drive 4 hours back in the same day. If I’m alone I don’t necessarily mind the solitude. I hate doing the drives with another person. I can’t belt out the 90s on 9 songs. And like others have mentioned, when I get back the amount of work I have to do has just piled higher and higher.

  31. Love business travel now as I don’t do it that frequently and usually go to nice places. I love hotel rooms, room service, painting my toes and having sole control of the remote. Much harder when the kids were babies. I used to prepare exhaustive instructions for DH but there were sometimes miscommunications like the time he thought 1T was 1 teaspoon when he was mixing cereal with formula. He couldn’t underststand why the baby wanted 3 helpings!

  32. Lemon – I’ve also had some trips via car (to OH and IN) and I agree that those drives alone are quite nice. I usually get a book on cd for those or hope my drive aligns w/ This American Life or some other NPR show.

  33. When we were kids and had moved to mid-America, all our trips home to Philly were on the company jet. That was my only experience was flying for the first 4-5 years. I was pretty crushed by commercial travel when we had to start traveling that way. I never go on the corporate jet in my current job, but did for a prior employer, as did my husband. It was more like Fred described, which makes commercial travel in coach that much more disappointing.

    On miscommunication – on a trip last spring, I had arranged for the car service I use to pick up my son on the days I was gone, which were days I typically picked him up. I made sure my husband knew, but apparently forgot to tell my son, so he didn’t get on the shuttle. Instead, he was texting my husband at work saying “where are you? You’re supposed to pick me up.” So my husband had to leave work and drive the hour + home, because he was on his motorcycle, get the car, then drive the 1/2 hr to my son’s school. Meanwhile, the school was calling me to say someone needs to come pick him up – the office closes at 5. My husband’s cell died, so he wasn’t responding to me. It was all very frustrating to deal with from out of state, and I always obsessively paranoid that my husband will be in an accident on the motorcycle while I”m out ouf town. His not answering was feeding into that paranoia. A self-inflicted wound, but part of the stuff that makes travel a hassle.

  34. In my engineering career, most of my travel was by car and within a 4-hour radius, mostly in VA and some to NC, WV & TN. I have seen some of the smallest towns and biggest mountains, with some of the most beautiful but twistiest drives. Of course, some of the saddest views of dilapidated towns and strip mines are on those roads too. And, like Lemon, I’ve done a lot of “drive 4 hours for a 1- or 2-hour meeting, then drive home” trips – not many nice hotel stays.

    When I worked for Big Government Contractor, I had to go to Northern VA about every 4-6 weeks. I still had to drive, but I got to set my own schedule to avoid the heaviest traffic, stayed in really nice hotels, and spent my evenings dining & shopping at very nice malls. I loved those trips!

    Now, I don’t have a lot of travel – just a few conference-type events so far. And all within the lovely Commonwealth of Virginia so still no planes for me. The good news is that we will have passenger rail service from this area to DC in the next 2 years! The older I get, the more I hate driving because of the resulting exhaustion and body aches. I didn’t really get to enjoy a recent trip to DC because I was so exhausted from the harrowing drive into the city followed by a very long day in a seminar. But I did take advantage of a conference in Richmond to visit my family for Easter, so that’s always nice.

  35. Sheep Farmer,
    Isn’t there some organization you could join that holds its annual conferences at the Homestead or Greenbrier or Martha Washington Inn or Boar’s Head? On second thought, maybe it’s more likely that an agricultural conference would bring you to my neck of the woods, with housing in the dorms during summer break!

  36. Sheep Farmer – If you watch Groupon, the Homestead will often show up on there. They’ll still hit you with a “resort fee” in addition to the discounted rate, so it’s never quite the bargain that they promise, but it’s still a decent savings. Same for the Greenbriar.

  37. Sigh. When I was a puppy, business travel was a delight. I remember back in my first job. Biglaw. I remember my first trip. It was a trip to Dallas for a week, and I packed my Samsonite and some other big thing so I would have clean clothes. My office mate saw me when I came in, and said, “Whoa! What is this? Go home. You cannot check luggage. Any luggage. Any time. Ever. Repack. [Partner] will never waste his time with the baggage. Laundry can be washed, but his time can’t be wasted.”

    My firm also had this “policy”. I had no clue about this and literally got my first American Express card sent to me in a hotel. The youngest kid on the crew had to pay. For everything! No exceptions. Ever. (I guess a partner could not be bothered with an expense account.)

    I’d spend 3 or 4 days of the week on the road. Everything was interesting. Of course, we flew first class, and the food was good, the seats were big, and drinks just flowed and flowed. Twice, I found romance. A TWA McDonnell-Douglas DC 10 (I’m dating myself) was my favorite airplane. I liked it and had my secretary secretly find out when my clients were returning home and schedule me on a different flight. I truly felt like a prince!

    Hotels were great, too. The rooms on the ground floor of the Mansion on Turtle Creek used to have large patios where one could entertain. I was there so much that year that I had very good friends in the city.

    Nowdays forget it! I do not travel for business and will not. There is no reason, ever! anybody needs to see my face. If they do, there’s Skype, but I won’t do that either. (Junior probably needs to see my face, but that’s only when I’m pissed.)

    Traveling now is so difficult. And just imagine the humiliation as a man if you were to fly through Denver and not be groped! Can you imagine being that undesirable?

    (Rhett, I’m sure they practically caress you there!)

  38. I packed my Samsonite and some other big thing so I would have clean clothes. My office mate saw me when I came in, and said, “Whoa! What is this? Go home. You cannot check luggage. Any luggage. Any time. Ever. Repack. [Partner] will never waste his time with the baggage.

    I’m totally picturing Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman flying to Grand Cayman.

  39. Some of you all seem to handle the business travel and child care challenge very well, unlike me back in the day. Both my H (more frequently) and I would often be tapped for travel without much notice, and that was not easy to manage even with a nanny. And whenever I declined a travel assignment it would mark me as a mommy-tracker.

    I never traveled on a company jet, but some of your stories remind me that at one firm the top executives would not travel on the same flight. Is that common?

    Good eye, Rhett.

  40. “at one firm the top executives would not travel on the same flight.”
    At the Large Well-Known Firm I worked for, that was policy. Had to do with business continuity.
    Where I work now, it’s surprising there isn’t a similar policy in place. Recently the top 3 execs all flew to a meeting on the same flight.

  41. Milo, tying that story in to this topic, I read that book while out of town on an audit. It was a town of about 15,000 that housed the state prison, and seemed to have just motels, not hotels. I had to walk past about a dozen itinerant railroad workers drinking their individual cases of beer out on the walkway every night to get to my room. I stayed up til around 2 or 3 reading that book several nights in a row, and went to work exhausted each day. I really liked the book at the time. But driving to a small town and staying in a really crappy hotel with dirty comforters, etc, was typical of my work travel in a couple of jobs.

  42. Milo – I think Grisham has just been telling that story over and over and over again through his career. The Firm is still the best version!

  43. MBT – About 2/3 of the way through your tour on the boat, you go off for a few months to study for your engineer’s exam, and at the end of this program you travel to DC for a series of technical interviews, and based on these, they either pass or fail you. We waited too long to make our travel reservations, so when we finally put the request in, they responded that it was Cherry Blossom time and most hotels were booked. They put us at a Red Roof Inn motel in Oxon Hill. After checking in, we took a cab to the Metro station and went downtown for dinner. When we got back to Oxon Hill and called a cab, the dispatcher said that they won’t send cabs to that station after dark. Somehow we convinced them, or a cab was passing through to drop someone off, or something but we got back to the hotel, where the desk clerk was now positioned behind bulletproof glass.

    I was somewhat dreading the interviews the next day, so it was even worse when I was awoken around 2 am and 4 am by the sound of police radios right outside my door. The interviews went OK, but waiting for the results was probably the longest and most stressful day of my life. When we got out of there (successfully), I called my Dad and told him that I was not going to stay another night in Oxon Hill. So he picked me up, we went out to dinner, and I slept in my old bedroom that night and went home the next day.

  44. My first business trip was a flight to LA, and they put me in smoking!!!! The non smoking section was sold out. PTM…i know you miss those days, but I was thrilled when smoking on planes was banned.

    I do miss empty flights. I once flew with a work colleague on a flight to LAX in early December. It was a large plane since it was a cross country flight and i think there were ten of us in all of coach.

  45. “My travel is usually day trips to neighbor islands”

    I’ve had those too, although none in the last few years.

    ” I do what I came to do and then have an hour or two free to something fun before heading to the airport. ”

    I loved those. I usually scheduled an extra hour or two into my itinerary, just in case work took longer than planned or traffic was bad, so having this time was pretty typical I used it to pick up omiyage or sample some of the local specialties. e.g., Hamura’s pie, Two Ladies Kitchen, Tasaka, Krispy Kreme. ,

  46. Milo, I received a voucher for one night at the Greenbrier for $79 as a reward for volunteering at their golf tournament, a privilege for which I paid $85 (did get a nice Polo shirt, jacket & hat). I recently used the voucher and ended up spending $800 in my 24 hours there! (OK, I did pay for my friend’s massage plus a few extra activities and meals.)

  47. All of the banks that I worked for had policies about traveling with colleagues on commercial and private planes. Waivers were granted for certain situations, but I once flew in a helicopter with all of the management from my team. A client offered to helicopter us to an airport in Australia after we all toured one of their properties.

    It is clear from some of the recent tragic incidents in France and Asia that certain employees from companies are flying together.

  48. I used to travel frequently, and looked forward to the time on the plane and in the airport as opportunities to catch up on reading.

    I also tried to always book a hotel with a fitness center, and was usually able to get in at least an hour of exercise per day, whereas my schedule at home had me often barely able to squeeze in 30 minutes.

    A couple things I found to make the trips much less taxing– carrying a water bottle to prevent dehydration on the plane (post 9/11, that meant an empty water bottle through security, then filling it at a water fountain in the waiting area), and noise cancelling headphones.

    I got a cheapie set of headphones, but those still eliminated quite a bit of the low frequency drone of the engines. Not only did they allow me to hear my music without needing to turn the volume way up, but I also found myself much less tired from the flights. Apparently the noise can be exhausting.

    Any other tips for making these trips more tolerable, or even more enjoyable?

  49. My employers have always encouraged employees, at least at my level, traveling to the same events to travel together, in part to save on costs by sharing rides and/or rental cars.

    I guess that tells me my level of importance to my employers.

  50. “was always on site during business hours – so flying evenings and at night.”

    Did this mean catching red eye flights to the east coast, then going straight to work?

  51. Did this mean catching red eye flights to the east coast, then going straight to work?

    Only if they are paying for first or business – at least in my experience. If you’re in coach you get Friday off.

  52. I experience this a lot. The last conference I went to though, the meeting was in one windowless room, but then for breakfast and lunch we got to be in a room with street-level windows and that made a huge difference in the quality of my day.

  53. ^ By “this” I meant “spend long hours in a conference room that could be in any city in the world and look just the same”

  54. Ahh Rhett – no such luck when you are a peon at a then Big 6 firm. The days of business class for us were long gone. But if you were “lucky” enough and the partner was flying with you – and he was a good guy as mine was, he would OK first class for us as well indicating he need us with him for briefings. We had to use the travel department that had strict rules – only partner verbal sign-off would allow us to fly first w/o using our own miles and I didn’t have enough yet for those trips and later saved them for my own travel.

  55. My DH travels often for work and I travel semi-often. The back-to-back trips are rough. We’ve had times when we’ve had to ask each other “When are you coming back?” “Tuesday” “Ok, then I can’t leave until Wednesday.”

  56. I am heading on a business trip (conference) to Worcester MA, aka Wormtown, on Friday. Ugh. ugh, ugh

  57. My husband had to share a hotel room with a coworker many times. Super awkward since the roommate had a girlfriend in the city they traveled so he would often get “sexiled.” What’s weird is it was a super expensive hotel- I don’t know why they couldn’t just put them up somewhere cheaper and let them each have their own room. I need my personal space and would not handle sharing a bedroom and bathroom with a coworker well at all.

  58. I am very prone to motion sickness. My worst business travel experience so far has been, yup, you can guess.

  59. An yes we would catch the red eye back east and the late afternoon flight back out west the same dam day and go into work at 9am the next morning. I only lasted two years and knew I had to get out for my DD’s sake as well as my sanity. We were the only tech valuation practice in the firm and this was before the dot com crash.

  60. bay area mom,

    Were the clients aware of this? It sounds like in what you were doing forgetting to carry the 1 could resulted in some serious money being lost.

  61. I doubt the client was explicitly aware of it. In this case, we were the auditors so I was double checking the methodology, assumptions and math of another firm’s work. It was a merger of two large public tech companies and time pressures were great due to earnings announcements. The valuation firm had teams in Boston, Denver, Houston and NY for three weeks – we were only needed for “big” meetings, hence the back and forth – these days I am sure I could just sit-in by conference call from my office, but in those days you had to physically be there. I also spent a significant amount of time in Houston and NY in the surrounding weeks while someone else on my team was in Denver and Boston. I will say, in the final push – where we down to really checking their math – we were camped out in their offices in San Francisco – my partner OK’d hotel rooms for us even though we all lived within an hour commute, so we could stay to the wee hours of the morning and get a few more hours of sleep before we started again in around 9am. Also, that double checking happened on a weekend – and we did find several cases of dropping the 1s, adjustments were made and checking resumed.

  62. In this case, we were the auditors

    In that case maybe the client was happy you were a little bleary eyed.

  63. This was back when auditors were more “helpful” to their clients, in cases like this where we were double checking work before SEC filings, they preferred we find everything we could – so the SEC wouldn’t. Also, auditors didn’t come down as hard on the clients as they do now. This was before Sarbanes Oxley and the collapse of Anderson. Yes I am that old.

  64. Rio, I was thinking about your comment/question yesterday about stain remover volume. We have two soccer practices and two games weekly on fields that are muddy with clay dirt and have up to 2-3″ of standing water on parts. In other states I’ve lived in, these fields would be considered “too muddy for play” but here, you’d never play if you had that standard. I have mentioned before my engineering inspector friend who buys $15 jeans at the farm store because she has had to tromp through 6″ or more of mud to do her inspections on construction sites. That’s probably at least part of why I use so much stain remover. Until recently, my kids tended to drag their sleeves through their food moderately often. That’s gotten better since preschool.

  65. At one nonprofit job, we had to share hotel rooms for a team-building sort of conference. The problem? They wanted 3-4 adults per room with 2 queen beds. I was young and flexible and really didn’t care about sharing a room with a co-worker. But sharing a bed? That was a bit too far beyond my comfort zone, no matter the budget.

  66. Heck. I didn’t even share a room (much less a bed) with my wife. My real name is Franklin Pierce.

  67. Okay. I am going to ask this tonight. I may repeat it tomorrow. I am just stumped, and I didn’t know that the teachers and mothers could do this to me anymore.

    Junior has an Earth Day project. I happen to like the earth, but I hate Earth Day. I was around for the first. Think James Taylor and that era.

    Here’s the project:

    Junior (me) has to use water bottles to create something. What?!!! Water bottles are bad enough but my suggestion of taking a trash can full of them into school didn’t meet with a warm reception.

    I need your help, folks. I am good with baskets (not) but horrific with projects.

  68. If my child came home with a water bottle project assignment, we’d find a bottle, cut the top off, then measure volumes of water, label it in inches with a sharpie or possibly tape and call it a rain gauge. (You have to measure the volumes of water because most water bottles don’t have flat bottoms like a graduated cylinder.)

    Depending on your level of craftiness, this may be way too simple or way too complex. I am so not crafty that my children cut pieces of stuff out of the recycling bin to create their school collages.

  69. I was under the impression that Walmart’s travel policy required employees to share a hotel room where practicable. I wouldn’t care for that, but that’s a world apart from sharing a bed. That almost seems penny wise and pound foolish in terms of HR considerations.

  70. My gay female friend who worked at a non-profit once had to share a hotel room with a male co-worker. I guess it was “ok” because she was gay?? I dunno…

  71. PTM, what kind of water bottles do you need to use for Jr’s project? Are you referring to the clear plastic, single use bottles in which you buy bottled water? The other possibility that comes to mind for me is the reusable water bottle, e.g., Hydroflask or Tiger Sahara.

  72. First thing that came to mind – tornado in a water bottle. The Earth Day project is now a science experiment

  73. Rocky– The various rooms were set up for single-sex sharing. So I did have male coworkers, but they had to share rooms with one another. At that age I would have shared a bed w/ a friend on a trip to save money, but random coworkers are a whole different thing! Grocery Bags– I find that really surprising that HR would sign off on that idea anywhere.

    This is reminding me that I had one trip from a law firm where as students we all had to share rooms (not beds). That part was ok. But then we were staying at some trendy hotel where instead of a wall between the bathroom and bedroom, there was frosted glass. My coworker and I liked one another, but neither of us wanted to see the other in the shower… we had to schedule to be out of the room to have shower privacy.

    PTM– I stink at projects like that, but I like WCE’s idea.

  74. PTM – 2 liter plastic bottle filled with water and three eye droppers with rubber bulbs each filled with varying amounts of water. Each dropper will float at the top of the water bottle. Cap the water bottle and squeeze it. As your squeeze strength increases, you will indirectly squeeze the bulbs of the floating droppers and force out some of their water. As you do this, their overall density will increase and they will develop negative buoyancy and sink. If you set it up correctly, this can happen sequentially. You can make it easy or difficult.

    Boys will like it because it’s a demonstration of a fear of strength, and it’s educational as a demonstration of Physics and buoyancy.

  75. RMS, that is a brilliant idea! I absolutely love it. I will rely on LfB to get me out of jail.

    Can somebody send me some marijuana plants? I don’t have two weeks for them to grow. Also, living in Florida, I don’t have a basement, so no growhouse for me.

  76. Substitute some other plant that has a visual resemblance to cannabis. Make a bong to go with it and you will increase the outrage.

  77. Milo, not sure about current status, but that was Walmart’s policy in years past. They extended it to consultants as well, which is why I didn’t accept an offer from Anderson Consulting back in the day. I was just finishing grad school and was newly engaged, and would have had to spend six days a week in Bentonville sharing a hotel room. It was good money at the time, but way outside my comfort zone.

  78. In fact, I still think I’m right. The bulb gets squeezed externally, as that’s where its significant surface area is to feel the pressure. Either way, the bulb gets smaller, but I don’t think it’s because water is flowing in–it’s because you’re effectively squeezing the bulb, and squeezing water out.

    On second thought, it possibly depends on the relative compressibility of the rubber bulb compared to the air inside it. A solid bulb will sink for the reason the web page cites. A very soft bulb will sink for the reason I said. Hmmm

    Finn? WCE?

  79. PTM – does the thing he creates have to be educational, like a science project, or can he just create anything?

  80. MBT, I think he can do anything. I like Milo’s idea. Milo, thank you. Really.

    I don’t think it has to be scientific, but I think it does have to irritate the parents. I am irritated, and I haven’t even gone out to buy Milo’s three eye droppers yet.

    I am convinced there is a special ring of hell reserved for teachers.

  81. Of course, it was only about a month ago that I finished the book and then watched the movie (the movie is terrible, in comparison, btw. The movie ending is stupid.) But I had never read or seen it before.

    I thought the movie was much better than the book. I thought the ending of the book was stupid.

  82. I never traveled on a company jet, but some of your stories remind me that at one firm the top executives would not travel on the same flight. Is that common?

    That’s another great example of people not understanding risks. The executives are much more likely to die in a car accident than a plane crash, yet I’m sure these companies have no policies against driving together.

  83. “it does have to irritate the parents.”

    I think RMS and HM were aware of this requirement before you stated it.

  84. One more time. I’ve been considering this and I was wrong. You’re not squeezing water out because the water outside the dropper is increasing at the exact same rate. You can only squeeze water into the dropper.

  85. If you’re not limited to single use water bottles, two 2 L bottles make a great closet dehydrator, which might be useful in Florida. I had about four going at all times during the winter in my ground floor apartment in Oregon.

    1) Cut one 2 L bottle off with about 5″ at the bottom.
    2) Cut the other 2 L bottle off around the little plastic bottom thingy and punch a very small hole in each low point of the plastic bottom thingy- there used to be four low points.
    3) Fill the now-holey plastic bottom thingy with desiccant (comes in a plastic bag) and place it in the cut-off bottle from step 1. The desiccant will absorb water and let the water drain into the lower bottle. In my climate, I had to empty the lower bottle every few days.

  86. Okay, Milo. You have entirely screwed me up. I am a lawyer. I have no brain. Buoyancy was something I only experience in the bathtub, which I have now abandoned for showers.

  87. For the truly lazy–cut off the top of the bottle and make a pencil holder or vase (send to school with flowers for the teacher to suck up). There’s instructions on the internet for making a fake lava lamp that uses oil, water, food coloring and alka seltzer. That’s easy, too.

  88. You can also make an automatic pet waterer, though a larger bottle (I’d use Cranapple juice bottle) would be better for this one. From the internet:
    This idea is extremely simple, and is based on the same physical concept that governs most other automatic water dispensers. Punch a pencil-sized hole about 1 inch from the bottom of a large jug. Fill with water, seal with the original lid, then place in a dish greater than one inch high.

    Water flows out of the jug as long as the water level is below the hole at the bottom. When water flows out, the air pressure in jug decreases until it sucks in some air to equalize. When the water level covers the hole, though, the air pressure can no longer equalize, so the water flow stops.
    When the pet drinks the water level down a bit, the jug can once again equalize its air pressure, and lets more water out.

    Notice that, in part due to where I live, my projects do not require a trip to the store.

  89. Milo, I think you’re compressing the air in the rubber bulb, which makes the dropper fill with water, become more dense and sink, right?

  90. PTM – I’d go for irony and have Junior glue bottles together to make a garbage can. He can even get different labelled bottles to make a design.

  91. WCE – You are definitely compressing the air in the bulb, but is that because you are forcing water up into it, or is that because you are squeezing the ball from the outside?

    This is driving me crazy, but I’m going back to my previous theory that it depends on the flexibility of the bulb.

  92. Milo, I say you’re compressing the air because the air will compress at lower pressure than the bulb, for any real bulb. (Air is a gas.)

    Finn can referee when he catches up…

  93. WCE – If you had a sealed/closed balloon submerged in the water bottle, you could squeeze the bottle and compress the air in the balloon with external pressure, making the balloon more dense. On the other hand, if you had an all-glass eye dropper in the bottle, you could squeeze the bottle and still make the dropper more dense by forcing more water up into the dropper. So either is possible. Therefore, a glass dropper with a rubber bulb could theoretically be right in the middle of the two and not have the water in the stem move in either direction.

  94. @PTM: I would be very, very tempted to get a bunch of water bottles and glue/clear packing tape and tape them all together in the form of a giant water bottle “sculpture.” Minimum 6′ high, bigger is better, of course.

    If you really get enthused, you can come up with a “story” — say, the use of hyper-representationalism as a statement against the fundamental nihilism of the anti-representationalist movement; or it’s a physical representation of the magnitude of the impact of individual water bottles on our earth. Or some such other tripe that sounds just convincing enough that they can’t be 100% sure you’re just being a smartass.

  95. Milo, I think any real dropper is going to behave more like your theoretical glass dropper than like a balloon, because it’s obviously thick enough not to be compressed at STP. As I cook supper, I’ve been imagining identical balloons blown up to varying amounts attached to tubes with the same amount of water. That problem is harder, because the amount of air in the balloon and the amount of force necessary to stretch the balloon further (or compress the balloon further) are interacting.

  96. I tend to agree with WCE that the bulb of the dropper isn’t going to get squeezed enough to change its volume.

    My guess is the use of the dropper is convenient because it’s easy to dial in the amount of air, and also because the relatively low density of the bulb material maintains the orientation of the droppers so they don’t flip over and release the air.

  97. ” the bulb of the dropper isn’t going to get squeezed enough to change its volume.”

    Not appreciably. But now is it going to get a tiny bit smaller because of the increased external pressure, or is it going to get a tiny bit bigger because of the increased internal pressure caused by the extra water forced into it? Or is it going to stay exactly the same because pressure through a fluid is transferred universally (forgetting the right term) so the two effects should balance equally?

  98. When they do Cartesian divers at school science nights (I’ve been to several of them) they use the dropper tops from those lightweight disposable droppers, sealed at the bottom, so no liquid is getting in or out. Squeezing the bottle visibly squeezes in the sides of the dropper “divers” so the air/water mix inside each dropper is being compressed.

  99. HM – that’s more like my balloon hypothetical because it’s a closed system. The open system regular dropper, where water can go in and out, could really be a nearly endless web of multi-variable differential equations well beyond my poor ability to add or detract.

  100. Milo, yes, I think there must be two kinds of Cartesian diver set-ups at play here.

  101. I suspect in HM’s observations, it’s really not the water/water mixture that’s being compressed but just the air that’s compressed and compressing the air lets the water move in the stem of the cheap plastic eye dropper a little bit. Water is effectively incompressible at STP- you’d be forcing air into your water before you compressed the water, I think. My Sodastream carbonates water without compressing it.

  102. Casual Vacancy miniseries based on J K Rowlings book airs on HBO April 29.
    I liked the book. I hope y’all are enjoying Wolf Hall.

  103. Milo, I finally got around to actually clicking on the link you posted. The key thing I did not realize initially was that the bottle needs to be completely full of water except for the small amount of air in the dropper. Thus, the only air in the system is in the dropper, and since water is essentially incompressible, any pressure applied by squeezing will be transferred to the air in the dropper. (Same principle as car brakes, and why you need to bleed your brake lines)

    Given this, it’s clear that for the one HM describes, with the dropper sealed to keep a fixed amount of water in it, works because the bulb of the dropper is flexible enough to get squeezed and reduce the volume of air. it will transfer the pressure you apply by squeezing the bottle directly to bulb. So someone with a strong grip might get one to work that won’t respond to a small kid.

    For the one described in Milo’s link, it could go either way. Squeezing will compress the air, but whether the water gets forced into the dropper depends on the rigidity of the bulb.

  104. PTM, with a few different diameter bottles, you could make a water purification system.

  105. You can also make an automatic pet waterer,

    Or you can just leave out a bigger bowl of water.

  106. “Or you can just leave out a bigger bowl of water.”

    That would be a great project– cut the top off a water bottle, and what’s left is a dog watering dish. This might work best with a large bottle, e.g., 1 gallon.

    MBT’s suggestion fits right in with RMS’ and HM’s suggestions. All would probably meet, and exceed, the irritation requirement.

  107. I’d recommend a gallon size white vinegar bottle if you’re going to cut it off and make a pet watering dish. That’s not too far off the original rain gauge recommendation- you could wrap duct tape around the edge so your pet isn’t hurt by the sharp edges of the bottle. Duct tape improves any project.

    I think it would be far more fun, though, to send PTM searching for a NIST-traceable eye dropper.

  108. DH took a look at the Totebag today and sent me the following:

    “Even deluxe airport lounges can’t make up for too much time away from family.”
    Really?

    I suppose it is good that I’ll be home in 36 hours.

  109. It seems some of you are juggling travel with kids and both spouses doing some amount of travel – even if it is local. That would be a tough juggle for us.

    On the water bottle – I like Wind Chimes or Message in a Bottle, or if you want to get ambitious a combination of both. They have these recycled water bottle with messages in them that also double as a wind chime at my kids school. Very calming.

    http://happyhooligans.ca/diy-wind-chimes-recycled-craft/
    http://www.marthastewart.com/266697/message-in-a-bottle

  110. If it were my kid, I might have chosen Louise’s suggestion of a message in a bottle, with an enclosed note expressing appreciation to the teacher for all her hard work and dedication. It’s easy, and you gotta work the system, right?

  111. CoC — Way to make the bottle project a permanent, annual event — I thought we were all about not reinforcing bad behavior here. :-)

  112. Oh, you all could just imagine what my message to the teacher in the bottle would say!

  113. BTW – this weekend I’ll be filming a remote controlled plane in flight for a science project. Even with engineer DH – I am the “helper” for all school projects.
    I try to find the simplest way out but darn kids don’t always go for it.

  114. Man, you know what makes a good breakfast? Ricotta with Boyjian orange oil and a spoonful of honey. Nom nom.

  115. Electrical question: My washer wouldn’t start. I checked the fuses and they’re fine. I reset the GFI on the outlet and the washer worked for a few seconds and then died. I have a call in to electrician. Nothing else as a non-handy person I can do, right?

  116. If the GFI needs to be reset again, then you can reasonably assume that either the washer is drawing too much current for some reason and causing the GFI to trip or the GFI is tripping unnecessarily.

    But electricity is not my thing at all.

  117. Thanks! I tried resetting again on the adjacent outlet, and now it’s working. Oh well . . .

  118. The electrician receptionist was helpful in asking me to check it again. I imagine they get similar calls from dummies like me. :)

  119. it’s better than Comcast technical support

    “Unplug your router. Now unplug your modem. Let’s wait 10 seconds. Now plug them back in. Are all the lights flashing yet?”

  120. Back on the OT, my worst business trip:

    I had fought to be included in a meeting (internal management meeting, not with clients) only to get food poisoning and missed the entire meeting. I also had to track down the local 24 hour drugstore and take a cab there to get medicine at 3am. I did consider going to the meeting, but I nearly passed out when walking down the hall to the ice machine, so that was out of the question. Coworkers also staying in the hotel were not the helpful/supportive type.

  121. For the record, you may need to take the battery out of your modem and/or router after turning them off for the reset to process.

  122. CoC– In that type of situation, in general, you want to determine whether the problem is with your house’s electrical system, or with the washer.

    I suggest unplugging the washer, resetting the GFCI, and plugging in something that you know works, and using it. If the GFCI still trips, that tells you your problem is most likely your house wiring. In this case, I suggest unplugging, waiting at least an hour, then try again. You may have gotten some moisture that created a low enough resistance path for the GFCI to shut off.

    If it doesn’t trip, then try your washer in another GFCI outlet (that could even be the other outlet if you have a duplex outlet). If the GFCI trips no matter which outlet you use, that suggests the problem is with your washer.

    As you have apparently discovered, sometimes all it takes to reset everything is to unplug, reset the GFCI, and plug it back in; sometimes waiting between resetting and plugging back in helps. Moisture is often an issue, which is why GFCI is required by code for outlets in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms, as well as exterior outlets.

  123. Finn, thank you for your comments. The outlet kept going long enough for me to do 2 1/2 loads and then it tripped again, leaving me with a dryer full of soggy towels. I discovered that a light goes on when the outlet is reset, but at the moment it’s not resetting so I’ll let it rest an hour or so. Since both the washer and dryer seem to be affected, I think it must be the outlet. Looks like my next step is another call to the electrician.

  124. CoC, do you have a clothesline?

    If your GFCI outlet keeps tripping, it could be the GFCI outlet itself. Replacing that is something a DIYer could do, and a new one will probably cost about $10 to $15.

    Do you really have fuses?

  125. CoC – I had the electrician out twice for the same issue with a GFCI outlet. I assumed it was water somewhere that needed to dry out, but noooo. Did you or the previous owner have improvements made to your house, including a laundry room upgrade? What the second visit discovered was that the failing but completely new GFCI outlet was added a few years ago to an existing circuit (not a new dedicated line straight to the electrical panel) with a couple of existing regular lamp outlets on it. They were wired okay, but not up to modern standard for a group of outlets including a GFCI. So he rewired the other two outlets and all is now well.

  126. “CoC, do you have a clothesline?”

    The horror! ;) Funny how I didn’t even think of that as a solution. The electrician cannot come until Tuesday, but he advised me I could use an extension cord to another outlet in the room in the meantime. The other outlet does not have a GFCI, but the extension cord does. So I can get my washing done.

    I call them “fuses” out of habit, but they’re circuit breakers.

    The GFCI outlet in question was installed during a remodel about 10 years ago and has never had this problem before. We have not changed anything recently, so maybe it “wore out”? Maybe it’s moisture.

    We are most certainly not DIYers, not for this type of stuff. Today the temperature is supposed to break 70 degrees for the first time, and we hope to spend the afternoon outside doing something fun.

  127. About 3-4 months ago I had some lights downstairs suddenly stop functioning, and it turned out the circuit breaker (part of the same remodel) needed to be replaced. So I guess these things “wear out” or otherwise malfunction. I don’t know, it’s a mystery to me.

  128. Circuit breakers are generally not designed or intended to be used as switches, and using them that way (frequent turning on and off) will cause them to stop functioning.

    I’m not familiar enough with GFCI circuits to know if that’s the case.

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