I’m traveling on a cross-country flight with my supervising partner tomorrow, and we’re sitting next to each other on the plane. I already tried to change the seat, but the flight’s booked. I have a few work things I could do on the plane, but they can also wait until later. Truth is, I was totally stoked to watch about ten episodes of The Office. But I can’t with a partner next to me, watching my every move. Do I have to do some stupid, unnecessary work just to keep up appearances (for which I won’t even get extra billables, since we’re already billing for the flight…) or is it OK if I just watch some DVDs, read a magazine, or God forbid, go to sleep?
I feel your pain. No easy answer here. For what it’s worth, here’s what I’d do: After the obligatory early-flight exchange of platitudes, I’d do a little work. Like thirty minutes’ worth, then hit the magazines. I wouldn’t recommend watching DVDs on your laptop, though—don’t really know why, I just wouldn’t. I could see Partner Dude getting annoyed by this—for no legitimate reason, of course, but I could still imagine him being annoyed that you’re actually having fun. Laughing and joy are not typically part of the legal experience. Especially the legal-airplane experience. Sad, but true. For some idiotic reason, business travel is extremely serious to most partners. So instead of watching The Office, read a few magazines. But don’t smile. Or giggle. I’d also stay away from the US Weekly, Star Magazine stuff too. Too easy for Partner Dude to make negative assumptions. Go with Time, Fortune, if you’re feeling daring, Vanity Fair. If you want to impress, bust out the New Yorker.
Have a great trip!
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