I was recently reminded of a particularly interesting business trip I took a few years ago, and couldn’t resist sharing the story with you…
The Hubs and I had only been dating a short while, and we’d had a crazy weekend. I don’t remember specifics, but it involved a lot of booze, 2 parties, and a significant Sunday hangover – the kind that lasts all. day. long. And when I got home, I was greeted by an email from my boss promising a client I would have an important report to them first thing on Monday.
When I got to my desk the following morning, feeling hung over and exhausted from staying up all night working on that darn report, my boss dropped another bomb on me: he needed me to fly to Manila at 8 am the following morning.
Naturally, I had a full day of work ahead of me, leaving me little time to even think about the trip. And since I hadn’t done laundry in over a week, I desperately needed to get home. So I made a fatal mistake. I asked my co-worker to book my flights and hotel room for me, and to just send me the confirmation via email.
She did. I printed everything off at home. And at 6 am the next morning, I was at the airport waiting for my flight.
30+ hours later, I landed in Manila. It was 10 pm local time, and all I wanted to do was get to the hotel, crawl into bed, and pass out. We had a 10 am meeting the next day, so I figured I could get a good 8 hours of sleep in if I was lucky.
As I was waiting for my luggage, I got a call from a co-worker who had flown in from Malaysia earlier that day for the same meeting. She made me promise I’d call her as soon as I got to the hotel. I promised her I would.
When my cab finally pulled up at the hotel, something didn’t feel right. No one came up to open my door or help me with my luggage, there seemed to be an inordinate amount of caucasian men escorting very young Filipino women to their rooms, and the place just didn’t seem to be quite up to par with what I was used to when I traveled on business.
But I was too tired to care.
Until I got to my room.
Oh my goodness, my room…
It was like a scene out of a The Hangover 2. And I was not staying there.
Panicked, I called my co-worker, and guess what? We’d been “accidentally” booked into a hotel in the Philippine Red Light District.
I’m not kidding.
I immediately called my boss, explained the situation, and asked if he could find us a hotel that didn’t rent rooms by the hour. He was mortified, found us a 5+ star hotel online, booked us in, and told us to get in the next cab and get the heck out of there.
When we got to our new (and much cleaner) hotel, another bomb was dropped: the online reservation system had made a mistake, and there were no rooms available. In fact, there was only ONE room available in all of Makati City.
It was after 3 am local time by this time. I had been awake for over 30 hours and we had an important business meeting in less than 7 hours, so the idea of sharing a room with someone I had only met 2 or 3 times in my life didn’t exactly appeal to me.
But our only other option was to go back to the red light district, so the 2 of us bunked together that night.
Thank goodness the room had 2 beds in it.
Because I’m not really in the habit of sharing beds with my co-workers, you know?
What’s your worst business trip experience?