Traveler's Tales #2

Blog Post created by julianne.mahler Advocate on Jun 18, 2015

I loved the shared stories I got in response to the first Traveler's post, so here's a second one.  I was managing several teams located in the Asia Pacific region, from Houston, a few years ago.  So I was traveling frequently and far.  In one series of trips, I was in Vietnam and took a local flight, coach, to Hong Kong for a meeting.  From there, briefly home to Houston to see the kids, and then back to Melbourne for Plan and Budget reviews with the Vice President I was working for.  At 3 am in the hotel in Melbourne, I woke up with an itchy head and reached up to scratch and came away with a live, wiggling, crawling bug on my finger.  Aack!! 


I'd never had lice before and I spent the rest of the night googling how to get rid of them.  The druggist around the corner from the hotel didn't open til 8:30.  My meetings started at 8:00.  Did I just show up at the meetings like nothing was wrong, head crawling, and then duck out at a break to buy supplies and treat my head over the lunch hour?  Or did I 'fess up to the Vice President I was traveling with that I had an issue, and just take care of myself and come in late to the meeting? I was all set to do option A.  And then I thought about how I would respond if one of my staff came to me with the same issue.  And I knew that I would immediately have recommended option B to anyone who worked for me.  From that perspective, it became clear to me, that I also needed to choose Option B.  I had to "walk the talk" in this instance or no one else would consider taking the time to take care of themselves in the future.  So I gathered my courage and called the VP, told him why I would be late, and went and got the shampoo and fine-tooth comb . . . If you know how curly my hair is, you'll know I left half my hair in the sink that day . . . I also sent all the clothes in my suitcase to be cleaned and had to tell the concierge to ask the cleaning staff to change all my sheets and explained why . . . .


I still don't really know if the lice came from that flight from Hanoi to Hong Kong or if my kids shared them with me.  But the event became a great conversation starter/ice breaker.  The VP's wife shared her homemade recipe for getting rid of lice with me (mayonnaise and vinegar and then wrap your head in saran wrap?).  My mother gave me disposable airplane seat covers.  For months, one of the guys I was working with reached up to scratch his head every time he saw me.


Hopefully this gave you a chuckle for the day -- travel safe and keep your sense of humor!!