January 2013

I travel a bit in my work. This often means that someone else is driving me.

Early on a Sunday morning, the sky is clear and the sun already bright. I listen to a tale my driver, Lance, tells me as we zoom North on I-405 from Laguna Niguel.

I often stand at LAX, waiting to pick up a passenger, Lance, a retired air force pilot, explains. I stand in the baggage claim area, hold up the name sign, and nobody sees me. They walk by, their faces glued to their smartphones. Yesterday, I saw a woman walk right by me five times. Back and forth.

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“I’m not an aesthetics guy,” Brian Murphy says as we start a skype call.

Brian’s the VP of a Manufacturing Company. He makes this observation because I just noted the motivational poster that hangs on the wall behind him. Brian proceeds to tell me about the moment when Phyllis, the head of HR, first dropped in to visit his new office. “She didn’t say anything,” Brian chuckles, “but I could tell by the frown on her face that I better do something with this space.”

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Five past noon, and I slide into a seat at the Sakurabana sushi bar in Boston’s Financial District. Two ladies sit to my right. Robed in flawless corporate couture, they hurl comments back and forth with the lightning speed of ping pong champs. Their volleys are ferocious, intense. Here’s a comment that leaps out:

“But she’s CRAZY!” the lady sitting to my immediate right says to the other one.

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Here’s a world record that grabbed my attention. On September 1, 2011, George Lee Andrews left the Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera after continuously appearing in a principal role since it first opened on January 26, 1988. 23 years. That makes Andrews the longest-running performer in a single show in Broadway history.

Whew. I hear that thumping Andrew Lloyd Webber score now, anesthetizing my brain. 8 shows a week, 23 years. I think I would have gone stark raving mad!

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