It's not just me. Apparently at a board meeting last year, the CEO thought it'd be a cool idea to fly the whole company to London for an all hands.
It sounds like a cooler idea on paper than it is in practice. Due to having to transport something like a thousand employees from all over the world to London, the flexibility is zero. Cannot change flights. Cannot change hotels. Cannot manage own transport to and from airport.
Theoretically there is an option for China, Japan and Singapore colleagues to tack on a vacation and fly back at a later date, if only to not kill us with jet lag, but after struggling with the utter lack of flexibility (must fly back out of London, must fly back with same airline, cannot skip the flight and take the trans-Siberian instead) I just gave the fuck up.
This is the most stressed I have ever been about traveling in my life. Today we were told that because we are a group booking, we need to show up at the ferry terminal 2 fucking hours before the ferry leaves. And the ferry arrives at the airport 3 hours before the plane leaves (for the some fucking stupid reason).
The ferry is about an hour from my house, which means I need to leave my house at 6am to get to a flight leaving after noon.
Then after we get to London I have to take a fucking bus to the hotel too, which means waiting for the inevitable cavalcade of idiots who I have no doubt will bring checked luggage on a 3 day business trip.
I fucking hate traveling with other people. Traveling with one other person already ruins pretty much everything that is good about traveling. Going with 60 other people is some kind of fucking nightmare.
After the company trip to San Fran with one of my former companies a few years back I had a nervous breakdown when I got home and had to take a week off to recuperate.
I really cannot deal with this shit about following other people's rigid itineraries, sitting in their shitty Ubers, living in their shitty Airbnbs, drinking their shitty craft beers at shitty gastro pubs or lining up for hours to get a shitty table at some shitty Yelp-approved restaurant.
There is a reason why I am very happily single and I do not have kids. I hate putting up with other people's shit. Especially when their shit is so far away from the kind of thing that I find relaxing.
You know the times I am most relaxed? When I don't know where I'm going to be tomorrow. Or an hour from now. When there is nothing imminent. It's just me, here, now, wherever, doing whatever, and nothing matters. Thats freedom. That's what travel is about for me. If I can't do that, it's just the same as work.
I suppose business travel is just work. But, I mean, fuck. It's gonna be 4.5 days of nonstop 24 hour work. So. Fuck.