While in my thirties, I was making a headlong, full-energy climb up the corporate ladder. I was employed by a Fortune 1000 company, and by age 33 had become that company's youngest VP.
My job required a high level of client contact. As a result, I flew more than 120,000 miles annually. A typical week would include flying out on Sunday night or Monday morning, making several stops, then flying home Friday night. It sucked, but I thought I was a Big Deal. These trips were intense, and fatiguing. I usually arrived home totally burned out.
I had a particularly rough week scheduled. I went to the airport Sunday night and flew to Atlanta for an early meeting Monday morning. From there it was on to Chicago, and then on Wednesday to Philadelphia. Wednesday night I flew to Denver, and on Thursday night to San Diego. I flew home late Friday afternoon.
I collected my luggage and walked to the parking deck where I had left my car. It wasn't there. I double and triple checked the location, and my car wasn't there. I walked back and forth for an hour or so, and still couldn't find my car.
The county sheriff's department was in charge of airport law enforcement, so I reluctantly called them to report a missing car. A deputy showed up and offered to drive me up and down the entire ramp to see if my car was in a different location. We spent an hour driving and looking; didn't find my car. The deputy said that the paper work to report a stolen car would take a few minutes to complete, so why didn't I call for a ride while we were completing the report.
I called my wife. She drove to the airport to pick me up. I was still sitting the the deputy's patrol car when my wife pulled up.....in my car. I stammered "hey...what are you doing with mycar?"
She replied "You drove my car to the airport so I could take your car in for service while you were away, remember?" Um....no. The sheriff looked and me and started grimacing, then laughing. We returned to the place where I thought I had parked my car and there was....my wife's car. D'oh.
Post script: I quit that job eighteen months later. The income was great, the prestige was satisfying, but constant traveling had turned me into and absent parent and husband. It wasn't worth it.