In 2015 I started a new position at another company. One of the requirements of the new role was to attend training in another city. This involved travelling on the private company jet.
I obviously couldn’t wait to savour that moment and tell everyone about it. It was one of those signature moments that happens only a few times in our careers and I wanted to make the most of it.
But the reality of the moment didn’t match my anticipation. The plane felt cramped travelling with my manager and another associate. The only food served were the few granola bars I had stashed in my carry-on. But that wasn’t the worse part.
Private jets typically fly at 50,000 feet in the air, whereas commercial airline planes on average fly at 35,000 feet. Why does this matter? Because the higher you ascend, the more severe case of ‘airplane ear’ you’ll get (the ear plugging sensation).
I probably had the worse case of airplane ear in the history of its diagnosisAnd it didn’t just stop when I got off the flight. My ears were still plugged while meeting new associates for the first time at the training facility. I was talking but had no clue as to what I was saying. I sounded like the adults in the Peanuts cartoons (whomp, whomp!).
Some things aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Sometimes we’ll only find out by going through them. The tragedy occurs when instead of learning from it, we continue to chase experiences that have the appearance of success instead of success itself.