What’s Love Got to Do with It

As I boarded the 737, I looked longingly at the folks who were comfortably ensconced in their large, leather, first-class seats, sipping on pre-flight drinks. I glanced again at the seat assignment on the boarding pass in my hand, reminding myself that I could do anything for two hours.

I routinely fly more than 100,000 miles a year. Because of the time I spend in airports, and in the air, most people would never guess that I am terribly claustrophobic. I want to sit in an aisle seat, preferably in an exit row or in first class, where there is plenty of room and I can get up easily. I’m so claustrophobic that in most circumstances if I cannot get an aisle seat I will cancel and rebook my flight—even if it means I get home a day or two later.

Today I had no choice. One of my clients, who was having issues with revenue growth, was preparing for an important board meeting and needed my help with developing a strategic plan to get him out of the hole. He’d called the day before to say that all of the company’s executives would be at a meeting in the corporate office the next day, and he wanted me there in person.

I’d booked my flight at the last minute—grabbing the last available seat on the plane. But that meant that I would be spending the next two hours sitting in what I considered the seat from hell—the very last row on the plane, right next to the window. I just prayed that the two people sitting next to me would be small people so I wouldn’t feel ...

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