Sunday, December 06, 2009

14 Years and 1.2 Million Miles Later

Last night I had the great pleasure of flying on Southwest airlines into Kansas City. I haven't flown on Southwest much this year but when I had this opportunity I jumped on it. Boarding the flight was painless and I picked an aisle seat right over the wing to try and have a similar experience as before. We arrived at KC Airport at gate 31, and when I departed into the terminal, I had a strong feeling of deja-vu.

It was June 1995. I want to say it was the 8th day of the month, but I'm not sure. A family member had purchased me a ticket to fly from KC-Chicago on Southwest. I had never flown on a commercial aircraft before and was a little nervous. I won't state my age or give away too much information, but I'll say I was "young". I left my car at my uncle's home and they took me to the airport, I checked in my bag, and waited for the flight. At that time Southwest used those old plastic number cards, and I believe I had a 'B' card. The plane was this huge light brown thing, later I learned it was a 737-200. We boarded the flight through gate 31 and I found a seat right behind the wing on the left side of the aircraft. I recall that flight had some seats that faced to the back, and there was a very attractive blonde girl in one of those seats who ordered a beer on the flight. I'm sure I had a Coke. My first feeling was the massive acceleration on take off, and the rest of the flight was an awesome experience for a young boy.

One of the neat things about consulting and building a business is the opportunity to travel to distant locales. Some people enjoy traveling, some see it as part of the job, and some hate it. I understand all these perspectives. Last night as I recollected on my experience, I thought of the many airports I've visited since that day in June 1995. I thought of the planes I've flown on that would make a 737 look like a tiny toy. I thought about the many people I've met along the journey, both attractive ladies and nice guys. I then thought about what I know now vs. what I knew in 1995. It helped me to remember that the world is full of opportunities, that we all have a chance to make what we want, to live our dreams. I am living mine, talking, practicing, and helping companies become more efficient through the use of information technology and business intelligence. In June 1995 I was working at Walmart, thinking of how we (myself and the four other guys I worked with) could get bleach loaded onto shelves faster, work the stock faster, or sell more items through use of displays. Now I am thinking of how I can use IT to help a client complete financial audits. Wow, what a 14 years it's been. I'm certain that I will look back in another 14 years and saw that in 2009 I had no idea how great it would all become.

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