I love road trips with our teams of staff and interns. We often rent big vans and drive to events for our organization. Here are some of the rules.
1. No human gaseous emissions.
2. No touching, lap-sitting, massaging, head-resting on/with a person of the opposite gender – unless it’s your spouse.
3. No headphones. Be with us.
4. The driver chooses the music.
5. No ketchup.
6. No chain restaurants. We will eat good food.
7. Garbage always goes immediately into a garbage bag.
8. No uninvited backseat driving.
9. No whining.
10. An arbitrary number of good-will points is awarded to those stuck in a middle seat.
- You are not your audience. Everyone does not think like you do. Don’t make bad assumptions.
- Rhyming or starting each point with the same letter doesn’t make your message more memorable. It makes it seem cheap.
- Avoid cliches always. (n.b. We should only get to use some version of “life is a journey” once in our life. Let’s assume you’ve used your chance.)
- We probably don’t ever need you to tell us how the dictionary or “Webster” define anything. Never use any version of the phrase “according to the dictionary…”
- Avoid using “you” when you mean “I”. (e.g. “When someone yells at you, you feel angry.” should probably be “When someone yells at me, I feel angry.”)
- If it’s boring for you to write or say, it’s probably boring for us to read or hear.
- Velveeta is not cheese.
- Don’t use more words when fewer will suffice.
- You can put cream and sugar in your coffee, but you’d be wrong.
- Inspire creativity in yourself by getting out of the ordinary routines. Fill your head with new stimuli and then create.
- Never read from your notes or recite your own words from memory while speaking. Talk naturally through your ideas.
- Never be the hero of the stories you tell.
- Find opportunities to reveal your passion and personality in your speaking. But don’t forget to be gracious.
This list is in progress. Feel free to contribute thoughts.
The bare minimum essentials:
1. Pack the night before the trip. Not before. There is a separate list of rules for packing.
2. Book a window seat for early morning flights so you can sleep against the window. Otherwise, pick an aisle seat – the freedom to roam is important.
3. Anything other than a window or aisle seat is crap and should be sold at half price. Therefore, the poor guy stuck in the “middle seat” gets to use the #$@^% armrests.
4. Always carry on (don’t check) your luggage. Always.
5. Have a toothbrush, individually wrapped face wipes, a book and downloaded movies at hand. A real pro also has good cookies for the flight and a fresh shirt for arriving decently.
6. Inflatable neck pillows, fanny packs, passport carriers, hidden travel wallets, safari vests, camel-packs, matching t-shirts? No. Don’t be that guy.
7. When someone is sleeping, reading, writing or wearing headphones on a plane – it means “please don’t talk to me”.
8. The guy in front of you can feel it every time you put that tray table up, tap the touch screen on the cool in-flight TV or rest your head on the tray table to sleep – do the right thing.
9. The armrest and seat cushions are very important borders. Stay inside your space while seated.
10. Just because you’re not in a rush to get out of your seat, into the aisle and off the plane once its landed, doesn’t mean the people behind you aren’t. Get out of the way.