Where in the World is Keeling & Associates By Bruce Douglass, Project Associate and Travel Coordinator
“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
In 2017, K&A was pleased to announce that during a very busy 2016, not a single employee was involved in an air rage incident or embarrassing viral travel video. However, our team members experienced adventures, adversity, mechanical problems, over-fueling, weather delays, and lots of other challenges in the course of our travels to assist clients. Despite it all, with thousands of miles under our collective belts, we followed the wise counsel of our founder, Richard Keeling, and remained cool, calm, and collected in the face of adversity.
Collectively, our team had enough miles in 2016 to circle the globe 13 times on 479 distinct flights; some likely thought that was exactly what they had done! For several, this meant elite travel status, more legroom, and priority boarding. We also learned that “Porsche service” does not refer to an express golf cart from one gate to another, but it really does involve the German automobile…much to our surprise and delight!
Still, we are away from our families and/or our pets* a lot! In one case, 165 nights out of the year. Our families, and even our pets, understand. The team never shies away from a challenge. We do not groan about boarding one more flight, train, or taxi, to get to our clients. Wandering, as Tolkien implies, does not mean we are lost as we visit new clients or return to familiar campuses for further work. Guiding our clients is at the heart of what we do and how we help institutions and people create change for learning. We may be concerned about the inclement weather, seat upgrades, and making our connections, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!
*Like many workplaces, K&A confronts the same question…are you a dog or a cat person? On our video conference calls, we see the occasional cat tail going across the screen or errant typing that is blamed on our feline companions. During birthday singing, it is not unusual to be joined by multiple dogs howling or barking along in “tune” with the humans. While we are a majority dog environment, Cooper (our benevolent Vice President for Canine Relations), from his safe environs in Provincetown, encourages feline participation while he casts one dubious eye at those of us who would support them.