Phi Kap Consultants are constantly on the move, flying, driving, or taking the train to campuses and conferences across North America. It comes as no surprise that the ‘Thoughts From the Road’ blog is titled the way it is. So what happens when a Consultant stays put, that is, gets some time at home? While I can only vouch for myself, I hope to shed a little light on one of the more frequently asked questions I get from undergraduates.
Last Fall I kicked off my time on Staff by embarking on a season-long tour of the Midwest, Oklahoma & Texas region, visiting nearly every Chapter I work with along the way. Making so many of those trips at the end of last year has given me a lighter travel schedule for Spring; this blog post, for example, follows a three week stay at home. From a Consultant standpoint, working from home is almost exactly like working on the road, since all communication with undergraduates or Staff takes place via internet and phone. If I need to focus a little harder on a particular assignment or project, I’ll retreat to a nearby Starbucks. Unlike being on the road, I’m not wearing a coat & tie. Not usually, anyway.
To me, however, the real value of having that time back home is not being able to hop on a conference call in a T-shirt and jeans (though it is nice); it’s having a space to ground myself, decompress, and reflect upon what I do and why I do it. In my off time there is nothing I enjoy doing more than spending time with friends and family. Over my last stay I caught a showing of Deadpool with a fellow Chapter alumnus, enjoyed a couple games of euchre with other alumni, visited the Chicago Auto Show with an old friend, stopped by a duck decoy expo with my father, and caught up with the undergraduates from my Chapter at one of their brotherhood building events. When I have time on my own, I’ll relax with a cup of tea and an album of music I haven’t heard before, maybe even go out for a drive with how nice the weather has been lately. All this helps to replenish the energy I expend when I’m in the field, just as a car needs refueling after so many miles, and just as an undergraduate needs their own outlets when balancing their responsibilities.
After so long, I’ll be ready and eager to hit the road and work with the brothers again. The travel is the best part of this job, after all! But for me, that time is not as effectively spent without recharging at home beforehand.