Road catching up.
October 4, 2005 1:20 AM   Subscribe

I spend roughly 90% of my life on the road for business. This poses a couple of personal problems. Does anyone have some suggestions?

One: I cannot reliably recieve important correspondence from organisations not directly affiliated with my business (like Revenue Canada or any other governmental agency).
Two: obviously, my significant others hate it. My g/f especially. Sad and lonely, she is, though she (must) love me lots. Hate that; want to make her happy. Don't think she'd be with me unemployed, though.

That said, I do enjoy what I'm doing (no, I'm not trucking) and survive on the money well enough. That small satisfaction and not starving mean something to me.

posted by converge to Human Relations (11 answers total)
These people receive your mail, send you a picture of it, and if you want them to they'll open it, scan it, and e-mail you all your mail that way. Pretty cheap too, considering. If something looks particularly private, you pay them to forward it on.
posted by wackybrit at 1:26 AM on October 4, 2005

Response by poster: Intriguing service, but looks like it only works in the U.S. of A. Cdn here.

But thanks anyway.
posted by converge at 1:38 AM on October 4, 2005

Not a lot to go on here, but as a long shot, maybe help her find a telecommuting job so she can travel with you while doing her own work?
posted by Tubes at 4:34 AM on October 4, 2005

"The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And wither then? I cannot say."
-J.R.R. Tolkien

It's not so easy to find another way to make a living if your hometown has limited local opportunities. But if you don't come up with a plan to transition to some more "normal" life, you won't have one. Might involve relocating to areas with a more diverse economy, or saving up enough money to take some time to get other skills, interview in other places, etc. But if you do this seriously, you'll have a different life.

In the meantime, you can have an international forwarding service, even in Canada. If you can direct just "important" mail to this address (stuff you expect to recieve, like bills and legal notices) it will cost less, and you can let the regular junk and periodicals accumulate at your normal address, for collection when you do get home.
posted by paulsc at 4:51 AM on October 4, 2005

Why not set your other/parents/sibs/friends up with a scanner and have all mail sent to them and they can scan and forward?
posted by srboisvert at 5:39 AM on October 4, 2005

I agree with Tubes that there isn't a lot to do here. Re mail etc. I really would redirect it to someone who will take care of it, be it then your parents, siblings, anybody you trust that you can then retrieve during your 10% time. That's really all you can do.

There's been a lot of LDR discussions in Ask MeFi so you might want to go through them to see if there is any help, but it is a difficult issue. Life is about compromises: You love your g/f, you love your job. If they are mutually exclusive, you must choose. Or then find a way to combine them - are you willing to change or will she, or will you be apart? It's not really anything anybody here can say, it is for you to discuss and decide IMHO. Good luck.
posted by keijo at 6:03 AM on October 4, 2005

Well, two ideas.

Why not have your girlfriend who loves you pick up your mail? She can, once a week or so, spend ten minutes telling you about your bills and if there is anything else important. Then off to your bank's online webpage and pay your bills.

Unless of course...there's something there you don't want her to see.

As far as making a more "frequent" visit with her?

I'm constantly blown away by videochatting. I speak with my niece in Florida (I'm in PA, about a 24 hour drive, well over 1000 miles) who is 5, minimum twice a month. It's not the same as being there. But it's good enough that we're not strangers.

Then, twice a week, you in a hotel room, she at home, can sit down and have dinner together.

All you'll need is:
USB 2.0 video cams
Latest version of AIM on XP.

Of course, as a Mac User, I couldn't walk away without saying how much damn easier all of that is, with ichats and isights.
posted by filmgeek at 8:19 AM on October 4, 2005

I used to have a co-worker who was in the states for college while her husband was in India in the military. He found a website through which he could route their text messages for free. I don't know the specifics of it, but I know that even though they hadn't seen each other in over a year, they were more in touch with each other than any couple I've ever known. The website was an Indian one.
posted by Sara Anne at 9:00 AM on October 4, 2005

Sara Anne, if you (or anyone) knew how to find out more about that website, I'd be very keen to learn about it.
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:10 AM on October 4, 2005

Avoid treating family and friends like your indentured servants; hire someone, even if it's just a retired secretary for a few hours a month, so that you don't ever have to worry about confronting someone you love for mis-handling your business, or having them resent you for the imposition. A good personal assistant, even part time, could make many aspects of your life easier.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:52 AM on October 4, 2005

As a disaster inspector contracting for FEMA, I spend two or three months in the field at a time, during which I am always extremely busy. I found that hiring my g/f part time to help me contact applicants and prepare my schedule for the next day not only makes me 20% more productive, but gives us more frequent excuses to chat on the phone, as well as providing her with extra money for shoes or whatever. As an added bonus, she came out to spend last weekend with me, and I should be able to write off the $500 trip as a legitimate business expense.
With the two hours a day that she saves me, I have actually found time to eat, do laundry, wash my car, and yes- read metafilter for the first time in a month!
posted by Jonasio at 8:02 PM on October 4, 2005

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