The well-dressed man headed out of town can be easily identified as a business man simply by looking at a few key signs. Starting with his feet, he is sporting a pair of expensive shoes. They’re shiny, they may or may not have tassels, and they are either black or brown. Depending on his age, they may be slip-ons, but these are not casual shoes. The discerning business man spends as much on work shoes as a woman spends on a purse. They’re comfortable, and stylish in the way that serious business attire has. He is wearing a pair of dress slacks – not to be confused by jeans, or pants, or khakis – he’s wearing dress slacks. There’s a crease, and a cuff, and a belt. He is wearing a shirt that buttons down, with the sleeves rolled down. The fashionable collar is not buttoned down, but is open at the top button. Were you to look, you’d spy a necktie tucked into his laptop backpack.
His backpack has been with him through many trips across the country. The laptop safely stowed inside that bag holds copies of the files detailing his largest deals. The deal that spring-boarded him into private practice is still there on the desktop – a reminder of the power of a dream. The bag has compartments for all his electronic gadgets – they seem to multiply when he isn’t looking – and there are enough pockets and places for all of the plugs and cords he needs to be productive. The hard copies of the files he needs to convince a new company to hire his firm are there – he plans to look over them on the flight. A copy of the latest trade magazine fits in next to the computer; if he has a few minutes he likes to flip through it for ideas. He carries a copy of the book he’s been reading for a month – chances are good he won’t have time to read, but hope springs eternal for this traveler.
There’s an extra pocket on the outside of the backpack. His wife still slips notes in when she thinks he’s not looking – and he still acts like it’s a surprise when he finds them. He’ll never tell her that he pulls it out as soon as he gets on the plane, and then reads it while he’s waiting for his rental car to be ready. He likes knowing that she’s waiting for him to come home. It reminds him of why he’s here, at the airport, before the sun comes up.
His backpack has seen him through a lot of airports, and the note pocket has become a source of comfort when he is far from home and the deal falls through. Sometimes he slips a little something in the pocket to bring home for her – a trinket or souvenir, something that makes him smile to think about giving her.
It doesn’t matter how successful his company becomes – he’ll take his laptop backpack with him everywhere he goes.