Friday, September 12, 2008

out cold


This is why I don't commute anymore.


If I've learned anything in the last two days (and, god help me, I have), it's that I have really gotten used to being clocked in on my unit seven minutes after I pull out of my driveway. No more being on the highway for an hour while it's still dark outside. No more trudging fifteen minutes uphill from the parking lot. I like not knowing exactly how much gas I have in my tank, since two gallons can keep me going for days. As agonizing as it was at the time to leave the Big City Trauma Hospital and move close to home, it was worth it a thousand times over. Maybe even a million.


And I've realized all of this in a big way the last couple of days. The class I'm taking is meeting in two different places, and they both require at least an hour each way on the highway. (In pouring rain, by the way). I'm carpooling with two other gals, and we all meet in the dark, coffee mugs clutched in our hands. We drive an hour to sit for nine hours so we can drive an hour to get home so I can fall into bed like a rag before nine. How is it more tiring to sit for eleven hours than it is to run my butt off at work for twelve? Seriously. How can that be? Two of us fell asleep today in class during a film on (god help me again) strangulation. Do you know how long it's been since I fell asleep in a class??


No, I don't miss commuting at all. This is a hard thing for an LA girl to admit, since freeway exhaust is like mother's milk to a Californian. When we first moved here, I howled when people griped about the traffic. I wanted to tell them in graphic terms exactly what traffic really was and why they seriously needed to hush about their three minute cross town commute. (As a point of reference, my hour commute here has me driving about fifty miles. Do you know how long that would take in LA??) I even convinced myself at my old job that the drive home was a good thing. I would blast the radio and decompress and by the time I got home, I would (in theory) be ready to be part of my family. It never worked that way, now that I think about it. I would come home and sit in a chair, drooling and speaking in grunts until I could crawl into bed.


I've been doing that this week, much to my kid's amusement. I suppose I'd take offense, but I'm unconscious at the time. They can pretty much say what they want and laugh to their heart's content.


No, I don't miss commuting at all. And if this is totally unintelligible, it's because I'm writing unconscious.


Is it obvious?

12 comments:

my two cents said...

Not unintelligible at all.

Let's see how long would it take you to commute fifty miles in LA County, forget city, let's just go for county. This is sort of like the math questions you posted about a while back concerning how much catheter tubing was need for a grumpy drunk to get out of bed and walk across the room. I work with someone who commutes 50 miles from Riverside to where we work: 90 minutes, on a good day. The former principal at my kids' school commuted about 50 miles, 90 minutes, without weather.

If you can go 50 miles in an hour that sounds pretty good to me. Sorry your week is so rough.

Maggie May said...

I would hate commuting too.
Its a wonder you don't get nightmares RC, after all the horrid things you have to watch. Maybe you get hardened to it all after time! (Probably not!)

-Ann said...

I am so with you on this. I went from a 90 minute commute in Chicago to a 45 minute commute in Dublin to a 3 (count 'em 3) minute commute in the Middle of Nowhere. I'm a little over a mile from work and really should walk or cycle, but being able to get to work that quickly has me spoilt in a bad way.

CrazyCath said...

No it is not unintelligible. I understand perfectly...

Irene said...

Ha ha, you're so silly, you oddball woman, you. I have never commuted in my life, but I have been stuck in traffic in Orange county and L.A. and I know the inching up by the minute feeling. I now live in a town where I can get anywhere on my bike in 20 minutes, tops. I never go further out than 10 minutes or so. That's all I need to do to go anywhere I have to be. It's a pleasure. Within 5 minutes walking distance I have my GP, my dentist and my vet and 4 minutes on my bike brings me to the supermarket. You do get spoiled under those circumstances. And then there is always the bus.

LifeBehindTheCoach.com said...

i SO get what you mean! I work from home The Husband works just 7 mins from home - like you. This morning I drove back from a client meeting which is unusual as I do most of my work from home and a 1 hr journey turned into 2.5 hours in the pouring rain -yuk yuk yuk!

Kaycie said...

The worst commute I've ever driven is a tie between driving from Lee's Summit, Missouri, to Independence, Missouri and driving across Topeka, Kansas from the west side to downtown. Neither one took much more than 20 minutes on a bad day. For years and years, I lived within two miles of where I worked (at three different jobs, no less).

My biggest drive these days is driving the three miles round trip to the elementary school once a day. I don't think you can really call that a commute since I come right back home.

Anonymous said...

I started work life in Southern California- where commutes were hell- then I got very lucky and telecommuted for close to 10 years in the Pacific NW- now I commute 45 miles each way to work- takes an hour in the morning and a bit more at night due to increased traffic- I hear you loud and clear- it's still a long ass commute- on the way home- tired and not paying attention way too often. be careful- klcrab

aims said...

We drove through LA towing our little 13' trailer. What an experience! I've never seen anything like that.

It was a good thing we got to park it for a few days while we touted around in our little car - and - that we had a GPS to help us get around an into the proper lane etc.

I have to tell you though RC - driving in Miami is worse. Not for the amount of traffic - but for the attitude of the drivers. They are nothing but angry. Probably because they all secretly want to be in LA.

btw - a film on strangulation? Been there - done that. Lived.

Devon said...

Working close to home really does improve ones quality of life.

I have to tell you, you have me paranoid. My sweet lab, (his picture is on my comment), has a lump on his head. So I took him into the vet yesterday because of your baby dog.

She couldn't aspirate it, too firm and that worrys her. So he is now scheduled for surgery next Wednesday. Sorry to say this, but God, I hope I get better news that you did!

Around My Kitchen Table said...

Oh how I envy people who don't have to commute! I love my job but hate the journey to get to it. It's only 40 minutes, which I know isn't that much compared to a lot of people, but 80 minutes a day stuck in a car seems such a waste of time to me. I live in a village where my partner works - I've tried to persuade him it would be FAIRER if we lived half way between our two jobs but he doesn't seem that keen....

Eileen said...

My commute isn't too bad, about 20 minutes, but mostly country roads and a thruway. I enjoy listening to the radio....alone. Talk to me in the winter thou and I'll be singing a different tune.

When will you be ready to start your new job?