The Plight of the Commuter

There are few times in my work life when I feel like up and quitting more than during my commute. With 32 miles of surface streets and highways to navigate between my apartment and my office, shared with hundreds of thousands of idiots and SUVs, there is ample opportunity for something to get fucked up and delay me.

Today was among one of the worst. An accident PLUS construction.

Neither of these are particularly unique events. People can’t drive and pot holes need patching. But taken together, it just sends people into a panic. Their minds — already distracted by the person blabbering into their ear via cell phone, or reading the paper, or trying to put on makeup, or a combination thereof — simply shut down when faced with the prospect of seeing a bloody, mangled corpse while simultaneously trying to navigate a work zone.

Lanes narrow, brake lights go on, someone tries to change lanes, cars swerve, and then… standstill. No one moves. So this is how traffic jams form? And we all know, traffic begets more traffic. Seeing a sea of brake lights ahead, people inevitably try to cut across all lanes of traffic to catch that last off ramp. Someone starts cutting down the shoulder. People can’t pick a lane and stick with it.

Now you have gridlock. Tempers flare and agression ensues. It all just spirals out of control.

It took me about an hour longer than normal, or about 2 hours, to drive to work today. I was, of course, late, which further compounds my anger, because someone invariably says some form of “Well, why don’t you move closer to work?” And I’ll tell you, if I ever have to choose between my home and my job, I’ll choose my home any day. I mean, if some bumblefuck suburban road that everyone else in the office uses to get to work were ever closed or delayed, I guarantee everyone would get a free pass, but somehow it’s different when the major interstate I use to get to work is closed.


The worst part of this whole ordeal? After creeping along at what was probably an average speed of, maybe, 2? 3? mph for an hour, I finally come upon the cause of all this headache: 2 cars, a cop and a tow truck IN THE SHOULDER followed by a moving work crew patching pavement. No jacknifed semi. No rollover SUV (my favorite). No blood on the pavement.

My guess? Some asshole, not focusing on the road ahead, comes upon the minor delay of the pothole team, but not paying attention, rear ends some other sad sap.

Patch the fuckin potholes at night. The time and a half you have to pay the crew is a lot less than the money lost to the economy through the inefficiency of a traffic jam.

That, or let me fuckin drink myself stupid while driving. Just don’t tell me it’s my fault because I live so far away…

One Response to “The Plight of the Commuter”

  1. gregh Says:

    I would try and sympathize, but my 10 minute commute is very tolerable.