An End to the Tyranny of the Commute

An End to the Tyranny of the Commute

My years at Namemedia ended last month and I’m no longer forced to commute to Waltham from Central MA anymore.  While I miss everyone I worked with at Namemedia, I certainly do not miss the commute.

Our workdays are long enough.  When you start adding an additional 1.5 hours each way, minimum, to your commute, it gets downright awful.  Then, add on top the fact that at least once a week you can expect a 2 hour or longer commute, usually in the morning with a tie up at the Rt. 128 Tolls.  In the end it leaves little time for anything else in your life.

So you compensate by trying to go into the office a little earlier to miss some of the traffic.  Or you stay later to miss the worst of the rush.  The next thing you know you’ve committed 14 hours of your day to the job. You simply aren’t left with much.

So you get home, and everyone wonders why you’re zombie-like; you just want to sit and relax for a little while, then off to bed so you can get up early and start it all over again.

In my many years of commuting on the Mass Pike, I learned a lot.  Here are a few tips:

  • Sneaky Alternate Routes Rule – No, I won’t publish mine here, but there are other ways.  When in doubt, avail yourself of the other options.
  • Aggressive Drivers Suck – newsflash: driving 90 weaving in and out when everyone else is doing 70 doesn’t get you there any faster.  I generally pass clowns like you at the tolls.  And no, that’s not a “you’re number one” signal everyone is giving you.
  • Easy Pass Costs You 30 Minutes Every Morning – On the morning commute, at Rt. 128 Tolls, the Easy Pass lanes back up for at least 1/4 mile.  However, if you pay cash, you can generally pass ALL that traffic and drive right up to the booth on the far left.
  • Boston Radio is Dead – we knew it was done when BCN shed it’s mortal coils.  There is no radio in Boston save talk radio and NPR.  I generally opt for podcasts through my smartphone.  Where for art thou, Dwayne Glasscock!
  • Car Are Tools – if you’re going to commute over 100 miles a day, your car is a tool and needs to be treated as such.  You need to get the maximum longevity out of it, and you need to be a slave to routine maintenance. Buy cars for durability, buy used, and make sure it’s comfortable, because you’re going to spend a good chunk of your life in there.
  • Auto Costs Add Up – if you commute 100 miles a day, 5 days a week that’s 500 miles – call it two tanks of gas a week for me, minimum.  At $3.80 a gallon, that’s around $100 a week. Add on tolls, maintenance, and the fact that you are now the grim reaper of motor vehicles, and you’ve got a solid 12-15k a year in costs.  Conservatively…

Thank God the Tyranny is over!


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