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I have a three mile commute with no freeways and little traffic. That's by design as much as anything else; I have to get to the office at least five days a week, so I figure I should live near where I work. Apparently not everyone shares this philosophy.
Yesterday was a day of a lot of driving in other people's commutes. I had meetings in both Olympia and Seattle, which means about 150 miles each way. I've got no problem with driving long distances, and I know how to fight traffic, but, man... do you people really do that every day?
Getting out of Portland wasn't too bad as we were heading against the flow. It was pretty much bumper to bumper in the other direction, and while it was heavy going North, it was flowing. I had to deal with the normal I-5 idiots (why, why, why do people sit in the left lane doing exactly the same speed as the person next to them for MILES?)
The trip back was a different story. My meeting in Seattle was done around 4. I hung around until 6 to let the traffic thin out a little, at least until the online traffic graphic showed no more black sections of highway (stop and go).
I was able to sail through Seattle fairly quickly, but only with my aggressive driver hat on. That involves the close cut into the hole in the lane next to me, passing on the right, maybe a little tailgating, and a lot of swearing. I probably shaved 20 minutes of the drive driving that way but, it's not a pretty sight, me driving in rush hour traffic. Not pretty at all.
And it's exhausting keeping that adrenaline pumping while just feathering a little gas pedal and dealing with anonymous idiots.
As I drove in this morning I found I hadn't shaken the city, rush hour mode of driving. It was safe, but probably pretty rude to cut off that landscaping truck, and I probably didn't need to follow that sedan's bumper through the questionably colored traffic light.
I'm writing this because I probably should avoid chatting with clients or staff for a bit until that stagnant adrenaline subsides a little. I'm just left with a grumpy, frustrated feeling from that short drive -- what's scary to me is that's what most people do every day, which means America starts its day pissed off at nothing.
P: Re: - Good Morning America, now Go Fight Traffic
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