Commuter confessions: 50 Shades of Grim!

Wednesday - 9/4/2013, 2:00am EDT

Do you feel like you are living out of your car?

Do you spend more quality time with your steering wheel than with your kids?

Instead of romance, is your fun time spent on oil changes and replacing tires?

Maybe you are spending too much time commuting!

Or maybe it's a lifestyle you've chosen. It works for you. You would rather live (and raise your family) in a location other than closer to where you work.

In Tuesday's column, we asked feds to tell us about their commutes. Here's a batch from beyond the Beltway starting with what may be our long-distance champ:

  • "Up to three years ago, I was commuting 150 miles round trip, that equals to three hours a day or 40,000 miles a year. Some times during the North Dakota winters, I was on the road before the snow plows were and that made for an interesting trip. In the 16 years that I did that, I only missed three days of work and was stranded in the town I worked once.

    "Now my round trip is 30 minutes or eight miles. I rent an apartment in the town that I was transferred to. My 'real' home is 300 miles round trip and I do that drive on the weekends. Some people would ask, why don't you move? 1) If I purchased a house at every duty station that I was transferred to, I would have three or four homes and 2) I feel I have a little touch of heaven on Earth in the small hobby farm that I have back home. So we do what we must do to have a job and suffer the consequences of our decisions." — Born and raised in North Dakota

  • "I live in Wisconsin and work in Milwaukee. I have been taking the bus to work for over 23 years now. I leave my house at 6:10 a.m. and drive to the Park 'n' Ride (about 15 miles away). I catch the 6:40 bus and arrive at work anywhere from 7:05 to 7:25 a.m. My sanity is intact (so far) because the moment I take my seat on the bus, I open my book and start reading." — Patti (IRS)

  • "Try Atlanta. I drive 36 miles each way and if I leave before 6:15 a.m., it is 55 minutes — not too bad. The way home, however averages 1 1/2 to 2 hours. So my average is 2 1/2 to 3 hours a day.

    "The MARTA is OK, but by the time I get there I am within 20 minutes of work and past the worst traffic. Books on tape are my latest escape. Plan B: retire." — Anonymous

  • "I take the bus. I drive from home to the Park & Ride location, 15 minutes each way. Longer during the school year, as I live in an area with a 'School Zone' on every block, and an officer patrolling the area at the same moment. This makes people panic and drive even slower.

    "Then, the bus takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes from Point A to Point B (depending on which bus route I take that day/which bus I catch), where I walk the last block to my actual office.

    "It's shorter than years ago, when I used to drive an hour to get to the bus stop, then take the bus for another hour into the city. Each way, every day for years. Then, we moved to a location that was more centrally located for my husband and me.

    "I am also one of those telecommuters. So, I do not usually have to do this trek on a daily basis. I just have to grab a cup of tea, walk down the hall, shut the door and turn on the computer. Much easier." — H.Y. Cincinnati


NEARLY USELESS FACTOID

Compiled by Jack Moore

According to Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, the amount of data collected since the dawn of humanity up to 2003 is equal to the amount of data now produced every two days.

(Source: BBC)


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