30 years of asking: 'Are we there yet?'

Friday - 4/11/2014, 2:00am EDT

For some people, the commute to the office is the best part of the day. The operative word is "some". For many, commuting is a four-letter word. A daily gut-churner that gets worse, not better, over time.

For some feds, the commute is, literally, a walk in or around a park. At the other end of the rainbow, there are IRS workers in Massachusetts who say it takes them half an hour just to get out of the parking lot before the commute begins!

In yesterday's column we asked folks to tell us how they get to work, how long their commute is, and whether the trek is good or bad. Learned some interesting stuff ,including how to spell Cary, N.C. I put an extra "e" in there. Several readers said it stands for "Concentrated Area of Retired Yankees!" Who knew?

Here's some of the early e-mail traffic we got from fed commuters:

  • Last year we moved to a different IRS building as the other was closing. For some, the commute was now shorter. For some, including myself, it was longer. There really is no direction you can go without being stuck in traffic, whereas before there was none. Plus having to buy more gas. Here is the disturbing fact to me. They redesigned the Andover building and everyone is so proud that it is now a "green building." That sounds all warm and fuzzy and so politically correct until you realize that no one took into considderation how to get the people out of the parking lot onto the main road. So for one of our shifts it takes at least a half an hour just to get out of the parking lot. That's right, the traffic jam is in the parking lot. So, for that half hour cars idle and burn gas. How is that for your carbon footprint?" — Under the Bus in Smog

  • " About 15 minutes in traffic. Down a hill, through a small valley, up a hill and then short ride into town. My daughter and son-in law-are in D.C. I know how lucky I am." — Spoiled in the Midwest

  • "I Lived in Cary, N.C., for 12 years, and the traffic congestion is bad there and has been for some time.

    Now in the D.C. (Northern Virginia) area, I leave for work at 5:30 and head home at 2:30 to avoid congestion on VA 7. Lately there has been congestion on 7 from Utterback Store Road to Georgetown Pike (I always have to veer off Utterback and go around the mess). It is a relatively easy commute from Sterling to Tysons. I can't believe someone would come in from Delaware!" David

  • "Raleigh-Durham-Carey traffic, getting nasty! — just FYI, it is Cary, as in Concentrated Area of Relocated Yankees.

    "I almost qualify as a Yankee, since I moved here from the Midwest (Indiana, actually — and worked in KY for Union Carbide where the locals all referred to me as that Indiana Yankee) and I also live down the road from Cary in Fuquay-Varina. My sister sends my birthday cards to Fu-Var, NC — and the cards make it.

    "18-mile drive to Raleigh (USDA has offices on NCSU's Centennial Campus on the south side of Raleigh). By leaving at 6:00 a.m., I beat the traffic. Wait till 8:00 a.m. and you get long lines at every traffic light.

    "I also get to leave by 4:00 - 4:15 in the evening. Wait till 6:00 PM and you will wish you had not. Flex-time is a very good thing." — Jim S.

  • " Mike I've got to have the best commute to work. Twenty-six years ago when I first got this job, my first wife and I had two cars but hers needed work so I gave her my car and walked three miles to the office! Now the office has moved and the last 15 year, I live only two miles from the office. I even ride my bike into the office every once in a while. I don't travel for work anymore. Its good way to get some exercise and eliminate some stress. Got to say a snow storm has only kept me from getting to work one time, and that was when I didn't have a 4x4 truck. Still even though it is a short commute, I will be looking forward not having to do that anymore (like in July)" — Michigan (not Detroit) Commuter


NEARLY USELESS FACTOID

Compiled by Jack Moore

The average American family spent more than $1,100 for their child to attend prom in 2013, according to a survey conducted by Visa. That included attire, limousine rentals, dinner, etc. Spending on buckets of pigs' blood with which to douse the weird girl with telekinetic powers was not measured.

(Source: LA Times)


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