How I have been missing my commute

Since I live at the end of the world and work in downtown Oakland I usually have a hella commute. Monsoon has been pretty great about it, allowing me to work from home two days a week among other perks. It is awesome but there are still days were I spend two hours on the bus.

I thought it was bad until I started doing on-sites for some clients, where I need to drive. Now my commute takes less time but I feel that I am wasting more of my day.

In my youth my commute would be spent reading a book, but now that I do what I love my preferred time on the bus looks like:

  1. turn on wireless hotspot
  2. try to write an email
  3. curse how terrible my wireless hotspot is while traveling on Geary and listening to Pandora (I think I am the only person not on Spotify at this point)
  4. Say screw it and work on UI code
  5. Arrive in Oakland focused and thinking about code

My time in the car looks like:

  1. Get in car fearing for my life
  2. Drink coffee to stay alert.
  3. Daydream about Terry Gross to calm my nerves.
  4. Wish I hadn’t drank so much coffee
  5. Run out of the car in the nearest restroom feeling tense and distracted.

I have lived in big cities for the past 12 years (my definition of a big city is a place that has a usable public transit systems). Say what you will about the cost of living, I have been able to avoid the daily car commute the entire time. In fact, one of my main reasons for leaving the Lou in the first place to avoid having to drive all time (since time in car causes probability of accident to approach 1).

Now I have learned that it is not the length of the commute that matters, but what you can do with it while you are on it.

(It makes sense a company would want to build driverless cars, so their workers will not have to spend the first thirty minutes in the office unwinding from a terrible commute. They will have started working from the moment they left the house.)


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