It’s not the work, it’s getting there.

I’m almost a week in and I think I can safely say this:

I really like my job.

I am not quite to the point where I can say I love my job, but I’m close. The people are, to a one, fantastic; the work is interesting and enjoyable and I have more responsibility than I know what to do with; and while I have plenty of work, I don’t feel overburdened. At least not totally overburdened. There’s definitely not so much work that I can’t handle it.

What I don’t love is my commute. Specifically my commute home.

See, here’s the thing. I have to take a bus, then a train, to get to work. And in the morning, that’s not a problem. The bus comes pretty much on schedule and the trains run very frequently, so I get to work within about 40 minutes most days.

But in the evening, when I have to take the train and then the bus…well, it doesn’t work as well. Because the bus still leaves right on schedule, but it only leaves every 20 minutes. Which is the case in the morning also, but it’s not a problem in the morning because I walk out to the stop just in time. But in the evening, my train seems always to end up arriving right after the bus has left and I have to wait 20 minutes for the next one. And I hate it.

Now, I could walk home instead of taking the bus. But it’s about a mile and a half, which takes longer to walk than 20 minutes. It takes longer to walk, actually, than the 20 minutes plus the bus travel time from the station to my stop (about 8 minutes). So walking is not really all that viable, though I can see making that decision if the weather is nice. I could also try to time my evening departure so I end up on a train that gets me to the station within a five or ten minute window before the bus is supposed to leave. But so far, that hasn’t really worked. I guess I’ll keep trying to figure it out?

At any rate, what that means is that it can take me as long as an hour to get home in the evening — and that means that if I stay until 6, which seems reasonable, I don’t get home until 7. And since I’m the cook, that means we don’t eat dinner until at least 7:30 — and that I come home and immediately have to start cooking.

There are some solutions here, I realize. One is for Mr. D. to start doing some of the cooking, and he is willing to do that and he is probably going to do that. But he’s not as confident in the kitchen as I am and doesn’t enjoy cooking like I do. Another solution is for me to start doing more cooking in advance, either making casseroles on the weekend or using the crockpot or even just making lots of extra when I do cook so we have easily reheatable leftovers. But other than the solution that involves me not cooking, those solutions just time-shift the problem, either to the morning, when I am already hustling out the door before 8, or to the weekend, when I really don’t want to be stressing out about what we’re going to eat for the next five days.

I know, I know. These are the problems that a great majority of my peers face and deal with every day. And I admit that I got very spoiled having a very short walking commute for the last two years (and being a student the three years before that — and having a short driving commute and a set 40-hour workweek for the several years before that). But I’m really having to adjust to all of it.

The worst part is that I leave work excited and in a good mood because I enjoy it so much — but am crabby and grouchy by the time I get home because I’m frustrated by missing a train or a bus, by waiting for the train or the bus forever, by not getting home until 7. I mean, if I’m going to be out of the house for 11 hours, I should be billing a lot more than I am!

So it’s just an adjustment. I’m just waiting to get used to it. Which I know I will. It’ll just take some time!

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One Response

  1. I think the commute is the worst part about working. I didn’t mind it when I could just walk a couple of blocks from my office to the train, then from the train a couple of blocks home – but that hasn’t been the case since 2003. I really can’t believe the commute we put P through for 2 years. I still feel guilty for it!

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