I worry for commuters. I really do. Having been one for a long time in different cities in the world, using all kinds of transport, I genuinely empathise with the long term sufferers of the daily work commute.
The average person will commute to work during peak traffic hours. Trying to get to work in an ever increasing over populated city, they will sit in cars and buses in a midst of invisible carcinogens, constantly worrying if they will make it on time. Your car is most likely a mobile carbon dioxide expulsion system design to fuck you up.
Peak traffic is also seriously dangerous to your mental health. Listening to radio news shows giving them the latest catastrophic Geo-political uproar, the latest disease outbreak and doomsday economic crash warnings. Dealing with morons cutting across you and jumping lines will increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Your mood can degenerate instantly to pure rage. Twice daily. Every working day. Over the long term this will – Break. You. Down.
Maybe you are one of the lucky ones who gets to listen to nice podcasts on a tram/train once you’ve managed to squeeze yourself through the germ riddled, sliding double doors, inhaling other peoples bodily gases with your depleted immune system. Nothing to stare at except masses of beaten down depressed faces or your personal addiction device, mindlessly thumb-fucking through some social feed.
Or maybe you are a high risk nutjob otherwise known as a cyclist. Risking life, limb and testicles traversing and weaving through the aforementioned psychotic, rage induced, caffeine wired drivers. I love cyclists. I really do – they are saving money and the environment but the bravery/lunacy required to navigate disintegrating roads and cycle lanes comes with too high of a cost versus the potential for actually dying in an RTA .
And how bloody long is it taking you? I hear people talk about 90 minutes commutes like that is “not bad”! That’s three whole fecking hours every day. Fifteen hours a week out of your personal life – away from your family and your passions. Fuck that. That’s like having another stressful part-time job on top of your primary job.
I’m not saying quit your job in the morning. Of course it isn’t that easy. I’m saying that “job location distance to home” should be a much higher weighted factor that you take very seriously during your next attempt at finding a new job. Most people will automatically chose highest possible salary which can be understandable. But considering the taxman will rape that extra cash, you should also consider the commute costs of both money and time. Ask yourself some serious questions…
- Can I get a job physically closer to home for a similar or increased wage?
- Can I get a job physically closer to home for a decreased nett wage but with lower fuel/transport costs?
- Can I work in a different direction to other commuters thus avoiding congestion?
- Can I work remotely from home for all or some of the working week?
- Can I change profession to remove my need for a commute at all? #ballsy
The gold standard is not working from home. The gold standard is not working – at all. Choosing when you need to travel and having the luxury of avoiding rush hour traffic completely. Always make sure you have a pathway to Financial Independence by building your Fuck You Money.
To all you hardened commuters out there, just remember – Paddy gives a shit. Hang in there.