In one week I will be moving away from New Haven, and will have to begin driving to work everyday. For the past three years, I have been lucky enough to walk to work everyday because we live so close to campus.
Okay, that’s a lie. We do live incredibly close to campus, but at least once a week I still drive the whole 4 blocks, part on the street, get a $20 ticket, which turns into a $40 ticket because I hide it from Chris and then forget to pay it on time. It’s a mess. I’m lazy. Let’s move past it.
Anyway, I finally went down to the parking office and got myself a shiny parking space on campus. The problem is that is is really far from my building, but according to the very talkative woman at the parking office, its a “humdinger” of a lot because the shuttles run there so frequently. I’m serious. That was her word. Humdinger.
So yesterday I decide that I’ll test out this shuttle situation and see how I do, so I drive to my parking spot in the morning, park, and lo’ and behold – a shuttle magically appears the minute I shut my car door! I jump on, and it drops me right in front of my building about 10 minutes later. Couldn’t be easier.
And then came the afternoon. I feel the activities of yesterday afternoon are best described in a schedule format, as follows:
4:15 PM I leave my office and head to the shuttle stop.
4:20 PM Shuttle drives up. Everyone I am standing with gets on the shuttle. Me, too. I tend to go with the majority in new situations.
4:45 PM The shuttle makes an unexpected turn at an intersection and instead of heading towards the north side of campus where my car is parked, heads towards the south side of campus where there are medical buildings and other things that are not familiar to me. Its an area where a handgun would be more of an asset than a handbag.
5:00 PM It is now clear to me- 40 minutes later – that I have gotten on the wrong shuttle. I am in the middle of a part of town that does not look the slightest bit familiar to me.
5:05 PM The last person leaves the shuttle and its just me sitting in this old city bus. The driver yells back to me, “Did you miss your stop?” “No,” I reply. “I think I got on the wrong shuttle.” The bus driver sighs and tells me she’ll drop me back where I started.
5:15 PM I am dropped at my original boarding site.
5:20 PM A co-worker finds me and physically places me on the correct shuttle.
5:30 PM I arrive at my car.
TOTAL TIME ELAPSED: 1 hour and 15 minutes
I have a new found respect for commuters today. It takes coordination, dedication, and perseverance to park, ride, and shuttle. I’m a changed woman. Today, I salute you, Commuters of America. Because its a hell of a lot harder than it looks!!