Commuting Rant

I am a single parent this week. I thought I was being smart by scheduling my two New York days for Monday and Tuesday, then staying home the rest of the week. Somehow that worked against me.

My mother-in-law was gracious in picking up my stepson from the bus stop yesterday and today, making sure he did his homework and ate dinner. I thought I would be home by 7:00 p.m. (or 8:00 at the latest) leaving enough time for quality one-on-one attention with my stepson before bedtime.

Work, NJ Transit, and a bridge had other plans.

Yesterday I was scheduled for a 5:00 p.m. meeting, which was subsequently pushed to 5:15. I didn’t sweat it because I figured we would be done by 6:00 and I could make a 6:15 or 6:30 train and still be home by 8:00. The meeting ran until 6:15, which meant I missed both trains and, with no further express options, succumbed to the next local train (adding 30 minutes to my ride).

Long story short: I got home at 9:00 p.m. My stepson and I still sat down together for Oreos and milk and finished watching The Tale of Desperaux which we had started the night before. I promised to be home earlier the next day.

Now it is the next day. I walked out of an end-of-day meeting before it was over so I could catch a 5:43 p.m. express. That would put me home around 7:15. Not too shabby.

After I got on the train they announced that the earlier 5:41 local had been cancelled and my express was now making all the local stops to cover it.


Mental math recalculated (2 to the nth power, carry the one…) put me arriving home a little before 8:00. Yuck. But there wasn’t really anything I could do about it. Fine.

We pulled out of the station, went a few miles and the train stopped. It didn’t just pause, it stopped. For a long, long time. It was an hour-and-a-half that we, the helpless passengers, sat. A mere 5 miles from where we started.

Long story short: I got home at 9:30. For anyone keeping tabs, that’s just over 4 hours from the time I left my office. Add that to the nearly 3 hours this morning (due to a traffic jam and slow train speed), and today’s commute was practically a full-time job.

Time to come up with a good home business, don’t you think?

Commutes can be maddening. I know other people feel the same way. I’ve had times where I’m great at making the most of it. Today was not one of those times. (Well, I did write a blog post and I read 100 pages of my book, so there’s that.)

Anyhow, thanks for letting me rant. Please feel free to jump in with your own commuter horror stories in the comments.

Note to my stepson who likely won’t read this (but you never know- he could stumble across it 8 years from now while writing a college research paper on the old days when people used to have to GO to offices): I’m really sorry I broke my promise on coming home early the next day. I swear I tried. Please remember instead the three days I stayed home, not the two that I went to the office. Oh, and the Oreos. Remember the Oreos.


1 Comment

  1. brandi said,

    Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    the only thing I can think to say to that is UGH.

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