Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cars (and trips) I have known

I used to have the BCFH -- Bitch Commute From Hell.

This was when we first moved to the Cities, and I had to go north on the old Bloomington Ferry bridge. This was a two lane blacktop that wended its way through a swamp. In spring it all flooded and in wintertime it was glaze ice for most of the distance. If you got on that stretch between 7:30 am and 9:30 am, or after 4:15 PM, it could take an hour to go four miles. Traffic was bumper to bumper on that twisty, winding road.

I also had the BJFH: Bitch Job From Hell. I was working at a company that insisted on STRICT hours. They were horrified when I suggested working 7A to 3P to avoid traffic. "We work 8:00 to 5:00 and we expect employees to take an hour for lunch." When I said I didn't need a lunch hour they were completely flumoxed.

I finally got my 7A start time but all they would concede was the 4P end time. I HAD to take an hour for lunch. Combine that with
  1. moronic co-workers (I seldom bitch about co-workers but these guys made Dumb and Dumber look like PhDs)
  2. astoundingly boring technology (can you say 'accounting software'? Need I say more?)
  3. outdated hardware (I used an IBM PC for cryin' out loud! I'd just gotten finished with a contract where I worked on a CRAY SUPERCOMPUTER and I was back to an IBM PC -- HOWL!)
Needless to say, I Hated My Job, I Hated My Commute, and I had just turned 40 and saw my life fading before my eyes. So at the end of my work day when I hopped in my miniscule red Ford Festiva (a car slightly larger than a man's roller skate) I was ready to tear up the road.

And I could -- for about 10 miles. Then I came to the BCFH and a screeching halt while me and a thousand other people crept through the swampland to the south metro. My husband used to say that he could visualize flames shooting out the tailpipe of the ZipMobile (as we called it) because I was so pissed off by the time I got home.

I lasted for 3 months, then I got another contract at Cray again (whooee!), which meant I didn't have to be on the Bridge From Hell since Cray was on the other side of town. They eventually tore down that bridge and built a big new one (which I drive over every day in ZipMobile2), that company is still in business (but they're south of the bridge now, not north), and I am past 50 and in cruise mode.

Odd how those 3 months from hell stuck with me all these years. It taught me one HUGE lesson: yes, you can take a job just to bring in a paycheck but if you can't at least enjoy some aspect of it, you'll make yourself sick. Try to find some redeeming quality in the job or you'll drive yourself and your spouse crazy.

No comments: