Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What's On The Commuting Agenda?

In an earlier post, I asked TTIV readers to share what was in their commuting survival kits. Some responses were typical, some unusual. Splenda and Oxycodone were my favorites, and judging from reader comments, yours too.

I'm also nosy about what people do on their commutes, besides obtaining medical test results via cell phone at obnoxious volumes. So I asked the TTIV community. In today's post, we'll look at what they said.

Shakespearean characters are back to protect TTIV readers' privacy.

Ajax. Ajax is the TTIV reader who told us he carried Splenda packets and Oxycodone in his backpack on the Long Island Rail Road. He commented that in the mornings, he sleeps, and in evening, there may be an Internet search or solitaire game.

I have to admit I was expecting a rock star story, complete with tearing apart hotel rooms, or at least ripping the stuffing out of train seats. Alas, there's nothing scandalous here. Ajax is not a drug abuser. Let's move on.

Cordelia. "I just stare for the entire 15 minutes," she told me. I asked, "You just look around, all slack-jawed?" Her response: "Well, earlier I stared out the open door and watched a woman vomit on the train platform."

Stare at your own risk.

Corporal Nym. "I read TTIV blog entries, play candy crush soda, sleep, drink, and look out for oddities to report back to TTIV."

Those are fine things to do on the commute. Fine things indeed.

Octavius. Octavius is always good for details.

Platform Roulette: The pink-headed folks hope the doors
open for them, and not the clustered groups
"It's an hour and twenty minute commute, and my goal is to ensure it doesn't take any longer. I spend my time pondering why people arrive early and squander precious moments of life standing and waiting. I spend mere seconds on the platform playing Platform Roulette."

He continued. "Occasionally, I extend my commute by picking up a birthday card, getting my shoes shined, or meeting someone for a drink. Extracurricular activities are meticulously budgeted into additional commute time."

Octavius is the Buck Showalter of commute management. For you non-baseball fans, Buck is the uber organized manager of the Baltimore Orioles.

Desdemona: Desdemona's first question to me was, "no names, right?" Yes, Desdemona, I promise not to make you a community pariah by associating your name with TTIV.

Desdemona's train activities are reading, reviewing meeting notes, listening to an audio book, or reviewing her gratitudes.

Reviewing her gratitudes? I should try that. There are always things for which to be thankful. I'm sure Desdemona is thankful I didn't soil her reputation by mentioning her name.

King Duncan. He takes the subway for a short distance. He told me, after warning me not to use his real name, that he checks email and stock quotes. "You rarely get a good signal in the subway," I countered.  "What do you do when you can't get updates?" His response? "I look out the window in wonder, like Forrest Gump."

Life is like a box of chocolates, even for his royal highness.

Ophelia. Would you look at that picture? The guy was willing to sacrifice his backpack to avoid waiting six extra minutes for the next train. That's dedication. Ophelia spends her commute shaking her head, watching people like this guy slow everyone else down.

Commuting is a grind and you have to have things to do. King Duncan's unstructured approach works fine for a short commute, and Octavius' highly structured approach works better for the daily suburban trek. No matter where on the spectrum your commute falls, be like Corporal Nym and report back to TTIV when strange things happen.

Until next time, parting is such sweet sorrow.

Happy and safe commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.
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  1. Great article. My commute is 70 minutes both ways. In the mornings I sleep and in the afternoons I sleep. If sleeping is prevented from the loud conversations of two people who have not seen each in the last 9 hours I will read or look outside and wonder why I don't live in Hawaii.

    1. Sartoris, you have the right idea. But until the Hawaii relocation happens, I strongly suggest headphones.

  2. Everyone loves a good vomit viewing!

    1. Those who miss a good vomit viewing are usually upset when they hear about it later. Cordelia is one lucky woman.