As a commuter I feel that all I ever talk about is commuting. My Facebook, Twitter, and daily conversations all include the same thing, moaning about the commute. It’s the first thing I discuss when I finally arrive into work, a great discussion point when chatting to others on the platform and the main reason for my bad moods in the evening.
People often say that you should find a job you love as you spend most of your time at work, well it’s a shame no one warned me to find a commute I adore, as I spend a whopping 20 hours a week sitting alone (That’s without Greater Anglia delays, Central line alarms being pulled and baked bean spillages on the M11)…. I appreciate that doesn’t sound that much but considering the average person spends just 36.5 hours a year laughing that’s a pretty sad ratio.
The journey always starts with me in my car on the way to the station praying for no fog, breakdowns or road traffic accidents, this can delay your journey and chances are if you get caught in this you will then have trouble getting a space at the station and then of course manage to catch the slowest train stopping at all 17 stops. A whole journey time can be affected by that short 11-mile trip.
Providing all runs smoothly I then have the excitement of seeing if I will nab a “good’ space at the car park, of course these spaces are no different to the others, except offering me a shorter walking time.
I know where to stand to ensure I “get a door” both on the way in and on the way home (I like to consider myself a master commuter). I rarely get a seat but have no reservations against sitting on the floor. I spend my commuting time mostly squashed, but also single handily and liberally applying bronzer whilst catching up on Eastenders. I particularly enjoy people with too much luggage who use a seat in rush hour to store it; people that don’t blow their nose and sniff in your ear for 25 minutes and those leggy guys whose legs make it impossible to squeeze into that hidden golden seat.
I then endure “the run”. The manic run from platform ten to three, where you get stuck behind moronic people who can’t seem to multi- task both walking and keeping out of my way. The leap of faith from platform to overground and that sliding doors moment when I wonder if I should have waited for the next train or was it fate that I got this one? And then the sheer panic, did I jump on the right train or am I going to end up 20 miles in the wrong direction?
See the thing with commuting is it can destroy my day, it can make me late; it wastes a lot of time. It steals my evenings, my friends know a weeknight is a no go and when people ask what I did last night I squeak that I ate dinner and went straight to bed because that’s really all I had time for thanks to “the commute”.
But despite all my moaning there is some aspects of my commute that I really enjoy. Its my me time, its my chance to sing loudly on the motorway, read cheap magazines, catch up on TV that I would otherwise miss and just chill, no one can get to me, it’s nomad zone. There are also all the friendly faces I see on the way, the checkout girls at the petrol station who laugh at me stocking up on mass amounts of Red Bull before 7am, the car park attendant who waves when he sees me trudging and the smiley faces at the station who have become a part of my day, everyday.
One thing’s for sure when I finally move to London in June (9 weeks and counting!!!) the 7:46 won’t be the same without me and funnily enough I think I will miss it.