5.19.2011

15 Minutes - Everyone Has a Super Power (Mine is Writing)

Hi. It's Joe.

I am writing this from the workplace. It is 5:45 PM. I should be going home. I was in to work at 8:15 today and didn't even get a real lunch. I know that's not really a super long day. I'm not complaining or anything. I am at a good stopping point and if there was important stuff to do, I would probably stay later.

But I can do this other stuff tomorrow. The only reason I am sticking around here is to blog for about 15 minutes, until 6 PM. This is for purely selfish reasons. I do not like to drive in rush hour traffic, and most of it has died down by about 6 PM. My workplace is separated from my home by basically the entire stretch of "Beltline Highway" in Madison WI via which everybody commutes. Madison WI has these big lakes, and even though they are really pretty and recreational and stuff, they pretty much preclude any kind of "direct route" for getting anywhere in Madison.

This "Beltline Highway" traverses the south side of the lakes and goes all the way from the lower east to the upper west side of Madison, via the lower west side of Madison. Most of that distance is business parks and dive bars, until the west suburb of Middleton, where my workplace is.

Although my commute is fairly long, at 33 miles one way, it really isn't that bad, IF I can avoid the rush hour traffic that pollutes and infects the approximately 1/3 of that distance (the "Beltline Highway" part). Most of the drive is on traffic free rural roads, and it's enjoyable. I can listen to music or news or nothing.

But then I hit the "Beltline Highway" and all the losers and a-holes start harshing my gig. I cannot stand tail-gaters, especially when there is nothing I can do about the cars in front of me that are slowing me down. I don't flick off these drivers. Instead, I place the American sign language sign for the letter "L" to my forehead and flash that at them. That is colloquial sign language for LOSER, which is what these people are.

And do you want to know why they are LOSERS (I mean, besides harshing my gig)? It is because they believe they are better than everyone else. They believe that their destination is more important than anyone else's and their getting there trumps everyone else's priorities. This is LAME (also an L word). Sometimes I give these people the benefit of the doubt, that they simply love their job SO MUCH, that they just can't wait to get there and start working.

But in reality, it is probably that they HATE their job so much, that they come in as late as possible, and so they have to speed to get there. To no avail, of course, because they will find me in their path, leading by example that nothing is so important you have to risk your life or getting a ticket for it. I will slow right down to give them a taste of the FREEDOM of laid back driving. I am saving them from anxiety and stress.

In actuality, I will just be honest, I have a couple of speeding tickets under my belt. That is PART of the reason why I don't speed more than 8 mph over the speed limit. But MOST of the reason is because I just like to take it (SL)EAZY. There is nothing in the world that is going to benefit from me getting someplace 2 or 3 minutes earlier. Nothing.

I love my current job because we can be flexible on when we come and go. We all put in over 40 hours a week. In my case it is because I love being a writer and it is my super power, so I don't mind doing it all the time. Heck, I am doing it right now. If I leave my house at 8:15 AM, I usually miss most rush hour traffic, but catch enough of it to annoy the tail gaters that I get in front of and then slow down. I get to work about 9 AM and then I do what has to be done at work, with the aim to leave no earlier than 6 PM, so I can avoid the bulk of the afternoon rush hour traffic.

Every other Tuesday, I have music lessons at 5:30 at the Madison Music Foundry, about half way along the "Beltline Highway" from my workplace. Traffic is always bad on Tuesdays and I really don't like it. So I have found short cuts.

My girlfriend asked me to stop swearing so much. I am going to try.

Time.

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