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    Thread: Sad, new driving trend: Are you a "super commuter"?

    1. Member themagellan's Avatar
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      04-13-2012 10:24 AM #101
      But it gives everyone a reason to cry about gas prices.

    2. Senior Member dunhamjr's Avatar
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      04-13-2012 10:33 AM #102
      after over 8 yrs i absolutely hate commuting.

      its only about 50 miles round trip. but its are the worst rush hour traffic times. along 3 freeways. through the eastside area of seattle.

      22-25 miles takes over an hour each way.

      even now with riding in a vanpool and working from home a day a week, i am just tired of sitting in the car 2+ hours a day.

      if there ever came a time where my commute went 'super commuter' aka 200 miles a day. i absolutely would either move or find a new job asap.

      the economy may suck, but if you are good you can find work. my company alone has hired over 100 people since January. and about 1-2 months back i was getting sought out by recruiters asking me to come interview for jobs they had open.

      even if pay drops a little, commuting 200 miles/day... hell even 100 miles/day, is just not worth it.
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      04-13-2012 10:36 AM #103
      Been there done that for 10 years ... now 5 mins from work .. that has it drawbacks too ... I am the first one to get a call if something breaks.

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      04-13-2012 10:38 AM #104
      Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Woo View Post
      We've discussed this before, and I know this isn't the rant thread, but insufferably stubborn baby boomers who believe that you aren't working unless you're in the office are wasting hours of people's lives by forbidding telework. My boss is a perfect example. He loathes the very concept of telework and fudged our "telework justification paperwork" (mandated by the President for all federal workers in order to reduce fuel consumption and improve morale) so that we're always 100% ineligible for it. And he isn't going anywhere anytime soon...coasting his way along doing the bare minimum of work in order to seal the deal on his second retirement. UGH.

      I'm a web developer. I work on the computer all freaking day, and all I need is VPN access and I can do 95% of my work from home. Even one day a week would be enough for me, but we're totally ineligible because of this a-hole.
      See, that's the kind of crap that has to stop. I work for state gov't and luckily they see teleworking as cost cutting incentives (less utility use, less buildings to pay for, etc.) and they also see the technology investment required as stimulating to the local economy. I know some federal agencies are even moving to up to 5-day a week policies now. That old style of being in the office everyday, showing face, etc. just doesn't mean crap anymore. I can agree that for meetings and certain instances it is better to be in person, but those are once per week at the most. There simply isn't anything you can't accomplish via chat/video/phone.

    5. Member maskedSONY's Avatar
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      04-13-2012 10:38 AM #105
      Why do people assume that this trend can just apply to the US only? I'm pretty sure that there are plenty of other nations where people have to commute insane distances and times.

      I'm lucky, I live less than 10 miles from my job and barely have a commute. I've been able to have a very effective lifestyle for the past couple of years.
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      04-13-2012 10:39 AM #106
      Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Woo View Post
      And he isn't going anywhere anytime soon...coasting his way along doing the bare minimum of work in order to seal the deal on his second retirement. UGH.
      Oooh ooh let me guess....crusty retired military who coasted, for no very good reason, into supervising workers whose activities he barely understands because he annoyed his wife too much to stick around at home after he took an early retirement from his administrative military career?

      I didn't meet a single one of those mother****ers when I was with the Feds.
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      04-13-2012 10:43 AM #107
      35 miles each way about a 55 minute drive... sucks but ill deal. i used to drive an rx8 that gets 15 mpg (if im lucky) so i had to get rid of that and got an r32 much better gas mileage and so much more fun

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      04-13-2012 10:43 AM #108
      My commute is about 34 miles round trip. My mom commuted 180 miles round trip for 30 years or so. She has 285,000 miles on her current Corolla, but recently retired, so that poor thing will get a rest.
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    9. Senior Member dunhamjr's Avatar
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      04-13-2012 10:43 AM #109
      Quote Originally Posted by jepva View Post
      The solution is TELEWORK. I know, some people aren't in a line of work where they can do this but the reality is that 90% of white collar workers are in a position sitting behind the computer most of the day, .
      you said its the solution. but its not. even sitting behind a computer, if you are in the same building you build a sense of commuting and trust with your fellow teammates and other internal customers... that you just do not get with remote teams.

      i have seen this in action. my team of technical consultants all sit in our office in Redmond, WA, except for 1 hire in Minneapolis.

      just on our team, you can see that the team functions better together when they are in the office. the single remote worker is behind the learning curve because she doesnt get exposed to 'office chatter' the way the rest of us do. the people in the office talk about work, chat about home, joke and such. the remote team member talks to us in IM when she needs help, daily, and on the phone at a handful of meetings a month.

      even further out from just my team. we work on 2-3 person implementation project teams. one of my guys, and one to two members from remote teams. the remote teams have very little support structure. they are hesitant to talk to their teammates. they seldom seem to reach out to their management structure for help/answers. they try to answer all questions and learn everything on their own... often coming to an incorrect conclusion or only a partial understanding of what is happening in our product. this is not isolated to a couple of remote people here or there... i see this type of behavior across the approx 100+ remote workers that i have contact with within regular business throughout a month.
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    10. Senior Member dunhamjr's Avatar
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      04-13-2012 10:45 AM #110
      Quote Originally Posted by maskedSONY View Post
      Why do people assume that this trend can just apply to the US only? I'm pretty sure that there are plenty of other nations where people have to commute insane distances and times.

      I'm lucky, I live less than 10 miles from my job and barely have a commute. I've been able to have a very effective lifestyle for the past couple of years.
      it definitely does not.
      but there are a lot of places that have a much better long distance commuter rail system setup.
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    11. Member Chris_V's Avatar
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      04-13-2012 10:45 AM #111
      Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Woo View Post
      Maybe I'm selfish, but sitting in traffic for an extra 1.5 hours each way every single day is not worth it to have a larger house.
      Sometimes it's not for a larger house, just a cheaper one in a better area for kids to go to school. I'm actually looking at simplifying and downsizing to the country in a smaller rancher type house, but a longer commute. So long as I continue to get weekends off, there's plenty of time to enjoy yourself and family (though I'm now an empty nester)

      We've discussed this before, and I know this isn't the rant thread, but insufferably stubborn baby boomers who believe that you aren't working unless you're in the office are wasting hours of people's lives by forbidding telework. My boss is a perfect example. He loathes the very concept of telework and fudged our "telework justification paperwork" (mandated by the President for all federal workers in order to reduce fuel consumption and improve morale) so that we're always 100% ineligible for it. And he isn't going anywhere anytime soon...coasting his way along doing the bare minimum of work in order to seal the deal on his second retirement. UGH.

      I'm a web developer. I work on the computer all freaking day, and all I need is VPN access and I can do 95% of my work from home. Even one day a week would be enough for me, but we're totally ineligible because of this a-hole.
      I'm in the same boat, and the boss here, even though it's federally directed to do telework, AND our department is one of the ones "eligible", has made sure that there's no way we can. He's the same age and mentality as your boss. It's so stupid. We could save millions by having people work at home for these tech jobs and only come in for important meetings (ones that you can't conference call in on). Smaller total building footprint, lower facility energy costs, etc. Not to mention the savings of not having to commute.
      I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.

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      04-13-2012 10:45 AM #112
      i'm in the DC metro area, and commuting really does suck here. there's just way too many cars for the roads available. the civil planners definitely did not plan for this kind of volume on the roads they designed (especially with tons of traffic lights everywhere). my commute is only 6 miles local each way, but it still takes 15-20 minutes in good traffic because of all the stop lights and speed limits. one of the biggest problems is the bottlenecks that the transportation authorities still cannot seem to agree on. there is ONE (1) bridge that almost everyone uses to commute between VA to MD, and people coming/going to/from DC typically take that bridge as well. in fact, just these past couple days, a plan was rejected to build a new bridge to mitigate this problem because it was deemed to possibly infringe upon the agricultural zoning and maintenance of green space in Montgomery County, MD. while i am all for preservation of natural spaces, there HAS to be some kind of solution that is workable for creating another bridge

      this past week, i was actually going for training at a different office facility that made my trip 28 miles each way through the DC beltway (which i've driven many times living here and knew what to expect), and let me tell you, it sucked. the 3-hour rush hour guarantees that 28 miles = 70 minutes in decent traffic and could go up to 90 minutes in heavy traffic. i don't know how some people do it every single day. throw in the fact that lots of people here are not born US citizens and learned their driving habits from somewhere else, and you have people not following traffic etiquette or highway policies. i would go ape****.

      i am definitely a huge proponent of living within a reasonable distance (time-wise) of your workplace.
      Last edited by evosky; 04-13-2012 at 10:50 AM.
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      04-13-2012 10:46 AM #113
      Quote Originally Posted by Chmeeee View Post
      There are two big problems that lead people to think that they have to live far away from work.

      1. They're not doing the math
      2. They're confusing wants with needs

      On #1, I find if you talk to people that they rarely add the cost of the commute to their cost of living, or if they do, they only add the gas. If you assume that an average vehicle costs $0.35 per mile (AAA says it's over $0.50, but whatever), then you're adding $150/month for every 10 miles farther from your job you move.

      Now, assume that a house runs you about $750/month per $100k for mortgage, insurance, and taxes. That means that if you moved 50 miles closer to work, you could afford a $100k more expensive house. How many people do you think do that math?

      On #2, when people say they "can't afford" to live closer to the city, what they really mean is they can't afford exactly what they have way out in the burbs if it were in the city. Yeah, you can't afford a 4 bedroom, 2,500 sf house on 2 acres 5 miles from downtown. That's for the rich people. But you also have no need for that, it's a luxury. People have gotten used to it and think of it as a need. If you sell the above house 50 miles from the city for a 1,500 sf condo in a reasonable neighborhood, I'd bet the cost would be comparable.

      If you want the big house on the big land, that's fine, but don't tell me that you can't afford to live closer. You can, you just don't want to.

      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      Thankfully, I work for a company owned, run, and staffed mostly by people under age 45, and we're allowed to telecommute as much as we want - we're basically expected to be in the office if we have to attend a meeting in person with a client, and besides that we can come and go as we wish. I Skype and Facetime with coworkers if we just need to chat about something, we use VPN and cloud services extensively, and I generally meet with clients or collaborators at their offices. I generally go to work maybe twice a week. The rest of the time, I could be just about anywhere on Earth with a secure Wi-Fi connection. I'll be working on a project in Vernal, UT next week and I'm not even going to bother with an away message.

      It's ****ing glorious. Never tell my boss this, because my salary went up very nicely when I left the feds, but I'd have taken a BIG pay cut if that's what it took to be on this schedule. The freedom is incredible, the free time is priceless, and we're all more productive than if we were in a cube all day. There is precisely ZERO reason for a knowledge worker to be in an office every hour of the work week.

      Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Woo View Post
      Maybe I'm selfish, but sitting in traffic for an extra 1.5 hours each way every single day is not worth it to have a larger house.

      Now, if it was nothing but twisty back roads, I might be able to convince myself that it'd be worth it.


      We've discussed this before, and I know this isn't the rant thread, but insufferably stubborn baby boomers who believe that you aren't working unless you're in the office are wasting hours of people's lives by forbidding telework. My boss is a perfect example. He loathes the very concept of telework and fudged our "telework justification paperwork" (mandated by the President for all federal workers in order to reduce fuel consumption and improve morale) so that we're always 100% ineligible for it. And he isn't going anywhere anytime soon...coasting his way along doing the bare minimum of work in order to seal the deal on his second retirement. UGH.

      I'm a web developer. I work on the computer all freaking day, and all I need is VPN access and I can do 95% of my work from home. Even one day a week would be enough for me, but we're totally ineligible because of this a-hole.


      Smart things being said in a TCL thread?!?!?!

    14. Member Chris_V's Avatar
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      04-13-2012 10:49 AM #114
      Quote Originally Posted by dunhamjr View Post
      you said its the solution. but its not. even sitting behind a computer, if you are in the same building you build a sense of commuting and trust with your fellow teammates and other internal customers... that you just do not get with remote teams.

      i have seen this in action. my team of technical consultants all sit in our office in Redmond, WA, except for 1 hire in Minneapolis.

      just on our team, you can see that the team functions better together when they are in the office. the single remote worker is behind the learning curve because she doesnt get exposed to 'office chatter' the way the rest of us do. the people in the office talk about work, chat about home, joke and such. the remote team member talks to us in IM when she needs help, daily, and on the phone at a handful of meetings a month.
      Not always the case. My wife does telework most of the time, and for her office, the "chatter" as you cal it is done entirely through IM. Even in the office, no one talks to each other at the desks, they do it through IM. Work, personal, etc, it's all done IM.

      Telework can be the solution with a few simple steps. And there's NOTHING I do here that I couldn't do as efficiently and as "connected" at my home office.
      I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.

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      04-13-2012 10:49 AM #115
      No, I am not a super commuter, but i know a bunch of folks who spend 1.5-2 hours on the train or in a car/van/bus pool plus another 15-30 minutes driving time on their own. It is the new reality of the race to the bottom. It has been going on for the last 5-10 years now and I don't expect it to get any better. I would much prefer living in a semi-rural area but my livelihood (and that of my spouse) dictates otherwise.

      In comparison, my commute is relatively easy by area standards: 24 miles, 1.5 hours one way.

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      04-13-2012 10:56 AM #116
      Quote Originally Posted by evosky View Post
      i'm in the DC metro area, and commuting really does suck here. there's just way too many cars for the roads available. the civil planners definitely did not plan for this kind of volume on the roads they designed (especially with tons of traffic lights everywhere). my commute is only 6 miles local each way, but it still takes 15-20 minutes in good traffic because of all the stop lights and speed limits.
      There is no amount of roadway capacity that is enough for a large city. If you build more capacity, more cars fill it right up. It's a never ending cycle that turns everything into shit, which is why we need to be building more transit. Look at New Jersey. Between 2 or 3 freeways, they have something like 24 lanes of capacity carrying traffic to/from NYC. It's still jammed.
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      04-13-2012 10:56 AM #117
      Quote Originally Posted by 200HP4dr View Post
      Canton to Fairview Hospital. Straight up 77. At 5:30. Traffic is solid pretty much all the way up there.

      Chris
      is seems insane... i live in medina, and going downtown takes 45 mins tops. maybe 1 hour if there's bumper to bumper traffic. and honestly in the years ive been driving, not even in sitting in traffic at cavs games or indians games going home has it taken me an hour.

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      04-13-2012 11:00 AM #118
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      Oooh ooh let me guess....crusty retired military who coasted, for no very good reason, into supervising workers whose activities he barely understands because he annoyed his wife too much to stick around at home after he took an early retirement from his administrative military career?

      I didn't meet a single one of those mother****ers when I was with the Feds.
      Okay, I'm a little freaked out. You just described him to a T. He supervises the "IT Section," which includes us web designers/developers and the help desk/field techs, and he wouldn't know the difference between a DIV tag and a Cat 5 cable.

      Quote Originally Posted by Chris_V View Post
      I'm in the same boat, and the boss here, even though it's federally directed to do telework, AND our department is one of the ones "eligible", has made sure that there's no way we can. He's the same age and mentality as your boss. It's so stupid. We could save millions by having people work at home for these tech jobs and only come in for important meetings (ones that you can't conference call in on). Smaller total building footprint, lower facility energy costs, etc. Not to mention the savings of not having to commute.
      My coworker commutes 50 miles each way every day. She's on an Alternate Work Schedule (AWS), which has her working 9 9-hour days a pay period with an extra day off. It took months of pestering our supervisor to allow this, and even then he was very vocal about his objections, but told us that he'd been "directed" to allow it.

      The cost savings and morale increases involved with telework are incontestable. Independent studies show that telework increases productivity. The President himself signed an Executive Order mandating that every federal agency take a long, hard look at telecommuting and come up with justifications why it can't be done. And this idiot just stews in his own pigheaded spite, completely incapable of considering a different way of Getting Things Done™.
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    19. 04-13-2012 11:00 AM #119
      3.3 miles each way according to Google, 10-20 minutes depending on traffic and how many traffic lights I hit. On most days I go back home for lunch too. Where I live traffic is not too bad and rush hour doesn't last long. Of course I am childless and don't have to worry about school quality and such. I suspect if we had kids that would weigh much more heavily in my mind as to where to live. I sort of understand where the person profiled in the OP is coming from, but I cannot see sacrificing that much of my own sanity and well-being for my kids. Especially if that would make me a miserable old git.

      The nature of my work precludes telecommuting, I work with college students all day, but I wish I didn't have to work 8-5. I'd kill for 9-6 or 10-7, but due to budget issues after 5 our office is closed. Which is a shame since being here later would benefit those students who work 8-5 and coming in to see me during the day can be a PITA.

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      04-13-2012 11:02 AM #120
      Quote Originally Posted by dunhamjr View Post
      even further out from just my team. we work on 2-3 person implementation project teams. one of my guys, and one to two members from remote teams. the remote teams have very little support structure. they are hesitant to talk to their teammates. they seldom seem to reach out to their management structure for help/answers. they try to answer all questions and learn everything on their own... often coming to an incorrect conclusion or only a partial understanding of what is happening in our product. this is not isolated to a couple of remote people here or there... i see this type of behavior across the approx 100+ remote workers that i have contact with within regular business throughout a month.
      Many businesses require that new people spend at least a year in the office before starting telework. That'd obviate a lot of that. But really...even if that's so...I think the benefits outweigh the costs, and there's nothing there that's fundamental to the telework process anyway. It could all be resolved with better training.
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      04-13-2012 11:05 AM #121
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      Oooh ooh let me guess....crusty retired military who coasted, for no very good reason, into supervising workers whose activities he barely understands because he annoyed his wife too much to stick around at home after he took an early retirement from his administrative military career?

      I didn't meet a single one of those mother****ers when I was with the Feds.
      Not only did you describe Dr Woo's boss, you described mine, as well. And as an Associate Commissioner, he's entrenched in his postion and won't be going anywhere soon.
      I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.

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      04-13-2012 11:07 AM #122
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      It could all be resolved with better training.
      And by having better managers. Note that I said mangers, and not supervisors. Supervisors are people who babysit folks who can't be left alone and trusted to do the job on their own. Managers help facilitate and get the most of their respective employees.

    23. Swallow Doretti
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      04-13-2012 11:11 AM #123
      So, let's see...the guy in the OP moved out to the middle of nowhere so he could start a family. And as a result, he sees his kids only on weekends and, if he's lucky, maybe an hour before they go to bed on weeknights?

      Um, OK.

      I do not understand that mentality. I work in the city, and my commute consists of six blocks. I don't have kids, but a lot of my coworkers do, and they all live in town, too. That means when they need to get home to the kids, it's a 25 minute Metro ride or 15 in a cab. And that means, while that guy will miss all his kids' school plays and baseball games, my coworkers won't.

      As for telework...it's great when you can do it, but I still prefer having the ability to sometimes just gather the right three or four people in a room for 15 minutes and hash something out, rather than having to go back and forth through a string of emails and IMs for hours trying to get to the same conclusion. Ideally, work offers a mix of the two for balance, not one extreme or the other.

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      04-13-2012 11:17 AM #124
      I personally could never drive 100 miles per day, almost every day, for work. I don't generally see the point in it, personally. But I do know people who have lengthy commutes. One woman who used to work at my current company claimed to commute via train from her house in Lancaster, PA to NYC EVERY DAY. That;s nuts, IMO.

      Currently, I have a ~35 mile commute and that's a bit much. However, the problem I have is that my GF and I work in completely different directions. Neither of us are going to change jobs because we both like where we work, which I've come to realize, is fairly rare. And unfortunately, the rail system in the philadelphia region is absolutely terrible unless you're going from the suburbs to center city. But traveling within the suburb? Forget about it! There's one train I can take to work and one train I can take going home. If you miss those for whatever reason, you're not taking the train that day. Terrible.

      I personally like going in to work and I don't think telecommuting would work for me, though several people in my company have arrangements where they work from home a few days a week. And actually, several people who live in NJ work from home completely. I like the occassional work from home day, but not every day.

    25. Member DUBSfightinRUST's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 12th, 2011
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      Rust belt , Pennsyltucky
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      Current = 2008 GTI & rusty '95 suburban
      04-13-2012 11:18 AM #125
      Been there, done that

      Loaded Turbo Supra made the trip quick and nice!

      88 mile round trip took only 1.3 hrs.-on 70 mph Florida highway.

      In contrast I had a 30 mile round trip in Philly that took 2 hrs. - Quit that job too.
      Someday I will post something stupid here, but not yet.

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