Monday, April 18, 2011

Lousy Monday… Until It Wasn’t

For some reason I had trouble getting out of the house this morning and it snowed!?!? Everything just seemed to take twice as long as normal. I got out of the house 10 minutes later than usual but got nearly all green lights so I was happy on my way to the train station, that is until the freight train stopped me on Bartlett Rd where the freight trains always wait until rush hour to go through Bartlett. I can usually beat it if I leave on time, if I don’t it’s a crap shoot, maybe 50/50 but there it was, just sitting there, not moving and one lousy train car was still on the tracks and time was slipping by. Finally, after losing 5 minutes I gained back by getting all green lights I was back to 10 minutes behind. No biggie, plenty of time, I pad my commute so this should work out fine. Smile with tongue out

That is, until the school bus in front of me stopped, well another no big deal right? Nope, this bus stopped every block for these teenage kids perfectly capable of meeting at one or two stops, but no, the bus even stops for them if they’re running out of their house. 12 stops we make in 3 blocks and what do these kids do as they plod along care free and not caring that traffic is now backed up for nearly 2 blocks behind me? Why they run back to mommy to get a kiss or grab that lunch they forgot or to wait for that other kid who is walking along as if on her way to the gas chamber. Nearly 14 minutes goes by as we all wait for the future of America to finally load onto the bus 18 times in total (I think, I may be off by a few) for what should have been 3 stops. Hey, you too lazy to get to the bus stop tough, stay home and explain it to the school, but we live in different times now, personal responsibility is so 30 years ago, no place for it in todays society. Annoyed

We’re talking 12 suburban blocks here folks, maybe 3 or 4 houses long per block and these kids get picked up at every single corner or house whichever they feel like. I have to admit, my blood pressure was going at a pretty good clip when I finally saw that bus make a right turn to go the 1/2 mile to the school these kids couldn’t walk to. Seriously, a bus for this commute? Good grief…

I finally get to the train station and the parking machine charges me for 2 days. I begin to wonder if today is the day to go to work, visions of “Final Destination” start going through my head, maybe I should work from home today, nuts, I know better so I get onto the train and the lady that sits across from me one stop down gets on at the Schaumburg station and I explain my commute so far.

Her response, I smashed into my mothers car this morning Disappointed smile…. this is the second time I have done this. Now, mind you this lady is my age so we both get a good laugh at this and this also helps put things into perspective. She has to call her mother when she gets to work and explain to her how she hit her car, again. Her mother is never going to leave her car there again! Guaranteed! Sarcastic smile

The rest of the trip goes smoothly and we have a pleasant conversation until we get into Union Station and the cattle lines aren’t moving. No idea why but we get to stand there for 5 minutes while the train next to us idles at full throttle. Doesn’t matter at this point, I haven’t hit anything, I’m safely in Chicago and what could go wrong from here right? Thankfully nothing did, I made it the 3/4 of a mile walk to work with no issues. Can’t wait to see what Tuesday brings!


By the way, on average my commute each way is 2 hours making for 4 hours of travel each day of the week. Thankfully half is on the train so I can relax.


Ronda said...

My poor dude... :-( I don't envy your trip every day. I just have a 45 min drive. I try to get out of the neighborhoods as quickly as possible. It is totally ridiculous how they do the bus stops nowadays. Not only that, if we slogged along like the kids do now, our bus driver would just leave. We had to double-time to the bus. Kids nowadays are so spoiled it's not even funny. I could get into an entire blog about that. I KNOW!!! I sound like my grandfather..."In my day...." hehehe...(but are really more spoiled now than ever!)

Rick and Paulette said...

A four hour a day commute? Wow! That makes for a pretty long day all by itself - even with the job part.

Sam&Donna Weibel said...

Just so you know you got a picture of a rare bird indeed in the picture you took at the Metra station,The commuter engine on the right is a GM built F45C,There were only about 15 of them built for the Milwaukee Road before the State took over commuter service and Metra was formed.They were retired once. but about 4 were brought back to service, but won't last long as their replacements are coming. Chicago is like New jersey people will ride a train for two hours to get to work and not complain, but let traffic back up for 30 minutes and they are screaming, What am I missing. At least on the train you can have a coffee and read the paper and relax. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna...

Merikay said...

How terrible! I hope you really love that job and they pay you very well!

Sue and Doug said...

that is quite the commute..and here this morning I was cursing the stinky man that sat beside me..smelling of stale cigarettes..oh and then there was the girl who waved a five dollar bill at the bus driver and said she would pay at the skytrain?..did she? rode for free..darn people anyway!..thinking the transit system owes them a free ride..and me the poor sucker who pays everyday!!!..I love public transit!.. :(

Big Matt said...

Wow, Four hour commute... It was a four hour commute that drove me to start full-timing in my camper (2 hours to drive 52 miles).

Diana said...

Wow I am transported back to the days when I would have to cross the tracks in Franklin Park to get to work. I dreaded getting held up if I was just a minute or two late! Sometimes I'd smoke a little, back in the day mind you (I gave that up) just to pass the time. Then I'd just start laughing.
It would sometimes be a twenty minute wait!
And school buses, OMG, I went to school in Chicago BEFORE busing started!! I had a six block walk to school and six blocks home everyday rain or snow. Ah those were the days!!
Thanks for the memories Erik! I miss Chicago sometimes. Love Di ♥

DeanO said...

Good grief Charlie Brown - That's what you get for having Gerbils and not dogs!

Erik's RV Blog said...

Rick and Paulette - Yeah, but you get used to it, much of the time on the train is spent relaxing. Morning is quiet, if you leave on the late train the after business crowd is on board and they can get very loud, so I try to make my usuale train.

Sam & Donna - The F45C isn't one I see a lot of, there are a few though and when they get their idle up they can shake the gound you're walking on! I love train engines, fascinating machines.

Merikay - I like my job, we have been through a lot together!

Sue & Doug - I get all the stinky people next to me on the way home. Usually it just bad breath or somebody who doesn't know how to cover their mouth when they cough. People can be really disgusting and you see it al on the trains. Maybe one day I'll blog about some of the things I've seen, without going into TMI mode. :)

Diana - FRANKLIN PARK!! It's one of my stops along the way. :) My Dad made my brother and I walk the 2 miles to school everyday when we were kids. It was rough be we didn't know any better, many of the kids did. Schools were charging money for the bus back then and my Dad refused to pay. Also, the school had a 1 miles rules which is now gone, they seem to pick you up no matter how close you are these days.

DeanO - Don't know what yer smokin my friend! My wife has Gerbils and we have a dog, but not sure what that has to do with a commute! :)~