My Commute.

driving-school-397293I’ve been pretty fortunate over the years when it comes to commuting to work.

I learned to drive in the late 60s when I lived just outside of Houston, Texas.  Some of the driver education training included driving in traffic on one of the area freeways.  I was comfortable driving in urban traffic.

Very little of my commuting to work has been in that kind of traffic.  I’ve never really had to deal with heavy traffic or traffic jams regularly.

When I was in the Navy, moving off base meant riding a commuter train between Waukegan, Illinois and Great Lakes Naval Training Center to go to and from school.  For my nuclear operational training, there was a fleet of yellow buses that took students and others out to the Naval Reactors Facility over an hour away in the Idaho desert.

Most of my commuting time, though, has been by automobile, with the drive ranging from about 20 to 30 minutes.

Traffic congestion during my commutes has almost never been a problem.  The worst was during outages at the nuclear plant, when getting to and from work takes longer during the periods when the shifts are changing due the longer hours and increased staffing.

I normally go to the gym after most folks are already at work. Traffic is normally very light.  When I headed in today at about 7:30,  traffic was noticeably heavier.

After my first half-day of work, I left at about normal quitting time and ran into some congestion, with traffic backed up from where vehicles leaving the plant turn onto the main highway.  My commute home was lengthened by about 5 minutes from what I remember from the past.

Honestly, I really am thankful for the low stress commutes that I have had for most of my working life.

What has been your commuting experience been? (or your spouse’s if you worked in the home?)

ANO, life, work
8 comments… add one
  • Cheerful Monk Jan 15, 2015

    We live in a small town, so Andy’s/our commute to work was fairly easy for 19 years. Before that we lived a half-mile from where we worked at Cornell and we walked back and forth. So yes, we’ve really been lucky. I’m glad you have been too.

    Andy commutes up to the land and back almost every day. It takes between 45 minutes and an hour each way, but it’s a pretty drive with little traffic. Because of my eyes I don’t drive there, just the few blocks around town.
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    • Mike Jan 15, 2015

      My commute would have been shorter, of course, had we chosen to live in town. Instead, we bought a house on just over three acres along a quiet rural highway.
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  • Alan G Jan 15, 2015

    In late 1968 I lived and worked briefly in Atlanta, GA where the commutes can be nightmarish but I was fortunate to find a place to rent only blocks away from the office.

    Then when I got into the nuclear power plant construction industry where one would think traffic would never be a problem, in one instance in particular it was probably worse than Atlanta could have ever been. That was at the Vogtle Nuclear Plant near Augusta, GA. It was an hour and a half commute and I was usually leaving the house around 4:00 AM to be at work by 6:00 AM. And although it was a rural commute there were hundreds of employees and trying to get onto the same one road entrance and parking lot. And getting out was just about as bad.
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    • Mike Jan 15, 2015

      I’ve driven in Atlanta, but the exposure was minimal and not really rush hour. I was there for business meetings. However, the meetings were held in the same hotel we were staying in.

      Your description of the construction traffic at Vogtle is sometimes true at ANO during outages, especially outages involving major construction such as steam generator replacement. When I was working the outages, I would try to get in early to miss the congestion. It wasn’t so easy to avoid when leaving.

      There are actually 2 new units under construction at Vogtle. One of the Senior Reactor Operators from the last class I taught left to take a job there.
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  • Hilary Jan 15, 2015

    Hi Mike – I always knew I didn’t want to commute by train. So when I was in London .. I’d manipulate my commuting journey – leaving a little earlier .. and if necessary walking home .. using the buses, rather than the tube. Not sure what I’d do today.

    Once Johannesburg came around .. it wasn’t too bad – I lived and worked in town, then lived out and the HQ was on the outskirts … back here I’m in a suburban seaside town … not much rush hour as such … schools out is another matter – just don’t leave after 3.00 pm and wait til 4.00 pm .. to miss the most.

    Cheers – see you when I return to blogland .. Hilary

    • Mike Jan 15, 2015

      My sole experience at commuting via train didn’t last very long and my destination was only a couple of stops from where I got on. It was quite a ways out on a line along Lake Michigan going into Chicago.

      When I was 15, for a very short time part of my commute to high school was on the city bus.

      I hope the surgery and recovery goes well.
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  • Rummuser Jan 17, 2015

    Since I have retired, I do not commute. The last commuting job that I had was over a decade ago and I had a chauffeur to drive. I solved crossword puzzles during the drive to and fro.
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    • Mike Jan 17, 2015

      With these contract jobs, I could probably afford a chauffeur, but I’ve always been a do-it-yourself kind of guy and it’s just not something you see here in America’s heartland or my industry. Also, I can just imagine the snide comments I would get from coworkers.
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