I spend two hours in my car every weekday. Yes. Every. Single. Weekday. I have a 150 kilometre trip to and from work.
This is hardly anything new for me. My odometre reads 112,000 and some odd clicks; I only bought it in 2009. Poor Scarlett has seen a lot of miles (well, Canadian kilometres) and my arse has carved quite a groove into my seat.
Commuting is just a reality in this dreadful economy. It’s hard to get work; one cannot be choosy about something as minor as travel time. And a one hour commute is fair game, at least according to Service Canada, which will make EI recipients drive that far for work or deny them benefits.
I’ve learned some tricks to surviving a long commute.
- You must have music. The radio is not sufficient for two hours on the road because you will hear Miley Cyrus far too many times, ditto for “Blurred Lines”. Calming music can help decrease road rage by 56%. It can also cause an increase in the making of nonsensical statistics based on nothing but whatever number I choose to type at the time. This is true 0.5 times out of 192.
- Coffee is essential. I get up at 5:15am, eat breakfast, then slowly consume a cup of coffee. By the time I hit the road, the caffeine is waking me up. After I arrive at work, I drink my second cup (sometimes I alternate coffee for green tea). On the way home, it’s possible I’ll stop at Tim Horton’s for another brew.
- Snow tires are a must if you want to actually survive. It also helps to have a standard transmission.
- Remember to get your oil changed frequently. If you travel as much as I do, that is probably like 12 times a year.
- Sunroofs are fantastic for the commuter. They come in handy on cold mornings when you have to run the heat to keep the windshield clear, but don’t want to sweat out two litres before you get to work. The hot air goes out the sunroof after it clears your windows. Win. (Plus the rush of wind helps keep you awake.)
- Leave early enough in case you get stuck behind slow moving traffic. It lessens cursing and speeding tickets.
- Cool sunglasses help enhance your image when you’re behind the wheel. Looking cool is vital. Preventing cataracts is also good.
- Finally, if you’re going to spend a minimum of 10 hours in your car every week, be sure to keep it clean. Your car can be a pleasant oasis of coffee and tuttifrutti air fresheners—or it can smell like last month’s Egg McMuffin wrapper. You choose.