Sunday, April 17, 2016

An 8-hr-day in the life of a bus-rider.

I've had a bunch of need-to-do stuff hanging around for weeks. Today I woke up fresh and decided to do them all. The tasks: Depositing a big overtime check that my company had screwed up months ago (should have been direct-deposited but wasn't), going into the office to do my taxes (since my printer at home doesn't work) plus some extra work, returning some clothes to Old Navy, going grocery shopping.

I started out at 10:45am. Got home at 7pm. Ridiculous.

#1. The company should have paid me back in March via direct deposit. After several screw-ups on their part, I finally had only a hard-copy of a check that I had to take to an out-of-the-way branch of my bank. This part of the trek actually went pretty quickly. I left my apt at 10:45, bus came soon, caught another bus back right after my deposit, was at work by noon or so.

#2. I went into the office, did the taxes, did the extra work. At the end of 3 hours, though (at 3pm), just missed a so-called "Rapid" bus. Had to wait an extra 20 minutes in the rain.

#3. Connected via the Rapid to another bus that took me to the Old Navy store across town, where I returned said clothes without incident and bought some more. Just missed the bus trying to go home. Trying to avoid a 30-minute-wait and trying to be clever, caught another bus that inadvertently took me in the opposite direction. Hopped off to get the right bus. (By now, 5pm.)

#4. Arrived at the grocery store at 5:30 or so, did the shopping, waited for 20 minutes at the bus stop to go home.

8 hours. Should have taken about 3.

Part of this is me thinking, based on my 3 years of life in NYC, that I can, indeed, live life without a car. I now have the money to get a car, so why don't I? Well, because in my mind, I don't go to that many places, and so why do I need a car? It would cost me an additional $400 per month --- THAT, I cannot actually afford: $200 in car payments, plus the insurance, gas, maintenance...

What I'm realizing now, though, is that you're not actually paying for the thing itself. Rather, you're paying to avoid being irritated by others. With my current salary, I have the option of being NON-irritated by others in only one of two ways: Either I can (1) move out of my apartment to avoid shitty people and their yelling, their multiple kids, their revved-up motorcycles, or (2) get a car to avoid the annoying people on the bus. Despite my Master's degree, for some reason I can't have both.

No comments: