In my real life, I work on a contract basis. I write code for a nice hourly rate and that’s about it. Since I’m not an employee, I don’t have to deal with stuff like reviews or silly employee surveys. I simply do my work and collect a check every week.
The downside of this arrangement is that I give up some benefits. If I have to travel for work, I pay for it myself. While my travel is infrequent, I always take time to figure out the cheapest way to make the 1000 mile journey from Denver to Chicago. Usually, driving comes out cheaper.
The work trip I’m currently on is no different. I left my home last Friday and drove to Madison, Wisconsin to meet up with a relative for the weekend. Because of her chaotic living situation, I hooked up with an airbnb property. That was an interesting experience as you’ll see in a moment.
Anyway, I’m far too busy right now to compose anything close to a coherent post. However, I have had my Rant Radar turned to full power the whole trip. Here are some of my random observations.
I am a calm driver, but I go out of my mind when people do their best snail imitation in the left lane. The left lane is for passing. If you want to go 55 while (insert one: chatting on the phone, facebooking, looking at yourself in the mirror), please move over to the right lane and stay there. I have places to go.
Equally annoying is when people fly past you in the left lane, get in front of you and then slow down. I have my cruise control on, so I know it’s not me.
How about the folks in the right lane who decide it’s a good idea to hit the gas when you pass them. You ease back into the right lane and then catch up to them again 2 minutes later. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
How come bad drivers are always going to the same place as me?
Almost everyone I know talks endlessly about Game of Thrones. I have no time for TV, so I checked out the audiobooks from the library for my 14 hour drive. Less that an hour into the trip, the CD player quits working. *@&^!!!
Some of the older folks in my family are completely obsessed with the price of gas. They will go miles out of their way to save a nickel a gallon. It doesn’t make sense to me either. I couldn’t care less about a nickel price difference. My goal is to make as few stops as possible, so unless I’m somewhere very rural, I don’t stop until the gas light comes on. Apparently, Eastern Iowa is a rural place. I managed to make it 25 miles after the gas light came on (owners’ manual said it was only good for 20). I pulled into the gas station with the needle below E.
I still see way too many of those stickers on pickup trucks with the kid peeing on the logo of the truck brand that the owner doesn’t deem worthy. And really, one is way too many. Come on people, you’re smarter than that. Well, maybe you’re not. Bonus bonehead points if you adorn your 4×4 with these.
I stayed in an airbnb place for the first weekend of my trip. The apartment was a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom condo with a married couple living there. A shared bathroom isn’t perfect, but not the end of the world either, especially for the low price. About 30 minutes after I got there, the couple announced that the other bedroom was also rented out. At this point, the next logical question was, ‘Where were they going to sleep?’ I was tired and didn’t want to open a can of worms, so didn’t bother to ask. I didn’t have to wait long though for the answer. I went to the bathroom a little while later and noticed the host couple making a bed on the floor of their family room closet. I’m all about the hustle too, but not to this extreme. (Update: Just wanted to point out that the experience turned out to be fine. After that first evening, I never saw the hosts or anyone else. The place was clean, quiet and comfortable, just what I need in a temporary place.)
Have you heard about the newest trend gripping neuron-challenged motorists called rollin’ coal? I’ll bet that there is a high correlation between people who “roll coal” and those who have those peeing kid stickers on their window.
Finally, sometimes I take my insanely awesome working-from-home arrangement for granted. This hit home the first day of my work trip. On Monday, I left at 5:45am to miss traffic. Who was I trying to kid? There is always traffic in Chicago. A mere hour later, I completed my 13 mile journey into work. Commuting sucks.
On a positive note…
I spent the weekend in and around Madison, Wisconsin. Madison is my favorite city in the world. It and the surrounding countryside are beautiful. Do make it a point to visit if you’re ever in the area. In the meantime, I hope you like the pictures.
Also, Even Steven and I will be at Pequod’s Pizza tonight (Thursday, 10/2) in Chicago at 7pm. If you live in the City by the Lake, please stop by and say “Hi!” First round is on me.
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