Getting There is Half the – What??

Yesterday was a rude awakening, in more ways than one. First off, apparently everything that hasn’t been happening at the office decided to happen in full force Monday. My day off. So of course, the first thing I got to spend time doing yesterday (after I got the full rundown of Monday’s events) was to play catchup on all of the projects left for me while I was being Mom at home. Then – and only then – was I able to start on new work, like setting up the new assistant’s computer and training her on basic company software.

But of course, all of this couldn’t happen until I actually got to work, which – as it turns out – was yesterday’s adventure. And I’m still not quite sure why. See, the metro forecast called for rain – lots of rain – which, here in H-town means that every meteorologist in the entire area was salivating at the prospect of heavy flooding. It gave them a chance to create all of their worst-case-scenario graphs, charts and maps. Usually we all just laugh, roll our eyes and go on with our daily business.

Apparently yesterday was different. Apparently yesterday was the ONE day that all of us commuters decided to actually take the forecast seriously and embrace the doomsday flood prospects. Because from the first turn out of my suburban neighborhood, everyone was crawling along the roadways like ants through honey. You would have thought that fog limited visibility to five feet or less, or that the driving rain and feet of water on the roads brought traffic to a virtual standstill.

In reality, it was misting softly, no fog, an occasional small puddle and pretty dry roads. And given that I was headed into work an hour early because of a lunchtime appointment, I was relieved and ready to rock and roll on the road.

Not so much. My back way to the highway? The one that goes through a school zone? Since school started yesterday – along with the imagined rainstorms – that meant that, instead of 25 mph, apparently the speed limit was changed to 5-10. My normally ten minute jaunt to the interstate took 40 minutes. That’s right. 40. The zero is intentional.

And once on the highway? Crawling. A reported wreck on another highway further into town slowed things down even further, since the interstate has an exit ramp onto said highway. Stalled 18-wheeler in the center lane? Check. This one always baffles me. Honestly, can’t you tell when you’re having car trouble and at least move over? I do. But then I tend to be paranoid about weird shakes and noises in my car anyway.

One hour in, and guess what? That’s right – still not raining.

My normal bottleneck? The one that I always feel guilty about circumventing? Yep. Still the same. Actually that was the ONE part of the drive that went as usual. No faster, slower or stranger than usual.

An hour and a half after leaving my suburban home – and success! I managed to travel the 21 miles to the office. And I still wonder – what causes traffic like this? It’s not like the road was closed or impassable due to flooding/low visibility/rain, etc. I never understand.

The only things I can possibly think of are commuters’ dumbassery and poor road planning. Really. And the positive? I can honestly say that every day is a new adventure! Spontaneous! A bright surprise! The morning commute is never predictable! Yippee!!

Now if I could only get used to having my cheese moved daily…

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Filed under commuting, Houston, Traffic, Weather, working moms

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