Why Did I Wait So Long?

You know me already, even though you probably don’t realize it.  I’m that guy at work who doesn’t really talk to other people.  It’s not that I dislike anyone, I just like to get in, do my job and go home.  I’m the guy who doesn’t eat in the lunchroom and doesn’t go to happy hour.  This system has served me well for years and I’ve had no reason to change it, until recently…when I went to fill my gas tank and it cost me $50.  The time had come to make a change and do something I should have done a long time ago…it was time to carpool.

More on becoming an environmentally responsible social butterfly after the jump.

Like many employers, my office encourages ride-sharing.  They will even try to help the process along by bringing together people who have expressed an interest in carpooling.  My name was on the list of interested parties but I didn’t take any action because it would mean I’d have to be social and actually ask someone to share a ride with me.  On the list of dumb reasons for not doing things this ranks up there with the time I didn’t go to the hospital for an appendectomy because Lost was coming on.  Nobody ever called me a genius.

In addition to interacting with people, carpooling would mean that  pants were no longer only optional in the car and I’d have to stop singing the street signs aloud as I drove to work (am I the only one who does this?).  These may be tough changes but these are sacrifices my wallet is willing to make.

Starting this week, I’m officially a carpooler and it’s not bad at all.  I’m driving less, polluting less AND saving money.  I’m only annoyed with myself for not starting this a  long time ago.  If you’re thinking of sharing a ride but think it won’t work for you, I encourage you to just give it a try.  After all, to quote Rocky IV, “If I can change…you can change.  We ALL can change”.  Your bank account will thank you.

There’s great info on ride-sharing here.

If anyone has tips or resources for aspiring carpoolers I’d like to hear them.

9 thoughts on “Why Did I Wait So Long?”

  1. When I got a job that involved commuting from Mar Vista to Hollywood a while back, I walked into the office on my first day of work and started asking where everyone lived. They all thought I was a weirdo stalker.

    But one guy said, “Oh, I live near Culver City.” It turned out that picking him up was just a quick detour not really out of the way. I picked him up 3 times a week and we became great friends.

    It’s been years since I left that job, but to this day, the best thing I got out of that job was that friend.

  2. Very cool! The management company of the business complex I work in has a carpool program replete with a website where you can plug in parameters like home location and work arrival/departure time and get a list of other people who work there and live within a certain radius. It helped connect me to a nice lady who resides about a mile from me and we shared driving duties a bunch of times over several weeks until I went nutso with the biking thing.

  3. Years ago the AQMD had all sorts of great incentives for employers to encourage ride sharing. A co-worked lived a couple of blocks from me in Valley Village and we carpooled to Van Nuys by the airport.

    The perks? No parking fee. Secured parking NEXT to the building I worked in. The gas saving nor time saving wasn’t much given the distance we drove but worth it for the perks alone.

    I’ve carpooled a lot of times over the years, and not just here in So Cal. In college I did it during summer jobs so I could save more money. Other times with friends just to cut the boredom.

    Whether its to save a buck on gas, cut wear and tear or reduce emissions its all good reasons.

  4. I *used* to be the guy that would come into work and not participate in any after-work outings.

    Then I discovered alcohol when I was 21.

    Don’t remember much after that, except I have nice co-workers.

    Rock on for going with the carpool though.

    P.S. The flickr thing at the top currently has a chick with a hot tramp stamp.

    – AP

  5. We have a lot of parking issues at work, so they have special spaces for carpoolers. A lot of us work flex schedules, which makes it difficult to carpool, but I’ve been trying to take the Red Line more. It helps some, even though I drive to the station! (Can’t walk or bike due to my ‘not arriving to work sweaty’ rule).

  6. I started carpooling this week, too! I just started a new job 2 months ago, further from home. I have a very small office, so I didn’t think carpooling was an option. Our office has new tenants, and it turns out that not only does one of the women live in the same complex as me, but she shares the same parking garage. We’re taking turns 4 days of the week, and I already feel better about gas prices and not having to talk to myself in the car. =)

  7. Glad to see that I’m not the only one who is making the jump to ride sharing. Like some of you I’d like to bike but it’s not currently an option for me so this is the best I can do today to ease my spending and environmental impact.

  8. I have the least environmental impact for my commute now. I walk from my back door to my studio. 20 feet. The only emission is if I had beans the night before and let one lose crossing the patio.

    Kidding aside, a lot of businesses should revisit telecommuting. It helps free up the roads, saves the employee some gas money and certainly makes for a more productive employee if they don’t have to unwind for the first half hour of the day due to a hellish commute.

  9. I’ve been telecommuting for about a year and half – I make a token appearance in the office (about 25 miles from my house) once a month or so, and the rest of the time, I’m at home. (Or the coffee shop. Or, on Mondays, at my husband’s office, because I have a class Monday night that’s easier to get to from his office than from my house.) I get back about two hours a day, and I’m saving enough on gas to pay for that Monday night class. I get more done at home (fewer distractions), and have time to work out (which I’m about to go do). All that said, I do know people who don’t do well telecommuting – they need the social stimulation of the office – but it’s been great for me.

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