(Closed) 9-5 bees with long commutes…let’s commiserate.

posted 7 years ago in Career
Post # 3
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

Having a long commute certainly is a sacrifice and a time suck. I feel bad even suggesting this b/c I’m sure you’ve already though of it – but can you read and do your take home work while on the bus?

I would honestly stick it out for at least a year, then have a conversation with your boss about options for a shorter work week or work from home. I have to agree that it would look bad if after only 6 weeks you start asking for such accomodations, especially if others in your office don’t get special priveledges like that. And honestly if you go to your boss now I guarantee that he/she will tell you to wait a year or two to learn the business anyway so it’s kind of pointless and just makes you look bad to ask now.

I live in NYC and have a 25 min commute, but I know one day Darling Husband and I will move to the suburbs and be commuting at least 45 mins to 1.5 hours each way depending on where we move. I’m not looking forward to it, but tha’ts the price we will have to pay in order to live in more than a 1 bedroom home and have a yard. I feel pretty fortunate though that my boss is flexible and will let me work from home at least a few times a month if needed, but in order to get that priveledge I put in my time and have proven myself.

Post # 4
1766 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I am just as frustrated as you. During the summer, I can get away with 1 hour. But once school starts, it’s more like 1 h 15 min. to 1.5 hours. It’s not that my work is that far, but I have to drive through several suburbs and it’s bumper to bumper until I get to the highway.

Yes, I feel drained and have no time and energy at night to do much other than have dinner, and maybe clean up the dishes. Errands and housework pile up for the weekends, so I don’t have much free time then either. How do I deal? I don’t! I have turned from a very polite driver to “Oh, hell no! You are NOT cutting me off! *insert middle finger here*”. It’s sad. I listen to audiobooks a lot, but that doesn’t help much when you are stuck in traffic all the time.

Post # 5
3520 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I completely understand.  My commute is 1-1.5 hours each way (driving) and I work a 7:30am-4pm schedule.  I have to leave the house by 6:30am, and I generally get home by 5 or 5:30.

One day, I charted out how I spend my time and I realized that I basically have 4 hours every night at home, and that includes taking a shower, cooking, eating, doing dishes, etc.  If you want to watch a show or a movie, everything else has to take minimal time.

Now, knowing that, Fi and I will order in at least once or twice a week, have a super-easy cookie sheet dinner (fish sticks, tater tots, and salad) that can make itself in 30 minutes, or go out to eat on Fridays.  That way you don’t feel like you’re just going to work, coming home, and sleeping.

Find little ways to cut your after-work routine, and try to add back that time for gardening, baking, etc.  Good luck!

Post # 6
2714 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I have an hour and 15 minute commute (one way). It sucks, but at least you aren’t driving!! You can use all that commuting time to your advantage!

My commute has become my detox time. I read a book and if I’m lucky enough to grab a seat I will type up a blog post or watch a movie to help the time pass by.

Yes, this means that I have had to pull back in other areas. Our house is not as neat as I want it to be, and I don’t cook as often either. Planning our meals and grocery shopping Sunday has helped me cut down on cooking time though and makes weekday dinners much more enjoyable. I get home around 6:30 and we usually try to eat between 7:30-8. Since we already have all the ingredients and I already know what I’m going to be cooking it’s not that big of a deal.

As far as cleaning… I like to wake up early so on Saturday morning I will usually be up around 7 or 8 and will clean the apartment while Fiance is sleeping. During the week I just try to do damage control and spend 15-20 minutes tidying up.

Honestly, it’s an adjustment and I do feel resentful sometimes, but I think that you will eventually figure out what works for you!

Post # 7
3344 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I was laid off earlier this year and had about a 45 minute commute over a twisty mountain highway.  In the winter time people forget how to drive and there are accidents all over the place and sometimes it would take up to 3 hours to get to work!

Right now I am in the process of getting hired at a place that would be a 1-1.5 hour commute! If I get the job and it turns permanent I told hubs that we have to move.  I commuted for three years and it’s really tiring and makes me grouchy and stressed because I don’t get time to make dinner.

Post # 8
5797 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2011

Our commute is 1.5 hrs + each way. I walk out my door at 6:30 and the earliest I get home is 7:20. It is not unusual for me to get home at 9. I read on the bus (just got a Nook which I LOVE). I guess I’m used to it at this point. We plan for dinners on Sunday and alternate cooking/working out. At least I work in NYC so I can just stay in the city once in awhile to hang out with friends. We’d love to move closer but Darling Husband bought his place at the height of the market and we’re underwater. Something HAS to give before we think about kids.

Post # 9
5423 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2012

wow, im not going to complain about me anymore.  I have a 50 minute commute everyday oneway.  I leave my house at 6:10 every morning and on a really good day, be at my desk at 6:55.  However, I take the turnpike and it costs me $6/day in tolls.  I hate that part the most.  If I didn’t take the turnpike it would push my commute closer to 90 minutes and deal with more traffic/lights.

Post # 10
5093 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2012

Commutes suck.  I leave the house at 6:40 to make it to work by 8:00.  It has gotten better, though, since I started taking the train.  At least now I spend the whole time reading instead of hating Dallas traffic.

I’m with you, though, about leaving each day feeling unfinished.  By the time I get home, sit for thirty minutes just to decompress, and cook and eat dinner, it’s already 8:00.  That gives me about an hour to do stuff that needs to get done around the house or just for me, and then it’s time to get ready for bed.  That is, if I actually try to get a full eight hours of sleep.  I usually end up taking longer and then just end up deprived of my beauty sleep.

Post # 11
907 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I feel your pain!  Lately, I feel like my commute is my enemy.  It usually takes about an hour each way, but yesterday it took me two hours to get to work due to bad traffic!  It fills this normally calm girl with rage.  I also feel like it’s a huge time waster.  I resent the fact that those 2+ hours could be used for something more productive and interesting.  I also have so many interests, but I feel like it’s very difficult to pursue anything during the work week because by the time I get home I’m just too tired.  Then on weekends I feel like I need to catch up on everything I couldn’t do during the week.  I usually leave at 6:30 and get home at 5:30.  I have started listening to audiobooks like someone above mentioned and that does help a little because then at least I feel like I’m “reading” a book.   I almost wish I could ride the bus instead of drive because then I could at least read.

I, too, hope to work from home at some point and dream of someday having the opportunity to maybe work 25-30 hours with no commute. I do like my current job, but the commute makes me stressed.

I guess I get through it by telling myself this is not forever, try to be hopeful that maybe I can work from home at some point, take deep breaths, and try to lower my after work expectations.  Maybe I can’t make the kind of dinner I wish I could, but maybe I can still be creative with something quick. Or maybe I can still make it to the gym. I just can’t go to the gym AND make an awesome dinner AND have an hour to read and write AND do a crafty project…

Sometimes I wish I lived in a little village where I could walk to work and just have a really simple life.

Post # 12
281 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I feel your pain.  My commute during our normal office hours is 2 hours in the morning and 1.25 hours home.  I do that once a week.  The other days we shifted my hours so I come in an hour and a half later and stay an hour and a half later and it only takes me an hour each way.  Unless they randomely decide I need to come in early.  But I followed our normal schedule for a year at our old office (which was only about 1.25 hours each way) and then for about a year at our new one before we switched.

It’s very tiring.  We eat dinner most nights around 9pm and then maybe watch one show and head to bed.  Getting stuff for dinner ready in advance is a big help, so you can just cook when you get home and not do prep work.  We eat a lot of take out, or ready made food from the Whole Foods next to my office.

My husband, on the otherhand, works the exact same distance in the opposite direction (about 45 mins each way) and has the opportunity to work from home whenever he wants.

Be careful about what you ask for though, your boss could wind up deciding that it is too challenging for you to get to work.

Post # 13
16195 posts
Honey Beekeeper

I know how you feel. I used to have a long commute, but it was short-lived, as it was only while I was attending grad school.

I’m so sorry that your commute and lack of time is causing you to resent your job. I don’t blame you at all. It’s hard to have a work-life balance when it takes extra hours of your day to get to and from your job.

And while you have options…they’re not ideal. I agree with previous posters that I wouldn’t yet ask for accommodations. It could be argued that you knew the circumstances surrounding your commute when you took the job. Now, I’m not saying that’s what I think, but I’m afraid your boss might see it that way. I say give it at least six months before asking about any kind of remote work or altered schedule.

What does your Fiance do? What is his commute like? If he has a shorter commute/more flexible schedule, is there anyway he could pitch in a bit more with cooking and cleaning so that you’re more able to enjoy your time at home?

In the future, is there a possibility that you two would be able to move so you could be closer to your job? Maybe if you knew there was an end to the commute madness in sight, that would help.

Post # 14
1077 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Get yourself an Audible account and sign up for all the NPR podcasts.  I sort of enjoy my car time.  

Post # 15
5009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

We bought a house last year in a commuter town and we have an hour and a half commute into work each morning and just under an hour to get home each night. We leave at 07:20 and get home around 19:00-19:30 and it’s hard, but we commute together (he drives, I chat) and when we get home we’re both knackered so the house has fallen into a bit of a state. 

I’m so looking forward to having a week off in October!

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