There are three locations that I rotate around week-to-week: Birmingham, Grosse Pointe, and Rochester. The drive to Birmingham is 50 minutes according to my GPS, but it doesn’t take into account any stoplights or traffic. In reality I’ve never made the drive in under an hour, even with me gradually driving faster and faster on the highway when I’ve an open road (I started the summer with a top speed of 75, now I’ll happily go 85+ if there’s little traffic). To avoid the terrible hour-long jams that can happen from Ann Arbor to Detroit I have to leave either an hour early, or leave exactly an hour before work. I started work leaving early and arriving an hour before work with nothing to do; I couldn’t even clock in and find some busywork to get done. However, leaving just on time for work leaves me at the mercy of any random traffic delay (crashes, old lady drivers, construction, etc). A similar situation happens at the end of the day with the afternoon rush hour. I typically end work around 4pm, which is right after the start of rush hour. I’ve tried several times to push through and get home anyways, but everytime I left at 4pm I never made it back to my apartment before 6:30pm. Instead, I’d wait at work until 6:30pm before going home. I eventually got sort of used to the schedule, but it was really draining having only an hour or two back at home before I had to go to sleep. When I originally took the job I thought of it as sort of a 10 hour workday, which I was fine with, but I’ve learned that I have to look out for these sort of traffic patterns when considering my commute times and I won’t make this sort of mistake again.
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