Weird and Mundane

Boxed In

When you spend a fair amount of your time in a wheeled box, moving and stopping and moving and stopping until you reach the end of a journey so you can exit the wheeled box, you tend to fixate on what you can see out of the wheeled box on your journey. You do that so you don't have to think about why you are spending so much time in your wheeled box.

Consider that it takes me about 45 minutes, one way, to commute from home to work. That means I spend 1.5 hours/day commuting. A little math shows that, ignoring holidays and those days I work from home, I'll spend 5 x 1.5 = 7.5 hours/week commuting. Rounding that up to 8 hours, that means I'll spend about 5 days x 52 weeks/year x 8 hours or 2,080 416 hours/24 hours/day, or roughly 87 18 days, or roughly three month/year three weeks (and change)/year commuting.

Three months weeks out of every year just to drive to work and home again. One year out of four. And I've been at my current job location now for four years.

That's three months weeks of time that would be so much more productive being spent elsewhere. Time I won't be able to get back. Time lost forever.

If I were to adopt what one of my office-workers had done, and work from home on Friday, that's 52 days I can work from home, or about three days of total time (or 78 hours) not commuting. A mere pittance, really. And all the money for gas and wear and tear on your car. I've put close to 70,000 miles on my Prius, a car I got three years ago last April. The Prius's still quite nice, the finish is still quite good, and it's continuing to deliver a solid 50mpg, but still and all, that car should last at least a decade before even hitting 70,000 miles. Not three years.

I ain't no spring chicken by any stretch any more. But something's got to change.

Update 14 June

As a Gentle Reader noted below that my math was really off the mark. The problem is I used the five days twice, first to calculate the weekly time, then again when calculating the yearly time. Taking out the extra '5' brings the numbers down quite a bit and matches what the Gentle Reader calculated. But whether it's three weeks (as it now is) or three months (as I first calculated it) it's still a lot of wasted time.

Besides, I never said I was perfect. It's a free blog with free content, and it's worth every penny you've paid to read it.


  1. ?? Uh, Bill, I don't understand your math. 8 hours of commuting a week times 52 weeks in a year equals 416 hours of commuting per year. 416 hours divided by 24 hours in a day equals 17.3 days a year spent commuting, not 87 days. You must be using Liberal mathematics:o)

  2. Three weeks a year is still a lot of time. If you use 18 'awake' hours per day instead of the full 24 you end up using 23 'awake' days (416/18) a year commuting:o)

    I hope you realize I am saying all of this with a smile and not criticizing. I love your blog!

    1. Oh I know. I thought the numbers were too high, but didn't go back and really check the assumptions behind the math until you asked. That's why it's always good to have an "extra pair" of eyes to check things over.


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