Commuting

Commuting is surely the most annoying middle-level frustration of conventional working life (a minor frustration being a badly-designed waste-paper basket; a major frustration being the act of having to be present in a particular place against your will for eight hours a day).

Does anybody actually like to commute? Whether you do it in a bus or a car or a train or a plane, chances are you probably find it completely infuriating or depressing. It’s a time sink, it’s a stress, it’s a lot to tolerate for practically no gain. Especially given the fact that the Internet exists and your office – ostensibly a desk, a computer, a telephone and a filing cabinet – is pretty much a replica of your own spare room.

I’m reading Help! – a paperback collection of Oliver Burkeman‘s Guardian columns about the crazy world of self-help – and enjoying it tremendously. There are far too many gems to share here, but I couldn’t resist posting this little thing about commuting:

People commute reluctantly … because they can’t afford to live closer to work – yet if they get rich, they’re liable to do it to an even greater degree, presumably because they think living in the countryside [or suburbs] will make them happier [but] it often doesn’t … People chronically underestimate the downsides of a long commute, while overestimating the upsides of (say) a bigger house.

The original article is online by the way.

It’s weird, isn’t it? That people continue to commute in this day and age. And so far at that. Escape it! Work from home, move within walking distance of the office, or just give up working altogether. And however you work, for goodness sake, resist the siren song of the suburbs with all of your might. There’s nothing there! It’s all pampas grass, conifer trees, middle-aged swingers, and white dog shit. Fact.

Buy the complete back catalogue of New Escapologist with a 10% discount today.

About

Robert Wringham is a humorist and the editor-in-chief of New Escapologist.

One Response to “Commuting”

  1. Sasha says:

    At least a bicycle commute gives you fresh air and exercise.

Leave a Reply

Latest issues and offers

1-7

Issues One to Seven

A bundle of our first seven issues. Featuring minimalism, Houdini, Leo Babauta, Bohemianism, Alain de Botton, Sartre, and Tom Hodgkinson. 567 pages. £35.

8-11

Issues Eight to Thirteen

A bundle of our last six issues. Featuring Luke Rhinehart, Flaubert, Mr Money Mustache, part-time work, Will Self, home life, Richard Herring, and E. F. Schumacher. 593 pages. £30.

Issue Thirteen

Our final edition. Featuring an interview with celebrity mortician Caitlin Doughty; Matt Caulfield on zen fool Ryokan; and Reggie C. King on David Bowie and Sun Ra. 122 pages. £7.

Escape Everything!

A hardbacked guide to scarpering. Essential reading for wage slaves and slugabeds alike. Published by Unbound. 230 pages. £12.