Monday, August 10, 2009

The vanpool lane

So, since Carrie and I won’t be uprooted to Ann Arbor or Ypsi anytime soon I decided to join a vanpool. I decided to toss away commuter lots and 45 minute bus rides to and from my building (happily) peaceful me time, and listening to books on CD (sadly).

This whole vanpool thing that UM offers is pretty amazing. Each participant pays a small monthly fee ($25 pre tax) and they provide a brand new van, it’s like a Klatosch luxury van, for those of you who know what I’m talking about (lol). They pay for the maintainence and all other expenses related to the vehicle and the riders just share gas costs.

Of course you have to sign your life away and read the 20 page VanPool Program Manual which says some pretty funny things like: “We do not expect all participants to be great friends.” And “The choice of the radio station is at the discretion of whoever is driving the van and should be operated at a reasonable volume.”

This is just a little background leading up to today…My first day as the driver.

Initially I wasn’t too nervous about being the driver. I thought folks would drive carefully and slow 1). Since it’s a minivan; 2 )It’s owned by the University 3). Five of the other vanpool members are Asian Pacific-Islanders, some quite a bit older than me (I know…I know that’s a stereotype….)

Which proved to be horribly wrong. They all drive fast. Like…speeding, or just about speeding. They whip around turns and weave in and out of traffic. It’s not like a crazy out of control kind of thing, but there’s definitely a sharp contrast between my defensive, slow, and oftentimes terribly distracted driving.

(I want to mention here that I really like and respect all the members of the vanpool. Seriously, they are really funny and nice.)

All the way to the pick up location I keep repeating, “you can do this…you can do this” This makes me seem really really neurotic, and I’d have to agree with you.

As soon as I got in the driver’s seat I quickly adjusted my seat and mirrors and took off. (By observation of our/their vanpool culture there is no dallying, and you take off as soon as everyone’s ass hits the seat).

To make a long story short---because of the storms last night all the traffic lights were out for the majority of our commute. Of all the fucking days. LOL. This made for a hellish commute, with everyone watching every stop and go and lane change, etc. But after a while I got going and it was okay. I noticed people drifting to sleep or leaning back and play with ipods. SUCCESS, I thought. Now, I just have to drive home.

Thankfully I only drive once every 6 days. I don’t think I could take much more.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

oh man, i'd be kinda stressed too!! it sounds like you did awesome tho :)

safe travels home!!