Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Steering toward the brink: understanding what it means to get gas.

Gas prices are going up, and like anyone who needs to spend money to make money, I'm beginning to feel the annoying tug on my wallet. There was an additional wrinkle that became apparent just yesterday.

But we'll get to that in a minute.

I do have a 'real job' aside from this bloggy world I create in my free time, and what's most wonderful about what I do for a living is that I work from home most of the time.

I'm not expecting anyone to remember the following:

I telecommute every Monday, I work at my job site every Tuesday, I work remotely every Wednesday, I'm off every Thursday, I work from home every other Friday and I work on-site every other weekend.

Compelling, I know.

I love working from home. No long commute, no Business Casual, only a marginal sense of spinning on the wheel in the cage, no burning gas and wasting time. When I work from home.

So imagine the crusty coating of ennui I developed when I heard that the magical technology I require to hook into my job from home blew some hard-to-replace gasket over the weekend. I was told yesterday that I won't be able to work from home for +/- a freaking month!

Really? A month? We're swirling deep in the river of technology where I work, and it will take them a month for this magical part to be delivered and installed? How are they delivering this new technology? By pony? Burro? Pigeon?

What's the bottom line, you ask?

I'll need to be physically present at my job until this issue is resolved.

I know what it means. Say goodbye to the ease of working from home for a few weeks. Plan what I'll wear when I go into work. Pack a lunch. Fill my gas tank.

That's the part that really hurts.

Because idling in traffic for the 1.75 hours it takes me to drive to and home from my job means I'm burning gas.

And gas is getting very expensive.

We've all heard about it. We all pay the price, literally. And that pain at the pump isn't going away any time soon.

Gas is expected to cost $4 or so a gallon within the next few months.

I know I'm oversimplifying the big Why, but these higher prices can essentially be attributed to the fact that we all just can't get along.

We're told all the time, by so many sources, in so many contexts. Like a fresh romance, playing a pinball game or the paying to fill up the tank, we know from the start that our good times are predicated on limited resources.

But we Must Drive.

When I go to work, I go alone. I kvetch about filling up my car with overpriced fuel, I bitch about having to be physically present at my job.

What a whiner I am.

From a global perspective, most people don't have the luxury of even owning a car. A crap-ton of people don't have a job. So I know I'm lucky, on so many levels.

But gas prices do affect me, especially now, what with this crazy presence I'm required to provide at my 'real job', at least for the next month or so.

I've just scratched the surface when it comes to how gas prices affect how we tend to operate.

Let's not forget - those big trucks that deliver food that fill the shelves at our grocery stores require gas.

And gas prices will affect food prices.

That's for later.

For now, I know I'll need to drive to my job on Friday.

And I used to be able to phone it in.

Getting gas has never seemed to matter more.


  1. Yeah, prices are going to get a lot worse, Mary. All of this money the Fed has dumped into the economy will hurt us badly soon, plus all this despot bingo in the Middle East pushing up prices. As you know, I'm usually a positive guy, but I think about this stuff.
    Thanks again for your writing, Mary. I love it.

  2. In my little bubble I could walk to almost everything I need to do or get, but you remind me that it is a bubble that can burst. It isn't just about how touches me on my own personal, immediate comfort level, the concern is much, much more global.