Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stuck in the Slow lane....

I left for work early twenty minutes early today since I have to to the eye doctor tonight and leave work a little early to do so. Unfortunately, I still only managed to arrive at work five minutes early due to the fact that I got stuck in a parade of cars.

My commute to work is a little tricky; the first part is easy, there's an interstate that offers plenty of options to change lanes and move at the speed you like. The second part is harder; it's a two lane highway full of hills and curves with absolutely no way to pass.

I usually don't need to pass. There are occasions when I get stuck behind a slow driver but when I say slow, I mean someone doing the posted speed limit of 45 mph. I tend to like to go about 55 mph. I mean, that's not exactly fast- it's normal. It's not an unsafe road but I think the 45 mph limit is set because it is a little hilly. Nevertheless, though I get slighly irritated at having to go the speed limit, I live with it.

Today, however, I got behind one of those drivers. You know the type I mean, someone you can tell does not like to drive and doesn't do it very often. At first, I thought it was a little old lady based on the way she was driving but some time later, I discovered it was a young woman.

I tried to be patient. I don't like to tailgate and though she was going 35 mph, I tried to keep a safe distance. Unfortunately, she was a braker. Every now and again for no reason whatsoever, she'd put on her brakes. I'd have to brake, the person behind me had to brake, the person behind them...and so on.

I didn't mind at first but as I'm on the highway for over 20 miles, you can imagine how frustrating it is to be stuck behind a driver like this. Unfortunately, I wasn't the only one. I was directly behind the 'leader of the parade', second in line. Behind me, no exaggeration, there were at least 15 other cars, all positioned a car's length away from one another, all victims of The Slow Driver.

We were like that for 20 miles. I was a little irritated after about ten of those miles. I'm never the most patient driver. I'm not Ms. Speedy by any means but I'm a firm believer in at least going the speed limit, if not five miles over. I'm also a firm believer that if you are uncertain about driving or are out for a slow-paced joyride, you should NEVER choose to do it during the heavy morning commute time. It's just plain rude. It wasn't only me; I'd venture to guess that at least 90% of the cars were on their way to work and, as a result of Ms. Slow, we were all thrown off schedule.

I know, I know...I'm probably being unfair. It wasn't her fault; it's never a bad thing to be precautious. It's just infuriating when you really need to get to work and you can't. There is no way to get around her. I suppose my line of thinking if you're driving and you look back and realize you are leading a parade of cars that snakes up the hills behind you, you might do the right thing and pull over to let them pass. Farm equipment drivers will always do this. I suppose if you're already a nervous driver, you probably wouldn't know that it's ok to do that. Let me tell you...it is!

Again, I know I'm being unfairly impatient. Maybe she was a driver who hates driving and it was her first trip away from her local neighbourhood in months. Maybe she had a job interview and she was practicing. Maybe her little Kia Rio was unable to go above 35 mph. Who knows why she was driving so...cautiously? All I know is that she thwarted my intentions of a nice early arrival in the office and that does not make me happy. Now I shall have to skip lunch instead of going to the post office. I love going to the post office. I know I've mentioned that. I was going to mail some letters and buy stamps. Now i shall have to wait until tomorrow. That makes me sad.

It's ok though. The post office will be there tomorrow. I shall try again.

I did manage to get by the Ms. Slow right as I got into the town where I work. I saw her intention of going straight and so I turned, gaining an extra five minutes back by cutting through town the way only a 'local' knows how. That's the advantage to having lived here for a while; I know the short cuts.

Ironically, as I went to make my final left turn that took me to work, I glanced down the road. In the distance, a pair of headlights was bobbing moving slowly down the road. It was leading a parade of cars.

Happy Tuesday.

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