25 Stressful Thoughts You Have While Driving To Work

Well, maybe you don’t have these stressful thoughts while driving to work. It would be weird if you had these exact thoughts, but I bet you have had at least a variation of some of these.

If you have all of these thoughts, get the fuck out of my head. Freak.

I’ve been at my new job for two  months now. It still feels weird to walk into work and I can’t shake the feeling that I’m in the wrong place. I’m getting used to the differences in environment. It’s not just the atmosphere, which is extremely close knit, it’s the expectations, management style, and even the commute.

The smells are different. I was accustomed to the smells at my old job. For instance, I knew if it was raining, the foyer would smell like cat piss. I accepted that the parking lot would smell like sawdust and the zoo some days and on others, it would smell like fair food.

My new job? Well, this one guy has an office that smells like vanilla and flowers. The kind of smell you would expect if you were having a spa day. At least I think that’s what it would smell like. It’s been years since I’ve had a spa day. Last Friday, I got the smell of hot asphalt on a rainy day. I have no idea what that was all about.

There are around 20 people in the office. The offices are above a showroom filled with indoor and outdoor fireplaces, furniture, hot tubs and pool tables. There is a single shared bathroom upstairs. You guys, I have to share a bathroom with men. I don’t know why this freaks me out, it’s not like men are more gross than women. Except they kind of are.

The people are friendly, the management style is relaxed. I’m reasonably sure I’m living up to their expectations. The commute, though. The commute is way more stressful.

The distance to my new job is nearly the same as my old job, except instead of traveling North, I am traveling South. The traffic heading North is virtually non-existent. South? Well, we will just say that I hate all the other drivers.

Here are some of the thoughts I have had in the morning on my way to work:

1. Where’s my coffee? Did I leave it on the table again? Okay, I have enough time to go back for it.

2. Is my cell phone in my purse? Crap. I’m definitely going to be late.

3. Fucking hell, am I going to hit every red light this morning?

4. What’s this crazy bastard doing? Seriously, dude? What the fuck are you doing?

5. What if I can’t figure out how to make that printer work right? I fucking told them when I interviewed that I’m not a hardware person. I hate printers. I hate hardware. I should just quit this job.

6. I hope I don’t get stopped by the train again this morning.

7. People loved ‘dick punch’ in my last blog post. Damn…we’re a violent bunch, aren’t we?

8. Follow my bliss? I would totally follow my bliss, but instead I have to follow the slowest motherfucker on the expressway this morning.

9. I’d like to dick punch the person who coined the ‘follow your bliss’ phrase. What does that even fucking mean? I have to pay bills, my bliss doesn’t pay the bills. Fixing that stupid printer issue is what pays the bills.

10. Why do cops shoot radar in the morning on the expressway? It slows all the goddamn traffic down. Stop, go, stop, go. It’s dangerous is what it is. How is this protecting anyone? It’s making it more goddamn dangerous.

11. What’s this guy doing? Is he…is he going to pull right out in front of me? Goddammit. 

12. Well, now my purse and lunch are on the floor. Way to go, asshole.

13. Wonder if I’ll ever be able to call someone an asshole without thinking of The Rocky Horror Picture Show?

14. Do people who write radio commercials try to be as annoying as possible. Aren’t they trying to sell shit? I would drive on my rims before I’d go to Tire Discounters after listening to that commercial.

15. Why did you listen to that commercial anyway? Change the station.

16. Fuck. Barry Manilow? He’s as bad as Tire Discounters.

17. Will today be the day I can make it up the stairs to my cubicle without getting winded?

18. Wonder what Randy packed in my lunch today? I guess I’ll find out when I pick it up off the floor board.

19. Goddamn train.

20. I have to get these broken windows fixed. I bet everyone talks about the new girl and her two cracked car windows.

21. Try not to think about all the other thumbs the touch the time clock this morning. You’ll just start the day nauseous again.

22. Why the fuck am I punching a clock, anyway? I haven’t punched a clock in 30 years.

23. The parking lot is solid ice.

24. It’s going to hurt so bad when I face plant. I hope someone finds me soon.

25. Okay, just walk in. People are going to say good morning. Just say good morning back. You can do this. It’s not going to be weird soon. You got this.

There you go, 25 stressful thoughts. Only in real life there is a lot more cursing.

How about you? Do you have any recurring stressful thoughts on your way to work in the morning? Do you have to talk yourself into not being anxious around other people? Lie to me if you don’t. I don’t want to be the only one who takes forever to get used to being around new people.

Oh, and a request…if you haven’t subscribed to Rubber Shoes yet, please do. I promise I won’t inundate you with drunken emails in the middle of the night.

Maybe on Sunday afternoons, though.

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  • I definitely have more than 25 stressful thoughts on the train to work in the morning, and most of the time they do involve dick punching someone. You would think putting a Quiet Zone on a train would make the ride more tranquil for everyone. What they failed to consider is that some people really enjoy being assholes, and it’s like a giant “please indulge yourself” sign for those people.

  • I have to admit, my commute is a lot less stressful than that, but only because it involves carrying my coffee into another room, sitting down, and opening up my laptop.

    But my family will tell you that I carry on a running monologue when I’m driving, mostly along the lines you’ve described. I believe “Oh for fuck’s sake” plays a major role in most of these monologues. Also “where in fuck did you get your license, you maroon?”

  • 1-4, then 11-16, almost exactly. (There aren’t any trains in my way, so I could skip all the trainy ones.) fill in the holes with repeats of all of these and other random annoyances, usually including, “Seriously? SERIOUSLY? That’s what you are going to do? FINE!”

  • I’m having a ‘I hate people and communicating with them at all ever’ weekend so this is just what I needed to read.

  • Well, I think it’s pretty obvious from my last post that I won’t have to lie to you about being anxious around people… I keep telling myself it’s a good thing my current job sucks so much or I’d never find the courage to go out and look for a new one (because of all the new people).

  • I forgot to turn on my mouth filter last week when driving to lunch with a couple of the guys. A guy pulled in front of me, I snarled, “You fucking ass-wipe!” An instant of silence. Then laughter from my passengers. Whew! My tribe. They accept me, mouth and all.

  • I could never compete with your 25 thoughts cause they are so freaking awesome….like I was right there with you riding shotgun! (and if I was right there with you I could have looked in your purse to see if your cell phone was there, and I could have told you what Randy made for lunch.
    Just sayin!

  • Of course I share the “did I bring my coffee? Do I have my cell phone?” thoughts, but since I live in the country, and the commute from my acreage to my truck is either all on gravel or 1/2 gravel 1/2 straight empty highway, my only other stress thoughts are
    – Am I going to get the truck up that hill this morning, or will i have to chain up?
    – Stay off the road, deer. Stay off the FUCK!
    – Okay, where’s your buddy? Where’s your buddy?

    • That is hilarious because when we lived in a small town in the middle of Ohio, whenever we’d see a deer on the side of the road, Randy would say “where’s your buddy”.

  • Oh, yes Michelle. My mind runs a mile a minute when I’m driving. My purse usually end up on the floor with stuff spilling everywhere. Semi trucks always nearly kill me…and #10? My God what are they thinking? Then it starts again at 3 am. In my bed. hey, that’s nice that Randy makes your lunch. 🙂

  • There are big security cameras in the new hall I now walk down to get to my office… Do I look directly into the camera? Should I smile? Do I purposely look away?

  • Chances are its only recording, not actively monitored.
    To be sure, act like it’s not there. But always wear a disguise; a fake moustache one day, a big red clown nose the next.
    You’ll soon know if anyone’s watching.

  • What’s the connection between Rocky Horror and asshole? I saw it my share of times back in the day, once had a boss who was obsessed with it, and even got three of my house mates to do the Time Warp in the living room once (what I’d give for a video of that), but I don’t remember anything specifically about asshole… Wait, was it something the audience yelled? Why do I feel like I should really know this?

  • I have some of those thoughts on my way to work – nothing connected to trains – there aren’t any close by. Only 4 people in the office and 2 don’t get in until after me so I on;y have to say good morning to the big boss – sometimes he grunts back, sometimes not. Lots of arseholes driving on the roads here and plenty I want to dick punch as well.
    Have the best day you can after that start xox

  • And EVERY TIME you have to brake to avoid hitting the asshole and your purse flies into the floorboard, it will be the day you DIDN’T zip your purse even though you almost ALWAYS zip your purse and so now the contents are everywhere. Just me?

  • #4- All the time! Usually followed by guilt and a self-reprimand that I’m going to hell for yelling at someone’s grandpa.

    My anxiety is on high right now. I just found out that a friend is moving to a far away state. It seems silly, and I know we’ll still be friends. It’s just that I don’t let many people into the inner sanctum, and she’s in. So does this mean I have to let someone else in? I don’t know, but the idea is waking me up at night in a panic and unable to breathe. The worst feeling.

  • Every time I hear/read “Barry Manilow”, I then think of “Two Tickets to Paradise”, which is Eddie Money, and not Barry Manilow at all. But it’s what my brain does. Nice going, brain.

    I wonder if your guy with his spa day office is into products from the wonderful Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. I don’t know which one of their scents in particular would be “rain on hot asphalt”, but if ever there was a scent company going to have such a flavor, it’s BPAL (or their sister company, the Black Phoenix Trading Post, which is where room scents and candles and soap come from. Though their out of Snake Oil soap right now, which makes me sad).

    • I have never heard of that place, but you can bet your ass I’ll be looking it up. My favorite perfume comes from Demeter. It’s called Dirt and it smells like fresh dirt. I LOVE it.

  • My drive to work should be stress free. I take back roads and don’t even have to get on any freeways or major roadways. But I still find myself getting all worked up over a-hole drivers. The slow drivers, the block the intersection drivers. I know if I would just give myself plenty of time, but then I rarely do. And so the cycle continues.

  • I have 25 stressful thoughts before I get out of bed each day. On a related note (work commute)- My husband got stuck behind 4 snowploughs on the way to work the other night. They were stretched all the way across the highway side by side so no one could get by. It turned his 45 minute drive to work into an 90 minute drive to work. Not content to suffer alone he called me and regaled me with a profanity laden diatribe about the ridiculousness of the situation and how much he now hates winter. To be honest I just put him on speaker phone and threw in the occasional mmmm-hhhmmm… wow…WHAT? -that’s crazy…gu-u-u-u-url what a shame. He doesn’t think it’s funny when I do that last one but I do, so that makes it okay.

  • I teach a college class online, so I don’t have commute stress. I probably stress the most about housework / cooking. I have two teens, a dog, and a very messy husband. I alternate between yelling and trying to be zen about it. Good luck to you with your commute.

  • On behalf of all men I apologize for the bathroom grossness of Y-chromosomers. When I go into a bathroom and there’s a sign over the urinal that says “Quit peeing on the floor!” I roll my eyes and wonder what the fuck is wrong with us. Then I make a sincere effort to leave the men’s room as clean as I found it which, I admit, is setting the bar pretty low.

    My stressful thoughts vary from day to day. However I must still be a freak because at least once a week my stressful thoughts include something about The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Fortunately I have a pleasant walk of about a quarter of a mile and looking at trees, squirrels, and the occasional hawk or even an owl helps. And sometimes if things get really bad and the voices in my head are telling me to go out and key the word “cupcake” in the driver’s side door of all parked SUVs I see I listen to music. Sometimes that can be stressful and funny at the same time, such as when I had this real conversation with my phone:

    Me: Play ‘Rocky Horror’.
    Siri: I’m sorry, I couldn’t find any rock music in your library.
    Me: What are The Kinks? Chopped liver?
    Siri: I found one place for chopped liver. It looks pretty close to you.
    Me: I can never stay mad at you Siri.

  • My husband bought me a little plush husky puppy at a gas station on our last road trip. I keep him in the corner of my windshield and vent all my road rage to him.

    “Oh look, Luca, that idiot’s going to cut me off. Go get him Luca, go get the bad man!”
    “Aw, Luca, look at those two jackasses running that red light. We hope there were cops watching that, don’t we? Yes we do…”

    That little stuffed dog has definitely saved a good portion of my remaining sanity.

  • I have at least 82% of those same exact thoughts. No work related ones, yet. I suspect those will start soon, though.
    Also, I add in the “is my Muse ever gonna get back from her bender in Tijuana so that we can, yanno, WRITE again?” Fucking demi-goddesses. So air-headed and incompetent, sometimes.*

    It sounds like things are going reasonably well, though. I mean, aside from the hell-mute that you are currently experiencing. I would say that it will get better, but we both know that the area construction crews are secretly** in the service of His Dark Majesty.
    It’s probably where that hot asphalt smell came from, now I think on it. Just a friendly satanic reminder that the roads are always gonna be fucked.

    * – If you’re listening Muse, I am TOTALLY kidding and anytime you want to come back, we’re good. Seriously. ANYtime. Loveyou. Meanit.

    ** – sorta.

  • I can’t stand to listen to the radio in the morning on the way to work because I can’t stand to hear people talk in the morning. Like, seriously. 30+ years ago when I had moved back in with Mom and Dad for a few months, I was sitting shoveling cereal into my mouth, and my mom, the sweetest person who’s ever lived, times ten, was chirping away at me, probably happier than heck to have one of her kids back home for a while. Between mouthfuls, I looked up at her, and said “You sure talk a lot in the morning.” In my defense, I was real nice to them for a lot of years before they died, but yeah, that was a bad one.
    Not to be a “Denny Downer,” but if you really do get winded going up the stairs, unless you have some condition I don’t know about, well, please take care of yourself and maybe schedule that checkup.

    • It’s a LOT of steps..not a normal amount of steps..and it’s just a little winded.

      I am not good in the morning either, and my husband is a morning person. We’ve worked out a lovely arrangement where he shuts the fuck up in the morning.

  • LMFAO!!! I don’t commute, and never have, but I have these exact same thoughts just going the 8 1/2 minutes it takes me to get to town (small town in central Ohio) from my house, because these people are the worst fucking drivers in the world. Especially, the newly imported Japanese (we live 5 minutes from Honda America) drivers. Don’t even get me started on the drive to Columbus. Jesus God! Just get the hell outta my way!

  • Oh man, how I feel this. I think the worst thing ever is when all the stuff in the seat next to you goes flying– pens, gum, a wine key (why’s that in my bag?) all jammed up in between the passenger seat and the door, waiting to fall out– Oh look, a tampon!– as soon as you open it.

  • I invented a new swear word because of driving stress. I was going to a client and needed to change lanes to use an exit ramp.

    There was a guy driving in my blind spot so I couldn’t move over. If I sped up, he sped up. If I slowed down, he showed down. And yes, I was signaling.

    So finally I missed my exit, at which point Blind Spot Guy vroomed ahead and cut me off.

    I called him a “pindick”. I’m not sure where that came from, but it seemed to suit.

  • I’ve had a lot of those thoughts while driving to work. . .may record my insanities/inanities and post them sometime 🙂 Last night I was driving home with my baby through the projects, with a dead iPhone, NO car charger, and not a payphone or gas station in site. My thoughts were generally: please don’t let me get raped, killed, murdered. I’m a horrible mom. Why would I forget a phone charger. If the car dies, do I lock the baby in the car and go get help? No, back to horrible mom mode. I take her with me of course. . .and we both get killed? Etc. I grew up in an impoverished neighborhood so I should know that crime isn’t QUITE as rampant as you’d think and there are still really nice people, but I’ve also been watching Law and Order: SVU on repeat and just finished both “Serial” and “the Fall.” Oy.

  • I don’t commute, since I work in a home office, but I STILL think most of those things, except the train ones, when I drive. Despite the fact I live 10 miles outside of two tiny towns (in different directions), where there is basically no traffic, and hardly any red lights, even. Probably because I always leave just that much too late…sigh.

    Excuse me while I pick up the contents of my purse from the passenger side floor…

  • I hate all the mother fuckers who drive at the same time that I do. They are all asshats who can’t drive worth a damn. But wait! There’s more! They are entitled fuckers who think that the ‘safe zone’ I TRY TO KEEP between my car and the one in front of me is there for them to squeeze into causing me to slam on my brakes. Bastards. And WHY did they HAVE to be in that space? For no good god damn reason other than to switch lanes right back when the person that they are now behind isn’t going any faster than the previous one was going.

    Mother fuck.

  • Great read!
    Don’t commute to work anymore, but used to have to drive about 15 miles on the 405 in LA, which took on average 1.5- 2.5+ hours depending on a) traffic “incidents”, i.e., stalled cars, etc b) rain…idiots freak in the rain c) a major accident, police chase, brush fire or earthquake that could shut down an entire side or even the whole freeway, which in turn would fuck up all the other connecting freeways…that REALLY fucked things up! Shivers thinking about those days. Now I live in a much smaller town in the mountains, and biggest peeve is I’m zipping along, nobody behind me, but dickheads have to pull out in front of you, slowing you down, then proceed to drive at half the speed you were going, when NO ONE was behind you. smh, WAIT 2 seconds until I go by, fucker!
    And pass that car and/or get the FUCK out of the fast lane, asshole!

  • Sometimes I’ll carry on entire conversations with myself on the way to work — aloud. Often I’ll imagine scenarios (such as Doc realizing what a dick he has been and begging me to take him back) and I’ll practice what I would say in such a case (in case you’re wondering, it involves the phrase, “Hell, no!” PS – can you believe I’ve never seen Rocky Horror Picture Show?

  • Do you ever love something so much you can’t speak and then you feel like you’re going to burst with happiness immediately followed by terror that it will be taken away because you don’t know what to say that will distill the enormity of wonderfulness that you feel down in a Twitter-sized bite? That’s how I feel after finding your blog and reading this post and THEN, even better, reading the comments. I have found my tribe! I hope you’ll all accept me because I don’t think I’m nearly as funny as all the rest of you. I have not laughed this hard in a long time. I beat myself up all day over the thoughts that run through my 53-year-old brain that seem to have taken an increasingly hateful turn in the last few years. I’m so glad it’s not just me! I used to be able to make life funny. Maybe you all will help me remember how to do that.

      • It’s been way, way, WAY too long since I’ve been around people who have reached such a level of thoughtful sarcasm that a snarky comment makes them feel warm and fuzzy. I MISS THAT! Everybody’s so goddamned earnest at exactly the wrong times! I may have to start a blog that nobody will read just because now the flood gates are open and I have way too much to say. See what you’ve done?? hahahaha!

By Michelle