The day was beautiful. A perfect summer’s day. Cloudless blue sky.

I needed a prescription from a doctor near Boston. It’s 50 miles away. Typically, about 45 or 50 minutes driving. But not on Friday afternoon in mid-July. If you live around here, you know summer weekends begin on Thursday and climax Friday when everyone is coming home from work, jumping in the family buggy, and taking off for somewhere else.


New York, New Hampshire, Cape Cod. The population of New York is on its way to New England. The mid-Atlantic and New England regions do a population swap every weekend during July and August.

We forgot. It was the day of the asshole driver. The ones who cut you off, the ones who hog the fast lane while driving slow, but will never let you pass.

Endless stretches of “construction,” Miles of orange cones with nary a worker in sight. Closed lanes, crawling traffic. Accidents on the side of the road and each driver feels a compelling need to slow down for a long look. A few major mishaps with sirens, police cars, and ambulances. Accidents that close lanes in two directions … and of course require all drivers to stop and take an even longer look.


Police, supposedly in place to keep traffic flowing hang out in the middle of the road having a friendly chat with fellow officers. They get paid extra for that.

It wasn’t one road. It was everywhere. Bumper-to-bumper in every direction.

When we got to the doctor’s office, they’d forgotten to get the prescription ready. I simply said (very firmly) that we’d just spent hours getting there through the worst traffic metro-west Boston can offer … and I wasn’t leaving without my prescription.

I got my prescription.

We took a side road home, so we got home.


For all the years I commuted though hell and high water. For all those years I dragged my tired carcass out every morning to plow through traffic to meet a deadline that was not a real deadline, but a lost hope. Because the product or project had long since gone off the rails but no one told me — this was a ghastly reminder.

Did I work better under pressure? Actually, I worked regardless of pressure. I worked best with encouragement, resources, and sufficient time to do my job properly. When those conditions could not be met, I worked less and less well until finally, I could not work. At all.

I doubt anyone works “better” under pressure. Some people deal with it. Others break down.

Modern management has a lot to learn about how to get the best from workers. They don’t seem to be learning.

Categories: highways, New England, Retirement, Roads, Traffic

Tags: , , , , ,

23 replies

  1. Oh well, feels and looks like home (England). And Russia is no better – even in Siberia (Novosibirsk) traffic jams are ridiculous!


  2. Oh that traffic… like NY- so impossible when you just have to sit there and get through it- literally


  3. What a nightmare. I remember what the traffic was like in London on a Friday afternoon – bumper to bumper and only 10 miles an hour. Now I am quite happy to live here where it is quieter and the doctor and pharmacy are only minutes away.


  4. Yup .. been in that. 4 hours just to get across town.
    Heading for Halifax, NS in 2 days. Though I lived in New Brunswick for 3 years (in school) I never got over to Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island – or Newfoundland. So this will be all new. Here is where I hope to take my sail on the Bluenose Schooner – the only item on my bucket list – then I can kick it.


  5. This would be time to have a drone delivery. That traffic is horrible!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I hope that prescription was for tranquilizers!!!!


    • Sort of yes. It’s the only prescription I have to get on paper and hand deliver to the pharmacy. My monthly battle with the traffic gremlins. I think I’ve found a new doctor locally. I hope it works out. It’s a LOT closer!


  7. Rather you than me on the road. If we have long journeys, we do it by train these days. I do not really drive now, but could if I had to I suppose. That you have to do such a journey just for a perscription. Is it not possible for them to send it by post, although I have to go to the doc for my diabetes perscription once every half year. My boss was ok, but he was also just following instructions. My business life now seems so far away, I do not know how I did it.


    • I’m trying my best to avoid those trips. Unfortunately, while we can avoid most of them, we can’t avoid them all. Some of my specialists are in Boston and there simply aren’t any locally.

      I don’t know how I did it either. I’m amazed at how long I lasted, too.


  8. I work well under pressure, and fast. I work best with time, space and appreciation… I agree, some employers have a lot to learn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I worked fine under pressure, but I worked much better with support and the occasional attagirl. These days, bosses seem to think they can just keep loading people down with more and more work and we are so desperate to keep a paycheck coming in, we’ll do it. Somehow. Except after a certain point, it really IS impossible. Quality drops along with morale. I’m very glad I’m not in the market anymore.


  9. Here’s a song to sing next time, Blue Skies, Nothing but Blue Skies, from now on.

    Liked by 1 person

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