In those seldom occasions that I scroll down through my Facebook timeline, aside from the selfie poses and shared pictures and funny quotes, there is one other “craze” that my Facebook friends are involved in.
The complaints about the traffic.
According to my very first VA trainer, saying, “Sorry I’m late. It’s traffic,” is not correct… grammatically. She said, it should be, “Sorry, I’m late. The traffic was heavy.” It makes sense, because when you look it up in the dictionary, traffic means the aggregation of things coming and going in a particular locality during a specified period of time. But then, does it really matter how we say it? As far as I know, grammatically correct or not, it doesn’t make any difference. At this rate, I guess we will forever be enslaved by this region-wide problem that nobody seems to have any idea on how to solve.
All of us, commuters or not, are affected by the dilemma which is brought about by the heavy traffic. Should I adjust my wake-up alarm, and leave my house two hours earlier? Should I buy my own car? Should I move to a place closer to work? Should I just quit my job and do the online thing instead, to save myself from the suffocating smoke belch of traffic? Thing is, whatever you decide, in the end, it won’t really solve your problem. It may only make things worse.
Leaving the house earlier than usual. This is the most sensible thing to do. It saves you from your nagging boss about being late for the nth time because of an unacceptable reason of unanticipated heavy traffic. Nowadays, there’s no longer such a thing. I remember when I was still working at the BPO industry, where every minute does count, being caught in the middle of the tortoise-like movement of the vehicles is nobody’s fault but yours. You should’ve left the house early. You should’ve tried a different route. You should’ve flown your way to the office. Coming to the office is only a part of it. As you shut down your work pc and excitedly turn your timecards, you are being welcomed by the another monstrous flow of vehicles, together with the commuters like you who are eager to go home early despite of the seemingly never-ending rush hours. The result, you’d reach your house almost midnight, all appetite for dinner lost, because all you would want to do is to curl up and hit the sack because you have to get up early for another heavy traffic battle next morning.
Buying your own car. This is an option, if you are earning as much for gas consumption, maintenance and a lot more to keep your license clean (if you know what I mean). It doesn’t solve the problem, it actually makes it worse. You are even adding up to the volume of cars that annoys the commuters.
Move to a place closer to work. This is quite sensible too. It saves you a lot of time and energy, as well as the transportation expense. But then, if your rent will sum up more than the expense that you already have, this may not be a good idea after all. Though, if you have friends in the office or working nearby as well, you can talk to them and suggest to rent a place with you. If you don’t have any privacy issues, that is.
Do home-based jobs. Home-based jobs can guarantee you a salary higher than most companies outside could offer. You just have to have a computer and a reliable internet connection. The money would just go straight to your bank account while you’re in the comfort of your own home, safe and sound while everyone else deals with the monster traffic. After all, having a job is not only about money, but self-worth. But are you willing to risk your social life? Because let’s face it. Having a job, an office where you come and go and complain about your boss and the company policy do oftentimes suck, but the gossip, the friendship, and all those social perks brought about by having actual colleagues are actually what makes life a bit colorful. You won’t have that if you are just in the confines of you home.
So what do we have to do about the heavy traffic? Should we just we go with the flow and rant about it? Bombarding your Facebook walls with the traffic complaints may have made you feel better, but, does it solve the problem? Definitely not. Why don’t we deal with it positively and start it step by step?
A massive dose of discipline. Have a good breakfast. Leave the house early. Stand in line in the bus stops and jeepney stops. If you’re a driver, don’t drive like a maniac, acting like you own the road. Be considerate of other drivers and of your passengers. Stop bribing the traffic enforcers. Stop accepting bribes. If you’ll look at these, they seem so simple, yet if many of us would practice it, things will get better.
Attract good vibes. Listen to good music. Read an eBook, or a tangible book. Or maybe you can do your daily prayer while waiting for that red light to turn green. There are a lot of good things you can think about while caught up in traffic, instead of mopping around and be annoyed with something that can’t fix itself.
“Stop worrying about the problem. Let the problem worry about you.”