Tuesday, October 18, 2011


It's funny how things change. Around a month ago, I applied for a sideways move inside the company. It was a closer fit to my previous job experience, I'd have a chance to work with someone I've known for a decade but never actually worked with, and I'd been learning a new authoring system. And, I won't lie, I was hoping there'd be a chance to earn a little more with the job change... such things usually come with some incentive. The site was just a little further from home than the office location we just left behind... about one subway stop. My hope was, I'd be able to work from the new office location, which is considerably closer to my home: a single bus ride of about 20 minutes or so.

Then Twinkle got sick. I was able to work from home and go a see her a couple of times a day in the hospital. When I was offered the position, suddenly that sounded like it was going to be a problem, and at that moment, Twinkle's convalescence was still an open factor. Could have been months; I was honestly figuring it would be. I understood the business need, but my priorities had changed, and my current position didn't cause a conflict. I had to turn it down.

It wasn't just that; I started thinking of other things. I didn't want a longer commute. They weren't offering me a higher salary, and even if they were, I really did not want to be on the TTC even longer, making a third connection twice a day. Not with the new location being so much closer. And given that I was expecting to be looking after Twinkle day in and day out, I didn't really want the added stress of having to ramp up at the same time. Even after she died and some of those problems went away, it didn't change things. I'd kind of soured on the prospect.

The other change was the TTC itself. I was surprised how I took to transit last year, especially in the winter when I was off the road and all that nonsense was someone else's problem. And I had pretty much decided that yeah, it being just one bus ride, I'd keep doing it. Something changed while I was looking after Twinkle. The idea of having to keep standing around in the cold, waiting for the bus, marching a city block between the building and the stop, and spending $111 a month on the pass suddenly stopped making sense to me. The thing that got me on the TTC last year was the fact that the parking at work was $180 a month, and then still $120 a month even after we moved. Here, it's free. The drive is much shorter; about 15 minutes pretty much straight north and south on regular streets. As Twinkle's bills mounted, I found myself doing the math, and where I'd been saving over a hundred dollars a month in gas and parking before, suddenly I was spending about an extra fifty or sixty. It stopped making sense. And to my surprise, I found myself favouring the car again. The drive is about 8km each way (5 miles). Even with prices what they are now, that's still only about ten bucks in gas a week, or so. And now that I'm set up to work at home, I've decided to make a habit of bring the laptop back and forth. So if I see snow, I'll just set up at home. The money saved will help me live a little more comfortably while I pay back the money I spent trying so hard to keep Twinkle in my life.

Like I say, it's funny how your perspective can change.

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