Hurrah for Graduations

 You might think I'm excited about my son's upcoming graduation from high school.  I am!  However, before we get to that night in late June (more than a month away), we have to get through his internship (he started yesterday and liked his supervisor, the middle school art teacher, but thought the kids were obnoxious...hmmm...not at all like what he was in middle school!), prom,  various honor inductions/meetings, banquets, etc.  THEN he gets to graduate.  (And we get to sit on some hard metal bleachers for several hours.  Confession:  I want to see my son graduate and celebrate that, but I really DON'T want to sit out on the bleachers for several hours.  I want to hear what the students have to say in their speeches, but I really DON'T want to listen to administrators drone on.)  

What I am talking about (and celebrating) is NOT my son's impending graduation, but the graduation of a whole bunch of other students who I don't even know!  And I'm celebrating for totally selfish reasons.

As I have written about (bitched about?) this month is the official/unofficial return to the office for 3 days a week.  It's not my favorite thing to do.  It's so much easier for me to get out of bed and go to work, then it is for me to get out of bed, dress for an office, walk to a bus, pay for a bus ride that takes about 30-40 minutes, walk to the office, work in an office that is usually cold with people I don't really know (introductions and communications don't seem to be a "thing"), listen to people I don't know talk about things that don't involve me, find a conference room when I want to have a conversation/meeting with someone (who is NOT in the office), walk to the bus lane, pay for a bus ride that is 40-50 minutes, walk home (uphill), and get ready for the next day when it starts all over again.  (First world problems, right?  Bfth, just stop your bitching and get on with it!)  It may have taken a while for me to get used to working from home back in March of 2020, but I found that I can get more done personally (I can do laundry while working, I can run errands on my lunch break, I'm home when my son gets home) as well as professionally. (I turn my computer on early and leave it on until after dinner, checking for any issues that may come up.)  The return to the office has not been all that pleasant and can be stressful.  However it is a fact of life.

What does ANY of this have to do with graduations?  Well, my office is located in Newark.  It is not far from the Prudential Center or NJ Performing Arts Center.  And this time of year, both of those places are graduation central.  Starting with last Thursday, there are daily graduation ceremonies EVERY day!

Local parking garages take advantage of the situation.  (I can hardly blame them).  Prices for daily parking in the area double or even triple.

Graduation times vary.  They could be in the morning, afternoon or evening.  But not matter what time they start, traffic is going to be a nightmare.  For example, if the graduation is set for 8 AM (there is one today), traffic flow will be impacted starting at least 2 hours prior.  The ceremony probably takes 2 hours, which would have it ending around 10.  Then they traffic picks up again as people head out.  Add to that another graduation at 2 PM and you can know that the commute IN and OUT is going to be a nightmare.

You would think this WOULDN'T be a cause for celebration, but thankfully someone realized how costly this would be for commuters.  We were told we could use our discretion over the next couple of weeks as to what days we would be coming in.  With this week being really busy with graduations, I have chosen to work from home every day EXCEPT Wednesday (which has long been mandated as the office day).  Next week will be a little trickier as there is prom on Wednesday (who knows how my son and his friends are getting there) and then the holiday weekend (again, my son tells me he is spending Thursday-Sunday at his friend's shore house, but I still don't know HOW he's getting there.)  But as for today (and yesterday) I will be taking my laptop out to my "patio office" and enjoying the weather.

Congratulations to all the graduates! You have made MY week better! 


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