If you land a job with Google, you’ll find the home office offers running trails, yoga classes and free laundry service. At Twitter, you can have your dry cleaning done for free while you labor away. And the bosses at Linked In offer workers their own Bean Bag Lounge.
Okay, that might be on the extreme side. In these tough times, just having a job is the biggest benefit many can ask for. Throw in medical, dental, the 401(k), maybe a tuition reimbursement and some generous time off – and, hey, you’re living in clover.
So, I have a new job and I am quite enjoying it. And it offers me a benefit many might overlook. In fact, some may not consider it a “benefit” at all.
I am commuting to work. After nearly a quarter century of living within a mile or two of my desk, cubicle or office, I am actually leaving town and heading “out” to my job.
Those of you who know me know I am a Wooster girl, tried and true, at heart. But after working in one place for so long, my most recent job search criteria included getting away and trying something completely different.
So early each morning, I hop in my car, crank up the sports talk radio, hit the drive-thru for a big ol’ Diet Coke and head to Holmes County.
Twenty-five minutes one way, two times a day – paradise.
Friends tell me I will feel differently in the first blizzard and maybe the novelty will wear off and turn the drive into a necessary chore.
Maybe – but not now.
Driving south on Ohio 83 is like a nature tour, complete with turtles, a whole variety of low-flying birds and the occasional lost calf or sheep in the roadway. It’s not like driving to Canton on U.S. 30 or to Akron or Cleveland up I-71, each with its endless concrete, plentiful orange barrels and occasional episodes of road rage.
Driving Wayne to Holmes has a speed and feel all its own. The truck traffic moves amazingly fast, except when going uphill, and the highway is crisscrossed with byways, paths, trails and plain old dirt roads here and there.
I was considering this one day when exercising the local admonition to “always slow down when cresting a hill.” Sure, the idea is not to take out another vehicle or wayward pedestrian, but every time you crest a hill, you look out on trees and fields and roadside wildflowers and old barns and ponds and – not to belabor the point – it’s all quite breathtaking.
And I talk to myself about it and occasionally, I talk to God about how beautiful it all is and how lucky I am to be able to take it all in. I breathe a little deeper and a smile a little more.
How long will I do this? I have no idea. But I do know this commute is a happy little by-product of a new job. It doesn’t cost my employer a thing. I don’t have to claim it on my taxes.
But it gives me time to think, to be quiet and to enjoy the little things I think I might have overlooked for far too long.
And who wouldn’t welcome a benefit like that?
Published: May 28, 2012