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Subject:  Carpool Dilemma Date:  5/18/2001  8:19 PM
Author:  melmaque Number:  144643 of 904124

I'm in a carpool with people who live and work near me. I drive about one week out of three, sometimes more (details below). Without carpooling, I'd spend about $30/month to get to work; this would not kill my budget. I'm thinking of stopping carpooling though, and wanted to see what people think.

I have to drive less
I save on gas and insurance
I feel good about doing the "green" thing by putting however many less pounds of pollution in the air.

One member usually has a few things each time her week comes, so she doesn't always put in a full week (though she makes up much of that)
I can't stop for things on my way home, like picking up dry cleaning or etc., and these things necessitate an extra trip
I can't do things on the way to work, like check in at daughter's school
I'm kind of trapped at work

What I can't bloody well stand--
The personalities of my carpool people are driving me nuts.
Person One
This person is a "help-rejecting complainer" type. She typically gets in the car and no matter what the conversation may be begins to complain about something in her life. If suggestions are offered, she rejects them soundly while still complaining. Additionally, she will offer topics like this: "My husband is buying a new car today...he's resigning his job tomorrow, too...fed up with it there!" It will turn out he has no other job prospect, so how they'll pay for the car is somewhat a mystery. Other topics include, "I'm getting a great deal on a free computer from PeoplePC!" Other passengers: "But, PeoplePC announced they will probably file bankruptcy." Her: "Nah, I talked to a guy on our street who is a wiz with computers and he says PeoplePC gives you a great computer."
Person Two
This person has ideas about how things should be and expresses her disdain at anyone who doesn't live the way she does. Specifically, she disapproves of my old car. She will be "unable" to open a door that my kid and I open with no problem, then will repeatedly interrupt the help-rejecter to comment that it's sure hard to open the doors on such an old car, am I not afraid for my safety in a car with such hard-to-open doors, etc. This usually distracts the help rejecter into a discussion of great car-getting scams as described above and the rest of the ride is spent pointing out nice cars on the road. My car is old but not unsightly, I keep it clean inside, and the paint is in good condition. It's also safe and runs well; in fact, I'm the only one who has not had to cancel because my car was in the shop!

I am sure they think I'm that stingy b***h with the crappy car, and except for that chewed area on my hand where I keep biting myself on the way to work, none of this is too detrimental, but I'm seriously thinking of stopping the carpool, waiting a few months, then enrolling with the county carpool people to get different car mates. I did this before, but was recruited by these two before my list from the county came. As it is now, whenever one of them says they can't drive, I say, "Oh, okay, well...I have something to do also, so I'll just drive myself."

As the Clash sang, "Should I stay or should I go?" When is a LBYM tactic not worth the aggravation? Opinions?
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