Let’s fix the commute

Commute, Humour, Laura Machan
Let’s fix the commute
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About the Author

Laura Machan

Laura Machan

Laura Machan is a Partner, Recruitment Solutions for a major human resources consulting firm based in Toronto, Ontario. Although she has been recruiting for quite a few years, she still gets a big thrill from calling someone to set up an interview and an even bigger thrill when she hears a happy dance as she tells them when their new job starts. Laura lives with her family in Oakville, where she has lived for over 25 years, and is a significant contributor to the Canadian Federation of University Women - Oakville and Women in Nuclear, Golden Horseshoe Chapter.

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Lots of people think about changing jobs because of their commute. Maybe if, as commuters, we had a little more awareness, it would not be such a big deal. After five years of public transit, here are my suggestions for improving everyone’s experience.

  1. When you are leaving the house, you can choose aftershave, cologne, smelly hair product or mouthwash. You don’t need all four.
  2. If you need to carry your life around in a rolling briefcase, don’t sashay. Just walk in a straight line.
  3. If it feels like you might be too close to someone, you probably are. Back off or turn slightly to the side.
  4. If you plan to wear high heeled boots on your commute, practice at home first. Falling down the stairs in a crowd is awkward and painful – in more ways than one.
  5. Commuter trains move fast. When you stake out your spot, check for a handle or something you can grab on to when the track bends. This is not the time to be grabbing anybody’s anything in a crowd.
  6. If you are lucky enough to get a seat (or you planned well enough to leave the office on time), look up before you depart to see if anyone needs a seat more than you. You don’t have to give up your seat, but it would be nice if you took a look, just in case.
  7. When you are walking in one direction and decide you want to go somewhere else, do a shoulder check. Blindly walking diagonally through a crowd is tricky. You’ll probably be fine but you may leave a trail of “near misses” behind you.

On your next commute be aware and safe – that’s the best way forward for all of us.


You can follow Laura Machan on her twitter account @recruiterscouch. A complete list of her articles can be found here.



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