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In a hurry to slow down

There are times where I really wonder what the point of a driving manoeuvre is.

Last week I was coming up Fifth Avenue in the curb lane when a car pulled up behind me going faster than the speed limit.

The driver waited for at least half a second to see if I would join them in breaking the law, decided I wasn’t going to, switched to the other lane (no signal), passed me and immediately came back into my lane (again, no signal).

The driver then turned into a driveway halfway up the block.

I passed that driveway about a second later, so that’s roughly how much time the driver of the other vehicle saved with their lane-hopping.

I have always felt if you have to drive like that to save a second here and there, your life must be in complete disorder. Unless you have a contract that says you have to be at that building at 10:19 and 45 seconds, getting there at 10:20 isn’t going to change anything.

So why rush? It may be because the driver’s life, as I mentioned earlier, is in complete and total disorder and they have no easy way of getting control of it so they’re going to race everywhere and hope they can get back on schedule.

What do I mean by an ‘easy’ way of getting back on schedule? Leave the place you were at two minutes earlier. Don’t spend an extra couple of minutes watching cat videos on the Internet; don’t spend 10 minutes saying “goodbye” to someone when five minutes is plenty; don’t grab that extra handful of fries at the lunch table.

You’ll get to the next stop on your schedule on time (or maybe even – GASP! – early), and you’ll feel more relaxed about things.

I always like to get places early. If I get to the next thing on my schedule too early, then I’ll spend a couple of minutes checking things on my phone, because I know I’m in time for my next stop.

It’s something I’ve done for years, and sometimes it has unexpected benefits. A few times, when I was working for various community newspapers, I would be going somewhere to simply get a picture of, say, a cheque presentation, so there was no real story to go with it.

I would get there early, say 10 minutes ahead of time, find the other people were already there, check with them to see if we could get the picture now, and then take it, get the information I needed like names, and then be on my way again, sometimes before I was even supposed to be there.

It’s a very relaxing way to do things, and I can even take the time to signal when I’m changing lanes on the way to my next stop.

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