Home > Tried to do my civic duty

Tried to do my civic duty

October 1st, 2008 at 04:27 am

I don't know...the election must be getting to me....

I read in the paper yesterday that the state of Kansas was thinking about changing the interstate speed limit from 70 mpg to 65 mph. This was the Kansas Energy Council that was proposing it, and they had other things they were pushing as well. They were having a public forum today from 9:00 to 12:00 to allow the public to comment on it.

The reason they wanted to change it is to reduce "greenhouse gases" and gas consumption. They also wanted to increase speeding fines by 50%, lower the "fudge factor" to 5 mph instead of 10 mph and be able to report to insurance companies speeding over 5 mph instead of having to wait for you to be 10 mph over for the same reasons.

I asked my boss if I could go on my lunch hour, and she said sure. I left around 11:00 and showed up by 11:15. It was already over! I had written up my little speech I was going to give, and so the lady there that was putting everything away said I could put my name and address on it and she would take it back, because if you didn't show up at the public forum you could send in your comments in writing.

When I left, there was a TV reporter outside interviewing someone. I didn't want to walk through the background, so I just waited for them to be done. When they were done, I kinda yelled out, "Hey, you can interview me too." She came over and asked if I was for it or against it. I said against it, and she said "I think we have enough coverage of people against it. There were a lot of people in there against it. The lieutenant governor pretty much said it wouldn't pass."

That's good news. But, just because I didn't get to have my say in front of a crowd, I'm going to post here what I was going to say:

My name is *** *** and I live in ***, KS. That is about 20 miles north of Interstate 70 between Salina and Hays. I work in IT at *** here in Wichita. My husband, ***, farms around ***, and so cannot move closer to Wichita. My company does not have a telecommuting policy, but they have allowed me to work 4 10 hour days, so every Monday morning, I drive 165 miles to work, stay here in the Wichita area for three nights so I can work my 4 10's and after work on Thursday I drive 165 miles back home.

I can make it to work, if my vehicle is gassed up the night before and there are no other stops along the way, in 2 hours and 15 minutes. The effect of decreasing the interstate speed limit from 70 to 65 would increase my drive time on Monday mornings and Thursday evenings about 30 minutes. My commute on those days would now be closer to 3 hours, with a 10 hour work day on top of that.

Instead of impacting my drive time and family time like this in order to cut down on gas usage across the state, I submit to you that it would be more effective to encourage businesses, for instance, with tax incentives, to come up with a telecommuting policy for their workers that are able to do their jobs in a home office setting. In normal circumstances, if an employer would allow their workers to work 1 day a week at home, that would be an automatic 20% savings in gas for those workers. If my employer, for instance, would allow me to work a week a month at home, I would save over 25 gallons of fuel, 25% of what I use during the month just for my commute. This amount of gas savings is not trivial, and actually would be more of a savings than dropping the speed limit by 5 miles per hour.

Thank you.

3 Responses to “Tried to do my civic duty”

  1. fern Says:

    I am amazed that so many companies, in this day and age, are still not forward-thinking when it comes to tele-commuting.I've gotten the go-ahead to work at home...1 day, every other week. While i'm grateful for it, it's so infrequent it barely makes a difference.

    Have you talked to your boss? They won't create a policy unless people like you start pushing for it.

  2. cptacek Says:

    I talked to the old (literally and figuratively) CIO last July, right after I got engaged. He told me I could work one day a week at home. Well, to tell the truth, he looked away from me to distance himself from the lie he knew he was about to tell and said that it would be ok to work something like that out with my supervisor.

    In January, when I was trying to arrange everything right before the wedding, he said "I didn't say that." My direct supervisor thinks it is stupid but won't stand up for me and her supervisor is petty and wanted to give me 4 10s but I would have to work Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. I said "that won't work for me. I'm looking for a new job."

    They finally let me take Friday off instead of Wednesday. They all know as soon as I can find a new job, I'm gone. But luckily for them, nothing has come up yet.

    I understand that some people can not work from home. Heck, some of them can't work when they are under direct supervision. But I am not one of them. I have work ethic, and when I actually did have to work from home for four months (they were breaking the law with regards to handicapped accessibility when I was out after knee surgery, so they let me) I would have to tell myself to log off and go do something else after 10 hours 5 days a week.

    I had high hopes when we got a new CIO, because he was from a company that almost exclusively does telecommuting. But apparently he doesn't agree with that because my supervisor said she brought it up with him and he said "I don't think anyone can work from home effectively. I don't buy that people work more hours. I know if I was at home, that lake would sure be calling my name." (he is a big fisherman). That is insulting and if you can't hire better people than that, your department is going to go downhill fast.

    I was warned by a good friend of mine that I should NOT go to HR and ask. We have an old dragon in HR that if you cause "trouble" like this, you will be gone.

  3. fern Says:

    While i am very productive at work, I make a point to be double productive when i work at home so there could never be ANY grounds for saying i'm not doing my job. Since i write, it's easy to see how productive i am.

Leave a Reply

(Note: If you were logged in, we could automatically fill in these fields for you.)
Will not be published.

* Please spell out the number 4.  [ Why? ]

vB Code: You can use these tags: [b] [i] [u] [url] [email]