Today’s leading indicator that work stress is getting to me is the way I went off at a driver on the way to work today. His sin? Rolling forward while waiting at a red light. I’ve always taken this practice to be a sign of extreme stupidity but it really bugged the shit out of me this morning.
This behaviour makes me angry for two reasons: one, it isn’t as if the light goes a different shade of red to tell you “start rolling forward now”. When it’s red you fucking stop. You wait until it’s green to go. This is driving’s version of premature ejaculation and it can be just as messy. Rolling out even a little into an intersection when opposing traffic still has a green (or orange) light is an invitation to disaster. Just say no.
The second reason this behaviour pisses me off is that in my experience, 9 out of 10 drivers who do this actually miss the green light when it comes. They wrongly anticipate the change and roll forward. The light doesn’t change and they still roll slowly forward. Then they think “why the fuck hasn’t the light changed?” and hit the brakes. Then the light goes green but it takes them a few seconds to adjust and actually go. I’m sure there’s an appropriate sexual metaphor for this as well but it escapes me just now. So I also hate the behaviour because most of the time it’s counter-productive, perpetrators get through the lights late rather than early.
My personal favourites (read: people I’d really like to bash some sense into with a length of lead pipe) are the ones for whom there is truly no point in rolling forward. It was one of these this morning who triggered my angry response. This tool in a 4WD (SUV to my American readers) was going to turn right at an intersection which meant they had to give way to the oncoming traffic (we drive on the left side of the road here). So there’s no way possible he could get through the intersection quickly when the lights changed but the fucking moron was still rolling forward while the lights were red.
The second one that really pisses me off is trucks. I’ve often found myself in the situation of being next to a truck at an intersection and after the intersection the road goes down from two lanes to one lane. Then the jerk in the truck starts rolling forward before the lights change. As if the slow moving fucker is actually going to streak across the intersection and cut me off. It’s utterly pointless for the truck driver to roll forward like this so the only conclusion I can draw is he’s too fucking stupid to know how idiotic his behaviour is.
So yeah, this little bit of shitty driving normally pisses me off but I think the way it got to me today is a pretty good indicator that my stress levels are a tad higher than is good for me. I think I’ll have a vodka and valium cocktail when I get home tonight.