Slug Takes Boss on Commute, Is Promised More Telework Options
– August 21, 2013 10:33 am
If you ask me, the best way to commute from communities in Northern Virginia to Washington is by slugging. Hands down. It’s convenient, fast, and even better, slugging is free – no SmarTrip card or cash required.
There’s only one way to get to work that tops slugging, and that’s telecommuting.
OK, so it’s not the same as actually traveling to work… it’s not like you can teleport from home to your office (although, wouldn’t it be nice if you could?). Telework is a fantastic alternative to spending the time commuting back and forth.
I’ve noticed that many agencies and offices are starting to promote telework, as well as Alternative Work Schedules (AWS), which include both flexible and compressed work schedules. In fact, many people that I know in both the public and private sectors are being given the option to work from home at least one or two days a week.
In my office, the policy on telework still seems a bit unclear, and not all of the Directors share the same openness in allowing their staff to work offsite. Luckily, my Director is willing to let our team telework occasionally, when there are no meetings or other events where we need to be present in the office.
Sometimes I believe this may have something to do with the fact that my boss was able to personally witness my commute once. He just happens to live in DC, a couple of Metro stops or a 10 minute walk away from our office, but one afternoon, he needed to meet someone in Dumfries after work.
“Can you teach me how to slug?” he asked.
Of course, I jumped at the opportunity. I’m always willing to show someone new how the slugging system works!
So that day, we picked up his car and I showed him to the Horner Road slug line, located across from L’Enfant Plaza.
“How do they know where we’re going?” he asked as we approached the line, and I rolled down the window to call out, “Horner!”
“That’s how,” I explained. “These people are all waiting in this line for the Horner Road commuter lot, but it’s usually a good idea to confirm the destination before they get in the car.”
Once we had our slug in tow, we were on our way down south in the HOV lanes.
“Are we allowed to talk?” he asked quietly.
“You can talk, pick your own radio station, and adjust the temperature however you want, as long as you get us to the commuter lot safely!” I laughed.
We finally arrived back at the commuter lot, dropped off our slug, and then he dropped me off at my car. VIP service! It was nice not having to walk back in the humid weather, and my boss continued on to Dumfries.
The next day, I asked my supervisor what he thought about slugging.
“It was an interesting experience,” he said, “but I don’t know how you do that every day! I would have quit by now, if I were you!”
I assured him that it wasn’t always that bad, although it wasn’t completely out of the ordinary, either. Then, he admitted that one thing was for sure – his slugging experience had opened his eyes to what we go through every day.
“There are definitely going to be more telework days in your future!” he promised.
While I’d certainly like to telework more often than I do, I actually don’t mind coming to the office regularly. I appreciate the contact with my colleagues, and think working from home every day could become a bit mundane if I were to do it every day.
However, having the option to telework here and there has been wonderful, and I’m thankful to be able to work from home when I can.