Friday, January 11, 2013

Extreme Carpooling - How It Works

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. 17 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My subject is Extreme Carpooling - How It Works.  It was submitted by  Here goes: 


When I first received this topic my stomach sank.  I don’t know anything about Carpooling.  So I have no clue how Extreme Carpooling would work.  I work all day.  I am excited if I am the one who is able to pick up my kids at all.  Usually I am reliant on my Mom to get them so they are at after care less time than need be.  Being a Mom who works out of the house does limit your exposure to some of the fun stories of school carpooling.  I see many stories from others and statuses that make you shake your head.  I, however, have not had the opportunity to experience it.  Well at least I haven’t in a school setting.
Working for a large company in a large town they are always looking for ways to be “eco-friendly”. 
  • Go Green! 
  • Paperless! 
  • Save a tree! 
  • Buddy up to decrease pollution! 
Yes, the last one is true.  As a company we were asked to fill out profiles of things we liked.  They used this data with other demographics like working hours and where you lived to develop these wonderful profiles.  These profiles would pair you up with one or more people in your area.  The intent was for you to reach out to these people and start up a carpool relationship.  The profile was not mandatory….but if you filled one out you had a chance to win $100….so I did…..but did not win! 
What I did win was phone calls from my apparent matches.  Let the Extreme Carpooling begin! Maybe?!
I was reluctant to buy into this at first because I like to be in control.  I want to arrive and leave on my time table.  Nothing eats at me more than waiting on someone else…especially if they are repeat offenders.  I set aside my selfish thoughts and agreed to a one month trial with the group.  One month in work terms is really only about 20 days.  Add in the fact that I was on vacation for 5.  I could do this for 15 days. Yes, I did that math prior to agreeing.

Unlike the photo above, there were only 4 of us…

Molly Sing All – Molly was sweet. She loved to bring trinkets to everyone. One time she stumbled upon these Slinkies that lit up. Who doesn’t like Slinkies, right? She was so proud of her find. She came bouncing to the car with her little pink bag all ready to spring her latest find on us. She was very energetic for 6am. Sometimes nauseatingly so, for 6am. She always had a story…about her. Before she handed us our gifts, she told us how this guy at Target who she just KNEW was rich, had asked for her number. She was “in love” and hoped we could all feel how she did some day. The flaw Molly had, was that she never asked about anyone else. So she was completely unaware that another rider had just gotten over a nasty divorce. When someone would start talking about anything but Molly she would turn up the radio and sing. Only she couldn’t sing worth a lick! My ears bled!

Tammy Twoshoes – Tammy was a young gal.  You know the type.  Her makeup always perfect.  She only wore designer labels.  And was quick to make fun of other peoples choices. She was always out late partying the night before.  Something would always happen to her that was “unthinkable”.  I remember on the 3rd day of carpooling (yes just 3 days in, I should have quit here) she came to the meeting place looking a "little rough."  I asked her if she was ok because frankly she didn't look like it.  She shared that she had just got home from being out at 4:30 this morning.  She decided to just shower and go to work since she was up.  Apparently she had met some new hot and coming boy band member that wined and dined her.  However as the night went on she found out he was not who he had said and had no car to take her home.  She had no money (of course) so she had to hit on others guys to get her a ride home.  You don't want to know the rest...because I sure didn't need to hear it.  The cool thing about Tammy was that it was never her fault.   She never had money for gas and always seemed to owe us next week.  In fact, thinking about it.  I think she still owes me some gas money….

Silent Susan – Susan was quiet.  Very quiet.  She rarely started a conversation.  She rarely spoke up in conversations either.  I am not sure if this was her true nature or if it was just because Molly and Tammy talked enough for all of us…about themselves. I don't have any cool stories about Susan.  I actually enjoyed the silent company.  Although one time she did drive all the way to work with her skirt hanging out the car door. 

Remember the profiles…the ones that we were required to all fill out?  I am convinced they all lied!  This was the worst 2 weeks ever!  If they didn’t lie, then I am equally convinced that we were the only 4 people in the area who filled out the forms. I would like to say this whole idea was a huge FAIL.  But I can’t.  I learned a lot about myself in two weeks.  I learned that:
  • I need to remember the people around me.  I too can get caught up in life and be like Molly.  My agenda is out there and I move on to the next item.  I am often in such a hurry to check an item off the list I rush past the people and blessings along the way.  I will take some time to slow down.
  • Tolerance is not my best attribute.  I need to work on it.  Not being in control every step of the way is ok.  I need to have more tolerance as people are learning the ways..this is especially important with my children.  I am often quick to get frustrated that it is not as I “think it should be”.  Everything does not have to look or be perfect.  Remembering that the cover of a person or issue is not the entire story. 
  • Not be afraid to show more about me.  This one I struggle with often.  I often lack confidence in myself.  Weird huh?  I want the control but lack the confidence.  This blog is the perfect example.  I love to write my thoughts.  I “want” to write and share my thoughts but I lack the confidence to share them as “me”. I need to work on my writing in a safe bubble.  I welcome the criticizing of my writings from dear followers.  I have found I have learned so much about myself in a very short time by reading my own posts and the comments of my followers.
 As far as this extreme method of Carpooling…profiling people and pairing them up…I would vote this effort an extreme fail. 

Would I do it again, NO.  Am I glad I tried it, YES. 

There are pros of course.  You save money, wear and tear on your car, you meet new people (whether you want to know them or not), and you can learn a lot about yourself.  That last one could always be a con… might learn more than you want to know about yourself.  Those 2 ladies annoyed the crap out of me ( liked Susan )….but I have some of the same flaws.  I will embrace these opportunities for improvement.  A work in progress....always.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:


  1. I can't believe you didn't think this was a good prompt for you, I think it was perfect. You introduced us to some . . . ahem . . .unusual characters and left us with a lesson. Great job, I enjoyed reading this.

    1. Awww thank you Karen...It pulled me out of my comfort zone for sure! Thank you for putting this together!

  2. This would have been a tough prompt for me too, but you did a really great job with it! Loved the character descriptions. I think we all know a few of those people ;) Fun post!

    1. Thanks Jen! I am sure you would knock it out of the park!

  3. WOW!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE what you did with the prompt! It's perfect! That is probably the worst case of extreme carpooling I could ever imagine!!! ROFLOL!!

    1. Thanks Stacy! The first week I was not a fan of you and your little prompt! LOL I even wrote Karen and said "Aww man this is going to be challenging!" Thank you for the challenge!

  4. wow! So, it is true that the grownups are worse than the kids!! :D
    I loved your take on the prompt..I would have sucked at it because, like you, I would outside of home and no, my company did not try to make any carpool buddies out of us (maybe your company and mine exchanged notes?!!)

    1. In that case, your company would be smart! Thanks for reading!

  5. I think you did really well with this prompt--a lot of people might have expected to see something about carpooling the little ones to after- school activities, but I found this to be a refreshing change of pace! I LOVE the way you profiled the other riders--it gave us a clear glimpse into your life and what you went through. Glad you tried it, but I'm with you--I doubt I'd go back for round 2 in the carpool lane!

    1. Thanks! I was so lost on where to go with it as I was originally thinking kids too. My car is always a carpool...ha, but I went with this as a twist. Thanks for reading!

  6. Sounds like a nightmare! So glad I've never had to carpool, except for the occasional co-worker who needed a ride.
    Can't say I blame you for not wanting to go back and try again, if you *might* get buddied up with these kind of people again. LOL.