Autopilot

February 6th 2018

Today I had a senior moment on the way to work. Even though it’s only 19 miles door-to-door, my morning commute takes me about 45 minutes usually. I left my house at about 7:30, and the heads-up-display on my car’s dashboard said I had 37 miles worth of fuel left in the tank.

Like I said, I’m only 19 miles away, so I thought it’d be enough. You think you can see where this is going, but you can’t… I considered the fact that I should fill my car up this side of the commute just to be on the safe side. But, I thought — and this is the part for which my Dad will be proud — if I go to the petrol station near work, then I save 3p per litre on fuel. So that’s like, almost £2 saved.

To give this story a bit of extra/superfluous detail, I usually fill my car up on a Tuesday after work because it kills a bit of time between finishing work and going to football. Today though, I wasn’t going to have enough in the tank to drive to work and back out to the petrol station afterwards.

I know that you still think that this story is going to end with me broken down on the side of the road with an empty tank, but it doesn’t. In some ways, what happened was worse.

So, I made it to the petrol station round the corner from work, I filled up, I paid, I left the petrol station, and I drove home.

I drove home.

Well, almost. I got about 25 minutes into my 45 minute commute home before I realised that I was supposed to be on my way to work not on my way home.

I think on some level, because I always fill up with fuel after work on a Tuesday, I’m so used to turning left out of the petrol station and heading home, that I just let autopilot take over. I turned left and headed home, instead of turning right and heading to work.

Somehow I’d forgotten that it was 8am, not 5pm.

I’ve been driving that road to and from work every day for the last 18 months, and I must do the entire commute on autopilot by now. So some muscle memory in my brain caused me to head home after filling up my car, because that’s what I normally do.

Even more annoying than the fact that I was now half way home after getting basically all the way into work, was the fact that the traffic gets terrible after 8am. So in the end, the 45 minute journey turned into a 1hr45 minute journey. Fun.

Until tomorrow, I’m only 24 and I think I am losing my mind.

Jacn

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