I see it happen every day. I open my drawbridge for a vessel, and at least one car does a u-turn and reroutes itself rather than waiting. This always astounds me. The average bridge opening here in Seattle is only 4 ½ minutes. But the time you take your detour, the bridge would have closed again and you could have gone on your merry way. We as a society are too impatient. We want instant gratification.
I especially don’t understand this as each driver surely knows that he or she is crossing a drawbridge, and there’s a potential for delay. It can’t come as a surprise. Why not make the most of it? I admire those drivers who get out of their cars and take in the view. Take a moment to turn off your engines and just be.
That’s easy for me to say, I suppose. During that 4 ½ minutes, I’m rather busy, trying to insure the safety of the traveling public, and doing my best not to break one of the City of Seattle’s largest pieces of equipment. For me, the time flies.
A friend of mine recently conducted an experiment with me. She set her phone alarm for 4 minutes, and we were to sit in silence. Utter silence, for that entire time.
It was an eternity. Now I get it. Granted, if I were in a car, I’d probably be listening to NPR, so I’d barely notice. But if you’re walking, or riding a bike, or sitting alone in your car in silence, then 4 minutes can be torture.
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