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June 5, 2008

And I didn't even tell him what happens when it rains....

We have a new guy in our division who's from back east. He's been in Los Angeles for a few months but only recently joined our team.

Last week a group of us were in a conference room and we were making chitchat before the meeting started, just visiting.

"So how do you like Los Angeles?" I asked

"Oh, it's great," said New Guy. "Except oh man, the traffic is insane."

And we all LAUGHED AT HIM. No one in the room commiserated or felt sorry for him or showed compassion or anything other than sheer unbridled vindication.

"I'm from the east coast," he said. "Jersey, New York, I thought I knew what bad traffic was and everyone tried to tell me ahead of time but I figured it couldn't be any worse than back east."

We nodded in unison. Everyone everywhere else thinks they have bad traffic. Your Boston, your Chicago, your Washington D.C., they all think they have traffic. I understand because it's impossible to envision how simultaneously spread out and congested this city is. Also they have never tried to get from Santa Monica to the valley on a Friday.

Then these folks who think they are desensitized to car-related insanity come to Los Angeles and try to get anywhere at anytime and realize, Oh! I did not know from traffic! Sometimes they flee. Sometimes they cry.

I don't often like giving advice, but I decided to share my one never-fail piece of wisdom to New Guy.

"If you ever go to a party in L.A., and you don't know anyone and don't know what to say, just ask people about their drive and you'll be the best conversationalist of the whole night," I told him.

"It's true," said Other Co-worker. "People will start telling you about their commute, what route they took, which route is best when and any shortcuts..."

And then of course we all started talking about our commutes.

I love this crazy city.

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Posted by laurie at June 5, 2008 8:22 AM