Monday, August 18, 2008


About a month after I started my job, a woman sent me an email saying she lived in my neighborhood, and it turns out that we live on the same street. She lives on one end, and I live on the other. I casually mentioned that we could carpool. Turns out that her husband uses the car and she took public transportation to work, which took about an hour and a half and cost over $100 per month. She leaped at the chance to carpool with me.

She told me there was a guy who works in her department that she gave rides to the one day a week she sometimes got the car. She asked if I could bring him along as well. Not knowing who he was, I said sure, as long as I didn't have to go out of my way.

Turns out that guy was the annoying guy I had noticed in the hallway before. Not even knowing him, he rubbed me the wrong way. I heard them talking often, and I had always hoped to stay as far away from both of them as possible.

The woman is a little quirky and talks about her kids too much. But I can live with that. The guy (who I have nicknamed "the genius") drives me bat shit. There are not many people that I really actively do not like, but this guy is one of them. Even him being near me bothers me. He just drives me nuts. He has no social skills, he talks too loud, he thinks he knows a lot when actually he knows nothing (hence his nickname) and he is just a generally annoying person. Other people at work feel the same way about him. He's just one of those people that just doesn't get along well with people in general. He's not mean; he's not malicious; he tries to be friendly; it's just that his social overtures do not work. His mother had to take him out of school to home school him because he got to much crap in middle school. Nobody likes him. Including me. I don't wish any ill will toward him. I just want him to stay away from me.

Now I am in the car with them daily. The genius has been working overtime all month in the hopes of having enough money to move. "Great!" I thought. He'll probably move away so I won't have to drive him anymore.

But remember who I am and what kind of luck I have. He saw an apartment this weekend in my neighborhood and it looks like he may move around the corner. I've been able to drop him off about halfway home so that I could have a bit of a ride without him, but if he moves to this apartment I will spent 1-2 hours per day with him in the car.

I don't know what to do. I don't know how to get out of this situation. I don't mind sharing the ride and the gas money with that woman most of the time, but I really don't want this guy in my car any more. I haven't said anything to him. I don't know what to say. The woman knows that I don't like him.

I feel so caught. I'm not a mean person. I don't really want to hurt his feelings. I just want my peace and quiet during my commute back. (I can't listen to the news in the car anymore because the genius starts conversations about politics and the news that I don't want to have.) I want to tell him I can't give him a ride any more, but what about the woman?

I took this job to reduce my stress. I didn't know that carpooling would cause this type of stress.

I'm trying to just forget it. "Like water off a duck's back," T tells me. Should I just suck it up and drive him and try to listen to something that keeps him quiet? Can I just find a way to tell him he can't drive with me any more?

I have never felt so stuck over something so seemingly silly.


DrSpouse said...

It's always the little things, isn't it, that build up to drive you bananas?

Could you have a no-chatting-in-the-morning rule ("I have to listen to the news, can't concentrate if you talk"), and remind him every time he breaks it, and if he keeps breaking it keep telling him you feel too distracted to drive. Either he shuts up, or you can't drive him, you don't feel safe etc. etc. Or if he's that opinionated, just keep saying you don't feel comfortable listening to him say X.

Alternatively, sounds like you are doing most of the driving, the other lady a little, and him none. Perhaps say you are no longer able to do all the driving and can only carpool with people who also drive - unless that would leave you trapped in his car??

Natalie said...

I like DrSpouse's idea of telling the guy that you need to listen to the news or whatever. That's a hard position to be in!! But if it drove me that crazy (and it probably would) what I *should* do is telling him to shut up. What I would probably do is back out of the carpooling thing, because I'm a wimp,lol.

Isn't it pretty to think so said...

I had a similar situation to this once. I decided to have to start going in to work REALLY early...worked like a charm!

Nancy said...

Ugh. That would drive me completely insane! I would either change my hours; start taking public transportation all the time; or impose a no-talking rule.

chicklet said...

Huh, that's a tough one. I like DrSpouse's idea though of the "no-chatting" portion of the ride. That's way smarter than I would've thought of - and kinder.

Nearlydawn said...

I would bet you $10.00 that he KNOWS people don't like it that he talks too much. I'm guessing this is how his life has been to date.

So, I would go w/ Dr Spouse's idea. If that didn't work I would level with him, in person, that he was talking too much. If that didn't work I would tell him I was stopping car pooling.

You do not have to explain yourself to him. Also, you are most likely going to be able to find someone else to share a ride if you ask around.

You know, a "wimp way" of handling this is to have someone else that is VERY opinionated and knows your issue ride with you. Just once. They will shut him up quick. :)

Done. Over.