By MICHAEL COOK, Instrument Specialist, Metametrix
About a month ago the Clean Air Campaign paid Metametrix a visit and helped us kick off a carpooling program.
We had always thought that carpooling was a good idea but really didn't have the enthusiasm to get it started. They brought in a map of the local Atlanta areas and had each employee put a push pin at their address. Lo and behold there were lots of people in our neighborhood and along the same major road so we all hopped in the same car and away we went.
We thought initially that we could save some money on our gas bills and of course save the atmosphere by emitting fewer pollutants. We found that we accomplished both of those things but we also found that our morning ride made us more awake for work, we were happier to sit in traffic, and we are all less stressed since we rotate the responsibility of driving from week to week.
Bryant cracks everybody up and gets the day started with silly jokes and stories of his new puppy, and on several occasions has provided chicken biscuits for breakfast. Kris makes everyone happy with the Talladega like skills she uses to get to and from work in record time.
Issues do come up with leaving at the same time but everyone has been able so far to keep the schedule to within 15 minutes or so of the designated departure time. If emergencies do come up the Clean Air Campaign will provide a "Guaranteed Ride Home" up to five times. All you have to do is sign up with RideSmart before you need a ride and they will make sure that you get to your home or car.
I have to say that carpooling with my coworkers has become a very enjoyable experience and we all miss the carpool when the odd occasion comes up and we don't get the chance to ride together.
By BRYANT WHELAN, Special Chemistry Technologist, Metametrix
My reason for getting involved in the carpool was simple: I like my big SUV.
I used to drive an Accord when gas was cheap, and now I drive a Trailblazer, figure that one out. I initially wanted to start carpooling to work because, like everyone else, I was feeling the pinch from the gas prices.
The strange thing is, I would say that has been only one of the smaller reasons I stuck with the car pool. After spending a couple of weeks with my co-workers during the commute I noticed that I was always in a better mood when I got to work because I was laughing all the way to work rather than cursing the red lights and traffic that were the bain of my weekday mornings.
I also eat a lot healthier because I'm not getting in the car and driving through McDonald's all the time due to the fact that I'm stranded at work (although McDonald's is still awesome and delicious and I sincerely apologize to my dear, dear friends that I have come to know and love on my lunch hours). I would also like to send an apology to my friends at the local Quik-Trip, Chick-fil-A, Quiznos, and Burger King -- what can I say, I like food that is fried and delicious.
It's working out splendiferously and I can feel just as self-righteous as all those commuters in the Prius and Smart Cars who are driving alone and think they're the only ones saving the planet! What can I say, I like to feel self-righteous!