As an on-air traffic reporter who works a split shift during a.m. and p.m. drive (for a variety of radio stations here in San Diego), I am used to “talking the talk,” and not having to “walk the walk” very often. I know, I am spoiled in a sense, but having had this shift for about a dozen years now, it is so engrained in me that it’s doubtful things will change much as long as I hold this position.
Oh, make no mistake; I am just as exposed to, and annoyed by idiotic antics on the roads on a daily basis, but as for getting stuck in traffic jams, unless I am on vacation and making a road trip through L.A., I just never have to deal with much traffic.
This afternoon was different, however. There was a surface street accident blocking a major intersection on my way into work. At first it was just a matter of traffic simply not moving in the right lane of the surface street (which is where my “WTF’s” started to kick in), but as I got closer I noticed a fire truck, ambulance, and a totaled car.
Using speaker phone, I called the traffic studio and reported the accident and pertinent info to our producer, adding, “Oh, and by the way, I am stuck in this mess and will be late.”
The accident looked pretty bad, but I was more focused on the “all about me” cretins that – instead of getting into the right lane early on – kept trying to cut into my lane at the last minute.
“My lane.” It’s laughable when you think about it. Have I become one of those cretins I so detest? Have I become desensitized to humanity to the point where I will utilize more energy lambasting inconsiderate drivers, than perhaps saying a few good words of hope, concern and compassion for the people who were in that crunched car?
I was inconvenienced for about 15 minutes. Even though it was later verified to be a non-injury accident, the lives of the people in it have been forever changed.
Their car is beyond repair, but my attitude could certainly use a tune-up.