Author Topic: Carpool conflict  (Read 4002 times)

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osirvio

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Carpool conflict
« on: January 22, 2013, 09:34:29 AM »
Hi,

I'm new to the forums, but this thing has bothered me for quite some time.

 I temporarily carpool with one of my co-workers and the drive time is about an hour long. The problem is that we start our trip to the workplace very early in the morning, like 5:55 AM and I have to wake up 4:15 so I don't have to hurry in my normal morning routines.

We travel with my co-workers car and I pay half of the gas. It's her car so she drives.

Problems rise because I'm very "carcoleptic". I'm not sleepy in home when I wake up, but staying awake in the car can sometimes be pretty hard. I don't sleep on purpose but there is tendency that I nod off.

What makes things worse is that we do not communicate at all during these trips. I usually say "good morning", and sometimes she doesn't respond at all. So she is giving my silent treatment about this very issue.

One morning we had a pretty serious argument about this. She didn't brought this up very politely and was very aggressive. I apologized and said that "I'm not sleeping on purpose, It's rude and I'm very sorry about it."

What makes this situation strange is that she has told my other co-workers about this issue and I think they are on her side in this one.

What should I do? Should I be fair and start travel on other means of transport so she doesn't have to suffer my "carcolepsy"? Would this compensate the suffering I've caused to her by falling asleep during car trip?

Thanks.

Perfect Circle

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Re: Carpool conflict
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2013, 09:39:06 AM »
It sounds like a pretty uncomfortable situation all around if she doesn't talk to you at all either. Why should you have to stay awake if she doesn't even bother saying good morning?

I'd find alternative transport if possible.
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Shoo

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Re: Carpool conflict
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2013, 09:41:37 AM »
Do you have a car or another way to get to work?  Saving half the gas wouldn't be worth it to me to put up with someone like that.  Not a pleasant way to start every single day.

Surianne

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Re: Carpool conflict
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2013, 09:42:27 AM »
I agree, finding another mode of transportation makes sense, since neither of you seems happy with the current arrangement.

onyonryngs

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Re: Carpool conflict
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2013, 09:47:59 AM »
I tend to fall asleep rather quickly in the car myself.  Will she let you drink coffee in the car?  That might keep you occupied and awake.  I does seem uncomfortable that neither one of you carry on any type of conversation in the car though.  Can you maybe start listening to audiobooks together?  That might keep your attention and make things less awkward.

JaneJensen

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Re: Carpool conflict
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2013, 10:10:30 AM »
Why does she care if you fall asleep or not?  I mean, this is't happy social hour with your Bff, this is two people, getting to work somehow. Why do you need to talk?
  I may not be understanding the situation, but 4 and 5 in the morning is still the middle of the night to people who are so not morning people. As long as she is getting half the gas and you are ready to go when she arrives, what's the big deal?
 Me thinks she's jealous that you get to sleep while she drives.

I'd rent a car or find another way to work. An hour on the subway or bus would be more peaceful than dealing with that tension.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Carpool conflict
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2013, 10:17:17 AM »
I'm sorry, could you elaborate on what she said in the argument? Was the argument the first time she brought up that she wished you'd stay awake during the drive?

Was she more talkative when you guys first started carpooling and only started the silent treatment after she realized you are prone to sleeping?


Tierrainney

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Re: Carpool conflict
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2013, 10:37:42 AM »
I don't see this ending well. If she won't talk to you but doesn't want you to sleep, then the only solution I have is find another way to work.

I had similar in a car pool situation a few years ago, except we were alternating who drove. When I drove, he didn't even try to stay awake, but immediately reclined the seat, leaned on the window and fell asleep. I didn't mind this, except, when he drove, I wasn't allowed to sleep as he would talk very loudly at me, not wait for any replies from me and be generally very loud the entire drive. This combined with his tendency to blow off stop signs made me end the car pooling very quickly.
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bah12

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Re: Carpool conflict
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2013, 10:46:34 AM »
I think what was said (and how it was said) matters here.  I tend to fall asleep easily when I'm not driving a car too.   But I also know that when someone is driving early in the morning/late at night it's nice to have someone to talk to vs. someone asleep beside you.  You do have to get up early in order to meet your coworker for the carpool.  So does she.  And on top of that, she has to stay alert and drive for an hour.  I can understand her getting resentful that you sleep for that hour while she drives.

That being said, she needs to make an effort.  I'm not sure why the arrangement is so that she drives 100% of the time (do you have a car?), or how that came about.  You seem to be meeting your end of the deal as far as paying for half the gas, etc.  If she wants you stay awake and talk to her, then she should tell you this politely.   Not argue.  Asking you to help keep her alert, IMO, is not an unreasonable request if it's requested politely. 

It kind of sounds like she has been resentful of this for a long time and let it build up to the point that it caused an argument.  Ideally, you'd be able to grab a cup of hot coffee early in the drive, and have an engaging conversation...keeping both of you awake.  But, if this isn't possible, then I agree that you need to find another way to get to work.  This arrangement isn't working for either of you.

Otterpop

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Re: Carpool conflict
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2013, 10:57:10 AM »
But carpool driver is getting paid for 1/2 the gas on a drive she would have to make anyway.  I would not expect to socialize all the way to work.

That being said, your morning ride starts very early and is lengthy.  I would fall asleep too.  Can you come up with something that will entertain you both and allow you to sleep if you need?  Maybe discuss audio books or music?  If she's really PA about it, there may be no other solution other than finding alternate transportation.

rose red

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Re: Carpool conflict
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2013, 11:33:52 AM »
Even if you pay half the gas, maybe she's resentful that she doesn't get to sleep and/or have to doing all the work driving.  Have you asked if she'd like for you to take over some of the driving? 

Yes, I know if you weren't there, she has to drive anyway, but who can explain human emotions?

I'm not saying this is the reason, but it might be a possibility and can't hurt to ask.  If she continues to not give you a reason or tell you what she want you to do, then I would arrange for another ride.  The driver giving you the silent treatment, but also want you awake just to stare into space is not a person anybody should deal with if they don't have to.

bah12

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Re: Carpool conflict
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2013, 11:38:54 AM »
But carpool driver is getting paid for 1/2 the gas on a drive she would have to make anyway.  I would not expect to socialize all the way to work.

That being said, your morning ride starts very early and is lengthy.  I would fall asleep too.  Can you come up with something that will entertain you both and allow you to sleep if you need?  Maybe discuss audio books or music?  If she's really PA about it, there may be no other solution other than finding alternate transportation.

Perhaps.  But getting up early enough to leave for a 1 hour drive before 6am is difficult for anyone.  How do we know that if she weren't driving the OP, that she wouldn't find someone to carpool with that would share the driving?

I think it's fine for someone to say that both people would get a benefit from carpooling.  The OP gets a ride for half the gas and the coworker gets half the gas.  But she's also taking on the full burden of wear and tear on her car and is doing 100% of the driving.  Asking the passenger(s) to help keep her awake that early in the morning is not an unreasonable request.  But it needs to be discussed when the arrangement are made, not in an argument after months of carpooling.

I wouldn't fault the coworker for calmly and politely having a conversation with the OP about staying awake and helping keep her alert.  I also wouldn't fault the OP for saying she knows that she can't accommodate that and making other arrangement to get to work. 

I do fault the coworker for bringing other coworkers into it (if that is what she's doing). That's unnecessary and rude.

Twik

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Re: Carpool conflict
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2013, 11:57:48 AM »
I'm not clear about what the driver is complaining about. She is upset that, although she doesn't talk to the OP during the drive, she wants the OP to stay awake? Or does she want the OP to do the bulk of the talking, so that she has some mental stimulation, without actually putting in the effort of conversing?

There is nothing inherently rude in a passenger in the early morning hours drowsing off, particularly if the driver is not giving her anything to concentrate on.
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heartmug

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Re: Carpool conflict
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2013, 12:11:18 PM »
Even if you pay half the gas, maybe she's resentful that she doesn't get to sleep and/or have to doing all the work driving.  Have you asked if she'd like for you to take over some of the driving? 



I was wondering if that was it too.  My dd falls asleep easily while in a car.  In the argument, did she say she needed you to talk to her to help her stay awake?
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triciadi

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Re: Carpool conflict
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2013, 12:43:55 PM »
I can fall asleep quite easily when I'm the passenger in a car but only when I can completely trust the driver.  There aren't too many people that I trust their driving enough to do that.  I have a friend who jokes that every time I get in his car, I'm asleep within minutes.  I simply told him that he should be happy that I trust his driving enough to fall asleep.

Maybe telling her this might help?