When I first started my April challenge, I decided to keep it on the DL as much as possible at work. I know, I know, we shouldn't shy away from showing people our eco-friendly side, and as most of you could guess from my posts about toilet paper, diva cups, and underwear, I'm not exactly the shy and retiring type anyway. But even my eco-nuttery has its limits, and while I do bring in my own dishes and cutlery for my lunches, bring a hand towel instead of paper towels, and use the kitchen trash instead of the trash can at my desk, I try not to call much attention to any of these actions at my job.
So when I decided to start taking public transit to work, I told Awesomest Co-worker (who responded with typical Awesomest Co-worker enthusiasm) and no one else. Mayor Bloomberg may take the subway to work in New York, but I was pretty convinced that everyone at my work here would think taking public transit to work was the height of eco-insanity. (Now that I'm thinking about this, I think this is really about the bus. A subway seems like a decent option for working people, but there is something about a bus that has more of a stigma attached to it.)
For almost two weeks, I managed to keep it quiet, slipping into work and out of work all stealth-like. And then, today, as I was walking towards the gate, I saw Boss 1 drive by. And two seconds later, Boss 2 zoomed past.
Crap, I thought. Well, maybe they did not notice me?
I hurried to the building with the idea that, I don't know, if I got into the office quickly enough, they might see me at my computer and think, "Oh that couldn't have been Arduous I saw on the street, because she's sitting here working."
Yeah, not so much. In fact, as soon as Boss 2 walked into the office, the first question she had was, "Why were you walking into the gates this morning? Are you parking in some weird location?"
"Ha ha," I laughed nervously. "No, no, not parking anywhere weird."
She looked at me quizzically but let it go and walked into her office. Yes, I thought! I have successfully deflected.
Of course then, Boss 1 walked in. "What were you doing walking into the gates?" he immediately wanted to know.
"Yes! You saw her too!" Boss 2 exclaimed.
Meanwhile my face was turning bright, bright red, and Awesomest Co-worker was doing her best not to laugh. "She's going green!" she told them.
"Ummm, I take the metro to work," I mumbled, "because I walk to the metro station so I get my cardio!" (Because Angelenos hate the earth, but love to work out, right?)
Well, needless to say, all my bosses thought it was cool and not insane. In fact, it turns out Boss 2's husband actually takes public transportation fairly regularly. And Boss 1 was mostly concerned about my safety, but as soon as I had reassured him that yes, there were plenty of people who took the metro, and yes it was safe, and yes, if it was late at night, I would get a ride or call a cab or something, he seemed pretty impressed that not only did I take public transit, but that I walked two miles to the metro.
And then they all had a million questions about how long it took versus a car, and how often I did this, etc etc. And it was so NICE, because nothing against anyone I work with, because they are all wonderful people, but I just ... did not expect that kind of warm reception. I expected people to think I was weird. But they didn't. Instead, they seemed to think that what I was doing was awesome.
And I got to tell you, as embarassed as I was to come out of the eco-closet, it turned out really well, and really served as yet another reminder that people are often cooler and more accepting than we give them credit for being. Life less plastic recently wrote about her fantasy world, where no one thinks you're weird for doing something good for the environment. Today, I realized that I'm living in that fantasy world.
It's a good day.
5 weeks ago