Sunday, September 28, 2014

How Long it Actually Takes (HliAT), #1

This is the first entry in what will be a sporadic and poorly maintained ongoing series. I welcome submissions from my thousands of readers in the comments below. HliAT is pronounced "hell-ee-aht".

This series derives from a simple premise:

None of us knows what the f**k we are talking about when we say how long it will take us to do something. 

We say "I'll be back in a minute" when we mean 15 minutes; we say "it'll take 2 minutes, literally" about things that literally take 11-25 minutes. We are morons about time, and it's not just a matter of usage ("I'll be back in a minute", yes, I know, carries a different meaning than the literal single "a minute"). We really don't know how long it takes to do things, make terrible estimates, and force ourselves and others to suffer.

I've been on the giving and receiving end of this nonsense for my entire life. It's time to take a stand.

This series is going to change the whole world.

A few years ago, in Chicago, I started tracking how long it took me to do certain everyday things; things which are no longer relevant even to my life, so I can't imagine how spectacularly irrelevant they will seem to yours. HOWEVER, the principal stands, and many of these things are like other things that I still do, or perhaps that you do. So I shall post them here, now, and when it occurs to me to time how long it takes me to "pop into this store for a minute" in future, I shall post that as well.

So here we go, let's change the world.

How Long it Actually Takes to...

take the Orange Line from Madison/Washburn in the city of Chicago to Midway Airport at around 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon: 24 minutes, 30 seconds

take the 151 bus to the Metra in the city of Chicago from the South Water Street stop (taking the bus to the Millenium Station stop getting caught at 1 red light, and then walking to and taking your seat on the Metra): 3 minutes, 55.9 seconds

take the 151 bus to the Metra in the city of Chicago from the South Water Street stop (getting off the 151 at South Water Street and walking into Millennium Station through the South Water Street entrance all the way up to taking your seat on the Metra): 3 minutes, 14.2 seconds
important note: This was catching the 7:48am Metra to South Chicago; catching the 7:35am Metra would be even faster (probably 30 - 40s) because they open the train doors further down the platform on that one

walk from the 151 stop at the corner of Stockton/La Salle in the city of Chicago to the door of apartment #2503 in Eugenie Terrace, a nice place to live:
2 minutes, 5.07 seconds to the elevators at Eugenie
the wait for the elevator varies significantly, from 0 to 60s
in the instance I timed it was 1 minute, 57.1 seconds from arriving at the elevators downstairs to opening the door to my flat

walk from the Metra station at 55-56-57th street, taking the 57th street exit, to the U. Chicago Cummings Life Sciences Building: 15 minutes, 23.9 seconds
note: walkways clear of snow/ice

And more to come. This is only the beginning, my friends. Only the beginning.
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