morning commute

We usually take the Provo Center St. onramp to Orem Center St. offramp (on I-15) to get to work in the mornings. Today, however, we got on the freeway and were surprised to see a sign saying that it would be closed down to 1 lane. Now, I can understand that Utah weather does bad things to the roads. I can understand needing to repave the freeway. What I can’t understand is why anyone would close a freeway down to one lane right near the only major on- and offramp for all of Provo and Orem (the left lanes were already closed by the time we made it to University Parkway), and why there wouldn’t be signs all over Provo and Orem letting people know that their morning is going to be miserable. Really, who does that?

Actually, I am just altogether in a bad mood, and the stand-still traffic didn’t help. We got mildly chastised last week for clocking in at 6:03am instead of 6:00am, which is really due more to the slow computers than whether we’re on time or not, but today we did in fact leave our apartment in plenty of time to get here. It didn’t go quite the way we’d hoped. Besides that, I still have some vague dislike for working at a company that has a few….questionable practices, such as the salesmen (no no – my mistake, they are just representatives) telling the homeowners that “the corporate office likes to have basic information, like name, address, phone number, Social Security Number,” when in fact we run a credit check on every potential customer. Is it legal to do that without telling the person? I’m not sure.

Anyway, managment here puts a lot of emphasis on motivating us call center employees through the use of contests. Each shift supervisor comes up with a two-week contest to try getting us to answer our phones more quickly or be more thorough in verifying information. I truly have nothing against contests and winning and getting prizes, but it really seems kind of juvenile when I think about it. Like handing out candy in Sunday School for giving the right answer. It seems like a good idea – everyone likes free candy – but it isn’t quite the right reason for answering a question. One of the things I got out of No Contest was that when you create an extrinsic motivation for an activity, that becomes the reason for doing the activity. Example: a fourth grader may love jump-roping just because it’s fun, but as soon as there is a reward for doing better than other fourth graders, she’ll jump-rope for the reward – not because she enjoys jump-roping. The more extrinsic motivations are used, the harder it is to ever return to intrinsic motivations (trying your best just to do your best, or jump-roping just for the pleasure of it).

Really I think I’m just looking for things to be irritable about this morning, and I should just eat some banana bread while I read Time Traveler’s Wife. Maybe that’s what I’ll do now.

Sorry for complaining.