In the back seat...

“I like the peace, in the back seat. I don’t have to drive. I don’t have to speak”

Not my words, but the lyrics of the ethereal band Arcade Fire.

Obviously they have never hastily opted into a lift share agreement…


One summer’s day I was in a cheery mood, and I bounded with a spring in my step into what can only be described as the most glorious Tesco superstore that the UK has to offer. An abundance of goods at my fingertips that the staff only conspire to rearrange every 18 months or so, rather than the fluid layout employed by other stores which serve to leave you feeling like James Bond in the Mirror Maze looking for Scaramanga in ‘The Man with the Golden Gun”


Anyway, on my way in I spotted a gent I recognised from my Sunday night kickabouts. It took me by surprise as I work an hour away from where I live so it’s not something that happens often. He hadn’t clocked me so I approached and interrupted his conversation to ask him what the hell he was doing in my ends.

Incredibly enough, it transpired that he worked just a few hundred metres from our office, and travelled at more or less the same times on the same days from his house, less than a mile from mine.

So what am I thinking at this point?
I have a strong belief in collaboration, and professionally and personally, my desire to find win-win situations have invariably lead me down a path of reasonable success.
I can save some cash, I’m all for reducing my carbon footprint and let me remind you, I like the peace, in the back seat.

ROOOAAAAD TRRRRIIIIIIPPPPP!

In just a matter of seconds, I had signed an eternally binding contract to share lifts with someone I barely know every day forever. This means around 12 hours per week plus traffic jam overtime. Around about the same amount of hours per week of sleep I get since my 8-week old daughter was born.
Worse still, unwittingly I had sold my two favourite allies that I already lift share with, down the river with me!

I mean you don’t think it through do you. It’s a personal thing, sharing your car, and your time. The car journey is a sanctuary. A place to moan within a circle of trust. To put the day behind you before you get home. A safe haven, a place to laugh, to sing, to catch up on some sleep. Not things you share with just anyone, right?

6 months have passed and it’s now Winter.
Hello darkness my old friend…

The three original amigos lock into our headphones well in advance of pick up time. It’s like Christmas dinner with 3 teenage girls, staring at our phones for the full duration. The relationship is entirely transactional. Like a marriage that’s lost its spark.

Why don’t you leave him they say? Start a new life?
Well it’s not that easy is it?
What do I say? How awkward would that conversation be? Like any self-respecting Brit, I will endure a lifetime of pure misery before I face up to the awkwardness of telling someone I would rather spend another £100 a month burning up harmful gases that will inevitably lead the destruction of our planet rather than sit next to you and endure your weird habits, a boot that won’t even stay open, an ever-earlier start time and quite frankly twitchy driving style.

So this is where I find myself. My well-established friendships with my 2 colleagues forever tarnished as they curse me for upsetting the delicate and harmonious balance we had achieved. And what is my point I hear you ask? What’s this got to do with auctions?

Well - If you’re not sure – Don’t bid.

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