The Driving Test

March 15, 2007 - Get free updates of new posts here

Scenario: You are driving on the freeway. It is grid-lock. Damn it! You are going to be late for something important. Argh.

gridlock traffic car jam


A) Wait in grid-lock thinking it may clear up ahead

B) Get off the freeway and take the side roads

Which person are you?
I will give my explanation of each person later in the comments…

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30 responses to “The Driving Test

  1. Avi Reply

    I think it’s interesting that you gave only two choices to the problem. The most human of tendencies is to separate things into binary choices, good vs evil, Pavement vs. Nirvana, true vs False. Are we not but difference machines? Perhaps the meeting I was going to was so important that I’d just ditch the car and begin running (and if it was you, seeing as you just completed that marathon, I’d bet you’d make it there faster)? Perhaps I’d leave my car as collateral to someone with a bike nearby and take that. Who knows…but given those two choices, I’d suck it up and stay in the traffic. Why? Because there is only one way to get through a problem and that’s straight through it. Plus side streets introduce an entire other set of possible problems (getting lost). So my answer is A.

  2. Shivani Reply

    I would leave 2 hours early and not get stuck in traffic in the first place 🙂

    But otherwise, I’m A – I have no sense of direction and would probably turn up even later if I tried to take side roads.

  3. Will Kern Reply

    Mos def B, but like Shivani, I would have left several hours early so as to not find myself in that situation!
    One of the things in life that I cannot stand is standing (pun intended) still. I need to keep on moving, if you do not, life will pass you by. But if B is the wrong answer, then I guess A 🙂


    SO what would you do Noah?

  4. Sasan Reply

    I regularly take the side roads. Sure, I could sit and wait out traffic but why not go a way that other people don’t know about and get to where I’m going faster?. I might hit construction on the side roads, and sometimes it slows me down more than if I had stuck to the freeway but it’s a risk I’m willing to take 😀

  5. Noah Kagan Reply

    I personally take B. Why? Cause even though it takes the same amount of time the fact that I am doing something and making progress makes me feel better. I would rather take the risk than wait it out in a traffic like everyone else.

    I am not saying person A is bad I am just saying they are a sheep and part of the flock. Wow. When you say it like that it sounds so harsh. It is fine to accept new things and not challenge them. This person knows they are going the right way and will eventually get to the right location.

    Person B. Oh, you are probably the person I hate who cuts lanes to save 5 minutes but you take the exit in hopes of finding the holy grail of short cuts. I do that as well. I love to just take the side roads, hit a few stop lights and eventually get to my stop rather then wait in traffic.

    I would say Person A is an employee and Person B is an entrepreneur. Is that bad? Not at all. That is why not everyone is the president and not everyone is an accountant. Zing Shivani=)

  6. Will Kern Reply

    I knew your answer before you even said it. Your analogy of what Person A and person B are is dead on,albeit a little harsh on A for being a sheep in the flock. There are certain people for certain jobs in life, and we need both in order to make this world go round. How would all of us B (um, risk takers / entrepreneurs) ever get anything done if we did not have the A ( patient / good at following directions / risk averse) type of people to actually do the things we dream up. It is like Ying and Yang, Ebony and Ivory, living in perfect harmony! (sorry, little Stevie Wonder / Paul McCartney ref there)


  7. Ben Reply

    Noah, that is a simple and generalized statement. I’m definitely in your A category, and that’s only because I’ve already done B and discovered that it wastes gas and always ends up taking more time. Also, what’s the benefit of scrambling to get home 5 minutes earlier?

  8. Devin Reply

    Semblance of progress, oh, cool, that makes you an entrepreneur? Feeling better about yourself by doing something?

    Maybe you’re just impatient. Maybe you just can’t sit still. 😉

  9. msdanielle Reply

    i’m B all the way. if i don’t explore i won’t know if there’s a short cut. i’ve actually found amazing short cuts doing this, especially important when driving out of downtown LA to Orange County after work. and, if it turns out to be the opposite, then i have the satisfaction of knowing it’s not a short cut. 😀

    btw, did u take that picture in LA? that pretty much looks like my “drive” home 😉

  10. Dave McClure Reply

    i’m definitely B.

    altho i think there’s also another type C, that stays in modest gridlock, and optimizes for faster moving lanes (ie, changes lanes & thinks they just saved a few seconds while those behind get annoyed). that would be me.

    of course, i’m usually also the guy in Office Space who, as soon as you move into the apparently faster moving lane, it comes to a dead stop & the one you just left starts moving.

    fuck me.

  11. karen Reply

    Get a GPS unit (I *heart* mine!!!!) and become a B!

    I agree…I can’t sit still. I feel like LIFE is passing me by and I’m missing out on something. I’ll have none of that!

  12. claire Reply

    I’ve tried A and B. Largely, it doesn’t matter which you choose, the B people clog the side roads, and the A people don’t leave the freeway. It’s a gamble either way and you never really know how it would have turned out had you made a different choice.