Dave Givens knew a seven-hour roundtrip commute to and from Mariposa to Cisco's San Jose headquarters wasn't normal, but he didn't think it exceptionally unusual. Then Midas called.
The auto repair firm this week handed Givens its "America's Longest Commute" award for his daily 372 mile trek. Givens had entered the contest on a coworker's suggestion and never expected to win. Now, the electrical engineer is giving the massive commute a rethink.
"I was thinking that a few people would have a commute like this," he told us. "I really didn't think I had the longest one.
"I am totally stoked about winning. But, on the other hand, it is really pointing out to me that it's quite the dubious award. It makes you wonder if this is right lifestyle."
Givens, however, has no plans to change his routine any time soon after running the same route since 1989.
With his family still sleeping, Givens heads out the door at around 4:30 a.m. from a horse ranch at the edge of the astonishing Yosemite National Park. On a good day, he can make the 186-mile trip to Cisco's sprawling offices in less than three hours.
It takes about nine cups of coffee, XM satellite radio and audio books to make the drive tolerable.
Givens then usually arrives home at around 8 or 8:30 p.m. This drive home through thicker traffic can take up to five hours some days.
The glorious Yosemite country and horses make the commute worth the effort to Givens – who pounds more than 30 cups of coffee by the end of the day.
"I could live a bit closer, but it would cost more and wouldn't be anywhere near as scenic," he said.
As a winner of the award, Givens receives $10,000 in gas money and maintenance services from Midas. He beat out a 175-mile one-way Chicago man and a 164-mile North Carolina lass. Contestants had to provide the most direct route from their main residence to the office.
What do you think? Is it worth it? ®