While aware that his daily inquiry as to his co-worker's morning commute is likely taken as no more than superficial small talk, Mike Greenwood of New York City truly does care about the transportation experience of his colleague Angela Schafer, who travels from Long Island to Midtown Manhattan for work every morning.
"For me, it's just a quick ride on the subway from the Upper East Side," said Greenwood, "but that doesn't mean I can't relate. Or that it's not important to me to at least try to understand."
As Greenwood has learned through their many office conversations, Schafer's commute entails a 14-minute drive from her home to the train station, followed by a 45-minute ride on the Long Island Railroad.
"It's a trek," said Greenwood. "And commuting is a huge factor in determining quality of life. There's no question that Angela''s morning commute ends up setting the tone for her entire day. And then she has to do it all over again at night!"
On her part, Schafer stated that she doesn't think much about her commute - or about Greenwood. "My husband drops me off at the station in the morning, and then I generally just read on the train. Who was it you said was concerned? Mike?" She scratched her head. "Oh, Mike! Yeah, he's sweet."
Even though she seems fine with it, Greenwood stated that he will continue to check in casually with Schafer about her commute on a regular basis.
"I'll keep it low-key - I don't want to creep her out or anything," he said. "But I do care."