Almost 2 hour commute - is it worth it?
September 28, 2014 11:59 PM   Subscribe

I'm really interested in applying for this job but it would mean a commute of around 1 hour and 45 minutes one way each day (by reliable public transportation). I live in the suburbs so I am used to taking the underground everywhere and to it being a minimum of an hour before getting to where I want to go (but I don't do this on a daily basis). I'm worried almost 4 hours total of public transportation a day might be pushing it.

Currently unemployed (just graduated and haven't had my first "real" job yet), this is a job at my dream organisation, where I happened to do my internship in the department where there is the opening (but at a different location) and where I still do volunteer work. I love the team I would be working with and the work that I would be doing. It is exactly what I want to go into.

I want to be realistic, however, about whether committing to such a long commute would be wise. Since it's by train (with only one line change) I would be able to spend time reading and writing, so it could potentially be a productive time. But this would also mean getting up extra early, getting home late, less quality time with my partner, etc.

I want to note that it doesn't change my financial situation, because my transportation card cost would remain the same.

Does anyone have any wisdom about this that you could bestow upon me?
posted by Blissful to Work & Money (47 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Sorry, I forgot to state that moving is not an option. My partner has free housing provided by his job so we're definitely staying where we are.
posted by Blissful at 12:01 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think the commute will suck. I also think you should go after the job. As a new graduate, part of breaking into your field of choice involves paying your dues, and this horror of a commute may be part of that. Take it and commit to it for two years and then see what happens. It sounds like too good an opportunity to pass up.
posted by hazyjane at 12:06 AM on September 29, 2014 [30 favorites]

I think you should take the job and set money aside, while you look for a new job, get a car or find ways to do some of your work and errands from the train.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 12:19 AM on September 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

If you need the experience and/or the money, I would take the job while continuing to job hunt, and would ask about telecommuting several times a week.
posted by devnull at 12:23 AM on September 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

You can do that commute for a year or two in exchange for the priceless experience and connections that are hugely important in this economy.
posted by bleep at 12:31 AM on September 29, 2014 [25 favorites]

You don't lose anything by applying. This decision will only matter if they give you an offer.

FWIW, my happiest commute was just over an hour each way on public transportation because I got a ton of reading done, and I love to read. My unhappiest commute was 25 minutes each way on public transportation because there wasn't really enough time between changes to do much more than check email.
posted by mochapickle at 12:39 AM on September 29, 2014 [9 favorites]

I once worked in Slough and lived in London. It took me (door to door) 1 hour 40 minutes in the morning and 2 hours at night to get home. The longer time at night was because I often had to get a slower train.

I loved the job and hated the commute. Getting up in the morning early wasn't so much of a problem once you'd got used to it. However trying to meet someone in London at a sensible time (say earlier than 7pm) was almost impossible.

I lasted 5 years and, looking back, the commute tired me out. My next job had a commute of 45 minutes door to door and I had so much extra time in the evening it was lovely.

If you're going to do it, don't do it any longer than 2 years.
posted by mr_silver at 1:39 AM on September 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

I did a 2-3++ hour each way commute (Network South East trains = notoriously bad) for over four years and for the most part loved it. I got on the train at the start of the line so always got a corner seat and could tuck myself away for hours of reading and study.

However, I missed out on a lot of family time and I'd hesitate to do it full time now.

I really think you should go for it if it's your dream job - you could enjoy the commute immensely and we none of us know what's just around the corner - your partner's job+house could change, you could have the chance to move closer, there are so many variables, a long commute should be just a small factor in the decision process (and might be a plus rather than a negative).
posted by humph at 1:49 AM on September 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

4 hour daily commuter here. I almost stopped reading after "currently unemployed".

You should absolutely apply for the job.

1) You might not get the job but you will get valuable job application/interview experience. And 2) if you get the job, you can definitely survive the commute. Sleep, read, write, relax, and spend the time writing job applications for jobs closer to home.

Good luck!
posted by rawrberry at 2:04 AM on September 29, 2014 [9 favorites]

As someone with a short commute (20 min) in a job I don't really like I would say a long commute is worth it to get experience in a dream organisation. Good luck I hope you get the job!
posted by EatMyHat at 2:19 AM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Telecommuting several times a week may save you time, but not money, as buying two individual tickets for the morning rush hour may cost as much as a weekly ticket.

I've been doing commutes in the ballpark of 2 hours each way for over 20 years. The longest commute was one I had to finesse to get it to exactly 2 hours door to door, and it was a disaster if I couldn't get a space in my preferred park and ride, and when they closed that park and ride in order to extend it (but after that I could always get a space, so).

The other commutes were ones where I had to allow two hours door to door but could often manage it in one and a half or one.

What saves a lot of time for me is my smartphone apps: Commuter and Journey Pro for the train, Navigon for driving. Being able to dynamically calculate how much time you can shave off a given journey is a real godsend.

Another thing that helps is having flexible hours. If I can go in just after rush hour I have a decent chance of getting a seat, and then I can do a bunch of reading. I am very sensitive to background noise so I rely on my Bose noise-cancelling earbuds. That's the good thing about commuting, very often you can't do anything but read a book, so I got more reading and language learning done during a train commute than I did when I had to schedule these things into my free time.

A commute by car isn't downtime in the same way a carefully-arranged train journey is. But I sure do enjoy my podcasts, and right now I'm lucky enough to be driving through some gorgeous countryside as the leaves are turning golden and falling, so I must say I don't mind it at all. I'm lucky enough to be able to park right at my workplace and the journey in is only an hour and a quarter, so that's great.
posted by tel3path at 2:37 AM on September 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Even if the commute is tiring, the chance of getting experience in your chosen field is so important that I think you should try it for a couple of years.

Do you know anyone living close to where you would work? If moving is not an option, it still might be possible to find somewhere to stay one or two nights a week. I had a friend who did this for a couple of years: she married a farmer, so there was no question of them moving, but her commute to her job in my town was over two hour's drive, some of it on very bad roads. I had just bought a house, and while I didn't want to take a full-time lodger, I was happy to have someone staying a couple of nights a week. I got some money towards the mortgage, but didn't have to share my house over the weekend, while she had just a one-way drive four days a week (up Monday, home Tuesday, up and home Wednesday, up Thursday, home Friday).
posted by Azara at 2:59 AM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

The commute will suck, it's a short term thing.

I would point out that 1) you don't even have the job, so yes you should definitely apply for criminy's sake, as there's no guarantee you will get it.

2) You're a graduate, it can be damned, damned hard to get a job when you're a graduate at any time, least of all in a field that interests you..

3) A year's worth of suck is worth it for a good start to your career. At least it's public transport so you can read etc.

Apply for the job. You can always back out if you gt offered it.
posted by smoke at 3:17 AM on September 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Apply for the job. Deal with the commute later, or move but for now, you need a job and if it's at your dream company too, it's a no brainer.
posted by Jubey at 3:39 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Not to thread sit but it is particularly because it is with my dream organisation that I want to make sure it is a realistic to potentially have such a long commute before I apply. I would not want to apply and then back out (and yes, I am aware that I may not even be hired). I already know about the organisation, its culture, and exactly what the job entails that I believe turning down a potential offer would make me look flakey and could sour their opinion of my if I want to apply to another position in the future. I only want to apply if I decide that signing up for a two-hour commute is doable so it would be helpful if responses focused on that aspect. Thanks, there have been many helpful answers so far!

Also, to clarify, flexible hours and telecommuting would not be possible due to the nature of the job.
posted by Blissful at 3:47 AM on September 29, 2014

Over a year ago, I had to make a similar decision regarding university. It was either: stay at the university next to my house, at which I was quite unhappy, or switch to the one with the 2 hours one-way commute, which fit my needs and goals much better.

I decided to switch. It's been completely worth it. Some weeks are better than others, and I've learned to roll with it.

The things that have kept it from being such a drain:

- Finding ways to look forward to the time. For me, that means "saving" some favorite books or activities only for commuting time. Bonus: you have more "me time" built into your day, so partner time comes more naturally. I hadn't thought of that at first actually, it was nice.

- As others have mentioned, having some way to avoid rush hour if possible. For me, it's been tricky due to class scheduling, but some days of the week I could avoid it. This is something you could possibly arrange with your boss, should you get the job.

- Finding a safe and reliable place to stay overnight on occasion, when there was something very important and/or very early on the following day that I couldn't miss (the trains on my route have a lot of problems in the winter). At first this was a hostel, and over time I made friends who let me crash (bonus social time!).

- Having an end date: in my case graduation, in your case, perhaps transfer, moving, or simply making a promise to yourself that when the commute gets too draining, to move on.

It's still a hassle of course, but these things really helped. I think you should absolutely not let this stop you from applying, it's definitely doable in your circumstances as described. Good luck!
posted by Pieprz at 3:51 AM on September 29, 2014 [6 favorites]

I think you should apply.

A valuable question would be how comfortable would the commute be - I have former colleague who chose longer commute because they would have a guaranteed sitting spot on the train, which would enable them to use this time to read/rest/work/etc...

Other things to consider are: do you have alternatives if the public transportation isn't available (if you work extra hours one day, or there's a strike, you have to go back urgently to your place, these kind of things)

Finally, would renting a small place to sleep closer and spend 2-3 nights there work ? you wouldn't be home every night, but I know it works for some people ?

Good luck with you job search
posted by motdiem2 at 3:56 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

You could always move somewhere closer once your lease is up.
posted by oceanjesse at 4:21 AM on September 29, 2014

A valuable question would be how comfortable would the commute be

This. I rather enjoy my (part time) long commute. For me, it's all about regularity and rituals - getting into the habit of getting my stuff in order and going to bed early, and having rituals like a particular coffee or lining up an audiobook that make the commute more pleasant.

I would caution against assuming that you will be able to be productive on the move. I personally can't focus enough to write, and I can't even manage to read work-related journals because I'm so burnt out from commuting and working. I can do some relaxing, recreational reading during my commute, though, and I've been enjoying having time to devour some novels.

Should you decide to go for this position, I would funnel some of your savings from free accommodation into a regular cleaner, and talk to your partner about taking on the lion's share of the tidying, because the last thing you want to do when getting home late is dishes and laundry.
posted by dumdidumdum at 4:30 AM on September 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Would you prefer to be doing something you absolutely hate but is within walking distance? Or doing something that's kinda-sorta related to your field a short commute away for less money?

Jobs come with drawbacks. Something you love, that you're good at, that pays well, for a company you like, where there's a good chance for advancement... how many positives do you need to outweigh the inconvenient commute? Remember, no job is permanent. This could lead to something closer to your home, or there could be some unforeseen advantage you gain from that commute, or it could be terrible. But in the meantime it's money and it's experience, and it doesn't prevent you from looking for something else as well.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 4:30 AM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Take the job if you can get it -- once you've worked for dream organization for awhile (a year or two, depending on the organization culture, most likely), you can look to transfer to a different location of dream organization that's easier on your life. 2 hours a day commuting will totally blow, but you have a chance to really take the first steps up the career ladder, and if you're career oriented enough to already have a dream organization to work for, it's worth it to live with that annoyance for awhile to get where you want to go.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:47 AM on September 29, 2014 [4 favorites]

I did this when I was young and foolish, living in Paris and working an internship at a computer place out in the sticks. Even though I had fun reading lots of books and skateboarding between the Metro and train stations, I still felt like I was losing an eighth of my day, every day.

I promised myself I would never ever do it again. I'm glad I did it when I was young :-)
posted by ZipRibbons at 4:59 AM on September 29, 2014

Have you tried making the commute at the times you'll be commuting? Try doing a dry run today or tomorrow and see how it goes.

Personally, in your place, I would apply for the job. I'd think that you would be more likely to be able to transfer to the Dream Company's closer office after coming off of a one- or two-year stint at the further office than to get a job at the closer office coming in cold during that time (especially since you're not working now).

If the commute turns out to be terrible, look into renting a room at someone's apartment or house (or even in a nearby extended day or hotel, if that's financially feasible). You can crash there for a few nights during the week and then return home for the weekends. Obviously, that's not ideal, but it wouldn't be forever. On the other hand, you *and* your SO could move into an apartment near your work and he could use the company-paid housing as his pied a terre for only part of the week. Anyway, what I'm saying is, there are options even if you end up hating the commute -- you wouldn't have to just throw up your hands and quit.

Is your SO *required* to live in the housing his job pays for, or is it just a perk? If it's just a perk, then it's not worth twisting your whole life around and giving up job opportunities for, honestly. The money you'd save by living there full-time wouldn't necessarily be worth the money and long-term career benefits you'd lose by giving up your dream job to keep living there full-time.
posted by rue72 at 5:03 AM on September 29, 2014 [4 favorites]

I commute 1:45 each way, via a combination of driving, carpooling, and public transportation. It's not fun, but if you aren't stuck driving the whole way it's bearable. I mostly nap on the way in, and on the way home I'm able to get a lot of reading in. I've been doing this commute for almost 3 years, and it is starting to wear on me. My wife and I are are just starting to talk about how we could move in closer to the city. Realistically, it'll probably be two before we can do that.

I know people that have been doing this commute for 20+ years.
posted by COD at 5:33 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would go for it. Learn to knit or take up some other hobby that you can do while on your commute.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 5:37 AM on September 29, 2014

I had a commute (though by driving) that long for a few weeks once and hated it -- I felt like I had no time for cooking, doing laundry, or being social. But with more time to adapt to it, and a more pleasant commute than sitting in a rental car in heavy traffic, I'm sure I could have found the zen of it and made it work for me. I'm currently working remotely which means I have almost no commute on work days but I have a long commute home and back on weekends, which turns out to work fine for me, so I can see how people make long daily commutes work.

I'd say give it a try and if it turns out to be awful then you can look at options, which could range from quitting and finding a new job to moving to finding a cheap motel to stay at for a couple of nights mid-week. You won't know until you actually do it -- as you can see from the answers above many people do this for decades and actually find things to enjoy about it, or at least see it as a reasonable trade-off in terms of both living and working in the places they like.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:37 AM on September 29, 2014

For a while I had such a commute (~105 min: cycling to the train station, trip on the train, changing into bus to get to the final location) and it is doable!
Some days I just got sleepy on the train and couldn't do anything productive, only listen to a podcast and relax. Other days I could get some work done.

I think you will seriously regret it if you don't go after this job. You say it is your dream organization, you love the work and team and it is exactly what you want to do.
Put yourself first, and not your partner, their needs or their free housing. You can even do the "long-distance" thing for some time, going home to your partner only on the weekends, if you get tired of the daily trips.
This is an opportunity too good to pass up.
posted by travelwithcats at 5:39 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Have you tried making the commute at the times you'll be commuting?

Definitely second this. Commuting on full trains at rush hour is a different experience than casual off-hours trips. A lot less fun and relaxing.
posted by smackfu at 5:51 AM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Two things would factor into this decision for me: 1. what is the nature of the commute, ie/ will you always get a seat? How full are the trains? Two hours without a seat on packed trains will be truly terrible and life-sucking, but if you are at the beginning of the line and the trains are ok then that won't be so bad.

2. How much of the household management does your partner do now, and how much will they be willing to do if you are successful? How much can you outsource, like getting a cleaner? Coming home after a two hour commute then having to think about what to cook, cooking dinner etc and then doing the washing or cleaning the bathroom, or spending all your weekend doing household management tasks would also be truly terrible and life-sucking.

If both of these factors are ok, I would definitely consider it, but I think applying is a good idea regardless for the experience if nothing else. Good luck! I hope it works out well for you.
posted by goo at 5:57 AM on September 29, 2014

You're asking *us* if it's viable? Give it a shot. You'll do this commute at least once, when you go in for the interview. If the interview goes well (or maybe beforehand even) then spend that entire week taking the trains back and forth the same way you're going to be doing for your commute if you take the job. Can you reliably sit down the whole way? Possible to nap? Connection is hard to make and you're going to have to catch the earlier/later train most days, so it's actually longer than 2 hours? There's really no substitute for testing it out.

If it's a large company, ask about carpools/vanpools when you're interviewing.
posted by aimedwander at 6:31 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have done just under an hour by public transit (not that bad) and just over an hour by car (horrible). An hour and forty five minutes each way is a lot of your day. A lot.

Before you move forward with this, consider what happens if you love the job but hate the commute. Would you consider getting a room in a shared apartment near your job for M-F? Free housing is great, but how much is 17.5 hours of your time a week worth -- is there a way to split the commute? Discuss with your partner how you might need to split chores. Consider whether you will be up for making your own lunches or will you start buying lunch? When can you do errands? Even reliable public transit breaks down, how flexible is the job about that? If you stay at work (or just in the city) later, can you still get home once rush hour is over?

You are adding 50% to your workweek. I'm not saying it isn't worth it in the short run, but you need to figure out a bunch of things and your partner has to be on board.
posted by jeather at 6:48 AM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Also, if there are multiple locations, do you know if there's any way to transfer to a location closer to you? Similarly, might they transfer you to somewhere even worse?
posted by jeather at 6:49 AM on September 29, 2014

I had a very long commute early in my career and after two years of that (very good job) I was able to get an excellent job in the city. In retrospect, it was totally worth it. But it was very hard -- won't sugarcoat it. I didn't do much during the week at all...and weekends were busy with all the chores I did not get done during the week.
posted by Lescha at 7:10 AM on September 29, 2014

Always apply for the job you want. Also, done commutes like that for years. The single train change is key. It's the changes and waiting and missed connections that make it harder. And, as others have commented, actualy try it at rush hour. Good luck.
posted by Gotanda at 7:11 AM on September 29, 2014

Not to thread sit but it is particularly because it is with my dream organisation that I want to make sure it is a realistic to potentially have such a long commute before I apply. I would not want to apply and then back out

Well, in that case I'll be a dissenting voice and say it isn't worth a four hour commute. You should apply and then continue to look, but if you've decided that you won't do that, don't go for the job. If you get the job, you essentially have a 60 hour work week, and you pay for a third of it.
posted by spaltavian at 7:13 AM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

A valuable question would be how comfortable would the commute be

Yeah, that's key. Definitely trial it at the times you'd be travelling to and from work.

If you can reliably get a seat and use the time productively, then it might be fine. I travel about that distance to and from client offices fairly frequently but that's on long distance trains with seat reservations (and tables!) not on packed commuter services.

I don't mind it if I can actually use the time, since I can do work that I otherwise would have to do at home or at work but if I wasn't able to do any work, I'd effectively be extending my workday significantly.
posted by atrazine at 7:37 AM on September 29, 2014

On transit and for a limited time? I'd think about it. (I would not do it for more than two years.) But don't underestimate the effect the lost time can have on your relationship. Make sure your partner really gets that you'll effectively have a 60-hour work week, and make a plan to mitigate the loss of quality time and time for household upkeep.
posted by clavicle at 8:29 AM on September 29, 2014

I have a 45 min commute (or more), and while I hate it and would give anything to change it, it is mostly because I have kids and because it is by car. I had a similar commute before kids that used public transportation or bike and it was fine. I could read or get my exercise in, and my partner and I spent more time in the later evenings together. So what I'd say is that if it is your dream job, or even one you might quite like, I would apply. Worst case would be you'd stick it out for a bit, find it drives you crazy, and then use that experience to find a new job. But make sure to give your partner attention when you get home, especially if you are spending the commute reading or doing other things for fun (ie. not working on the commute).
posted by katers890 at 9:05 AM on September 29, 2014

I think the commute is definitely doable IF you are realistic and know that little things like doctors and dentist appointments will be nigh on impossible during the work week.

You'll have to save up a ton of chore-like things (food shopping etc) specifically for the weekend which also means, not only are you spending almost 4 hours a day commuting, but you'll also be losing a proportion of your weekend time, to things that you need to do, but absolutely cannot do during the work week.

You'll have to speak to your partner and make sure they are ok with cooking a meal every day - I'm presuming they'll be home before you.

I do a 45 minute commute by public transport and it's long enough for me. I also work 7 - 3pm so I'm always home by 4pm in the evening which means I have time to go the gym, rustle up a meal, go to the doctor or dentist, take cat to the vet, go food shopping etc. etc.

It really isn't necessarily the commute which is a pain - all you need is a good podcast and you're all set - but it's the eating up of ALL your free time which can be tricky.

All that being said - you may as well go for it while you're young!! I also did a London to Slough commute in my car, and in those days I was working at least a 55 hour week too. I'm not sure I could do that again in all honesty, but I'm glad I did it while I was young!
posted by JenThePro at 9:24 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would do it, but I would find something I love to do on the train to make that commute bearable. Knitting, reading, pod casts, breakfast, bridge with other commuters.

You have no idea how soul crushing that kind of thing can be in the long run.

But, I would do an awful lot to work for my dream organization, so go forward, you're young, you have the stamina for such things.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:27 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I sort of think life is too short to spend 1/6th of it travelling backwards and forwards. This might be why I live a 3 minute bus ride from work. That said, until I moved to this area, I was doing a (not-quite daily) commute of 3 hours each way, with one bus and two trains and I could tolerate it, except for the fear of falling asleep and potentially adding 1-2 more hours to my commute.

You're not going to know until you try it or 3 months. Apply for the job. If nothing better/closer comes up, take it.

I think I very successfully sat on every fence there.
posted by b33j at 9:42 AM on September 29, 2014

As per your update:
I only want to apply if I decide that signing up for a two-hour commute is doable so it would be helpful if responses focused on that aspect.

I want to clarify my response, because I forgot to mention that I did the exact same thing you're going to do - signed up for a 4 hour daily commute (taxi->train->train->taxi) in exchange for experience and connections. I did it for about a year and it wasn't that bad - but what I got out of it was immeasurably valuable. When it gets difficult, and it will seem difficult sometimes, you just have to power through it and remind yourself what it's for. Sometimes it wasn't even that bad, I just sort of breezed through it and barely even noticed.
posted by bleep at 11:00 AM on September 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Came back to say that you will need to hack the hell out of your life.

Order groceries on-line. Have your SO do the cooking, or order in, or have a lot of soup and sandwiches for dinner. Hire a cleaning service. Send out the laundry.

Everything that's a time suck and an unpleasant chore will now be done by someone else. That way, when you're home, you're HOME, and not starting your second-shift.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:45 AM on September 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have a long commute now and there are a few pros and cons:

I listen to a lot of podcasts
I have a bunch of choices for coffee since I can stop at several places along the way

Weather or accidents will screw you over so fast it's not even funny--my record for my 45-minute drive is 4 hours when it snowed once
Other people driving
Sometimes the last thing you want to do after a day at work is deal with a commute

There is nothing that will increase your job satisfaction like reducing your commuting time, it's the number one factor in liking your job. In fact, an increase pay won't make up for the commute time. Though studies say that it flattens out after your commute hits 3 hours.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:19 PM on September 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Test the commute and see if you think you can do it. Take the train when you'd have to in the morning rush hour and see what it's like. For me, no, I could not do a 4-hour commute everyday. But I know people have have commuted 3 hours round trip everyday. It really depends on your threshold of being able to tolerate it.
posted by AppleTurnover at 12:54 PM on September 29, 2014

Like everyone else, I can't say whether this will be bearable for you or not. What I will say is that if using the internet on the commute would make it easier for you, check that there is signal for most of the journey. If, as your use of the word "underground" implies, you're in London, then there's a pretty good chance the signal will be patchy for most of the journey. But if not, you could use the journey home for chatting with friends, shopping and other things you'd have to do at home otherwise.
posted by ambrosen at 3:25 PM on September 29, 2014

I've done that kind of commute. If you can sit and read/listen to podcasts, it can be quite relaxing. But the day does disappear.
posted by troytroy at 7:21 AM on September 30, 2014

« Older I strongly advise you to stop giving me advice!   |   Build me a better Mouse Trap. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.