Why do some people work far away from where they live, even if their same job is located closer to their hometown?

It’s true that those aren’t always McJobs that people only do temporarily - but it’s also true that very few people first get a retail or food service job in a particular location and then choose to live far away from it because the housing is cheaper. Sure, a Home Depot store manager earning $100K a year might buy a house an hour away from the store because the housing is cheaper ( thus choosing to live far from work) but the Home Depot cashier earning $12/hour who travels an hour to work is probably living exactly where they lived before getting the job ( thus choosing to work far from where they live). It is of course possible that the store manager is choosing to work far from home for the same reasons that the cashier might* but given the scenario in the OP (can work at the same store or restaurant closer to where they live) neither one is in the position of someone who can’t get a job closer to home because that job simply doesn’t exist closer to home ( for example, a librarian who lives an hour away from the nearest library)

I was only on loan, thankfully- although they did offer to let the switch be permanent if I wanted. The scary thing was, it wasn’t even the worst branch in the area, at least according to rumour; we loaned an assistant manager to a different store and he lasted two days before refusing to ever set foot in the place again.

@Doreen. Excellent point. So what the OP probably really meant is

For people who work for companies with lots of branches, like e.g. Home Depot or Starbucks, or in jobs where skills transfer quickly from company to company e.g. Denny’s to IHOP or Home Depot to Lowes, why would you not work at the closest branch of whatever brand matches your skillset?

With the answer still being as Thudlow summarized: They’re at the closest branch that would have them at the time or that they could stand to work for.

@filbert. Good to hear.

What’s scary is the idea that the “bad” stores were viewed as unfixable. Incompetent leaders failing to lead incompetent followers on a high stress road to low profitability. While somehow HQ (or the owner if a franchise) remains oblivious to the opportunity they’re wasting. So much of American business is like this. So shortsighted and so stupid.

Sometimes it’s the people, not the job.

My father worked 14 years in a job that required an average 1.5 hour each way commute when he could have been working at the same job, with the same company with an average 30 minute commute.

He has a disability that requires some accommodation. The regional director who controlled the territory that covered his home area was a bastard who would constantly carp about how lucky he was to have the job. The regional director he worked for appreciated that he was the most productive and reliable employee he had ever had. He was there for 14 years (age 51 to retirement) in a position that had an average tenure of less than a year and required 3-6 months to train a new employee to anything resembling full productivity.

Exactly. Mike lived literally walking distance from a store, but had an hour commute to work.

When I was a teen I used to hang around the office at the recreation center near my house. A lot of people viewed it as volunteer work, but I was really just hanging out and helping once in a while and the staff knew me and let me be inside the office rather than outside.

Anyway, I was listening to a couple of the staff members talking about the different recreation centers that they had been assigned to and a few of them noted that they lived close to one park but had asked to be transferred elsewhere for various reasons.

  • Neighbors would ask for discounts and/or free use of facilities for their events.
  • Neighbors would ask for advice on game rules – when he was not at the work site (like at the grocery store or mall, et cetera) – and managing a recreation center isn’t about knowing all the rules of all the games (in the world) anyway…
  • He didn’t want some of the rough kids to follow him home or recognize him locally.

One of the directors said he lived across the street from the ball field of a park he was assigned to but he invariably drove to a convenience or grocery store to grab – well, anything – as a detour between the recreation center office and his home both before and after his work day, just so the kids at the park would think he lived far enough away that he had to drive to work. He was afraid someone would vandalize his house.

A friend who manages social work cases was assigned to the town where she lived, but grew tired of people asking her “How is {insert friend or relative here} doing?” at church, at the grocery store, at the park, at school events… She couldn’t tell them anything because that’s HIPAA-protected information, and they would get upset because she refused to tell them anything. She realized it was easier to manage cases that aren’t near her home.


I’m in England :wink:

The branch actually was unfixable- it shut down a year or so later, along with the clothing store it was inside. The even worse one is still going, probably still with a staff turnover rate through the roof. It’s in far too profitable a location for anyone in head office to care what a nightmare it is to work in unless things get illegal enough to draw attention.

I left the company years ago anyway- now I work in a totally different dysfunctional organisation with far too long a commute, and arguably worse pay, though the job looks far better on paper. :smiley: