Hail to Thee, Brave Commuter! (Oh, and Happy Employee Appreciation Day)

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Admit it: Today the commute to work was hell — and everywhere, every day, it seems to be getting worse. But if anyone out there is laboring under the delusion that there was, at some point in the misty past, a Golden Age for commuting, know this: Commuting to work has pretty much always been horrible. Unconvinced? Here, on Employee Appreciation Day 2013 — and as the head of one major Silicon Valley-based firm tries to manage the fallout from having kicked the hornet’s nest with her demand that employees stop working at home — TIME offers incontrovertible evidence that traveling to work has never been especially easy, fun, or painless.

More Photography from Time