The Rapidian

Early Bird Creates Sanctuary for Delayed Dawdlers

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Local nonprofit partner relations associate, J. Somers, shocked co-workers last week when she pulled into work at 7:53 a.m.—a full seven minutes early.

“I just didn’t see this coming,” remarks co-worker, R. Norman. “This is going to make things really difficult for the rest of us.”

Somers, a Grandville resident, credits last Monday morning’s achievement to sparse traffic, green lights, and good weather.

“Nothing I can really count on,” she admits. “There was no frost on my car, and I was able to turn left really quickly.”

Still the bubbly brunette plans to leverage today’s good fortune into momentum for future successes. As the weather worsens, her strategy is to “retrain” herself to leave 10-15 minutes earlier to allow for unforeseen difficulties like frost and myopic drivers.

Co-worker R. Terry is impressed and inspired by Somers’s resolve. Commuting from East Hills, Terry’s main obstacle to timeliness is construction traffic in downtown Grand Rapids.

“131 North is so unpredictable!” exclaims Terry, chugging red-eye extra strength coffee. “Sometimes people stop at 28th Street for the 36th Street exit closure. Today it was backed up all the way to Hall. You just never know.”

Grand Rapids residents can find detailed budgets, progress summaries, and tentative completion dates for construction projects on the City’s Engineering Department website. A list of road closures is also available.

Terry is an active member of Unpunctual Delayed Dawdlers Anonymous (UDDA), a support group Somers started last month for “a.m. challenged”, caffeine-addicted office workers.

UDDA is a safe space where people can seek help without judgment or reprimand. Through virtual meetings and Outlook conversations, members rejoice in each other’s achievements and help each other through those early Mondays.

Somers says the group’s name came from her “in-depth research of the word ‘tardy’ and its meaning”. But co-workers suspect it was her love of dairy products that led her to the clever acronym. The unabashed foodie reportedly enjoyed copious amounts of Gruyère fondue this weekend at the Melting Pot restaurant at Knapp’s Corner.

Outside the office Somers is just as passionate about filling gaps in the community.

A committed Christian and community leader, she attends
Grand Rapids First
, an Assemblies of God congregation, and leads a growing neighborhood children’s ministry.

Somers also volunteers for "Mel Trotter Ministries", a local faith-based nonprofit that serves the homeless, where she acts as a mentor and organizes monthly “soak-ins”—evenings of spiritual reflection and emotional healing for women.

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