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Old 07-10-11, 11:54 AM   #1
JCS
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angry and insane pedestrian follows me to work and complains to my boss

Hey everyone, I have browsed this forum before but this morning something crazy happened and I wanted to post about it.

I work at McDonald's and I commute there by riding my bicycle. I ride on the sidewalks because I travel along a 4 lane highway that becomes 6 lanes. The speed limit is 45mph on this road but people go 55-60. What's more, my Uncle was killed riding his bicycle two years ago when he was riding alongside the road (though he was killed in a rural two lane street by a drunk driver).

So today I am riding along on the sidewalk, in my McDonald's uniform, on my way to work, and there's this old lady wearing nothing but shorts and a sports bra jogging with a little dog. I didn't even get within 5 feet of this lady because I always ride onto the grass whenever I have to pass pedestrians. I was approaching this lady, still 15 feet away, when she starts talking loudly saying "You're supposed to ride in the street! You're supposed to ride in the street, you know that?"

As I pass her she changes directions and starts jogging behind me continuing her tirade "What you're doing is illegal! I know this, I ride my bike all the time! You have to ride in the street!"

I screamed at her "F-- you b----!" and continued on my way.

So I get to McDonald's, and I have just been working for 30 minutes or so when the same old lady shows up, I chain my bike up right outside and it's obvious that's the one I work at. The crazy lady doesn't even come inside but just opens the door and gestures for the manager. Luckily my manager is a Mexican immigrant who is the most laid back manager every.

The lady complained about me to the manager outside, from what my manager said the lady complained that I cussed her out, which was true. But when my manager told her she didn't care because it didn't happen on McDonald's property, the lady then made allegations that I threatened to steal her purse, which was a total lie, obviously because she didn't even have a purse because she was out jogging.

After that the lady went away and everything continued as normal but I just wanted to share this story.
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Old 07-10-11, 12:04 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing.

You shouldn't ride on sidewalks and expect everyone will be OK with it.

Sorry about your uncle.

You had no reason to call that woman what you did, since you did that for no reason, you might want to consider your own sanity before labeling others "crazy".

Good luck.
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Old 07-10-11, 12:08 PM   #3
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Ignore this guy.^^^^Other than the Uncle commiseration.

She was right re the road/sidewalk issue and you were wrong for cussing her out. Big deal. Once in a while one runs into some functional neurotic while simply going about the business of trying to get to work and save a few ducets by cycle-commuting. She's a self-important, overly-officious **** who deserved the indifference she got from your manager. Good for your manager. You're working at McDs for cying out loud and this low-life tries to get you fired from that job? But, be careful in the future as she's the type who'll try to have you arrested for public profanity or terroristic threats. She needs to get a life...desperately.

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Old 07-10-11, 12:10 PM   #4
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Just learn and move on. Since you were wearing a McDonalds uniform the lady was able to track you down because she was upset you cussed her out. If you decide to cuss someone else out in the future just don't wear anything that identifies who you are or where you work.

While I understand your reasoning for riding on the sidewalk (because you posted it), the lady doesn't. Plus it sounds as if she is mentally unstable for following you, yelling, and making unsubstantiated claims. Hopefully she doesn't turn into a stalker and tries to get you fired.
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Old 07-10-11, 12:13 PM   #5
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Gear,

The lady A. ran after me screaming just because I wasn't riding in a 4 lane highway. B. stalked me to my job, that's deserving of the label "crazy" IMO.

Thanks everyone else for the responses.
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Old 07-10-11, 12:15 PM   #6
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You were wrong on both accounts: riding a bike and working at McDonalds. (j/k).

You should ride on the road (you have a legal right to be there), and you should not have cussed her out (she was right for calling you out).
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Old 07-10-11, 12:23 PM   #7
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I know I have a legal right to be on the road but I am too scared of being hit by a car. I live in a suburban sprawl area where most of the streets are 45mph but luckily has sidewalks almost everywhere and I feel much safer riding on them. I would rather not ride my bike at all than ride six inches away from cars speeding past at 50+ mph.
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Old 07-10-11, 12:25 PM   #8
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Some people are just downright crazy and need to be ignored. That lady sounds like one of them. (Sort of like the guy on the bike trail on my commute who yells "HOW ABOUT AN 'ON YOUR LEFT' A-HOLE" when I pass him without warning, when there's no one else around and I swing all the way to the left side of the 8 foot wide path.)

Just a suggestion; don't cuss people out when you're in your company uniform, no matter who you work for. I always joke about my team kit and my randonneuring club jersey being my "polite" gear because I don't want to give a bad name to either group by being a d-bag to someone while wearing either one. Similarly, I wouldn't yell at anyone if I was wearing one of my "<Company Name> Certified Technician" shirts from work because I wouldn't want someone calling up the company and complaining about me.
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Old 07-10-11, 12:30 PM   #9
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Gear,

The lady A. ran after me screaming just because I wasn't riding in a 4 lane highway. B. stalked me to my job, that's deserving of the label "crazy" IMO.

Thanks everyone else for the responses.
How do you know that she stalked you?? Have you been stalking her and know that she wasn't just doing her normal out and back routine?

I'm not going to call you out for not riding on the road. You did screw up by cussing her out. Maybe she seemed crazy.... could be she's a local advocate who's been trying to bring or improve the local cycling infrastructure and is frustrated because it's riders like you who the bean counters and the car-centric point to when it comes to funding said infrastructure....

Next time you pass someone, pass safely, then start sprinting if they start yelling- you'll outdistance them in no time.
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Old 07-10-11, 12:30 PM   #10
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You were wrong on both accounts: riding a bike and working at McDonalds. (j/k).

You should ride on the road (you have a legal right to be there), and you should not have cussed her out (she was right for calling you out).
I understand the sentiment kenji666 , but without knowing the area he may also have the right to ride on the sidewalk.

As for cussing her out it seems to occur after she she started chasing him down and already made the comment about him riding on the road. To go then go to his job and not confront him (rather his manager) and then make claims about him trying to steal her purse is just ridiculous .

Hopefully the OP learns that "stranger danger" is not just a good slogan taught to 5 year olds .
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Old 07-10-11, 12:32 PM   #11
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She didn't stalk you, since you were wearing a McDonald's uniform, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out where you were headed.

I agree that the claim about stealing her purse was over the top, and I don't know what she was trying to prove by telling your manager, when the incident happened off the premises.
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Old 07-10-11, 12:34 PM   #12
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I kinda understand where you're coming from. Almost five years after my hit-and-run (that almost killed me) I'm just now getting the guts to get back in the saddle. It was a 5-lane 55mph highway for me. (labeled as part of a bike route.) If there was a sidewalk, I'd be very, very tempted to ride on it until I got closer to town.

Is there a less-trafficked or slower speed limit route you can take, or do all points lead to this stretch of road? Sometimes the longer route is much more relaxing.
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Old 07-10-11, 12:35 PM   #13
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Thanks for sharing.

You shouldn't ride on sidewalks and expect everyone will be OK with it.

Sorry about your uncle.

You had no reason to call that woman what you did, since you did that for no reason, you might want to consider your own sanity before labeling others "crazy".

Good luck.
+1

Also note that the OP doesn't state what state this occurred in. So it is entirely possible that riding on the sidewalk as illegal... And escalating the situation by cursing at the pedestrian shows a degree of questionable sanity for the OP
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Old 07-10-11, 12:38 PM   #14
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ITs amazing how things can get out of line - Sometimes people are a little more considerate (or maybe its the concealed hand gun permits) - Next time just say I'm late for work... This story is haunting...

Sure hope this thing works out or its Jerry Springer for the both of you...
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Old 07-10-11, 12:41 PM   #15
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Riding on the sidewalk?

In FL you can do that. I don't, but under the law it's just as legal as riding on the road.

Wearing your work uniform during this incident?

You represent your company any time you are wearing your work uniform. Thankfully for you, you don't work for a richardhead that would have fired you over this incident.

Cussing out an old lady?

She deserved that as soon as she turned around and started following you.

She was just itching to start something with somebody. She chose you as an easy target.

If you see her again you might want to look into a restraining order. Not because she might be physically dangerous, but just to keep her away from you and CYA.
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Old 07-10-11, 12:48 PM   #16
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Thanks everyone for the input.

Thinking back on it I believe it was probably her little dog that caused her to spazz out so badly, it was a chihuahua sized dog and maybe she's had some close calls in the past with cyclists almost hitting it. I didn't get anywhere near her or her dog since I cut a wide swath through the grass but that's the only thing I can think that would have made someone freak out this badly. I have been riding my bicycle everywhere on the sidewalk for years and passed thousands of people but I have never once had someone so much as give me a bad look. I have passed numerous speed traps and have police drive by all the time too and no police have ever cared either.
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Old 07-10-11, 12:57 PM   #17
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Just because you have never been ticketed for riding on the sidewalk doesn't mean it isn't illegal. Some places in the us allow and other don't. Why don't you tell us what city/state you live in and let that stand...


IF what you did was illegal and combine that with your crude and uncivilized behavior, there is little surprise that she followed you to your business and complained. You were wearing your uniform and therrefore your behavior reflects upon your employer. She should have contacted the owner, since the manager was less than helpful.
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Old 07-10-11, 01:05 PM   #18
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Myrridin, I don't think the owner would have cared much either. This is a franchise McDonald's and the owner has around 20 restaurants to his name. He is some 70 year old guy who lives in a country club and stays in his mansion all day, I have never seen him come in the restaurant once.

You say I acted crude, uncivilized...perhaps, so maybe that can be my bicycling nickname from now on "The Barbarian" Lol!
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Old 07-10-11, 01:23 PM   #19
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Given that response I would just say your nickname should be childish...

If you worked for me you would have been fired for such behavior.
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Old 07-10-11, 01:30 PM   #20
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..........still 15 feet away, when she starts talking loudly saying "You're supposed to ride in the street! You're supposed to ride in the street, you know that?"

As I pass her she changes directions and starts jogging behind me continuing her tirade "What you're doing is illegal! I know this, I ride my bike all the time! You have to ride in the street!".....
Sounds like the opposite of the woman motorist who yelled at me to get on the sidewalk and off the street while I was waiting at a stoplight, she too also knew her bike laws as well, all the while spouting them off at me during the signal light duration.

Gawd, we just cannot win.
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Old 07-10-11, 01:41 PM   #21
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If you worked for me you would have been fired for such behavior.
In uniform and representing the company on company time and premises, a firing may be suitable, in uniform and off company time and premises, a reprimand would be the order of the day. Only after a second off duty in uniform complaint I would find that termination to be viable.
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Old 07-10-11, 01:43 PM   #22
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It all depends on what the McDonald's employee handbook says.
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Old 07-10-11, 01:56 PM   #23
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I also want to mention that at this franchise they make us buy the uniforms, the price of the shirt and hat is deducted from our first check. So the shirt and hat are legally my possessions.

Don't know if that makes a difference, but anyway, it's niether here nor there. Unlike some fast food places, the managers at my job are nice, and are much more like Nashcommguy than Myrridin. Also, just by showing up on time, not calling in sick, and not robbing the till I'm already being a better employee than half of my coworkers and have pretty much guaranteed my job security.
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Old 07-10-11, 03:10 PM   #24
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You say I acted crude, uncivilized...
You did; but sometimes that kind of behavior is not uncalled for. Sometimes bad behavior needs to be met with worse behavior. As soon as she chose to follow you and harass you she decided she wanted to make this incident one of those times. Hence, my earlier suggestion of a restraining order against her.
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Old 07-10-11, 03:17 PM   #25
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When you're wearing your uniform you are representing the company that you work for. If she complains to corporate, you will be fired.
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