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  1. #1
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    Retail/Food Service commuters?

    Well, I've been reading everyone's posts elsewhere about storing their bikes in their cubicle, locking it to their desk, actually working on it at their desk.

    So, I have to ask, is anyone else here a food or retail service industry commuter? I work at a pet store as a cashier, so I would never be able to fix a flat, adjust something that slipped, etc, at my register. At my previous jobs, server at fast food restaraunts, there wouldn't have been a place to even store my bike inside at all.

    Basically, I just want to see who else has to overcome the difficulties of working for "entry level" jobs and commuting by bike, and if anyone has any interesting/enlightening stories, seeing as I'll probably working at this place for quite a while into the forseeable future.

  2. #2
    Acts 2:38 rex_kramer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetNightmare View Post
    Well, I've been reading everyone's posts elsewhere about storing their bikes in their cubicle, locking it to their desk, actually working on it at their desk.

    So, I have to ask, is anyone else here a food or retail service industry commuter? I work at a pet store as a cashier, so I would never be able to fix a flat, adjust something that slipped, etc, at my register. At my previous jobs, server at fast food restaraunts, there wouldn't have been a place to even store my bike inside at all.

    Basically, I just want to see who else has to overcome the difficulties of working for "entry level" jobs and commuting by bike, and if anyone has any interesting/enlightening stories, seeing as I'll probably working at this place for quite a while into the forseeable future.
    Make friends with people in high places! I lost my office last year when it was absorbed into more shop space. That was where I would change clothes AND store my bike, as I could lock people out when I left the yard for the day. Fast forward to now and I'm changing in a bathroom and my bike really had no secure place to be stored anymore. I could lock it to just about anything in my shop, but it's easily accessed by all sorts of vendors and people I work with that may or may not like me. Luckily our shop mechanic is cool with me. Turns out he has a caged area where he keeps all of his expensive Snap-On tools. Without really asking him, he could see I was worried about leaving my bike and gear out in the open. He allowed me to copy his key and store it in there. Whew! Saved. Now, when I worked retail, our warehouses always had electrical or storage rooms, or even a separate receiving office. Make nice nice with everyone you possibly can and let them know your dilemma. Someone just might have a solution for you.
    Philippians 2:9-11

  3. #3
    Senior Member Farmer Dave's Avatar
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    I work at a local small town pizza parlor. I commute by bike and it is wonderful.
    Un hombre, y un destino.

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    I'm not looking for answers, I already have my own answers. I just would like to know I'm not the only one that doesn't have an office job. It's quite lonely when you're alone amongst those with desks and cubicles to work at all day.

    Oh, I do have one question; how do those that stand for six hours or more at a time deal with getting back on the bike after all that time? I'm an Athena so I get severe foot pain from my job, and I worry I won't make it home after work.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    I've been working in warehousing/distribution facilities for a decade now- no A/C, no phones, no internet, very little interaction with the public. My current job is the first one that said "be here tomorrow"- 40 hrs/wk and the only time I'm allowed to sit is either breaks/lunch or when I got to drop a deuce.

    Pick your shoes with care- I've found the less padding, the more comfortable my feet really are as the day progresses. My motovation for riding home at the end of a long shift (yesterday had to lump a container and offload two of those cab over camper shells, in additon to my normal mundane work) is either get on the bike or walk. And my lazy Clyde butt can coast on the bike
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
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  6. #6
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    My feet sometimes hurt after a long day but I find that it doesn't really affect me once I'm on my bike. In fact it's relieving to get off my feet and on the bike.

  7. #7
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    I've worked at a few different restaurants throughout my post-secondary education. Currently, I'm a manager at a local fast-casual joint. The restaurant itself is quite small (single POS, one line through to order) with pretty high volume (400-500 tickets per day). Consequently, there isn't a lot of space for bikes lying around. When I first started, I would either lock my bike to a pole in front of the restaurant (in plain view from the POS) or under a shelter a couple blocks away on campus (if it was precipitating). When I had to work the late bar nights (sat from 5pm-4am), I would generally park on campus too (better security, less drunken derailleur kicking).

    Now that I have a bit more clout, I'll park my bike in a back hallway unless we have lots of extra staff for catering or events. It's a little tight, but my employees are fine with it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member kookaburra1701's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetNightmare View Post
    I'm not looking for answers, I already have my own answers. I just would like to know I'm not the only one that doesn't have an office job. It's quite lonely when you're alone amongst those with desks and cubicles to work at all day.
    I'm a fellow Athena, and I'm a paramedic in an ER. I keep my bike in an alcove off the ambulance bay, and build a fort out of our spare wheelchairs to keep it safe. (Or at least make sure anyone trying any shenanigans would make a lot of noise.) I get to sit down when it's not busy, but with only 6 beds I'm often running around all night. That's what keeps my back from getting sore, moving around all the time when I'm on my feet.

  9. #9
    I don't get out enough polishmadman's Avatar
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    I work for a big name pet store and park my bike in my breakroom. But if needed I have a locked room only managers can get into. But most of the people I work with are good and don't complain. The hard part of this job is not having a decent way to clean up after being in the hot sun.

  10. #10
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    My husband did work for a fasst food place, and he would normally be on his feet for 6 to 9 hours a day. at his store there was no rack and the only place he was told to lock it at was by the dumpsters) which were out of los from the counter. he would bring his bike in their employee are but every now and then staff would get a little butt hurt about it. after a talk with his district manager. he was allowed to keep it inside. H found it funny, people would tell him good job on biking and yet complain that they had to actualy reach an extra 6 inches to grab a battery for their head set. ( parking his bike were he did forced people to lean a bit, but not too much) as for his feet he is now a licensed massage therapist, so he takes care of him self nicely (and me too )

  11. #11
    Senior Member locolobo13's Avatar
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    When I worked as a cashier in a grocery store I had to park my bike outside on the rack. At a convenience store I started parking my bike outside but the manager actually suggested I park it inside before I could ask her.

    Nowadays I park it in a corner room that keeps spare parts. Since I'm usually the person who works in the room it's not really in the way. My coworkers and bosses know about it and are cool with it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetNightmare View Post
    I'm not looking for answers, I already have my own answers. I just would like to know I'm not the only one that doesn't have an office job. It's quite lonely when you're alone amongst those with desks and cubicles to work at all day.

    Oh, I do have one question; how do those that stand for six hours or more at a time deal with getting back on the bike after all that time? I'm an Athena so I get severe foot pain from my job, and I worry I won't make it home after work.
    You bike to work where you have to then stand for 6 hours, then bike home?

    My helmet's off to you

  13. #13
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    Not yet I don't, but I will soon. I don't have the money for a car, let alone a license do drive in the first place, so it's bike or walk. My bike should be paid off in a couple of weeks, hopefully. Whether or not I'll have all the accessories I'll need is another question, but whatever. I'm also a cashier, so my job is to stand in the same spot for a good majority of the day. I get yelled at if I wander too much. My shifts are normally six and a half hours long, including my thirty minute break. ((My only break; still an improvement over my last job, where once I had an eleven hour shift with no breaks at all.))

    So, fellow athena and clyde commuters, less padding is better, eh? I wear crocks right now(mary jane style crocs) and my feet start getting shooting pains the last two hours or so of my shifts. I was thinking of trying a minimalist shoe like Vibram FiveFingers when I have the cash to do it. What are y'all's thoughts on minimalist shoes for long term standing?

  14. #14
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    break; still an improvement over my last job, where once I had an eleven hour shift with no breaks at all.))

    I don't know your state laws but you should talk the labor board ..... it sounds like you have a claim against them. Brush up on your rights. That goes for every one

  15. #15
    Senior Member kookaburra1701's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetNightmare View Post
    I wear crocks right now(mary jane style crocs) and my feet start getting shooting pains the last two hours or so of my shifts. I was thinking of trying a minimalist shoe like Vibram FiveFingers when I have the cash to do it. What are y'all's thoughts on minimalist shoes for long term standing?
    Yeah, crocs are terrible for your feet, especially if you're carrying some extra weight on them - they're squooshiness makes people walk knock-kneed. I'd go for either something minimalist or something with a firmer sole (Danskos and the like.) I used Danskos when I was waitressing, and when combined with a decent bra they solved my back pain overnight.

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    Senior Member bluegoatwoods's Avatar
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    I work on my feet, too. Not a lot of chances to have a seat during the day. I've found that thirty dollar 'Brahma' work shoes from 'The Beast of Bentonville' are good enough. (I'd consider trying something more expensive. But I don't want to spend $100 or so on shoes and then find that I don't like them.) I believe that how you 'use' your feet matters much more than what you are wearing on them. Concentrate on keeping your toes pointed straight forward. This might feel awkward. But it keeps your arches 'up'. There's likely, then, to be places where your shoes rub your feet. The joint of your baby toe, for instance. Try to be aware of these spots and adjust your stride as needed.

    Even when my feet are sore and tired I don't find pedaling to be so terrible at all. The stresses on your feet are entirely different. To me, it's more of a relief than a problem. Fresh socks for the ride home don't hurt at all. Or just let your all day socks air out for a few minutes before starting.

    Even though my building is pretty large there is just no place indoors where I could park my bike. Just too much stuff there needing to much access to allow a bicycle. But I'm lucky; there's a tree on a raised pad that I can lock to. It's the best parking place anyone, including the bigwigs, has there for that matter. Perfect location.

  17. #17
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    I don't know if the following will be helpful, but I'll mention it in hopes of it being so.

    Many years ago when I was a waiter, I used to lock my bike up in the back of my restaurant, right on a railing by the window of the dining room. Sure, the back was on a broad alley that saw frequent foot traffic, and a large parking lot was on the other side, so customers for all of the block's businesses used it, and I thought it was a fairly safe location.

    As you've guessed, the bike was stolen from there. This was '89 or '90, and it was a fairly tricked out GT Karakoram K2 that was pretty well known in E.Lansing MTB circles and across campus since I rode it often and everywhere.

    In those days, the MTB scene was pretty new and really dynamic, so a bike like mine with Cooks Brothers cranks, custom wheels, XT derailleurs, and myriad other fancy bits really caught the eyes of the shadier elements in town, and they got it.

    I replaced that bike with a Cannondale, which I hated for the coarse ride quality, and so built up a trick Fat City Yo Eddy Team Fat Chance. Being the extrovert that I am, I couldn't resist getting a ruby metallic paint job and kitting the bike out with some flashy, gold anodized bits and other trail-fabulous goodies like Paul's brakes and levers and Synchros stem/seatpost. It was fly! Awesome bike.

    I kept Cannondale for commuting/campus work, but occasionally would take the Yo to work at the restaurant, just because I couldn't resist riding it. Well, having learned my lesson, I got clearance to bring the bike in and stand up in a back hallway, unlocked, but out of sight of all except patrons heading back to the bathrooms.

    In a daring and audacious raid, those shady elements, and I suspect the same source of the first theft, ran in the back door and snatched my bike! Boy, that stung, and it was a tough job to replace that bike with something I loved as much, the Dekerf which I still have, but as nice as it is, I've never been able to make a bike as trick as that Yo yet.

    Moral of the story is, a) if you're vain and like flashy bikes, be extra careful, and b) even if you take your bike into work, it may be wise to use some level of security, particularly in those "entry level" type of jobs where you're often working with young, risk-taking types and often during night hours. No, it wasn't a co-working that took it, but I guess I'm thinking about the general culture in a downtown environment in a college town.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

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    Quote Originally Posted by kardar2 View Post
    break; still an improvement over my last job, where once I had an eleven hour shift with no breaks at all.))

    I don't know your state laws but you should talk the labor board ..... it sounds like you have a claim against them. Brush up on your rights. That goes for every one
    Every law I've read has said it's up to the employer unless you're a minor. Ah well, it was back in November, ancient history probably.

    I'll have to visit a nearby REI and try on some Vibrams and some Danskos. See what feels good. I'm sure I can save up for a good pair of either if I like them enough.

    My job is letting me store it in the back room, and we can't open the back without a manager, so I feel very safe leaving it there.

  19. #19
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    You might want to verify that the VFFs are allowed by the dress code. And if they are, will you be leaving them at work or lugging them back and forth? I'm not sure that riding with VFF would be all that comfortable...
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
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  20. #20
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Where did chefisaac go? He belongs in this thread.
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  21. #21
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    The only guidelines are that we wear close toed close heeled shoes, to keep out things like animal waste and fish water. I've forgotten things like belts and nametags before and no one's noticed, I doubt anyone would have a problem with the shoes, especially if I get a relitively normal looking pair, like a pair with laces or something. I'd probably just throw them in my little draw string backpack and wear normal shoes to ride in. (My work clothes don't weigh much either.)

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetNightmare View Post
    Every law I've read has said it's up to the employer unless you're a minor. Ah well, it was back in November, ancient history probably.

    I'll have to visit a nearby REI and try on some Vibrams and some Danskos. See what feels good. I'm sure I can save up for a good pair of either if I like them enough.

    Mystery job is letting me store it in the back room, and we can't open the back without a manager, so I feel very safe leaving it there.

    Well here in CA you have 3 years to file a claim with labor board. I received $30,000.00 last year for meals and breaks. The company only works us for a strait 8 hrs. Labor code says the company must provide a meal break after 6it hrs and 2- 1512 min breaks. But that is CA law. Every state is different.

  23. #23
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    [QUOTE=kardar2;14174622]Well here in CA you have 3 years to file a claim with labor board. I received $30,000.00 last year for meals and breaks. The company only works us for a strait 8 hrs. Labor code says the company must provide a meal break after 6 hrs and 2- 15 min breaks. But that is CA law. Every state is different.[/QUTE]

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    The restaurant I work at now has a shed I can store my bike in. It started off being just me, but when coworkers found out how much fun I was having, there are now about 4 bikes in there at any given time. I think I am spoiled now, and actually turned down a better paying job with one of the main reasons being I would of had to lock my bike up outside for 8 hours a day

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetNightmare View Post
    Not yet I don't, but I will soon. I don't have the money for a car, let alone a license do drive in the first place, so it's bike or walk. My bike should be paid off in a couple of weeks, hopefully. Whether or not I'll have all the accessories I'll need is another question, but whatever. I'm also a cashier, so my job is to stand in the same spot for a good majority of the day. I get yelled at if I wander too much. My shifts are normally six and a half hours long, including my thirty minute break. ((My only break; still an improvement over my last job, where once I had an eleven hour shift with no breaks at all.))

    So, fellow athena and clyde commuters, less padding is better, eh? I wear crocks right now(mary jane style crocs) and my feet start getting shooting pains the last two hours or so of my shifts. I was thinking of trying a minimalist shoe like Vibram FiveFingers when I have the cash to do it. What are y'all's thoughts on minimalist shoes for long term standing?

    Regarding the footwear, it kinda sounds like you're getting a bit of plantar fasciitis when you stand for too long. Basically, the tendon running along the bottom of your foot is getting inflamed and it becomes painful. Severe cases can feel like you broke a bone in your foot.
    Going minimalist will not solve the problem right away. As a matter of fact, it will get worse before it gets better. Eventually, your foot will strengthen and you won't get pain anymore, but how long that takes depends on many factors and will be unique to you.
    Personally, I love Vibrams and any other minimalist shoes. However, I don't think they're a good idea for your particular situation. If I were you, I'd look into getting a set of purpose built orthotic inserts for your current shoes, ones that support the arch. You can probably get away with buying high-end over the counter orthotics with lots of arch support, but I can't say for sure.
    An even simpler solution is to take some Ibuprofen before and during your shift. It will reduce the inflammation, but it can be harmful to your liver in the long term.

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