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Old 05-11-01, 03:12 AM   #1
Ranger Jake
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Servus! (pronounced "sair-VOOS")

<rant mode on>

Rode to work this morning for the first time to find I left my lock at home. I figure "no problem" as I have a large office to store it in. I hit the buzzer for the Security desk to let me in the service door (we have a rotating door that is big enough for one person) and the guy says that I can come in but my bike cannot. Of course, I argue that I can't just ride 50km back home to get my lock and that my bike is worth a great deal of money and I can't just leave it outside. So knucklehead leats me in.

Later, I go and talk to the Security Chief about this policy and ask to please see it in writing. He replies that it's not written anywhere and the policy is in effect because of -get this- the risk of injury and cleanliness factor! What a load!

Had to tell someone, sorry it was you all. I'm still not hip on leaving my beauty outside for the world to fondle at will, but do I really have a choice? I guess I'll have to spend the DM200 on the Kryptonite New York Chain.

<rant mode off>
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Old 05-11-01, 06:06 AM   #2
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Rant all you want. Some of the rent-a-cops take their authority a little to seriously.

I have a standard kryptonite lock since I lock it in an office complex I feel it is good enough.
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Old 05-11-01, 06:10 AM   #3
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Sounds like a policy does not exist. If it's not in writing, then it's probably pretty hard to inforce.

Ask if they allow baby strollers in the building. If so, point out a) this is just as much of a risk to injury and b) if the stroller is occupied by a baby, it is more likely to be messy (dropped bottles, food, etc.) than you and your bike.

Or, come up with some other thing which is allowed in the building, but is not covered by this so called "policy".
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Old 05-11-01, 06:14 AM   #4
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Believe me, I know where you are coming from as I am not aloud to bring my bike into the office either. I am not concerned as much with the bike being stolen, even though it is worth over $1000, but I worry more about the sun and rain beating down on the bike day after day.

You should go to some one within the company that has more clout. Contrary to popular belief, security guards are nothing more than minimum wage bullies. Ask HR what the policy is on bicycles. I am sure you have thought of all this...just don't let them beat you down.
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Old 05-11-01, 07:18 AM   #5
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What does "Servus" mean?
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Old 05-11-01, 10:01 AM   #6
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I hear what you're saying. I'm thinking about commuting to work by bike, but I haven't been able to get a straight answer from my manager about where I can park or store my bike. I work in a small office with about 25 employees and don't have an office. So far my options are to leave it outside (chained to a tree??) or "maybe" find a place in the warehouse where it won't get crushed by a forklift. In either location it will fair game "for the world to fondle at will", as Ranger so aptly put it.
The health benefits and less traffic arguments don't work. Do any commuters have any suggestions for Ranger or myself? Thanks.

Ron
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Old 05-11-01, 01:13 PM   #7
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I hope you'll try to reason with somebody in management about this. As you point out, the arguments of the security guy don't hold water.

Sounds like pure old cyclophobia to me.
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Old 05-11-01, 04:44 PM   #8
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Again, I guess it's a case of being easier to say "No", than it is to work something out that would be beneficial to all parties.
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Old 05-11-01, 05:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ranger
Servus! (pronounced "sair-VOOS")

Had to tell someone, sorry it was you all. I'm still not hip on leaving my beauty outside for the world to fondle at will, but do I really have a choice? I guess I'll have to spend the DM200 on the Kryptonite New York Chain.

A friend of mine has a really crappy bike that he uses for shopping and so on. Apparently he doesn't even bother to lock it up, and leaves it unattended for as long as he likes. He says it's such a heap of crap that:

A) He doesn't care if it gets stolen anyway, and

B) Nobody would even bother taking it.

Chris
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Old 05-11-01, 06:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris L


He says it's such a heap of crap that:

A) He doesn't care if it gets stolen anyway, and

B) Nobody would even bother taking it.

Chris
That's what I need to go to movies on. Trouble is, the movie theaters are at least 6 to 15 miles away, and I'd rather ride something halfway decent if I'm going that far. Also if it got stolen I might not miss the bike but I would rather not walk ten miles along a highway at night. (Good old almost-nonexistent public transportation...)
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Old 05-11-01, 06:28 PM   #11
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What you have to recognize is that Ranger is an American in Germany.

The American fetish with "having rules written down" and "if it isn't written, it can't be a policy" and "if it isn't policy, it isn't a rule" is an American thing.

When you are overseas, you have to go with their flow. Ya, they have unwritten rules and social codes that just make things unacceptable. They don't need it in writing to be a rule.

My friends tried the Americano logic in Japan and spent three days in jail for a minor offense. "Show me where it is written in any Japanese law ...Blah, blah, blah" the bold Americans demanded. The response was, "O.K., you wait here in jail while we look for the rule". Three days later, the response was "hey, you were right - nothing written. How about that!"

Bicyclist should be the first to recognize that being "right" can get you squashed - even though you are right.

I don't fault Ranger for sticking up for his rights, but I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all my fellow Americans to be sensitive to the unwritten rules of our overseas hosts. Some Americans may have the wonderful opportunity to bicycle overseas. Let's be sure to be courteous guests.
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Old 05-11-01, 07:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by mike
When you are overseas, you have to go with their flow. Ya, they have unwritten rules and social codes that just make things unacceptable. They don't need it in writing to be a rule.
Good point, Mike. (Leave it to Mike to spoil our party...)
Here in the good ol' US of A, "The customer is always right," and "You'll be hearing from my attorney," are our favorite sayings. If some little manager at Carl's Jr. had a fight with his wife that morning before work, and he pisses us off royally as a customer, you can be sure that poor sap will hear not only from his wife, but his boss pretty soon.

This case might be an opportunity for diplomacy. Is there a way to influence them in your favor, without being overbearing? It might go a long way to soften our American image as "John Wayne" clones. And you might get a concession (maybe). Some non-Americans resist us just because we are American. Once they see you're different, they might suprise you.
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Old 05-14-01, 01:50 AM   #13
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Servus! (Old Latin greeting meaning "I serve" or "your servant")

I have to agree TOTALLY with Mike on this one. I did everything within my power to find out about the situation and that was the end of it. I will lock my bike outside in the future simply because it's easier to do so than to create an exeption to policy just for me. I found out later from RangerGirl (who knows absolutely everything!) that the rule IS written somewhere. German law for workplace safety covers this quite clearly and I was in the wrong to attempt to bring it into the building. I still didn't like it at the time and I thank you for letting me vent.

On the "mini-ambassador" theme- I have spent much time learning to "smile, nod, and go about my business" as trying to look at things from an American perspective will just make you disliked and ultimately ostracised. I live here permanently so I learned quickly to make due.

Thanks for all of your positive support on this topic.
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Old 05-14-01, 02:03 AM   #14
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That's neat. It is good to know that with Ranger we now have a culturally sensitive and informed American Bicycle Diplomat in Germany.

Represent us well, Ranger, so we can use your name and get upgrades at hotels and discounts at resturaunts when we visit Germany!

By the way... who is RangerGirl? Hmm?? Vielleicht, sie ist dein schonne Deutche Madchen?

(sorry, Racso, Canada has to get it's own ambassador)

Last edited by mike; 05-14-01 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 05-14-01, 09:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ranger
I'm still not hip on leaving my beauty outside for the world to fondle at will, but do I really have a choice?
You are a gentleman, that is apparent by your attitude. You are welcome to rant here, all you want!

Pete
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Old 05-14-01, 10:18 AM   #16
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On a related note, if you're going to commute a lot, get a lock for your work-place, so 1) you don't have to worry about forgetting it, and 2) you don't have the additional weight of carrying it.
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Old 05-14-01, 12:06 PM   #17
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You can leave your lock where it is. Who is going to steal a lock by breaking it?
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