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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 08-18-05, 04:01 PM   #1
Staceyfb
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Was turned down for a part time job beacaus I have no car!!!

I was trying to get a paper route in my local town here. I was told I would need to bring my D.L and proof of auto insurance. I told them I would be doing this all with my feet and 2 wheels, as I have a trailer that I can use for pick up and then deliver. Well I was told they would call me back after checking with their boss on the technicalities of this and they just never called back.
I can not believe that even the local paper routes are mandatory to have a car. What happened to the local paper boy, walking his route? Man I am so ticked off right now. The route is the local businesses in our downtown area. all with in a 10 block radius and I NEED a car for that? Are you kidding me????
Ok done ranting now.
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Old 08-18-05, 04:28 PM   #2
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That's total bulls hit. A car for a 10 block paper route!?! Fuc kin' ridiculous. When I was a teenager, I had a paper route over a dispersed rural area, and I biked it.
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Old 08-18-05, 04:34 PM   #3
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I hear ya, when I was growing up I did a route that was basically 10 miles out ten miles back and zig zagging all the way. I never owned a car then either. So this really pi$$es me off. My kid can't get a route because he doesn't drive yet? Bad enough they won't let a 33 year old man do it but that pretty much does away with the paperboy of old.
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Old 08-18-05, 04:36 PM   #4
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seems like if you can meet the demands of the job: deliver X number of papers in X amount of time by X time, then they really can't hold your mode of transportation against you. have you called back to check on the status of your application?
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Old 08-18-05, 04:55 PM   #5
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Cycle I ws on the phone with the boss and was told I could start on Monday. Then she explained I would need my D.L. and auto insurance proof. SO I explained it to her how I live and do things, she said ok I will have to check with my boss and get back to you. Now I haven't heard back from her. After she told me she would call me back in 30 mins. That was yesterday afternoon.
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Old 08-18-05, 05:07 PM   #6
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Perhaps you should follow up with the circulation manager. Explain that you realy want/need the job and ask him/her nicely what aspect of it requires an automobile. As an added bonus tell thim that your method of delivery adds an extra personal touch that people will appreciate!

Did I mention the possibility of advertising on the side of your trailer?
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Old 08-18-05, 05:20 PM   #7
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I like the way you think Slow Train. I am still to irratated to think straight about who to contact. I will be contacting someone tomorrow though. That I can guarantee.
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Old 08-18-05, 08:45 PM   #8
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Years ago, the paperboy job was given to someone under 17 years of age but now it's an adult with a car! Gone are the days when this job required a shopping carriage or a bicycle and a will to work. Instead, you must buy a motor car, take out insurance, and pay for costly gasoline for a job that pays less than minimum wage. I suspect after paying for gasoline, you're probably losing money or your actual wages are close to a dollar an hour!

It's the same stigma that transportation cyclists get everywhere they go. The manager probably thinks you are poor, unreliable and strange for not having a car. He sees you as a person out of the ordinary, irresponsible and not to be trusted for you will steal his papers and walk off with the money. The driver's license means he can track you down and a car means you are somewhat responsible and living indoors. He see homeless men riding cheap department store bikes and puts you in the same category. A derelict.
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Old 08-18-05, 11:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
Years ago, the paperboy job was given to someone under 17 years of age but now it's an adult with a car! Gone are the days when this job required a shopping carriage or a bicycle and a will to work. Instead, you must buy a motor car, take out insurance, and pay for costly gasoline for a job that pays less than minimum wage. I suspect after paying for gasoline, you're probably losing money or your actual wages are close to a dollar an hour!

It's the same stigma that transportation cyclists get everywhere they go. The manager probably thinks you are poor, unreliable and strange for not having a car. He sees you as a person out of the ordinary, irresponsible and not to be trusted for you will steal his papers and walk off with the money. The driver's license means he can track you down and a car means you are somewhat responsible and living indoors. He see homeless men riding cheap department store bikes and puts you in the same category. A derelict.

Sad, but probably true. All of the paper deliver people around here (Knoxville) are adults with cars...and I might add, really crappy delivery people compared to the job I did when I was younger and had a paper route.

Stacey, be sure to follow up with this and keep us all informed...this is really going to get my goat if they discriminate against you based on car ownership!

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Old 08-19-05, 05:21 AM   #10
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Stacey,
i would suggest that you follow up with the person that you'd interviewed with. if you go over her head and talk to someone else at this point, you may jeopordize the job that you may get after all. sounds like you haven't gotten a definite NO, you just haven't heard back in a day. call her back today, and politely inquire on the status of your application; hold back your frustration for a bit longer until you are sure that you've been turned down because of the car deal.

I am wondering, though (and this is the manager in me talking); will you be able to deliver from the bike in the winter? noticing your home state, i imagine that could be a bit of a challenge.
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Old 08-19-05, 07:55 AM   #11
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Was this a "home delivery" route or delivering papers (with returns) to businesses for sale?

Paper routes are bigger and longer than they used to be, generally the 23-40 paper route (just about the max for bicycle) that we remember as kids have grown to 90-150 papers or even more. You just can't do that on a bike, at least not without a trailer. Business routes for small distribution papers can run up over 300 papers, with half that many papers coming back as returns.

The Sunday Atlanta Journal weighs about 2 lbs including inserts. How many of those could you really "throw" on a bike?
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Old 08-19-05, 08:32 AM   #12
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Maybe there are still small routes in small towns with small papers that could still be reasonably be done by bike, but I delivered the Sacramento Bee for three years (several years ago)--300 papers, seven days a week--and I had to drive my van across town to a central distribution warehouse, fold the papers, load them, and then drive them to yet another location several miles away to do the actual delivery. On Sunday, the papers often weighed five pounds apiece. In fact, I have permanent shoulder damage from throwing those things.

It was grueling, relentless, heavy physical work, done in the pre-dawn hours, no matter what the weather; there's no way that route could have been done on a bike (the papers filled the back of my big Windstar van with the rear seat removed). Even with a full-time helper (we split the money, which really was pretty good, but gas was still cheaper then) it was hard work. I try to imagine doing it on a bike even with only 50 or a hundred papers; doesn't compute for me.
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Old 08-19-05, 08:34 AM   #13
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My mom and I think this whole not hiring someone because they ride a bike thing is bull****, I just applied for a part time job that is 2 miles away and I plan to bike it, I have a second interview coming up on Monday and if I get turned down becauese I ride a bike I'll give them a few words they won't wanna hear.

I can not believe they consider a bike a non reliable form of transportation.. Lets see a car can break down, run out of gas, get a flat tire, and that is a reliable form of trasportation? Total F'in BS
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Old 08-19-05, 09:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
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...Paper routes are bigger and longer than they used to be, generally the 23-40 paper route (just about the max for bicycle) that we remember as kids have grown to 90-150 papers or even more...
Not totally accurate everywhere...the paper route that I once had as a teenager years ago in Virginia Beach hovered at around 150 subscribers...that was a pretty typical size for the carriers...all kids on bikes. Sunday mornings weren't much fun, but we got them delivered...



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Old 08-19-05, 09:06 AM   #15
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It is a downtown route of 60 customers. None of them are return papers. The total amount of papers that I will deliver is around 130. I have a trailer that I would pick them up with, if they don't drop them off at my house for me. As far as winter in concerned, that is no big deal here for me. I do everything else on my bike all winter and if I couldn't because of the snow I would wal it. The downtown area for me is a srtaight shot down my road about 12 blocks.
So as was implied that I just didn't give it enogh time, I will be calling her again today to see what the story is and go from there. I for one as a business owner and a manager have a very hard time when someone calls me and says "I will call you right back" and doesn't call for more than a day. That pisses me off, on top of the fact of reading it as not getting the job and sshe can't call me to tell me so cause its easy to just ignore it.
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Old 08-19-05, 10:26 AM   #16
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if you're ever at an interview when driving for the job isn't an issue - never bring it up. most people don't understand a well maintained bike is MORE reliable than a car, (even in bad weather), and most of us know the logistics of dressing, keeping clean, etc. just don't mention it.

i feel bad for folks younger then me (i'm 30), that are starting out and have to deal with one track minded interviewers. i've been working in my field enough i can go to a company and sell myself on experience and knowledge and not convince them i'll show up for work... but for people with less experience the intererviewer is more worried about like a piercing or their transportation methods andnot the big picture like what they'll bring to the company...

if ever asked if you have a car - just say yes. i don't see anything wrong with telling someone the answer they're looking for on a small issue like this, if it means getting on to the more important stuff.

if you can legally rent a car, then you have a car. a cab is also a car.
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Old 08-19-05, 02:03 PM   #17
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I have a truck, but I don't hold a license so I couldn't drive it anyways. I don't want to drive, I have a truck for my wife to use for her work.
On another note I tried to call her again today and got voicemail again. SO we will see what it brings I guess.
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Old 08-19-05, 02:55 PM   #18
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And here I thought paper routes were done these days by kids with their moms driving them in SUVs...

Staceyfb, what they are telling you is ridiculous. I hope you get the job and show them a lesson on how effective a bike delivery can be!
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Old 08-19-05, 03:50 PM   #19
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Locally, our newspaper has "guaranteed" a delivery window. All customers will receive their paper between x and x time of the day. Cyclists might be considered too slow to get all the papers out within the window.

All carriers around here are motor vehicle transported. I think part of the argument in this day and age is insurance. While the paper may not actually be liable for accidents involving bicycle riders, they are not protected from lawsuits. The insurance on a vehicle operator probably offers the business some insulation. This is particualrly true in the case where carriers are independent contractors rather than employees.

Lastly, though you didn't specify a time of day, our paper is a morning paper. This makes visibility an issue.

I'm as nostalgic for the good old days as anyone. I do however like advanced payments to the office over the internet. I like it that my carrier doesn't change when school starts. Progress doesn't always seem positive to each of us. I don't miss broken milk bottles outside my door in the winter though. You?
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Old 08-19-05, 06:52 PM   #20
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OK, I delivered papers for several years by bike. There has been some misinformation put out on this thread. I delivered on an old raleigh 3speed. it was so old the paint had faded from red to grey. Front and rear wire racks. The route was 2 miles away. The closest customer was a little less than 2 miles the furthest was a about 3 miles away. The dryness wasn't an issue we wrapped the papers just like the car delivery guys do. Sometimes the company issued waxpaper wrappers sometimes plastic. We delivered in thunderstorms. One bike carrier got lifted into the river by a waterspout. If another carrier was sick or couldn't do his route sometimes I'd do two routes- even for a competing paper. Once when it was a sunday I had all my racks full and two of those big canvas bags. I didn't make two trips I just doubled the load. My paper was an evening paper but other bike carriers did the morning paper before school. We didn't drop our routes for school, we dropped them for other jobs or because we hated the boss. In my case I begged for a route in my neighborhood then realized the distant route had better customers- businesses and retirees. The businesses paid their bills and the retirees treated me with respect. The close to home route had young families who wouldn't pay their bills and mean dogs. As far as getting the paper on time it was very routine, every customer got the paper within a set time from when I received them from the company, except on collection day. The morning paper- which I delivered for my brother sometimes came out so early that only the very earliest risers could tell when it came anyway.

Believe it or not, it seems like a dream even to me, but I got in a bike accident not associated with the job and found out the paper gave the bike carriers health insurance to the extent that they offered to pay my medical bills. I didn't have to ask, when the supervisor found out I was hurt, the company offered to pay. This was in the United States. My parents had insurance so the company didn't end up paying anything but still they extended the helping hand before the family had to ask.

With electronic bill paying, relieving the carrier of the chore of chasing down the customers, the job would have been much easier. I could've taken two or three routes. Yes, you can carry 100 Sunday papers on a bike with those huge baskets. You sling two big canvas bags around your chest and rest one on the papers in the front basket and rest the other on the papers stuffed in the rear baskets. Nowadays with these nice bike trailiers it is even more doable.

In my town, the economy went bad when the major employers dumped their workers. It was about that time that car deliverers began to appear. I imagine each car carrier deprived several young teens of the experience of using a bike as a working tool, and of having a job. Since they threw the papers from moving cars they deprived the customers of the quality service I gave. If the customer wanted it in a certain place, I put it there- under the mat, in the window sill, knock on the door, inside the screen door - whatever. The way the car people just sling the papers into the yards how can they even conceive of giving each customer a slightly different experience based on the customer's wishes? With electronic bill paying the customer doesn't even have a chance to request that the paper be placed between the screen and main door. Many customers probably have never met their newspaper person and would never imagine that they could have their paper resting on the doormat instead of hunting for it somewhere in the yard. Look at the exchange here, a low paid person spending a small amount of time saving a highly paid person a little larger amount of time. It is quicker for the bicycle deliverer to put the paper on the mat than for the customer to go hunting it. In the car delivery scenario the corporation in the form of the car delivery saves time at the expense of its customers. And we all accept this last trade off as the right way that things should be because it benefits the corporation. Don't even get me started on the social utility of having many kids develop a work ethic and sense of responsibility at a young age.
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Old 08-19-05, 07:42 PM   #21
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Interesting story GWD.

The reason the local newspaper went to an adult was due to the fact that many of these young paperboys were mugged, beaten or killed in the town I used to live. Many times, the paper would not arrive and the boys became unreliable in general.

There's a Russian woman today who does this job but uses a puch cart. I'm glad they gave the job to someone poor who really needed it.
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Old 08-19-05, 08:14 PM   #22
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Ok a little more info on the route I am trying for.
It is an afternoon paper that I would pick up at around 1pm. Then I have to have it delivered with-in 3 hours. The majority of this delivery route is the court house and the county jail, which consists of ringing the elevator and dropping off the 50 or so papers in the elevator. And the remaining customers(between 10-20), live with in a 5 block radius of the court house and jail. So the time frame is a mute point. The lady that interviewed me said it takes her about 1.5 to 2 hours to do this route. She told me the exact route and I believe I can do it in about 1.5 hours flat, and that is including the time to pick up the papers.
The wet conditions do not matter as I have a trailer with a canopy on it( it is an older Burley child trailer converted to haul).
The thing that really burns me about the whole thing is my 11 year old son also applied for a route and they will get back to him as soon as on opens in our area, for him they will deliver the papers to our front door and let him do the nieghborhood. But an adult that would do the same thing is an unreliable POS. I get more ticked the more I think about it.
And to top that all off, no return call form her again today. It is now 9:15 PM local time and she on;ly has my cell phone so she didn't call while I was out. I will try again on Monday as she said she isn't in on weekends, and give her till Tuesday. Then I go over her head and try to figure out what exactly is going on.
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Old 08-20-05, 02:33 PM   #23
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Don't take it too personally, Stacey. One of the things I have learned about people especially in large urban areas, is that cars as so interwoven into the fabric of life that personal choice no longer exists for anyone to question the status quo. I expect to be discriminated against since I am both female and was given a unusually odd first name. The bicycle use as a alternative to car ownership is just another excuse added to the above 2 real reasons.

I learn to be flexible and when to fight and when to step back. Remember that most simple basic jobs (babysitting, lawnmowing, and of course newspaper delivery) that older children and teens once did are now done by hungry, desparate adults that can elbow them out of the way. Since adults are available with cars and other abilities (complete with driver license, strength, insurance purchasing power, and other adult status symbols) these jobs are now contaminated by the same game playing tactics that the working world has been operating under for the last 20-30 years.
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Old 08-20-05, 03:21 PM   #24
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Um, it odesn't say tghey frejected you because you have no car. You only say they didn't call you back. That could be for any number of reasons, maybe they just found someone else. Or maybe they just forgot about you.
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Old 08-22-05, 06:50 PM   #25
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Well another up-date, called agian today and again voicemail and no call back. So I guess it is off to the circulation manager tomorrow. Man I hate being ignored.
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