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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 02-07-07, 09:27 AM   #1
anastrophe
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job-related travel without car

SoI think I've found the perfect job. Great salary, incredible benefits, close to home, with a company that does just the kind of work I'm interested in. Better yet, I'm qualified.

But I'm hesitant to apply because their ad mentions occasional work-related travel for board meetings and the like, and not only do I not have a car, I don't have a drivers' license (so I don't have the option of taking a company vehicle instead). Is it worth it to apply? If I get an interview, when should I mention it?

I realize I'm in an unusual position, since most people at least have a license, but is there anyone else who has faced this problem?
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Old 02-07-07, 09:51 AM   #2
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If it was me (and I don't have a license either), I would apply for the job. I would not tell them that I don't have car or a driver's license unless and until an immediate problem arises. They are not allowed to ask at the interview and they probably won't think to. They can ask if you have reliable transportation, which you do. If you get the job and have travel to some meeting, a well-equipped bike, in combination with buses, trains, planes, and taxis, should get you wherever you need to go.

For most of my life, I thought that not being able to drive was the most disabling aspect of my visual disability. However, about eight months ago, I read John Forester's book "Effective Cycling" and I realized that I can go wherever I want whenever I want on my bicycle. Since then, I haven't felt crippled at all by my inability to drive.
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Old 02-07-07, 12:43 PM   #3
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What have you got to lose? Currently my job requires occasional meetings with customers etc. It's rare that I have to go alone though, and everyone else has a car so we go together. On the rare occasions I've had to, I've either taken the bus or pedaled. Just make sure that you allow time to cool down before the meeting. You want to be as well dressed as anyone else at the meeting. I rarely ride at full speed for meetings, just to stay cooler.

If you don't get the job, at least you applied and learned something. If you don't apply you will never know.
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Old 02-07-07, 01:27 PM   #4
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Is it worth it to apply? If I get an interview, when should I mention it?
Apply for the job. If they ask about you driving, answer truthfully. If they don't ask, you are well within your rights to keep it a secret. They may expect you to take care of your own transportation by taking driver's ed. and using a rental car, or riding greyhound buses, planes, and taxis. If you really want the job with all of its downsides, accomodate the employer. If they really want you, they will accomodate you.

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They are not allowed to ask (about car-free-ness) at the interview and they probably won't think to.
I have never heard of an anti-discrimination law that protects car-free-ness and I doubt one exists.
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Old 02-07-07, 01:37 PM   #5
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Are you talking about running lots of errands around town during regular day-to-day schedules? Or longish roadtrips? I've always been able to take cabs, shuttles, mass transit for work travel, never costs more than when coworkers would rent cars for similar trips.
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Old 02-07-07, 02:10 PM   #6
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Good Luck.

I went to my interview on bus and bike today.
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Old 02-07-07, 05:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anastrophe
SoI think I've found the perfect job. Great salary, incredible benefits, close to home, with a company that does just the kind of work I'm interested in. Better yet, I'm qualified.

But I'm hesitant to apply because their ad mentions occasional work-related travel for board meetings and the like, and not only do I not have a car, I don't have a drivers' license (so I don't have the option of taking a company vehicle instead). Is it worth it to apply? If I get an interview, when should I mention it?

I realize I'm in an unusual position, since most people at least have a license, but is there anyone else who has faced this problem?
I would apply and I wonder why you couldn't take a cab to these meetings.
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Old 02-07-07, 06:02 PM   #8
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I would apply and I wonder why you couldn't take a cab to these meetings.
Agreed. Even if you end up paying a few bucks here and there for it, it's still cheaper than the car option.
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Old 02-07-07, 09:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cerewa
I have never heard of an anti-discrimination law that protects car-free-ness and I doubt one exists.
I am pretty sure that it is illegal to ask someone if they have a driver's license at a job interview.
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Old 02-08-07, 12:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Eli_Damon
I am pretty sure that it is illegal to ask someone if they have a driver's license at a job interview.

I think it depends on why they're asking. They can't ask you personal questions--whether you're married, own a house, whether you plan to have kids--but they can ask you personal questions that directly relate to your qualifications for the job. If it was a job that required driving a truck, obviously they can ask you if you have a license. In this case, I'm not sure. I think they probably could.
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Old 02-08-07, 12:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
Are you talking about running lots of errands around town during regular day-to-day schedules? Or longish roadtrips? I've always been able to take cabs, shuttles, mass transit for work travel, never costs more than when coworkers would rent cars for similar trips.
Longish road trip...I think they are probably talking about going to Boston, since it's a gov-affiliated organization. But they would probably cover travel costs for mass transit no different than if I just didn't have a car and had to rent one.
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Old 02-08-07, 01:52 PM   #12
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if you're worried about it then why don't you just get a drivers license?

You don't have to use it if you don't need it and having the option of renting a car if you ever need to can't be a bad thing.
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Old 02-08-07, 01:59 PM   #13
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Common misconception, that they can't ask you certain questions at an interview. They can ask you anything they want, other than your age, ethnicity and religion. (And they can probably tell at least the first two just by looking at you.) They can hire or not hire you for any reason at all, or for no reason, that isn't discriminatory as defined by federal, state and local laws.

Myself, I would get the driver's license, but I wouldn't buy a car for a job.
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Old 02-08-07, 03:03 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by anastrophe
In this case, I'm not sure. I think they probably could.
They would probably ask for it when they ask for two forms of ID to show that you have a right to work in this country.
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Old 02-08-07, 03:23 PM   #15
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Unless you've got a disability that prevents you from driving, I would go ahead and get a driver's license. (A quick glance at the driving skills of some of the other people on the road is enough to prove they're not difficult to qualify for!) Even if you then go ahead and use trains, buses, bikes and cabs for all your business travel, it's always good to have a backup option in case you ever encounter a good reason to drive a car instead.

If you manage to go your whole life without encountering such a reason, then you're out $20 or so for the license. Not bad compared to what your colleagues spent on cars in their lifetimes!
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Old 02-09-07, 12:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Common misconception, that they can't ask you certain questions at an interview. They can ask you anything they want, other than your age, ethnicity and religion. (And they can probably tell at least the first two just by looking at you.) They can hire or not hire you for any reason at all, or for no reason, that isn't discriminatory as defined by federal, state and local laws.
Just don't try that in Ontario!
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Old 02-09-07, 11:07 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Eli_Damon
I am pretty sure that it is illegal to ask someone if they have a driver's license at a job interview.
I doubt it; driver's license is a stated requirement for all the jobs at my place.
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Old 02-14-07, 06:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli_Damon
I am pretty sure that it is illegal to ask someone if they have a driver's license at a job interview.
I seriously doubt that. I don't see any reason driving couldn't be required for some jobs. Can you imagine hiring a truck driver and not being allowed to ask if he has a license.

If I were you I would apply. Depending on how they describe the job duties I might bring up the fact that you don't have a drivers license or not. If driving is described as an important part of the job I would feel obligated to be upfront about it.
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Old 03-03-07, 05:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli_Damon
I am pretty sure that it is illegal to ask someone if they have a driver's license at a job interview.
what they can't do is use lack of a license to disqualify you, unless the job requires a license. but they all can and do ask for ID, to copy and put on file (files are confidential), so when you hand over your state ID, they are likely to ask, "no driver's license?"
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