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  1. #1
    pj7
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    Coworkers can be such jerks

    Here is my situation. I work in the auto industry... sort of. The company I work for re-creates old muscle cars (57 Chevy, 60's Mustangs, Impalas, etc) from the ground up. The correct term is "body in white". To subsidize my companies income we do jobs for the big 3 automakers here in the Detroit area; pre-prototype, prototype, and production jobs. Actually, the company I work for did all of the work on the 55-57 Chevrolet Bel Airs way back then.
    However, I am a car free person in a car lite family. I gave up my automobile over a year ago and was only driving it once or twice a week for a while before then, but only when the weather was nice. So I guess I have been a full time bike commuter for the last 12 months or so.
    Well, today I had to drive my wifes car in because I just bought me a nice new Kennedy tool box, total weight... somewhere around 200 pounds, there is no way I can hault that on my bike rack!
    No sooner did I get into the building did someone see me walking in wearing regular street clothes and ask "puss out today eh?" I ignored it and went on my way. Met up with another coworker and he asked "so Brandon, have you saved up enough money to get a new car yet?" huh? I wasn't aware that I was having financial problems in the first place. A few hours later, another coworker walked by as I was refilling my water bottle, he had seen my wifes car in the parking lot and asked "who's car is that out there?" I said that I had driven it in and he remarked, "ahhh, I knew you'd chicken out this winter". Chicken out? I'm not in a contest here. Plus, it was 25F when I rode in today, for the last few weeks it has been much lower and in the beeginning of February it was well below 0!
    So at lunch time tonight (I work the graveyard shift) we are all sitting in the break room when one guy exclaims, "ole Brandon there couldn't handle it and drove in today". After much snickering from the other monkeys in the group I finally made a retort. I just asked the guy who said it, who also happens to weigh 400lbs, "when was the last time your fat ass biked or walked further than from your couch to the fridge?" Then I walked out.
    Coworkers can be such jerks. We all had a laugh about it on our last break though so there is no thick air between any of us, it just bugs me though... the car culture in this area. Then it dawned on me, I am creating the very thing I dislike.

    [EDIT]
    Up until now no one has ever made mention of my bike commuting and car free lifestyle. It's like it was all planned out or something.

  2. #2
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    My coworkers aren't so directly insulting, but I know what you mean. I've had to keep my bike in the shop overnight a few times and got some snide comments about not riding in to work. It is interesting that the nastiest ones are in the worst physical health. I even got crap for taking the bus in when I was taking the train right after work to get to the airport for my vacation. Well, at least I'm not in the hospital for diabetes-related complications nearly every month the way the most obnoxious of them is.

  3. #3
    pj7
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    speaking ov vacation
    I'm getting off work early tomorrow night to catch a flight to Florida
    woohooo! getting out of this arctic crap for a few weeks!!

  4. #4
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    When I was commuting to my job at the hospital...way back when I used to get grief from a lot of the guys I worked with. But the joke was on them when they closed part of the parking lot down for an expansion and they had to park at a satellite lot and ride a shuttle bus in What was really funny to me was riding past the satellite lot on the way in, I would wave at the guys standing around waiting on the shuttle. By the time they got to the shop (we worked in maintenance) I would already be there and have my coffee half finished Some of us have a better grip on reality than the others. I chalk up the smart A comments to jealousy.

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  5. #5
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pj7
    Well, today I had to drive my wifes car in because I just bought me a nice new Kennedy tool box, total weight... somewhere around 200 pounds, there is no way I can hault that on my bike rack!
    With a decent trailer - 200lb is no problem, I've hauled heavier. Get one, you'll wonder how you ever managed without it.

    Quote Originally Posted by pj7
    I finally made a retort. I just asked the guy who said it, who also happens to weigh 400lbs, "when was the last time your fat ass biked or walked further than from your couch to the fridge?" Then I walked out.
    Why let it get to you? I'd say "yeah, I love driving because I'm too much of a girl to ride - especially in the cold. Tomorrow I'm going to wear a dress and makeup if I drive in again. Driving is sooo easy any brainless ***** can do it..... so how did you guys get here today?" except I'd say it in a matter of fact tone and wouldn't walk out. I've done this before in retort to d!ckheads at work. They either shut up, or leave all embarrased.

    FWIW I go to work to pay the bills, not to socialize or make friends. I hadly distinguish between the morons I share office space with and the morons in cages I share the road with. The only difference is that I happen to know the office morons by name, and don't give them the middle finger quite as often. Don't worry about them, their opinions don't mean a pinch of dog *****, they're nobody, just do the best job you can and earn your pay cheque, that's all that matters.
    There are 10 types of people in the world - the ones that can count in base 2, the ones that can't count in base 2, and the ones that didn't expect this to be in base 3.

  6. #6
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Yeah, don't pay too much attention to nobjockeys like that. A retort like "So, I ride in every day, even when it's below 0, but because I drove today I'm a puss. You never ever ride in, so you're.......what exactly?"

  7. #7
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb
    It is interesting that the nastiest ones are in the worst physical health.
    When I hear any snide comments from this type of person, I smile at them. You should realize that what's driving their comments is envy... they'd like to be in better shape. Also, over time the comments will eventually subside... if you stop reacting!

  8. #8
    Instigator at best kjohnnytarr's Avatar
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    it's interesting that they're the sort of people that drive everyday, then pat themselves on the back for going to the gym twice a month, yet when you need to drive one day in over a month, you're the unhealthy wuss.

    I guess it's easier for them to cut you down when they ignore their own standard of health and compare you against an exaggerated standard that they make up for you.
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  9. #9
    Striving for Fredness deputyjones's Avatar
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    I feel your pain PJ. People at work think I am crazy and look forward to any opportunity to dog me about it. People in general in MI just have this idea that driving a car is the most sensible, safe thing to do even if it is 2 blocks to the store for more coke and twinkies
    Monsignor: We must always fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil that we must fear the most, and that is the indifference of good men.
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  10. #10
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pj7
    Here is my situation. I work in the auto industry... sort of. The company I work for re-creates old muscle cars (57 Chevy, 60's Mustangs, Impalas, etc) from the ground up.

    However, I am a car free person in a car lite family.

    Coworkers can be such jerks. We all had a laugh about it on our last break though so there is no thick air between any of us, it just bugs me though... the car culture in this area. Then it dawned on me, I am creating the very thing I dislike.
    Kind of in the belly of the beast there aren't you. Classic car buffs can be incredibly intolerant sometimes.

    This might seem odd, but I think you need to customize your bike. Put some 57 Chevy fins(scaled down) on both sides of your rear wheel and nestle the package rack inbetween. That ought to stop the comments, with a smile.

  11. #11
    My bicycle is fixed Brian Sorrell's Avatar
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    The way I see it, they don't raise the issue because of YOU. It's much more about them. This seems plausible because you state that they've never mentioned your transportation choice before. They're probably not out to insult or hurt you so much as defend themselves against the threat that your lifestyle / behavior poses to their perceptions of how things should be. My response would probably be something like "That's just how things went today."

    My closest example was when it rained last week -- hey, I'm in Southern California and that's as inclement as our weather gets -- a co-worker stopped at my desk and exclaimed "I can't belive you rode you bike. You must have gotten soaked!" -- "Yeah, it's pretty wet out there." What else can you possibly say? They just don't get it.

  12. #12
    1. e4 Nf6 Alekhine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Sorrell
    They're probably not out to insult or hurt you so much as defend themselves against the threat that your lifestyle / behavior poses to their perceptions of how things should be.

    Probably true with a sizeable percentage, but who knows? I do think there are also most certainly people who have some sort of built-in conflict addiction (or even manufactured through incessant watching of point-counterpoint style media politicos).

    It seems to be a common trait, though.

    When I was vegetarian, I would constantly have people starting up with me over it, even if I had said absolutely nothing other than that I simply was a vegetarian when it came up here or there - whether at a party that had food or if we were ordering pizza together. I never once told anyone why I was a vegetarian or that they should be too, never preached it, and it was incredible to see just how many people wanted to get right into an argument based on this simple statement that I was one.

    I often get this perception about people who come into this forum for no other reason than to pick fights or behave in a very frowardly manner. I can't imagine going into a Christianity forum (or a church!), for example, and blasting people there about how self-righteous they are being - even if they are - and then cloak my obstinacy in the basic supposition that the forum was "public" and so I had a right to spew there. Oh well. Whatever.
    Last edited by Alekhine; 03-06-07 at 03:02 PM.
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  13. #13
    gwd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Sorrell
    My closest example was when it rained last week -- hey, I'm in Southern California and that's as inclement as our weather gets -- a co-worker stopped at my desk and exclaimed "I can't belive you rode you bike. You must have gotten soaked!" -- "Yeah, it's pretty wet out there." What else can you possibly say? They just don't get it.
    When I was a car driver a car free neighbor would say to me "Its not so bad." Now that I'm car free that is my first response, "Its not so bad. Its refreshing." Or "Its not so bad. It feels good after you get moving." There are many truthful answers, "Its fun!", "I enjoyed the trip."

  14. #14
    austropithicus
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb
    ...It is interesting that the nastiest ones are in the worst physical health...
    Jealousy, pure and simple. Just smile and call them ******.

  15. #15
    austropithicus
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
    Why let it get to you? I'd say "yeah, I love driving because I'm too much of a girl to ride - especially in the cold. Tomorrow I'm going to wear a dress and makeup if I drive in again. Driving is sooo easy any brainless ***** can do it..... so how did you guys get here today?" except I'd say it in a matter of fact tone and wouldn't walk out. I've done this before in retort to d!ckheads at work. They either shut up, or leave all embarrased.

    FWIW I go to work to pay the bills, not to socialize or make friends. I hadly distinguish between the morons I share office space with and the morons in cages I share the road with. The only difference is that I happen to know the office morons by name, and don't give them the middle finger quite as often. Don't worry about them, their opinions don't mean a pinch of dog *****, they're nobody, just do the best job you can and earn your pay cheque, that's all that matters.

    You're funny!

  16. #16
    austropithicus
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv
    When I hear any snide comments from this type of person, I smile at them. You should realize that what's driving their comments is envy... they'd like to be in better shape. Also, over time the comments will eventually subside... if you stop reacting!
    Gervase! What's up? Still at WF? Do you know who this is???

  17. #17
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alekhine
    Probably true with a sizeable percentage, but who knows? I do think there are also most certainly people who have some sort of built-in conflict addiction (or even manufactured through incessant watching of point-counterpoint style media politicos).

    It seems to be a common trait, though.

    When I was vegetarian, I would constantly have people starting up with me over it, even if I had said absolutely nothing other than that I simply was a vegetarian when it came up here or there - whether at a party that had food or if we were ordering pizza together. I never once told anyone why I was a vegetarian or that they should be too, never preached it, and it was incredible to see just how many people wanted to get right into an argument based on this simple statement that I was one.

    I often get this perception about people who come into this forum for no other reason than to pick fights or behave in a very frowardly manner. I can't imagine going into a Christianity forum (or a church!), for example, and blasting people there about how self-righteous they are being - even if they are - and then cloak my obstinacy in the basic supposition that the forum was "public" and so I had a right to spew there. Oh well. Whatever.
    I like your take on it, I think you're spot-on about the whole conflict & justification thing.
    There are 10 types of people in the world - the ones that can count in base 2, the ones that can't count in base 2, and the ones that didn't expect this to be in base 3.

  18. #18
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    pj Being employed by the auto industry is one of life's great ironies. I just dont see the conflict. It is being imposed on you by others. Actually you are saving more gasoline for their fat azzes. When out on the bike , I am not anti car; just mostly anti motorist. They can be such jerks.
    likely explanation, you don't weigh 400 lbs. Jealousy.

  19. #19
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwd
    When I was a car driver a car free neighbor would say to me "Its not so bad." Now that I'm car free that is my first response, "Its not so bad. Its refreshing." Or "Its not so bad. It feels good after you get moving." There are many truthful answers, "Its fun!", "I enjoyed the trip."
    My comeback is, "I'd sure hate to be driving in weather like this!"


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  20. #20
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    I've been riding every day for nine months... I fear the day I finally have to drive, for whatever reason. It'll be all I can to, to keep myself from snapping at every silly comment I get!
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  21. #21
    Senior Member donrhummy's Avatar
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    I don't know. Most of that sounded just like good old ribbin'. Coworkers give that kind of stuff about everything. If you get angry about it, they'll probably just think you're a jerk but if you smile and joke back they'll probably stop bugging you about it.

  22. #22
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    guess i'm really lucky -- nobody i work with, not bosses, co-workers, or anybody, gives me any static. when i ride in cold or wet weather, i get mad props for guts. of course, there's always ONE exception -- several years ago, a former boss, who was a world-cup-caliber soccer player in college (his senior photo was chiseled in a rock -- just kidding), told my maniac riding bud (23 at the time, and a HAMMER!) that he, the boss, could whip him in a bike race! after we stopped laughing, i looked at the guy and told him, "no way you can beat him -- hell, you couldn't even beat ME!" he made fat noise about it, but never came through. get this: his idea of a race was...1 mile. we even had a course laid out....

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    I think you're overreacting, it sounds like nothing more than good-natured teasing to me. Why be offended?

    At my job, no one even talks to each other unless they have to. I can't even remember the last time someone said something to me that was not related to work (I'm exaggerating, but not by much). I would kill to have coworkers be friendly enough to chitchat about things like biking/driving.

  24. #24
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    But you are their hero, and you let them down. They need someone to be the weird/heroic/different/individual and that's YOU. In their own weird way, they are showing you love and respect. Heck, they notice you ride. How cool is that?
    Close your eyes. Feel the love.... See?
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
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  25. #25
    www.chipsea.blogspot.com ChipSeal's Avatar
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    Yep, you didn't know that they were all watching you! Most folks can't imagine that it is possible to live car free. Our lifestyle is a curiosity to them, and to the guilty, an affront.

    The first day it rained and and I rode my bike in, all my co-workers were stunned! "You must be soaked!" said one. "I could've brought soap!" I replied. Another asked; "Isn't that dangerous?" "Which part? Riding in the rain, riding in Dallas traffic, or riding in Texas with spandex shorts?"

    Keep your answers light, they cannot understand anyway, and encourage them to take baby steps toward fitness.
    Tailwinds!
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