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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 08-23-07, 09:37 PM   #1
crock48
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Job interviews and car free

Ok, so here it is. I am living in Sacramento (temps in high 90's) and have several job interviews next week but what I can not figure out is how to get to my prospective interviews without dripping wet with sweat. How can I refresh quick enough before the meeting. I am about 5 months into living car free but this interview thing has been bothering me.

So, for all folks more knowledgeable than me, how should I go about this?

Thanks in advance for the advice
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Old 08-23-07, 10:27 PM   #2
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Simplest method is to leave lots of extra time. Get there a half hour early, find a cafe near the interview spot, grab a cold drink, and sit and collect your thoughts for the interview while you cool down. Wear biking clothes for the ride, and change into your interview clothes in the bathroom of the cafe.

If you don't have time for that -- you have to race full-tilt from your current job to the interview, or something -- then at least try to take it easy for the last couple of miles, and spend two minutes just before the interview, changing clothes and cleaning up with a washcloth, soap and water.

Or take a taxi, or rent a car. There's no loss of honor. One of the key points I make when talking to friends who want to give up their car but are afraid to, is that on the rare occasions when a motor vehicle would actually make your life better, you can easily get hold of one.
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Old 08-23-07, 11:44 PM   #3
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Ok, so here it is. I am living in Sacramento (temps in high 90's) and have several job interviews next week but what I can not figure out is how to get to my prospective interviews without dripping wet with sweat. How can I refresh quick enough before the meeting. I am about 5 months into living car free but this interview thing has been bothering me.

So, for all folks more knowledgeable than me, how should I go about this?

Thanks in advance for the advice
crock48
Unless your job interview is in an environment that is warmly supportive of a bicycling type of life, take the bus. First impressions are vital, vital enough to tolerate the extra inconvenience and time involved in public transportation. And, unless it comes up, don't even mention the fact that you're car free. I've been carfree for a couple of years, and I've noticed that some people, particularly those in Human Resources, are suspicious of anyone who doesn't have a car. Some employers can't even imagine that their employees have the wit to make it to work on time without a car, so it's probably best to not even let this become an issue.
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Old 08-24-07, 12:22 AM   #4
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Some employers can't even imagine that their employees have the wit to make it to work on time without a car, so it's probably best to not even let this become an issue.
Agreed. Unless you're interviewing downtown or in N.Y. or Chicago downtown it's still thought of as "you're poor, DUI, or ecentric" to bike, walk, skateboard, or kitesurf to work. I'm sure people just expect you have a car, and I wouldn't bring up my "bike mostly" lifestyle at an interview.
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Old 08-24-07, 10:34 AM   #5
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i think divergenece said it all
consider a taxi if you need it, great idea
cheers
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Old 08-24-07, 11:17 AM   #6
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Thanks to all of you who responded. I think I will probably go by bus or taxi those days. The answer was so simple, right there in front of me but I could not see it. Once again, a big thanks to you all

Journey On
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Old 08-25-07, 01:34 PM   #7
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I have ridden to interviews in the past (and gotten jobs, even . In my experience, a quick change out of my gear (in one case I changed at the library) clears up any sweaty problems. However teaching high school in public systems is not a formal wear kind of environment, I usally show up for interviews with slacks and a long sleeve shirt, no tie and leather shoes - your situation may be different.
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Old 08-25-07, 01:37 PM   #8
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We can cut you a break on the car free/motorized transportation to get yourself a job
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Old 08-26-07, 02:37 PM   #9
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Thanks to all of you who responded. I think I will probably go by bus or taxi those days. The answer was so simple, right there in front of me but I could not see it. Once again, a big thanks to you all

Journey On
crock48
That's pretty much the key to carfree living in a motorized world--you have to plan and scheme with a slightly new outlook. We are so accustomed to autos that they have taken over our minds. With time, you'll easily see the alternatives that were hidden from you before. You're doing great, crock.
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Old 08-26-07, 07:28 PM   #10
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Rent a car, borrow a car or hire a taxi. Getting a job is important. Showing up fresh and clean is very important. Don't put up potential barriers. You can pedal later after you have the job.
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Old 08-26-07, 07:44 PM   #11
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There are some jobs where a motor vehicle is essential. These include jobs in sales, journalism, construction trades (since you need to haul tools to and from a site) and a few others. If you're looking for work in these fields, you may be able to go car-light but not car-free.

There are also jobs where employees need to have reliable transportation to and from work. This is the case if the job site is away from the city and off the transit routes or if an employee is expected to be on call for emergencies. A car is not essential for these jobs, but you need to have some form of transportation at your disposal.

Take care of getting the job. That's your priority now. If you need to arrange the use of a car during this process, do it. You may even need to get around by car for the first few months once you're hired, just until you've figured out how to address the logistics of going car-free once again.
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Old 09-02-07, 07:24 PM   #12
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I once worked for an employer who would not hire you without a relliable vehicle because they were far out of town with no relliable transit to get there.
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Old 09-02-07, 08:09 PM   #13
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There are some jobs where a motor vehicle is essential. These include jobs in sales, journalism, construction trades (since you need to haul tools to and from a site) and a few others. If you're looking for work in these fields, you may be able to go car-light but not car-free.
I think it's fair to call somebody carfree if they use a car for commercial purposes rather than personal or private use.

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There are also jobs where employees need to have reliable transportation to and from work. This is the case if the job site is away from the city and off the transit routes or if an employee is expected to be on call for emergencies. A car is not essential for these jobs, but you need to have some form of transportation at your disposal.
.
Reliable transportation? A bike, even the bus, is just as reliable as a car, probably more so. I'm often on call at the hospital. I can get to work--in any weather--in 16 minutes on my bike. And it starts every time, no matter how cold it is! I never run out of gas, and a flat tire can be fixed in 5 minutes. A car tire takes much longer to change.
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Old 09-03-07, 04:23 PM   #14
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A car is not "reliable transportation" when it takes 20 minutes to get to work one day and 45 minutes the next day because a jacknifed big rig causes a big traffic jam.
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Old 09-03-07, 10:56 PM   #15
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A car is not "reliable transportation" when it takes 20 minutes to get to work one day and 45 minutes the next day because a jacknifed big rig causes a big traffic jam.
By that logic my bike isn't reliable transportation either because it might take me 20 minute to get to work one day and 45 the next because of snow or even traffic jams. Yes traffic jams affect cyclists too.
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Old 09-04-07, 01:32 AM   #16
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How do traffic jams affect cyclists? Only very minimally, unless roads are so completely cluttered that you can't go between the cars.
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Old 09-04-07, 07:45 AM   #17
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How do traffic jams affect cyclists? Only very minimally, unless roads are so completely cluttered that you can't go between the cars.
That's exactly what happens. Even if you can go between cars you are slowed down considerably.
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Old 09-04-07, 11:16 AM   #18
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Agreed. Unless you're interviewing downtown or in N.Y. or Chicago downtown it's still thought of as "you're poor, DUI, or ecentric" to bike, walk, skateboard, or kitesurf to work. I'm sure people just expect you have a car, and I wouldn't bring up my "bike mostly" lifestyle at an interview.
Guess I'm lucky. The Director of the Office of Epidemiology where I work (Balt City Health Department) bikes every day to work, so there's no stigma to doing it here. I do agree that there's no real benefit (unless interviewing at a pro-bike entity) to bringing up the lifestyle, as has been discussed in a number of posts. Except in a few cases it won't really help your interview and if you do have an anti-bike person interviewing you it can be a liability.
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Old 09-04-07, 11:54 AM   #19
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How do traffic jams affect cyclists? Only very minimally, unless roads are so completely cluttered that you can't go between the cars.
When interviewing this explanation many not play well. First in some locations it irratates motorists, who your hiring manager may be one of, second in some locations that would not be legal or at least not safe.

Today I was trying my new commute and got stuck waiting inline single file because of construction. It took me 10 minutes to go about 2 blocks because what was once a 4 lane + 4 turning lanes intersecting with a 2 lane road turned into all two lane roads with no turning lanes.
I waited in line with the cars I could have just gone on the sidewalk or rode through the contruction cones and went over what was blocked off but if I wanted to ride the only legal way was to wait in line, unless I wanted to walk the sidewalk but I wasn't in a rush.
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Old 09-04-07, 12:49 PM   #20
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I once worked for an employer who would not hire you without a relliable vehicle because they were far out of town with no relliable transit to get there.
And I can demonstrate that my bicycle is a reliable vehicle. I've got a track record of several decades.
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Old 09-04-07, 06:14 PM   #21
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The time to demonstrate your bike as a reliable vehicle is not in the job interview. At that point, your goal is getting the job. It's not a good idea to do anything that could make a potential employer question whether to hire you. Once you're hired and have started to prove yourself in the workplace, it's a different story.
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Old 09-20-07, 01:14 PM   #22
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When interviewing this explanation many not play well. First in some locations it irratates motorists, who your hiring manager may be one of, second in some locations that would not be legal or at least not safe.

Today I was trying my new commute and got stuck waiting inline single file because of construction. It took me 10 minutes to go about 2 blocks because what was once a 4 lane + 4 turning lanes intersecting with a 2 lane road turned into all two lane roads with no turning lanes.
I waited in line with the cars I could have just gone on the sidewalk or rode through the contruction cones and went over what was blocked off but if I wanted to ride the only legal way was to wait in line, unless I wanted to walk the sidewalk but I wasn't in a rush.
That surely sounds like an insane thing to do. The major advantage with bikes in traffic is that you don't have to obey most rules. I met some policemen when I was going against traffic in Moscow last night, they couldn't care less. Even in Stockholm, the worst they'll do is tell you to stop riding on the sidewalk, or obey the red lights in the future.
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Old 09-20-07, 02:44 PM   #23
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Dude never said if he got the job or not.
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Old 09-20-07, 04:18 PM   #24
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The time to demonstrate your bike as a reliable vehicle is not in the job interview. At that point, your goal is getting the job. It's not a good idea to do anything that could make a potential employer question whether to hire you. Once you're hired and have started to prove yourself in the workplace, it's a different story.

Yes, I realize that. For me it hasn't really come up as an issue since I was doing minimum wage jobs many decades ago even though I continue to bicycle commute to work. However, if asked, I can state with absolute assurance that my bike will get me reliably to work.
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