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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 04-24-08, 01:14 PM   #1
gwd
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"Because you have a bike.."

Its come to this. My car dependent co-workers have recognized that it is easier for me to get around than they. I've been assigned to carry stuff to the main office a couple miles away. "You're the best one to do it because you have a bike. Everyone else available has to drive their cars or take the subway. Its less of a hassle for you so you have to do it." I'm not saying they are going to get a clue and start biking to work, then they wouldn't have the excuse to make me carry the stuff to the head office. The boss promised I could leave early too. OK, leave work early and ride your bike around on a nice spring day. Whats not to like?
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Old 04-24-08, 01:16 PM   #2
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What qualifies as "stuff?"
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Old 04-24-08, 01:38 PM   #3
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Sounds more like they are trying to punish you or teach you a lesson to me.
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Old 04-24-08, 01:47 PM   #4
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Now that you're a bike messenger, you have an excuse to get those tats and piercings you've been wanting... Not to mention a fixie.
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Old 04-24-08, 01:57 PM   #5
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What qualifies as "stuff?"
Just some envelopes, no big deal.
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Old 04-24-08, 02:02 PM   #6
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Since it's official business, make sure you get it in writing from your HR department that you are covered under BWC for any injuries (hopefully none,) sustained while making company deliveries on your bike.
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Old 04-24-08, 02:03 PM   #7
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Sounds more like they are trying to punish you or teach you a lesson to me.
If so, only in their mind, like trying to punish a monkey by forcing it to climb trees and pick fruit. It'd be like me telling one of them "Today you've gotta sit on the couch sucking brews eating pizza and watching Oprah. Sorry but thats the way it is you've got a bigger butt and softer couch than me so you gotta be the one to do it - and don't forget we don't want you working up a sweat so if the temp gets over 70 you gotta remember to crank the AC and wash down that pizza with some ice cream OK?"
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Old 04-24-08, 02:06 PM   #8
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When I worked for a major aerospace company, my job was to carry boxes or objects between point A and point B and I was enabled to use whatever tool I needed to carry it. That was my job description.

Certainly carrying circuit cards between company locations separated by a mile or two on my bicycle was within those specifications. Especially when I could get there faster than any other people could get to their car in the parking lot and the truck drivers would take a day at minimum to get the cards there.

The most fun part was that my Dad worked in the other site, so I could go visit him when I was there.
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Old 04-24-08, 02:18 PM   #9
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Sounds like you got the cake and are eating it too ....but good point to check on the insurance thing.
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Old 04-24-08, 02:55 PM   #10
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I wonder if it is cheaper for the company also.
Someone may drive and fill out an expense report for the miles driven as part of work.
Someone takes the subway and fills out an expense report for the ticket, unless they have an unlimited pass that is.
Someone rides their bike and no espenses occur plus they are so happy about riding their bike they don't complain
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Old 04-24-08, 03:50 PM   #11
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Ask them to install a shower and indoor storage area for your bicycle if they haven't already done that.
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Old 04-24-08, 03:52 PM   #12
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I wonder if it is cheaper for the company also.
Someone may drive and fill out an expense report for the miles driven as part of work.
Someone takes the subway and fills out an expense report for the ticket, unless they have an unlimited pass that is.
Someone rides their bike and no espenses occur plus they are so happy about riding their bike they don't complain
That is kind of me... My company pays me to use my truck, however I hate having to sit behind the wheel for 8 hours a week getting to and from my home and to my out of town jobsites. Fortunately Amtrak makes the run I get 6.5 hours of relaxing per week and the company saves over $70 a week in mileage costs. they cover the costs of the ticket. Win/Win in my book! I also get off early on the Fridays I go home, another win.

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Old 04-24-08, 06:55 PM   #13
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Its come to this. My car dependent co-workers have recognized that it is easier for me to get around than they. I've been assigned to carry stuff to the main office a couple miles away. "You're the best one to do it because you have a bike. Everyone else available has to drive their cars or take the subway. Its less of a hassle for you so you have to do it." I'm not saying they are going to get a clue and start biking to work, then they wouldn't have the excuse to make me carry the stuff to the head office. The boss promised I could leave early too. OK, leave work early and ride your bike around on a nice spring day. Whats not to like?
Where do I apply for this job?
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Old 04-24-08, 07:30 PM   #14
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Someone rides their bike and no espenses [sic] occur plus they are so happy about riding their bike they don't complain
Actually, it is truly reasonable for you to negotiate a reduced "mileage" rate for wear and tear on your bike. You can make this situation EVEN SWEETER if you can score the occasional tires/tubes/lube/basic maintenance gear. It'd still be much cheaper than car mileage and you get more in return out of a fair expectation.
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Old 04-24-08, 11:28 PM   #15
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You should whine and complain about the horrible burden you have to bear, transporting documents by bike. Maybe they'll give you comp time.

Also, I think it's pretty significant that your coworkers recognize that a bike is a more effective means of transport than anything else. The effects are not apparent now, but maybe other workers will follow your lead in the future.
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Old 04-25-08, 04:34 AM   #16
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Its come to this. My car dependent co-workers have recognized that it is easier for me to get around than they. I've been assigned to carry stuff to the main office a couple miles away. "You're the best one to do it because you have a bike. Everyone else available has to drive their cars or take the subway. Its less of a hassle for you so you have to do it." ...
One should always be very careful when combining your leisure activities with your employer's activities.

How much money-advantage are you seeing by being allowed to leave early? Are you "earning" more or less than a courier service would? If you're doing this for less than another business would charge, then I would advise you to press for a perk or benefit for doing this. Not necessarily more money, but maybe more personal/sick days allowed, that sort of thing.

That you enjoy it is beside the point--the fact is, you are doing a job that nobody else wants to do.

Also consider, what you are missing out on in terms of office politics because you're doing delivery when everyone else is doing {something else**. If they promoted you would you still deliver stuff? Because if they think not, then it may tend to be other people who get promoted over you.
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Old 04-25-08, 05:00 AM   #17
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Soooo... how much fun is it going to be when you HAVE to run the errands in the rain with a gale blowing? Doesn't it snow in DC, too? And you don't REALLY believe what a boss says about leaving early, do you?
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Old 04-25-08, 05:41 AM   #18
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At my corp you can be reimbursed $0.35/km for doing company work in your own vehicle. I read the fine print and nowhere does it say "motor" vehicle. Check that out
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Old 04-25-08, 06:12 AM   #19
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Submit a mileage form. You used your vehicle for company business.
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Old 04-25-08, 10:31 AM   #20
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At my corp you can be reimbursed $0.35/km for doing company work in your own vehicle. I read the fine print and nowhere does it say "motor" vehicle. Check that out
We have the same rule. Of course they don't let me out much
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Old 04-25-08, 10:34 AM   #21
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Soooo... how much fun is it going to be when you HAVE to run the errands in the rain with a gale blowing?
Depends upon how adventurous you are.
Some of my most memorable rides were in New England snowstorms and Florida downpours.
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Old 04-25-08, 10:41 AM   #22
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One should always be very careful when combining your leisure activities with your employer's activities.

How much money-advantage are you seeing by being allowed to leave early? Are you "earning" more or less than a courier service would? If you're doing this for less than another business would charge, then I would advise you to press for a perk or benefit for doing this. Not necessarily more money, but maybe more personal/sick days allowed, that sort of thing.

That you enjoy it is beside the point--the fact is, you are doing a job that nobody else wants to do.

Also consider, what you are missing out on in terms of office politics because you're doing delivery when everyone else is doing {something else**. If they promoted you would you still deliver stuff? Because if they think not, then it may tend to be other people who get promoted over you.
~
+1 to this. You are being used for something that may be outside your job description. While you are out of the office running errands, is everyone else getting work done and you have to make it up? It is not your problem that they drive cars, and while you may like getting the opportunity to ride your bike, I cannot see this helping you out career-wise.
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Old 04-25-08, 10:41 AM   #23
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I think that's pretty sweet, actually.
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Old 04-25-08, 01:01 PM   #24
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Hey, the main thing is they recognize a bike is better than a car, that is progress.
Its an occasional thing, my official job description has the "...and other duties as assigned..." clause. No one gets mileage, except if the boss makes an exception. If anyone starts getting mileage I'm pretty sure I'd get it at the same rate. The previous boss took me aside and told me that if I ever didn't feel like biking just take a cab and she'd sign off on the expense report. I never took her up on it, even in the winter. Believe it or not I actually like car free living even in the bad weather. The career thing might be an issue. When I have to hang with the suits at HQ they chuckle when I show up in suit and tie and bike helmet. Funny thing is several have cornered me outside meetings with "My wife wants me to start biking, what do you recommend." Or "I bike on weekends, do you think I could take the family camping by bicycle?" things like that. Parking is such an issue I think most people see my biking to meetings or to the main job site as freeing up a parking space. This is especially true at the main site, if I started driving I'd bump someone from the assigned spaces.

On the mileage thing. Once I had to take a company trip to a part of New Jersery with uncertain public transport. Under the contract rental cars were disallowed but mileage at the government rate was allowed. I rented a car and charged the mileage rate- honestly. I figured I could eat a few dollars in the name of company loyalty. Well, I came out twenty dollars or so ahead. I told accounting that I'd accept just the rental cost but they said "We have to follow the rules we can only give you the per mile expense so you have to take the check for the full amount." So even if you own a car doing the rental thing for company business can be a good choice.
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Old 04-25-08, 03:02 PM   #25
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It's better for the environment when you do it too. We all win!
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