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  1. #1
    Senior Member nostalgic's Avatar
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    While filling out a job application...

    I came across this question:

    Do you drive or rely on public transportation?

    My first reaction was to give up on looking for work. I see this as a screening process, to weed out those who do not own a car. I answered: I rely on public transportation and drive an electric bicycle. I completed the application anyway. We'll see what happens.

    Thoughts?

    P.S. This application is for a tutoring position, and I'm already tutoring part-time with a supplemental education company. However, I'm looking for more work.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Captain Blight's Avatar
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    I've had to explain to more than a few people that Yes, a bicycle is viable transportation, that snow and rain don't slow me down too much, and that furthermore I won't drive up their health premiums the way that chainsmoking dip in the Escalade will. I don't understand how people are so unwilling to believe that a bike is an appropriate tool for commuting.
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  3. #3
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    Maybe you could just put "No". If you ride a bike then you do not use either. Of course, you could change the wording and say you drive a bike.

    I hate this question, though for a tutoring position you will likely have to travel around a lot to different clients. When I was looking for an english teaching job in France I came across the same question.
    Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jdswitters's Avatar
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    I work on several LEED projects, some have to do with companies "greening up". Being a non auto commuter could actually be in your favor depending on the company. Bike commuting/ PubTrans is going become a more positive trait in the future.

    Good luck with the job.
    Torker Graduate, 288 rods a day without pub detours.

  5. #5
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Blight View Post
    I've had to explain to more than a few people that Yes, a bicycle is viable transportation, that snow and rain don't slow me down too much, and that furthermore I won't drive up their health premiums the way that chainsmoking dip in the Escalade will. I don't understand how people are so unwilling to believe that a bike is an appropriate tool for commuting.
    The bike is an appropriate tool for commuting, but as I said for a tutoring position I can kind of understand. If i drive downtown from where I am at it takes 20 min, if I ride it is about an hour.

    Now say I have a client downtown and one back near here:
    Drive = 40 min round trip plus 1 hour tutoring = 1h40min
    Bike = 2 hours round trip plus 1 hour tutoring = 3 hours

    With a car I could teach one more student in the time I only teach one with the bike.


    The question I usually see is more like "do you have reliable transportation" to which I answer yes.
    Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nostalgic's Avatar
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    I doubt I will hear from them, but they will probably wonder how it is I'm working in the first place, and may consider me. Many have told me that these days, it's just best to flat out lie on an application, but I still cannot bear to do that.

  7. #7
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nostalgic View Post
    Many have told me that these days, it's just best to flat out lie on an application, but I still cannot bear to do that.
    I understand that! Currently I'm doing the job search thing too, but I cannot lie. Actually I think that is why I didn't get the position in Boulder, cause when they asked me what I wanted to be doing in 5 years I told them. If only that related to what they did......
    I even flew from france to meet with them, but I guess that didn't show them I was motivated enough. Oh well.

    In my experience a good company will recognize your honesty and appreciate it.
    Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nostalgic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoltani View Post
    I understand that! Currently I'm doing the job search thing too, but I cannot lie. Actually I think that is why I didn't get the position in Boulder, cause when they asked me what I wanted to be doing in 5 years I told them. If only that related to what they did......
    I even flew from france to meet with them, but I guess that didn't show them I was motivated enough. Oh well.

    In my experience a good company will recognize your honesty and appreciate it.
    There are still companies that appreciate honesty? That is news to me!


  9. #9
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    Well, I am an engineer and in my profession honesty, integrity, and ethics are a big deal. Or at least they should be when when the public welfare is involved. It's in our "code of honor".
    Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    At one job in the past, that question was necessary because the job site was at the edge of the city and transit did not provide 24-hour service. Those who relied on transit were unable to work certain shifts. For scheduling, the supervisors had to know how we were coming to work. That same employer also had other isolated work sites, some far enough from the bus lines to make a transit commute unworkable. A bike could be a workable solution, but in a city where winter temperatures would drop below -30C, sometimes for weeks at a time, winter cycling was a fringe activity.
    Life is good.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nostalgic View Post
    I doubt I will hear from them, but they will probably wonder how it is I'm working in the first place, and may consider me. Many have told me that these days, it's just best to flat out lie on an application, but I still cannot bear to do that.
    And one of the few things that can get you fired even in a union job is falsifying a job application.

  12. #12
    Senior Member palmersperry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nostalgic View Post
    Do you drive or rely on public transportation?
    Do you have a driving license? Even without a car you could then truthfully answer that you can drive and therefore don't have to rely on public transportation! :-)

  13. #13
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nostalgic View Post
    Do you drive or rely on public transportation?
    Answer = I drive.

    I drive my bike every day. I almost never ride a car though,
    Last edited by gerv; 12-10-10 at 06:02 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nostalgic View Post
    Many have told me that these days, it's just best to flat out lie on an application, but I still cannot bear to do that.
    If you lie on a job application and an employer catches the lie, you can expect other employers in that field to find out.
    Life is good.

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    The intent is to weed out people who must use public transportation, since it is often inflexible and unreliable. Personal vehicles -- bikes and cars -- avoid these dificulties. Bikes and cars are functional equivalents, although cars are better for long distances. The principals of driving -- obeying signs and signals, staying on the right side of the road, and right-of-way determination are the same for bikes and cars. The answer is that you drive.

    Paul

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    A good friend of mine is also a tutor. In May, '09 he took possession of a custom trike. He now rides 100-150 miles per week and has all the clients he can handle. He even has several out-of-state clients, but he uses Skype for them. He has also dropped something like 75 pounds since he started cycling and is in the best shape of his life.

    Don't be too bothered by the application question. All indications are that the era of "everyone in a car" is coming to an end. You're just a bit ahead of the curve, which is a good thing in a teacher.

  17. #17
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nostalgic View Post
    I came across this question:

    Do you drive or rely on public transportation?

    My first reaction was to give up on looking for work. I see this as a screening process, to weed out those who do not own a car. I answered: I rely on public transportation and drive an electric bicycle. I completed the application anyway. We'll see what happens.

    Thoughts?

    P.S. This application is for a tutoring position, and I'm already tutoring part-time with a supplemental education company. However, I'm looking for more work.
    It is a matter of proper and accurate wording without giving too much away. In reality, I myself do use public transit occasionally if I cannot use one of my bikes. I don't own a car at this point in my life (although I am open to the opportunity), I have a valid driver's license of my state, and do sometimes rent a car. So on your application if I was answering the question, I would say no I am not dependent on public transit, I have a valid driver's license and that is it. I would not volunteer any more information.

    Quote Originally Posted by nostalgic View Post
    I doubt I will hear from them, but they will probably wonder how it is I'm working in the first place, and may consider me. Many have told me that these days, it's just best to flat out lie on an application, but I still cannot bear to do that.
    If they are that fussy and picky, don't feel bad. If they did hire you, I would not feel to comfortable about a place of employment that is too nosy about how I choose to get to work if it was me. But the most important thing to remember is....don't lie on any employment application. It could come back and haunt you later especially with the Internet as Big Brother now.
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 12-10-10 at 08:23 PM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic View Post
    It is a matter of proper and accurate wording without giving too much away. In reality, I myself do use public transit occasionally if I cannot use one of my bikes. I don't own a car at this point in my life (although I am open to the opportunity), I have a valid driver's license of my state, and do sometimes rent a car. So on your application if I was answering the question, I would say no I am not dependent on public transit, I have a valid driver's license and that is it. I would not volunteer any more information.



    If they are that fussy and picky, don't feel bad. If they did hire you, I would not feel to comfortable about a place of employment that is too nosy about how I choose to get to work if it was me. But the most important thing to remember is....don't lie on any employment application. It could come back and haunt you later especially with the Internet as Big Brother now.
    Some jobs require use of a car, so the request is legitimate. I have a problem with a fixed location job asking the question, IMHO it is none of their business how I get to work if the car is not a requirement of the job. I actually put down on one application that asked the question about how I planned to get to work: that if my broom was in the shop I would use the magic carpet... (no I didn't get a job there)

    Aaron
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Some jobs require use of a car, so the request is legitimate. I have a problem with a fixed location job asking the question, IMHO it is none of their business how I get to work if the car is not a requirement of the job.
    Here are a few reasons an employer would ask about how you get to work.

    1. You'll have some travel for your work, whether out-of-town runs or fast in-town deliveries.

    2. The job site is not served by bus lines.

    3. The work hours include some shifts when the transit does not run.

    4. You'll be the first response contact if something goes wrong at the site and you have to get there within minutes.

    I'd answer the question, but if it's brought up in the interview, I'd want to learn more.

    Also, in a tight job market, I would be willing to make some concessions in order to be employed. The overall quality of life package is much more important to me than the specific details about how I get to work. Others have strong convictions about being car-free and will rather pass up a job than take one that requires a car. If that's your conviction, I respect it.
    Life is good.

  20. #20
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newspaperguy View Post
    Here are a few reasons an employer would ask about how you get to work.

    1. You'll have some travel for your work, whether out-of-town runs or fast in-town deliveries.

    2. The job site is not served by bus lines.

    3. The work hours include some shifts when the transit does not run.

    4. You'll be the first response contact if something goes wrong at the site and you have to get there within minutes.

    I'd answer the question, but if it's brought up in the interview, I'd want to learn more.

    Also, in a tight job market, I would be willing to make some concessions in order to be employed. The overall quality of life package is much more important to me than the specific details about how I get to work. Others have strong convictions about being car-free and will rather pass up a job than take one that requires a car. If that's your conviction, I respect it.
    Yet most of the jobs that seem to obsess over having a car to get to work seem to be lower paying, some of them paying minimum wage. How they expect someone to maintain a dependable car on minimum wage is beyond me.

    FWIW I have been considering downgrading my job from the current 60-70 hours a week, 270 days a year on the road to something closer to home. Best I am going to be able to do is roughly half the current salary, that in itself is not a problem. But the expectations of some of the companies is: one company I applied for wants you to have a car so you can work at multiple locations in a 5 county area when staffing demands change (someone doesn't show up for work). I have found several other possibilities that are much better from a transportation point of view.

    I think that employers need to worry less about how their people get to work, and more about the quality of the people they hire. If you hire someone that is mature and responsible they will get to work somehow.

    Aaron
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  21. #21
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    If I was asked that question on a job app, I would put down the truth, and still keep on searching for other means of employment. If you get hired by that particular business, great, if not, just keep looking. Down the road, that particular business might reconsider you for your honesty, or if too many employees keep calling in late or have too many no shows due to car trouble.

  22. #22
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nostalgic View Post
    Do you drive or rely on public transportation?
    This is an "or" question. If you do either then the correct answer is yes. If you do neither then the correct answer is no.

  23. #23
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    When I entered the job market after university my parents urged me to finally get my restricted license - even though I never had any interest in getting it. "You'll need it for work!" they said. I had gotten my learners license a few years earlier simply as a form of ID, and the fact it was written test only

    So, after my resistance I signed up to do my restricted test, but having never posessed much interest in driving, I took a few lessons, passed the test, no big deal (this is the only time I have ever driven mind you..)

    First job interview I went for I got the job, working for an awesome company who doesn't really give a **** if you drive to work or not, in fact they encourage exercise & living healthy, so the restricted license has now long expired.

    I guess the moral of the story is - not all jobs out there require the use of a car, and not all employers are concerned with it either. If the job requires you to have a car, then go for it if you really want the job, but otherwise keep looking if you want to stick to your principles. There are always solutions to the car issue and there have been a number of times when I would otherwise have been required to use a car, but managed fine on the bike. I cycle to my clients and they love the fact that I do, as does my employer, adds a touch of individuality

    And if all else fails, just lie to get the job, if they fire you based on the fact you don't drive then I see that as discrimination and not fair grounds for dismissal, sue their asses ! (unless of course the job is for pizza deliver or something!)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weetbix View Post
    When I entered the job market after university my parents urged me to finally get my restricted license - even though I never had any interest in getting it. "You'll need it for work!" they said. I had gotten my learners license a few years earlier simply as a form of ID, and the fact it was written test only

    So, after my resistance I signed up to do my restricted test, but having never posessed much interest in driving, I took a few lessons, passed the test, no big deal (this is the only time I have ever driven mind you..)

    First job interview I went for I got the job, working for an awesome company who doesn't really give a **** if you drive to work or not, in fact they encourage exercise & living healthy, so the restricted license has now long expired.

    I guess the moral of the story is - not all jobs out there require the use of a car, and not all employers are concerned with it either. If the job requires you to have a car, then go for it if you really want the job, but otherwise keep looking if you want to stick to your principles. There are always solutions to the car issue and there have been a number of times when I would otherwise have been required to use a car, but managed fine on the bike. I cycle to my clients and they love the fact that I do, as does my employer, adds a touch of individuality

    And if all else fails, just lie to get the job, if they fire you based on the fact you don't drive then I see that as discrimination and not fair grounds for dismissal, sue their asses ! (unless of course the job is for pizza deliver or something!)
    Good point except for most applications in the US there is a stipulation that you swear the statements you are making are true. You aren't dismissed for not driving you would be dismissed for lying. When asked in court the company representative simply says, they falsified information on the application. That is a offence in most states here.
    A quote from a legal service in the US.
    Problems with Suing Your Employer
    In addition to the possibility of losing your job, if you obtained your job by lying on a resume, you may not be able to sue your employer, even if your employer has violated your legal rights. Say, for example, that you were dismissed from your job in an illegal manner, or passed up for a promotion because of racial discrimination; you may not be able to recover against your employer if your employer can show that they would have not hired you in the first place if you had been honest on your resume or application. In general, courts have found that employees that lied in order to get a position cannot later sue their employer claiming that they were wronged.

    You could take your chances and hope another employee doesn't drop a dime on you.

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    Could you just say you did drive up until a few days after getting the job upon which you decided to give up driving? Technically @ the time of your employment you were driving

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