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Thread: A car-free job

  1. #1
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    A car-free job

    Just applied for a spot as a Bicycle Patrol Security Officer. On the application, they asked if I had dependable transportation. Of course I said yes.

    Can they deny that a bicycle is dependable transportation when they want me to use it at work?
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    That sounds like a great way to spend the day...riding a bike and getting paid for it! Are you at liberty to say what kind of place it is? Would you be riding your own bike or would they provide one?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    I could go for a job like that. Hope you get it.
    Smug, car-bashing cyclist and public transport user.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Another question: can you chalk a tire on a parked car, as you ride in heavy traffic?

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    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Well, its at a toney shopping mall. So I assume that much of the riding would be in the parking lots.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I have a friend who works in mall security. He loves the job because he gets to meet a lot of cool people. He doesn't get to ride a bike, however.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    winter wipeout kitty wipekitty's Avatar
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    That is awesome! I always found security to be a pretty fun gig - though I never did mall security.

    Does this mean you don't get to ride a Segway?

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    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Am I reading this wrong? Weren't they asking if you could get to work on time, not could you use your wheels at work?

    Still a job riding a bicycle around a mall would be interesting... although I do note that parking lots are rather dangerous places to ride.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Am I reading this wrong? Weren't they asking if you could get to work on time, not could you use your wheels at work?

    Still a job riding a bicycle around a mall would be interesting... although I do note that parking lots are rather dangerous places to ride.
    That's true. Ride in the middle of the lanes and keep your eyes and ears open.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Am I reading this wrong? Weren't they asking if you could get to work on time, not could you use your wheels at work?

    Still a job riding a bicycle around a mall would be interesting... although I do note that parking lots are rather dangerous places to ride.
    No telling. Their ad said nothing about who supplies the bike. I would assume that they do. They wanted to know that I have dependable transportation. It's just my assumption that a bicycle is reliable transportation, and that should be difficult to refute.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  11. #11
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    In the event you had a bike (or car) failure, is the mall accessible by public transit, or even foot, from your place?

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    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    In the event you had a bike (or car) failure, is the mall accessible by public transit, or even foot, from your place?
    It's a very long walk. Car failure is impossible and I have several back up bikes.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    No telling. Their ad said nothing about who supplies the bike. I would assume that they do. They wanted to know that I have dependable transportation. It's just my assumption that a bicycle is reliable transportation, and that should be difficult to refute.
    It has sometimes concerned me when I see this condition of 'reliable transportation' in job ads that it could be a guise for turning down applicants who come by bike. Hopefully no employer would do that nowadays with so many people biking to work. On the other hand, I also wouldn't put it past some people to look at two applicants and choose one who drives a car over one riding a bike for any number of (illegitimate) reasons. The manager might automatically judge the cyclist as less conformist, for example.

    Generally I think there are many people who would more strongly consider going car free for the money-savings if they weren't afraid of social repercussions. It would be nice to say that fear of discrimination is not a factor for most people in the decisions they make, but I think it is. It's disturbing to think that social norms sort of uphold themselves through fear simply because people fear that independent thought and actions will be used against them in some way or other.

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    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    No telling. Their ad said nothing about who supplies the bike. I would assume that they do. They wanted to know that I have dependable transportation. It's just my assumption that a bicycle is reliable transportation, and that should be difficult to refute.
    Well... good luck with that! You deserve a nice job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
    It has sometimes concerned me when I see this condition of 'reliable transportation' in job ads that it could be a guise for turning down applicants who come by bike. Hopefully no employer would do that nowadays with so many people biking to work. On the other hand, I also wouldn't put it past some people to look at two applicants and choose one who drives a car over one riding a bike for any number of (illegitimate) reasons. The manager might automatically judge the cyclist as less conformist, for example.

    Generally I think there are many people who would more strongly consider going car free for the money-savings if they weren't afraid of social repercussions. It would be nice to say that fear of discrimination is not a factor for most people in the decisions they make, but I think it is. It's disturbing to think that social norms sort of uphold themselves through fear simply because people fear that independent thought and actions will be used against them in some way or other.
    The question was "Do you have a reliable means of transportation?". If you answer "yes", why would somebody think you're riding a bicycle?

  16. #16
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
    The question was "Do you have a reliable means of transportation?". If you answer "yes", why would somebody think you're riding a bicycle?
    Why wouldn't they?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    Why wouldn't they?
    Because "yes" could so easily mean you drive a car. Isn't that a natural answer if you were a car driver? I fail to see how indicating that you do have reliable transportation means you're riding a bicycle.

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    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
    Because "yes" could so easily mean you drive a car. Isn't that a natural answer if you were a car driver? I fail to see how indicating that you do have reliable transportation means you're riding a bicycle.
    It could mean a reliable car, a reliable bicycle, a reliable train or bus, a reliable pair of feet...
    Last edited by Ekdog; 04-23-14 at 03:27 PM.
    Smug, car-bashing cyclist and public transport user.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    It could mean a reliable car, a reliable bicycle, a reliable train or bus, a reliable pair of feet...
    True, but what I think he's saying is why would an employer assume anything about you NOT driving a car if they tend to favor people who drive and distrust bicycles as reliable transportation. Probably there are some managers who would favor someone according to which car they drive up in, e.g. if an applicant shows up for an interview in a beat-up old pickup truck vs. a relatively new compact car, for example. If an employer is really a jerk, they might see you show up for an interview on a bicycle, assume it's not a reliable form of transportation, and then not even mention it to you and hold it against you for claiming that you did have reliable transportation on the application. That would be a pretty bad scenario but some people exercise prejudice in the most assumptive ways. As long as they don't actually ask you about their assumptions and listen to your side of it, they could be favoring or discriminating against you in whatever way without you ever getting a chance to defend yourself. Fortunately, I think many people are growing more aware of this kind of assumptive behavior and the problems it can cause in workplaces and avoiding it simply for the sake of having a good working situation.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Who cares whatever they think? Actually, you have on way of knowing what they wre thinking. An ambiguous question was answered ambiguously. No harm done.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Quote Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
    True, but what I think he's saying is why would an employer assume anything about you NOT driving a car if they tend to favor people who drive and distrust bicycles as reliable transportation. Probably there are some managers who would favor someone according to which car they drive up in, e.g. if an applicant shows up for an interview in a beat-up old pickup truck vs. a relatively new compact car, for example. If an employer is really a jerk, they might see you show up for an interview on a bicycle, assume it's not a reliable form of transportation, and then not even mention it to you and hold it against you for claiming that you did have reliable transportation on the application. That would be a pretty bad scenario but some people exercise prejudice in the most assumptive ways. As long as they don't actually ask you about their assumptions and listen to your side of it, they could be favoring or discriminating against you in whatever way without you ever getting a chance to defend yourself. Fortunately, I think many people are growing more aware of this kind of assumptive behavior and the problems it can cause in workplaces and avoiding it simply for the sake of having a good working situation.
    You've got me thinking back to every job interview I've ever had. Mostly they go like this: I show up at a fairly large building, with a few hundred cars in the lot, and walk into the front office. A receptionist asks me to sit and wait, which I do until my interview begins. Sometimes those parking lots are a bit smaller, but still you're looking at a couple dozen cars minimum. I walk into a room with three or more people, who tell me to sit and the interview begins.

    I doubt any of those people knew what car I drove or even if I drove a car at all. But I do agree that you encounter all kinds of social prejudice when getting around without a car. Just look at what most people here have to say about it.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Astrozombie's Avatar
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    Ha! I've thought about that before, I bet there are people somewhere who got crap for saying they had "reliable transportation" but it didn't involve a car!
    There's a shopping center I frequent and the security guards are always riding on the walkway (even when there are signs that say no bicycles or skateboards on sidewalk)
    I've only seen Sheriffs once bikes around here (in the door zone DOH!!), it might be interesting if you could sign up to just be a bicycle police officer. All the trash talkers would think twice me thinks, give bad cyclists tickets but make people show more respect toward all cyclists.

    If starting a new gig i would definitely not take my bike it for the first few weeks just in case of discrimination.
    I even noticed you can't volunteer at the -Boys N Girls Club i think?- if you don't show proof of car insurance. Who is going to write the strongly worded letter?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    It could mean a reliable car, a reliable bicycle, a reliable train or bus, a reliable pair of feet...
    DING DING DING, and those actually break down less often than a car
    Last edited by Astrozombie; 04-23-14 at 10:47 PM.
    Assume nothing; Question everything

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    You're in the "Land of Opportunity", go for it.

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    winter wipeout kitty wipekitty's Avatar
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    The only time I was explicitly turned down for a job because of my carfree status was when I tried to work for the Census Bureau. Yep: clean record, score of 100% on their little census worker test, but apparently, they only wanted people who would drive around East Lansing in the gorgeous springtime weather.

    In my current profession it's hard to get hired if you're not completely weird - so carfree status probably helps, actually.

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    Employers have been asking this question for some years now. This isn't about some conspiracy against "bicycle commuters" but rather a means of weeding out chronically late and/or "no-show" workers. To many employees these days think that they can use personal car trouble, unreliable public transit, and/or the weather, etc, etc, as an often used excuse for being late or not showing up to work.

    This question gives employers a valid reason for terminating your job if you're chronically late and/or a "no-show" while blaming your car, public transit, and/or the weather for the problem.

    Btw, good luck on your job search!
    Last edited by FMB42; 04-24-14 at 07:24 AM.

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