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Inadvertently Hired a Bike Commuter

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Inadvertently Hired a Bike Commuter

Old 12-04-14, 04:30 PM
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Mark Stone
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Inadvertently Hired a Bike Commuter

I hired a young lady the last week of October. When we do interviews at my company, HR will not allow us to ask "Do you have a car?" - we have to ask "Do you have reliable transportation". She said Yes, and after a lot more questions and the background check and the drug screen, I hired her. She has shown up early for every shift, is always full of energy, does a great job, and is a real joy to work with. Now, over a month later, I found out that she commutes by bicycle! I saw her coming to work today. I said "You ride your bike to work?" She answered "I haven't owned a car in years." A cool discovery to say the least.
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Old 12-04-14, 04:33 PM
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Old 12-04-14, 04:51 PM
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Very cool!

Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
When we do interviews at my company, HR will not allow us to ask "Do you have a car?" - we have to ask "Do you have reliable transportation".
Seems like "Is there any reason you wouldn't be able to come to work regularly, and on time?" is the more pertinent question anyway.
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Old 12-04-14, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
I hired a young lady the last week of October. When we do interviews at my company, HR will not allow us to ask "Do you have a car?" - we have to ask "Do you have reliable transportation".
Ha, that is the first time I've heard of HR implementing useful and awesome policies for interviewing.
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Old 12-04-14, 05:26 PM
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Very cool.

No one at my work place rides regularly, let alone to work. They all think I'm nuts anyway.
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Old 12-04-14, 07:42 PM
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Neat story.

Judging by the proportion of bike commuters to cars near where I work, I would say that it's more likely that cyclists will be more reliable in arriving on time.
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Old 12-04-14, 11:39 PM
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That is awesome agree. It shouldn't matter how one gets to work and I think the HR question is spot on.

I got one guy to bike to work but he did so intermittently and has since left. Over the years I have been there there have been five bike commuters not counting myself, two whom I converted. Now there is only me and one other fellow. The other fellow has rode in everyday since he started I figure, I was not there his first few months. But his commute is about 3 km flat roads which is pretty awesome.

I can say I take almost the same amount of time every morning to get there. No traffic jams, construction delays. Just flats (knock on wood) and accidents (knock harder on wood). Any long time commuter knows what to do to prevent issues I think.
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Old 12-04-14, 11:59 PM
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I had a friend once who tried to hire a woman but when she found out he planned on riding her home on his bicycle, she turned him down.
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Old 12-05-14, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Matariki View Post
Neat story.

Judging by the proportion of bike commuters to cars near where I work, I would say that it's more likely that cyclists will be more reliable in arriving on time.
hey! i was going to say that.
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Old 12-05-14, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
I had a friend once who tried to hire a woman but when she found out he planned on riding her home on his bicycle, she turned him down.
i admit it... i had to read it twice.
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Old 12-05-14, 01:43 AM
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At one place I worked there were 4 of us with the same job title. We worked in two rooms. Two were bicycle commuters who lived over 9 miles away, two were motorists who lived less than a mile from work.

One morning our boss came by asking if my roommate (a motorist) had made it in. I replied that he had not. My boss went to the other office. A few moments later he returned and noted that the other cyclist was there but the motorist had not arrived either. I quipped that perhaps he should hire bicycle commuters who live far away rather than motorists who live close by.
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Old 12-05-14, 04:00 AM
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They should do away with that question entirely, methinks public transportation is more "reliable" than your average car.
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Old 12-05-14, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Astrozombie View Post
They should do away with that question entirely, methinks public transportation is more "reliable" than your average car.
Lucky you to live someplace with reliable public transportation.
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Old 12-05-14, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Lug View Post
Lucky you to live someplace with reliable public transportation.
My job requires that I reliably show up for work, sometimes quickly under urgent circumstances, 24/7 when on call, and I live 14 miles away. I don't punch a clock, but 8:30 AM is a reasonable start time, and I can start working earlier as soon as I arrive. When I was hired, 32 years ago I offered the information that I would commute via bike and train (Commuter Rail station about 0.2 miles away from work, and about 2 miles from home). My employer looked dubious, but might have been desperate.

In my mind, I firmly resolved not to mess up. Besides the train, we do have a car and it’s a reverse commute from downtown to the suburbs. There is also (slow, but regular) bus service; cruising taxis are readily available round the clock in my neighborhood ($70 fare to work), plenty of convenient car rental agencies near home and work, Zipcar service in the neighborhood, and I have a place to stay at work comfortably overnight.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I think of my commute in terms of satisfaction:
Cycling >>>>>Train>>>>>>>>>>>>>Driving,

But another dimension is time:
Driving>>>>>>>>>Train (scheduling)>>>>Cycling.

Then there’s Focus (concentration):
Cycling>>>>>>>>>Driving>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Train

Sometimes to do my job carefully and well, it becomes convenient to stay overnight, and expend less time and concentration getting home...
For the first few years, I occasionally had a dream about riding my bike and being far away, or lost, and trying to get there for a crucial task. One other promise I made to myself was never to borrow a car from a co-worker (vs friend or family), but I do bum rides if I the driver is going my way.

I'm well known to be always in early, even in the worst weather, and when I'm in at, or past the usual start time, people worry about me.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… Humbly, if Bike Forums ever had a Best Commute Award, I would be a frontrunner.

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Old 12-05-14, 12:53 PM
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Good for you.....Where I work,the owner commutes to work...ME!
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Old 12-05-14, 01:18 PM
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The only time, perhaps, that the mode of transportation to/from work might come up as important is, after hiring, the employer or employee had to make arrangements for a parking spot.
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Old 12-05-14, 01:52 PM
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Be sure to invite said new-hire to drop in on these here forums.
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Old 12-05-14, 02:04 PM
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what's the point of asking about the reliability of transportation. is anybody really going to answer, "no, i have no reliable transportation."? ridiculous. just the fact that they answered in the affirmative to such a biased question, is reason enough to eliminate them.

my policy has always been to give the answer that i think will give me the best chance of landing a job. honesty, has no place in an interview. the entire process is a waste of time for everybody concerned. all employment should be on a contingency basis. it doesn't take long to separate the wheat from the chaff.
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Old 12-05-14, 02:10 PM
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nice! on all my interviews I bring it up voluntarily and ask of they have a shower. FYI REI does
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Old 12-05-14, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
what's the point of asking about the reliability of transportation. is anybody really going to answer, "no, i have no reliable transportation."? ridiculous. just the fact that they answered in the affirmative to such a biased question, is reason enough to eliminate them.

my policy has always been to give the answer that i think will give me the best chance of landing a job. honesty, has no place in an interview. the entire process is a waste of time for everybody concerned. all employment should be on a contingency basis. it doesn't take long to separate the wheat from the chaff.
It covers a legal loophole. If I ask "Do you have reliable transportation?" and they answer "yes", then when they start being late or not coming to work because of transportation issues, it allows the employer to terminate for cause and they have no recourse. If the question is not asked, and they have difficulty with attendance because of transportation, they cannot be terminated without progressive discipline (verbal warning, write-up, suspension, etc.)
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Old 12-05-14, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
nice! on all my interviews I bring it up voluntarily and ask of they have a shower. FYI REI does
Nice, I will probably do that also in the future, if I ever change jobs. I love my current position and have been here since graduating college just over 10 years ago. Luckily when my office moved farther from home in 2008, the building we renovated included a shower and a bike rack outside, which got us a LEED point towards our LEED Gold certification. But I became the first person to regularly use the shower (do not use the bike rack, keep bike near desk) just last year in May 2013.
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Old 12-05-14, 02:41 PM
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When I hired on here, there was the "will you need to pay for parking?" question (it would then come out of my paycheck)... but they already knew I'd ride to work (something about my interview on bikecommuters.com coming up in google) and so were not shocked when I said no.
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Old 12-05-14, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Very cool.

No one at my work place rides regularly, let alone to work. They all think I'm nuts anyway.
+1, I get the same looks
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Old 12-05-14, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Astrozombie View Post
They should do away with that question entirely, methinks public transportation is more "reliable" than your average car.
+1

A bike commuter has to factor extra 15 minutes fix a flat tire in the morning. As a result, you're in early almost every day except when you have a flat tire.
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Old 12-05-14, 10:27 PM
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Worst case scenario for a bicycle commuter is to be "just on time"
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