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Myths and misconceptions about living car free

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Myths and misconceptions about living car free

Old 07-23-17, 09:23 PM
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I'm wondering how interviewers would even know how you got there.

Scenario 1 ... you emerge from the elevator looking interview-ready. Are there cameras outside the office building tracking your progress up the street? Doubt it. The first anyone sees of you is the receptionist when you emerge from that elevator.

Scenario 2 ... you click "accept call" and appear on your interviewers screen. And no one cares how you got home or to wherever you're doing the interview.

In conclusion ... no one cares.
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Old 07-23-17, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155
Seems like there is too much interest in what some "think" others that more than likely don't even think about them are thinking. Unless you know the interviewer socially chances are they just see you as a candidate for employment.

I think we should step back a minute and take a good look at what some seem to be trying to say. This forum represents a minority of people in a bicycle forum that is a minority interest in itself. This forum is in no way representative of what the majority of people think or do.
When we assume why someone didnít hire an employee it often comes from the person that didnít get hired and that is hardly an objective point of view. In all seriousness I believe the ones suggesting that a future employer is simply interested in if the person they are interviewing can do the job and will be the best asset to the business or company.

I have never attended a management and personnel conference where spotting cyclists, walkers or bus riders were touched upon. People need to understand that they are no more than one out of 320-350 million people living in the U.S. Not many personnel directors care about anything other than punctuality, dependability and proficiency. Yes you have people driving on the road that donít care for cyclists but what are the chances that they will be the ones sitting across the desk giving an interview? About what it is to get hit by a lightning bolt or attacked by a shark I would think.

Having hired people before it is how well they know what I am looking for in an employee and how dependable they will be that impresses me most. After running a background check on all of the ones I interviewed I would narrow it down to three people and choose between those three. I didnít care who they thought they were and what their social status was. It has been my experience that maybe 99 percent of the people doing the interviews for employment care about how confident and professional the person being interviewed looks and sounds. In my case I had 6 months of probation to find out if they were going to work out after I hired them.
In my opinion LCF has nothing to do with getting a job. The way a LCF employee presents themselves has everything to do with getting hired, just like someone who is not LCF.
This sounds great and I hope all employers are as objective as you describe, but having also been an interviewer, I know that you can have multiple perfectly capable applicants, and then it can come down to highly intangible subjective decisions about who just feels right for the job: and a lot of the time you may not even be aware of why you like one candidate and have a bit of a negative reaction to another. Or there may be arbitrary rules that candidates are expected to follow, like not bringing a backpack - a rule I-Like-To-Bike rates as quite important, as do a number of advice websites, so apparently it can kill your hopes, even though, objectively, it tells you nothing about the quality of the applicant. Certainly a number of colleagues over the years have asked me "isn't it dangerous to ride to work?", so why wouldn't they be subtly influenced by knowing someone biked to an interview into thinking maybe the person's judgement was suspect. If carrying a backpack is a sign of a potential rogue employee, all kinds of things are on the table.

I also think there are lots of ways they may know how you got to the interview. You may need some kind of visitor parking pass to some remote locations, for example. Or they may ask you your plans so they can give directions if it's hard to find the place.

So I think it's quite reasonable for a candidate to have this issue on their radar.

Last edited by cooker; 07-23-17 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 07-23-17, 11:05 PM
  #203  
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Originally Posted by cooker
This sounds great and I hope all employers are as objective as you describe, but having also been an interviewer, I know that you can have multiple perfectly capable applicants, and then it can come down to highly intangible subjective decisions about who just feels right for the job: and a lot of the time you may not even be aware of why you like one candidate and have a bit of a negative reaction to another. Or there may be arbitrary rules that candidates are expected to follow, like not bringing a backpack - a rule I-Like-To-Bike rates as quite important, as do a number of advice websites, so apparently it can kill your hopes, even though, objectively, it tells you nothing about the quality of the applicant. Certainly a number of colleagues over the years have asked me "isn't it dangerous to ride to work?", so why wouldn't they be subtly influenced by knowing someone biked to an interview into thinking maybe the person's judgement was suspect. If carrying a backpack is a sign of a potential rogue employee, all kinds of things are on the table.

I also think there are lots of ways they may know how you got to the interview. You may need some kind of visitor parking pass to some remote locations, for example. Or they may ask you your plans so they can give directions if it's hard to find the place.

So I think it's quite reasonable for a candidate to have this issue on their radar.

I am pretty sure Aesop would have a story about people that worried about what was in someone's mind before they ever met them. Many employees complain that management just thinks of them as numbers not as people and it cannot be both ways. I once even hired someone like 350. And much like 350 after the overtime was over they quit. Yes it was their right and yes it made me more cautious in future employee selections but not because the person wasn't a good worker, they were very good. I was simply looking for long term employees that I could move up through the system and short term didn't fit my needs. The only time transportation has ever come up in any of the positions I ever filled was they had to have a drivers license. I had multiple sites and one of the positions in our work group was delivery driver. Only my mail clerk didn't need a license. However how they got to work never mattered in any job I ever had. Seems as if several here have said the same thing. Far too many worry about things that in all likelihood the candidate has manufactured an excuse to salve the rejection they expect. If you qualify for a position and have the right attitude your chances of getting the job can not be worse than an unqualified candidate with a car. And a Backpack could easily be replaced with a messenger bag with any pertinent paperwork the candidate might wish to submit or display. People simply need to do their research. What ever happened to doing research on the company someone wants to work for? Check out the place before the interview and see how the employees dress.

I have sat through appeals for rejections many times and almost every time the perceived prejudice of the appellant was in their own mind. There is absolutely not way anyone can make the claim they didn't get a job "because" of how they got to a interview. Like I said there are no business classes that list how the dependable, qualified, prepared candidate gets to the interview as a criteria for selection. I call that a myth.

Last edited by Mobile 155; 07-23-17 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 07-24-17, 12:15 AM
  #204  
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Originally Posted by Machka
I'm wondering how interviewers would even know how you got there.

Scenario 1 ... you emerge from the elevator looking interview-ready. Are there cameras outside the office building tracking your progress up the street? Doubt it. The first anyone sees of you is the receptionist when you emerge from that elevator.

Scenario 2 ... you click "accept call" and appear on your interviewers screen. And no one cares how you got home or to wherever you're doing the interview.

In conclusion ... no one cares.
Scenario 3 ... the job is in an area with limited parking and the employer hopes the new candidate makes use of public transportation so that the employer doesn't have to deal with complaints about the lack of parking.
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Old 07-24-17, 05:05 AM
  #205  
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155
I am pretty sure Aesop would have a story about people that worried about what was in someone's mind before they ever met them. Many employees complain that management just thinks of them as numbers not as people and it cannot be both ways. I once even hired someone like 350. And much like 350 after the overtime was over they quit. Yes it was their right and yes it made me more cautious in future employee selections but not because the person wasn't a good worker, they were very good. I was simply looking for long term employees that I could move up through the system and short term didn't fit my needs. The only time transportation has ever come up in any of the positions I ever filled was they had to have a drivers license. I had multiple sites and one of the positions in our work group was delivery driver. Only my mail clerk didn't need a license. However how they got to work never mattered in any job I ever had. Seems as if several here have said the same thing. Far too many worry about things that in all likelihood the candidate has manufactured an excuse to salve the rejection they expect. If you qualify for a position and have the right attitude your chances of getting the job can not be worse than an unqualified candidate with a car. And a Backpack could easily be replaced with a messenger bag with any pertinent paperwork the candidate might wish to submit or display. People simply need to do their research. What ever happened to doing research on the company someone wants to work for? Check out the place before the interview and see how the employees dress.

I have sat through appeals for rejections many times and almost every time the perceived prejudice of the appellant was in their own mind. There is absolutely not way anyone can make the claim they didn't get a job "because" of how they got to a interview. Like I said there are no business classes that list how the dependable, qualified, prepared candidate gets to the interview as a criteria for selection. I call that a myth.
Despite my devil's advocacy earlier in the thread, this is a personal anecdote that illustrates this point (quite short, promise):

I had just made my way to the end of a cherry picking season in a Victorian town when someone told me that an orchard about 15km out of town might be worth looking up for more extended work. I cycled out there, along the gravel road, found the property manager, and had an on-the-spot interview with the guy, a real Australian country type. I was dressed in bike gear, the extreme opposite to the usual fare seeking rural work.

I got the job, and in fact moved into free on-farm accommodation where I stayed for around two years!

Great times.
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Old 07-24-17, 06:13 AM
  #206  
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155
I am pretty sure Aesop would have a story about people that worried about what was in someone's mind before they ever met them. Many employees complain that management just thinks of them as numbers not as people and it cannot be both ways. I once even hired someone like 350. And much like 350 after the overtime was over they quit. Yes it was their right and yes it made me more cautious in future employee selections but not because the person wasn't a good worker, they were very good. I was simply looking for long term employees that I could move up through the system and short term didn't fit my needs. The only time transportation has ever come up in any of the positions I ever filled was they had to have a drivers license. I had multiple sites and one of the positions in our work group was delivery driver. Only my mail clerk didn't need a license. However how they got to work never mattered in any job I ever had. Seems as if several here have said the same thing. Far too many worry about things that in all likelihood the candidate has manufactured an excuse to salve the rejection they expect. If you qualify for a position and have the right attitude your chances of getting the job can not be worse than an unqualified candidate with a car. And a Backpack could easily be replaced with a messenger bag with any pertinent paperwork the candidate might wish to submit or display. People simply need to do their research. What ever happened to doing research on the company someone wants to work for? Check out the place before the interview and see how the employees dress.

I have sat through appeals for rejections many times and almost every time the perceived prejudice of the appellant was in their own mind. There is absolutely not way anyone can make the claim they didn't get a job "because" of how they got to a interview. Like I said there are no business classes that list how the dependable, qualified, prepared candidate gets to the interview as a criteria for selection. I call that a myth.
Sounds like you are calling the backpack issue a myth as well. It's interesting that your take on this whole discussion is that people are looking for some kind of way to blame employers who don't hire them. I didn't get the sense that anyone here had that in mind. Perhaps having to deal with a lot of disgruntled rejectees sensitized you to that.

Last edited by cooker; 07-24-17 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 07-24-17, 10:34 AM
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The discussion reminds me of the song, "Signs," by 'Five Man Electrical Band' when the singer talks about being denied a job he really did not want nor would he ever have applied for except in this instance, to nurse his own prejudice and bias to such an extent that the singer is simply mocking a disparaging caricature of his own creation as if it accurately describes what is important to all prospective employers:
And the sign said "Long-haired freaky people need not apply"

So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why

He said "You look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you'll do"

So I took off my hat, I said "Imagine that. Huh! Me workin' for you!"

Whoa-oh-oh
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Old 07-24-17, 11:18 AM
  #208  
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Originally Posted by cooker
Sounds like you are calling the backpack issue a myth as well. It's interesting that your take on this whole discussion is that people are looking for some kind of way to blame employers who don't hire them. I didn't get the sense that anyone here had that in mind. Perhaps having to deal with a lot of disgruntled rejectees sensitized you to that.
If you look at the concept at all it is almost a misdirection. A successful business doesn't become successful by not hiring the best candidates because of a back pack and assuming that said back pack detracts from the person's qualifications. The employer has far too many tools that they can research to weigh applicants to be worried about why they may have come to an interview with a back pack. The very idea that someone believes the person interviewing a perspective is watching to see how they get to the interview indicates that someone is looking for an excuse in case they didn't get hired. They might even post on forums like these boasting about getting a job at a company even after boldly taking the bus or riding a bike or walking to the interview. In all reality no one noticed or cared, excepted the new employee, how they got to the site, and that might deflate their boldness. Many here have indicated the same thing. They have never been asked how they will get to work.
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Old 07-24-17, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155
I am pretty sure Aesop would have a story about people that worried about what was in someone's mind before they ever met them.
In a competitive job market about all you've got going for you may be your performance in one interview. Since the interviewer doesn't know you and may interview a number of people with similar skills, the difference in who gets the job may be driven by subtle factors like how the interviewer "feels" about you.

It's OK if you don't care what the interviewer thinks. Especially if you don't much care about the job opportunity.
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Old 07-24-17, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter S
In a competitive job market about all you've got going for you may be your performance in one interview. Since the interviewer doesn't know you and may interview a number of people with similar skills, the difference in who gets the job may be driven by subtle factors like how the interviewer "feels" about you.

It's OK if you don't care what the interviewer thinks. Especially if you don't much care about the job opportunity.

Still all you can do is present yourself in the most positive light. Be prepared and be qualified. Research the company and look as professional as you can. If your confidence is lessened by a back pack don't bring one. As someone suggested find another way to get to the interview. But that still doesn't indicate your chances are any less because you walk, ride the bus or ride a bike. Those are all excuses. Far too many people in here even have found work without showing up in a Seven series BMW. In today's job market if you are worried about what they will think about how you get to the interview you might want to check what you post on social media. They now check that as well. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are all public. Far more informational than a back pack.
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Old 07-24-17, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155
Still all you can do is present yourself in the most positive light. Be prepared and be qualified. Research the company and look as professional as you can. If your confidence is lessened by a back pack don't bring one. As someone suggested find another way to get to the interview. But that still doesn't indicate your chances are any less because you walk, ride the bus or ride a bike. Those are all excuses. Far too many people in here even have found work without showing up in a Seven series BMW. In today's job market if you are worried about what they will think about how you get to the interview you might want to check what you post on social media. They now check that as well. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are all public. Far more informational than a back pack.
So I guess they figured out the candidate came by bike from their social media.....
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Old 07-24-17, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker
This was inspired by a comment in another thread. Even within the regular group we may have different ideas about what car-free and car-light living are all about, but personally I think people are often reacting to what they think the other person's views or positions are, rather than what they actually are. I also think new people joining the forum sometimes come with preconceptions that affect how they participate - for example sometimes acting defensive or hostile from the OP.


So let's talk about what we think LCF/LCL is or isn't, and in particular what we think is misunderstood, so at least if we have disagreements we agree on what we are disagreeing on

And let's be civil.
I consider myself to live car free and I get to make that judgement for myself and I don't see how it is the business of anybody else. A paraphrase of Eleanor Roosevelt quote is: Nobody can judge you without your consent. I don't consent to being judged on something like if I consider myself to live car free. I do.
If anybody else considers themselves to live car free and must ride in an ambulance or rent a moving truck or anything like that, then good for you--that's your business.
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Old 07-24-17, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by elocs
I consider myself to live car free and I get to make that judgement for myself and I don't see how it is the business of anybody else. A paraphrase of Eleanor Roosevelt quote is: Nobody can judge you without your consent. I don't consent to being judged on something like if I consider myself to live car free. I do.
If anybody else considers themselves to live car free and must ride in an ambulance or rent a moving truck or anything like that, then good for you--that's your business.
I think we thrashed the definition to death on more than one occasion. Are there other myths and misconceptions you think might be a source of tension or misunderstanding?
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Old 07-24-17, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155
Still all you can do is present yourself in the most positive light. Be prepared and be qualified. Research the company and look as professional as you can. If your confidence is lessened by a back pack don't bring one. As someone suggested find another way to get to the interview. But that still doesn't indicate your chances are any less because you walk, ride the bus or ride a bike. Those are all excuses.
I never suggested not applying for a job because you can't meet some ideal way of doing it.
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Old 07-24-17, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter S
I never suggested not applying for a job because you can't meet some ideal way of doing it.
Nor am I saying you have suggested such a thing. I am calling the back pack, watching to see how you get to an interview a myth. And the belief that personnel departments or even individual managers looking for a employee to fill a position would spend a minute in thought about how a person they don't know get to an interview is a myth.

There is no definitive evidence that such a practice of watching how people arrive for an interview exists. Most of what has been presented here is a "what if" hypothetical that many have disputed is a practice theynhave ever experienced. Even ones that have been or do practice LCF.
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Old 07-24-17, 04:30 PM
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All said, it's probably better not to apply for a job holding a hand-lettered cardboard sign.
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Old 07-24-17, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155
Nor am I saying you have suggested such a thing. I am calling the back pack, watching to see how you get to an interview a myth.
The no-backpack rule was mentioned as an issue by I-Like-To-Bike, but in his defence, it is a standard piece of boiler plate advice, widely quoted, although perhaps out of date.
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
and yes, no backpack unless it was a low wage dead end job for dropouts.
https://www.thebalance.com/what-to-w...terview-525763

It was not suggested that anybody "watches to see how you get to an interview". The issue was, since a lot of people do seem to have either negative opinions or at least reservations about biking to work or cycling in general, either making complaints about cyclists in traffic, or colleagues expressing concern for your safety or offering you rides and so on, then if they happen to notice you bike to an interview, will that count that as a point against you? You say no, other people say maybe.

Last edited by cooker; 07-24-17 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 07-24-17, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker
...other people say maybe.
Other people, especially those with vivid imaginations or paranoia, might say "maybe" to any possibility, proposal or situation, no matter how silly the scenario, or to any myth, including those that they themselves fabricated or conjured.
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Old 07-24-17, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by McBTC
All said, it's probably better not to apply for a job holding a hand-lettered cardboard sign.

....a cardboard sign which says: " The end is near, save yourselves by going car-free".
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Old 07-24-17, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Other people, especially those with vivid imaginations or paranoia, might say "maybe" to any possibility, proposal or situation, no matter how silly the scenario, or to any myth, including those that they themselves fabricated or conjured.
including the backpack myth?
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Old 07-24-17, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker
including the backpack myth?

What should I carry with meóa purse, a briefcase, a backpack?


By all means, leave the backpack at home. You want to look professional, not like you're taking a stroll across campus.
https://www.thebalance.com/what-to-w...terview-525763
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Old 07-24-17, 08:37 PM
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Old 07-24-17, 08:43 PM
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If the interviewer is a rider, arriving by bike might win a few points.
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Old 07-24-17, 10:40 PM
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Got a job on SNL...!
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Old 07-25-17, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155
Nor am I saying you have suggested such a thing. I am calling the back pack, watching to see how you get to an interview a myth. And the belief that personnel departments or even individual managers looking for a employee to fill a position would spend a minute in thought about how a person they don't know get to an interview is a myth.

There is no definitive evidence that such a practice of watching how people arrive for an interview exists. Most of what has been presented here is a "what if" hypothetical that many have disputed is a practice theynhave ever experienced. Even ones that have been or do practice LCF.
If you don't think a segment of the population is scornful of what the see as a cult of bicycle enthusiasts then maybe that doesn't apply where you live. I see that regularly.
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