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Going to have to find a new job - my first while car-free

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Going to have to find a new job - my first while car-free

Old 11-04-13, 10:23 AM
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Going to have to find a new job - my first while car-free

I've been car-free for two years (exactly two years today). I've been at my job for five years. Things are going downhill, and I'll be out of a job before the end of the month.

My current commute is 3.5 miles each way. I'd feel comfortable with a 10-mile commute, but don't want to go much beyond that.

I hate looking for work.
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Old 11-04-13, 01:43 PM
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Good luck on your search. What are you looking for?
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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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Old 11-04-13, 02:42 PM
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Good luck man.As lame as it sounds, you might want to rent a car when going to interviews/ turning in applications. A few years back I cycled around town asking for/filling out applications. By the end of the day I was sweaty and probably smelled pretty gross and the last few places I went to looked at me like I was from another planet(my hair was windblown, I was sunburned, and my skin had that "just worked out" look to it). I'm sure it will all work out for you man, let us know how it goes! Maybe it's for the better and you'll find another job even closer to home, or right near a grocery store.

Take care
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Old 11-04-13, 06:10 PM
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Now days, most professional openings prefer that you apply digitally. So that's not a problem. Admittedly, the last application I turned in, on Friday, I turned in a paper copy to get around their on-line forms that demanded to know what my expected compensation was. I took the bus in, did a meeting in the same building and then dropped off the application.

In general, for interviews, I take the bus in to stay fresh, even if I'm going to pedal home. On a far-away interview, I will rent a car. But I've gotten jobs when I rode my bike in as well. As long as you can make a professional presentation, it's good.
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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.

Last edited by Artkansas; 11-04-13 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 11-04-13, 07:15 PM
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If/when the "do you have reliable transportation" question arises, I'd leave it as short-n-sweet as you can. Stick with a "Yes; transportation will not be a problem" type of answer. It's probably no big deal, but you might rather be safe than sorry.
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Old 11-04-13, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by surreal View Post
If/when the "do you have reliable transportation" question arises, I'd leave it as short-n-sweet as you can. Stick with a "Yes; transportation will not be a problem" type of answer. It's probably no big deal, but you might rather be safe than sorry.
And if there really is any question, he now has a solid track record at his current employer's. That question doesn't seem to come up as much in more professional roles unless a car is actually required for the job.
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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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Old 11-05-13, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
And if there really is any question, he now has a solid track record at his current employer's. That question doesn't seem to come up as much in more professional roles unless a car is actually required for the job.

A few things to consider:
-we have not been given any indication as to what the OP does for a living; I, for one, would prefer not to make assumptions.
-I agree that it's less likely to come up in a pro interview, but it still may. It came up in my last interview, but that may be b/c it was an internal position at an organization that i've worked/ cyclocommuted for 8 years. It was a group interview, and another interviewer quickly mentioned that it hadn't been a problem before.... But,I've found that the 2nd most common excuse I get when someone calls out from a shift is transportation issues. To my mind, that's a "late"excuse, rather than an "absent excuse"; during an interview, an employer isn't going to want either.
-Of course you're right that the OP has a 2 year track record of reliably getting to work by bike, but we can't expect the potential employer to be as logical as you are, ArtKansas. Many ppl make some deep-rooted assumptions about cycling.
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Old 11-05-13, 08:42 AM
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I work in IT. Yes, professional jobs usually are better about bike commuting. Sometimes we even get to park in our offices.

I don't generally share that I don't own a car during an interview. If the distance for the interview is enough to get too sweaty, I'll consider bus, cab, or a ride from somebody.

My fiance had a car until it was stolen, but it'll get replaced fairly soon.

What am I looking for? Unless I can find a good-paying job in another field, I'll stick with IT. Since I don't have a college degree, my options are limited. I'd actually like a slightly longer commute than I have now.
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Old 11-05-13, 10:01 AM
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I've gotten 3-4 jobs while car-light now. For 1 I even biked to the interview and got changed in the bathroom into a suit. But I'd highly recommend the rental/borrow car route for the interview.

Additionally, assuming you're not at the take any job offered stage, when it comes time for you to ask questions, don't forget to ask if they have a shower on site, and if they have a bike rack or are OK with you wheeling your bike inside. Besides the convenience of the shower, how they respond to your question will also give you a hint on how bike friendly they're going to be.

As for commute length, I've done 8, 5, 16, 10, 11 mile commutes for my different bike jobs. I found the 16 one to be to much, but the rest are all easy enough. But if you don't bike much beyond your current commute, going from 3 miles to 10 will take a bunch out of you the first few weeks until your core/legs tone up.
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Old 11-05-13, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by squegeeboo View Post
I've gotten 3-4 jobs while car-light now. For 1 I even biked to the interview and got changed in the bathroom into a suit. But I'd highly recommend the rental/borrow car route for the interview.

Additionally, assuming you're not at the take any job offered stage, when it comes time for you to ask questions, don't forget to ask if they have a shower on site, and if they have a bike rack or are OK with you wheeling your bike inside. Besides the convenience of the shower, how they respond to your question will also give you a hint on how bike friendly they're going to be.

As for commute length, I've done 8, 5, 16, 10, 11 mile commutes for my different bike jobs. I found the 16 one to be to much, but the rest are all easy enough. But if you don't bike much beyond your current commute, going from 3 miles to 10 will take a bunch out of you the first few weeks until your core/legs tone up.
When I started riding to work (and still had a car), my commute was 16 miles each way. I did that three days a week.

Most places here in Louisville are not friendly about bikes if you ask. I'll wait until I start and "get the lay of the land" first. If I have to lock up outside, I'll ride a beater. The two places I've worked since I started riding were okay with me bringing the bike in -- but I never asked.

I've never used a shower at work (okay, once, but I learned they kept the water heater off unless the room was scheduled to be used... brrr!) I shower in the morning and wipe off at work. I currently keep a towel in my office. On my current short commute, I sometimes just ride in my business casual work clothes, and try not to ride hard enough to sweat. That may not be an option at ten miles.
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Old 11-16-13, 01:28 PM
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I'm a musician in Las Vegas, which is a very unpredictable way to live. I've been looking for some extra work this week and even had some good email correspondence with one company. They would send me to box stores to assemble bicycles with my own tools. I could figure out a way to carry tools and a repair stand, but the possibility of needing to visit multiple stores in one day would likely cancel me out as a bicycle commuter.

I stared at the wall for a long time wondering if I was stubborn and/or stupid to not pursue a job just because I would need a car.
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Old 11-16-13, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric S. View Post
I could figure out a way to carry tools and a repair stand, but the possibility of needing to visit multiple stores in one day would likely cancel me out as a bicycle commuter.
How many stores are we talking about? 2, 3, 5, 17? How far apart are they and how much flexibility do you have in setting your schedule? Those could be the deciding factors. Adding a car into the picture could rob you of a lot of the income, especially if this is a seasonal job.
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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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Old 11-16-13, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric S. View Post
I'm a musician in Las Vegas, which is a very unpredictable way to live. I've been looking for some extra work this week and even had some good email correspondence with one company. They would send me to box stores to assemble bicycles with my own tools. I could figure out a way to carry tools and a repair stand, but the possibility of needing to visit multiple stores in one day would likely cancel me out as a bicycle commuter.

I stared at the wall for a long time wondering if I was stubborn and/or stupid to not pursue a job just because I would need a car.
Build a bicycle with a motor on it. You'll go a little faster and won't be worn out by the end of the day. Pedal it home with the motor off when you want the exercise. It probably won't require insurance nor registration. You can get cheapo kits for less than $200. They require a lot of fiddling. The expensive kits require fiddling too but not as much. A 50 cc motor scooter would cost more at first and require a license; registration, and insurance but it would be very reliable and last longer than a motorized
bicycle. If you've got credit the monthly payment could be only $50. In the long run it would be cheaper too. I speak from experience.

A scooter with a flat floor could hold a folded bicycle stand. The tools could fit into a trunk or the under seat storage area. Don't pass up a good job like that if you can find a way to make it work.
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Old 11-16-13, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric S. View Post
I'm a musician in Las Vegas, which is a very unpredictable way to live. I've been looking for some extra work this week and even had some good email correspondence with one company. They would send me to box stores to assemble bicycles with my own tools. I could figure out a way to carry tools and a repair stand, but the possibility of needing to visit multiple stores in one day would likely cancel me out as a bicycle commuter.

I stared at the wall for a long time wondering if I was stubborn and/or stupid to not pursue a job just because I would need a car.
I suppose it has to be asked -- why do you need a repair stand and so many tools that it becomes problematic? Even the boxes these bikes come in don't specify any more tools that you would take in a small bag on your bike for roadside repairs except the pedal wrench. Everything else on the bike is there, and I wouldn't see a need for a stand.

A friend of mine did an early season of assembling new bikes for an LBS (let's forget about the quality quotient for this discussion), and he had to line them up and work in a "production line" way to get the job done. There was no need nor room for a workstand.
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Old 11-16-13, 06:04 PM
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The list of tools "required" (obviously overstated) in an email included a cordless drill and air compressor. C-List is public so I'll just post the link here -

http://lasvegas.craigslist.org/lab/4191033495.html

I don't want to hijack this thread with my own job search; I worked at a bike shop in high school in the early '80s and the skills I learned have saved me tons of money and enabled life-long transportation/recreation independence. As the weekend approached, I have not responded to the person I'd heard from as far as whether a bike commuter could do this job.
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Old 11-16-13, 10:07 PM
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Back to the OP's post.... If I was an IT person looking for a new work gig in L'ville, what about UPS? Their worldwide shipping distribution hub is at the airport, and they are probably one of the biggest employers in the area. Their business seems to keep growing with all of the online shopping, and it is a technology centered business these days.

The other place that I would look for an IT job is at a major medical center. Hospitals and medical centers are become more technology oriented and their business continues to grow regardless of what happens with new health care laws. Baby boomers (including me) are not getting any younger. If you can get into IT at a University medical center, even better. I know several people who work in IT here in Southern Cal at UC Irvine medical center and they like their jobs and get better benefits and more paid vacation time than they got when working in a traditional technology company environment.
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Old 11-21-13, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by zephyr View Post
Back to the OP's post.... If I was an IT person looking for a new work gig in L'ville, what about UPS? Their worldwide shipping distribution hub is at the airport, and they are probably one of the biggest employers in the area. Their business seems to keep growing with all of the online shopping, and it is a technology centered business these days.

The other place that I would look for an IT job is at a major medical center. Hospitals and medical centers are become more technology oriented and their business continues to grow regardless of what happens with new health care laws. Baby boomers (including me) are not getting any younger. If you can get into IT at a University medical center, even better. I know several people who work in IT here in Southern Cal at UC Irvine medical center and they like their jobs and get better benefits and more paid vacation time than they got when working in a traditional technology company environment.
I've applied at two large medical centers. We'll see how that goes.

I honestly don't want to work at UPS. The offices they work out of are not in bike-friendly areas, and a friend of mine works there, and can't ever be seen in the building in cycling clothes - not even to walk to the restroom to change. This limits her ability to ride her bike there.

I am trying to get into a small web development shop that is walking distance from my house. I wouldn't even bother with the bike. It would be a pay cut, but it sounds like fun.
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Old 11-21-13, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
I honestly don't want to work at UPS. The offices they work out of are not in bike-friendly areas, and a friend of mine works there, and can't ever be seen in the building in cycling clothes - not even to walk to the restroom to change. This limits her ability to ride her bike there.

I am trying to get into a small web development shop that is walking distance from my house. I wouldn't even bother with the bike. It would be a pay cut, but it sounds like fun.
Only you can decide about the priority of bicycle friendliness or maintaining a carfree status in relation to your job/income requirements.
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Old 11-21-13, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
I've applied at two large medical centers. We'll see how that goes.

I honestly don't want to work at UPS. The offices they work out of are not in bike-friendly areas, and a friend of mine works there, and can't ever be seen in the building in cycling clothes - not even to walk to the restroom to change. This limits her ability to ride her bike there.

I am trying to get into a small web development shop that is walking distance from my house. I wouldn't even bother with the bike. It would be a pay cut, but it sounds like fun.
Thanks for posting that. I'll be sure to avoid doing business with UPS in the future. I wasn't aware that they were bike-phobic.
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Old 11-21-13, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
Thanks for posting that. I'll be sure to avoid doing business with UPS in the future. I wasn't aware that they were bike-phobic.
I don't think the entire company is like that. Haven't UPS used bicycle delivery in a few cities?

It's just the one campus on the east end of town where the IT people work.
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Old 11-21-13, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
Haven't UPS used bicycle delivery in a few cities?
I don't know, but yesterday I took part in a roundtable discussion about package delivery by bicycle in our city. One of the other participants was a representative of a company that has been touting how they are beginning to use pedal-assisted tricycles. It sounded good at first, but after being questioned about it, he had to admit that it was a very timid effort indeed. It turns out they've only got one of these trikes in town, and there's no way you can be sure your package will be delivered with it. The whole thing smelled of greenwashing. Fortunately, there are several other outfits in town that rely 100% on pedal power.

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Old 11-21-13, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
I don't think the entire company is like that. Haven't UPS used bicycle delivery in a few cities?

It's just the one campus on the east end of town where the IT people work.
And maybe it isn't even UPS's fault. It might be the company they lease their building from, or a property management company.
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Old 11-22-13, 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
And maybe it isn't even UPS's fault. It might be the company they lease their building from, or a property management company.
Why would such a company be opposed to someone walking from the street to the bathroom in cycling garb?
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Old 11-22-13, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
Why would such a company be opposed to someone walking from the street to the bathroom in cycling garb?
I have no idea. This is secondhand information. The woman isn't car-free, but rides a recumbent bike quite a bit for errands. She wanted to ride to work, but the distance would require bike-specific clothing, and that doesn't appear to be an option.

It may not be company policy, but a supervisor being a problem.
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Old 11-22-13, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
I have no idea. This is secondhand information. The woman isn't car-free, but rides a recumbent bike quite a bit for errands. She wanted to ride to work, but the distance would require bike-specific clothing, and that doesn't appear to be an option.

It may not be company policy, but a supervisor being a problem.
Yeah, you probably want to know more about that situation. I can understand if you have punched in and they want you to look official, but not beyond your official hours. I can't see it strictly as a "professional appearance" thing either. I worked briefly for UPS. I came to work in a tee shirt and jeans. Of course, I was throwing boxes around out back.
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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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