27 years ago I was looking for a temp job, and during the phone interview I was asked whether I had a car, so I replied that I had reliable transportation, and the guy kept asking if I had a car, so I finally said, "I ride a bicycle." He just about lost it, shrieking at me, "But these are PROFESSIONAL positions! These are PROFESSIONAL positions!" I didn't get the job.
I'd thought that that kind of bias was three decades old. But when looking for a job for my teenage son, I just came across a dog-walker ad on Craigslist, which says:
"Applicants MUST: ... Have reliable transportation. Public transportation or biking does NOT work." [emphasis in original)
Bike-friendly city my ass.
This Bias extends to the volunteering for non-profits and the Gig economy. Postmates confirmed directly to me they will not use Bikes and their intake process requires a driver's license.
I looked up Postmates, and I see that they're a delivery/courier service. It's weird that they won't take cyclists, since their home page says "Ride or Drive" and has a picture of a bicycle wheel.
Anyway, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
A couple of months ago the department I work in was 'restructure' and our team was shifted over to a different group. Our new VP came down to visit and my boss took her on a tour of the office to meet the members of our team.
When they got to my cube (with my bike parked in it), my boss introduced me and mentioned how I have permission to ride to work late or leave early and work from home if weather conditions warrant it. I have mixed feelings about that. One the one hand, I greatly appreciate the flexibility, and have shifted my hours a few times over the years to avoid a cold front or a thunderstorm. On the other hand, I kind of resent the implication that I need special treatment because I commute by bike.
The fact is, there have many many times when co-workers have arrived late or left early because they needed to drop off or pick up their cars for repair. My skirting the weather once in a while has not been in excess of those events. AND, on several occasions I have made the trip to work when the office was either closed or delayed for weather.
When I had my private (interview for your job back - "What exactly is it that you do here?") talk with the new VP I made sure to point all of this out.
One other job/cycling thing happened a few months ago. The office maintenance guy told me that there was a new corporate policy handed down from the bunker regarding bicycles in the building. He wasn't very clear about it, but it seems that someone in the New York office had dog poop on his bike tire and tracked it into the building. Before I could explain the obvious, he told me that he plans on turning a blind eye to me and my bike.
I guess the bottom line is that those of us with good bike/work situations need to keep the pressure on whenever possible. We need to make commuting by bike seem like the natural thing to do.
Thanks for sharing, RedFalcon. That reminds me that when I worked at Apple in the mid-90s, they sent me to Arizona to train new hires. They would have paid for me to rent a car, but instead I borrowed a bicycle and bought a rear rack to hold my briefcase. When I got back to Austin I tried to expense the bike rack but corporate balked, saying it wasn't a necessary expense. They would have paid hundreds of dollars for a car rental, but wouldn't pay for a $20 bike rack.
I told my manager and she got corporate to see the light, so at least there was a happy ending.
INJUSTICE OF SUBSIDIZED JOBS ONLY REACHABLE BY CAR
-> Streetsblog reports the more far-flung the jobs in a region, the fewer are accessible via transit, biking, and walking -- or even a short, inexpensive car commute. And yet, in many states, economic development policies still contribute to long, burdensome commutes, especially for people who can't afford cars. The Green City Blue Lake blog has been examining how economic development spending undermines transit access to major job centers in Northeast Ohio. Using WalkScore data shows how the Cuyahoga County Port Authority is contributing to this problem in the Cleveland area. The Port Authority subsidizes loans to selected businesses, and these loans often pay for relocations, office parks, or parking structure. http://bit.ly/2j4rve2