Frustration with my boss over bike...

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by ADarkDraconis, 13 Feb 2018.

  1. ADarkDraconis

    ADarkDraconis Cardinal Member

    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Hey there, everyone! I just wanted to rant a bit, got into a discussion about my bike with my boss last night. He was not very open to the idea of me cycling to work. Our conversation started with me letting him know that in a few weeks when we are past the icy roads I would be riding my bike, so I asked him there was a good place I could keep her during the day.

    I asked if I could store it in my office (which is very large and no clients see) and he looked at me like I had three heads! "You can't bring a *bike* into the *building*!!! I'm not letting you wheel it all over!" I pointed out that since the offices were right behind the elevator I could just come in the dock door and take it up, carrying instead of wheeling, of course. He thought that was outrageous.

    I then asked if I could keep it on the dock (where my last 2 jobs let me store my old bike in their buildings when I commuted there by bike), aside from the main area there are two large unused rooms in my current building. He said, "I am *not* letting you keep a bike anywhere in here! If I had a place for you to park it then everyone would want a place to park their bikes and our loading area would be full of bikes!" (... no one bikes to work here, never has.)

    So I asked where he would recommend me keeping it and he tried talking me out of biking at all! "You live so far away! You can't ride your bike all that distance! It'll take you forever and you'll be exhausted!" I pointed out that I only live six miles away (which he thought was an outrageous amount to bike) and not only was shorter than my previous bike commute but even though it was longer than my drive it was still shorter than his. He got all huffy and his reply was, 'Well, you can bring a chain and chain it up to the fence out by the smoking area." (It is a chain-link fence with a guardrail right in front of it. I will have to try something interesting to figure out how to use my U-lock and wedge the bike in there.) I asked if he could guarantee that it won't get stolen. His response was that we are in a safe neighborhood and since people park their motorcycles and they don't get stolen then it must be fine. I pointed out that you need a key for a motorcycle... "There you go, you're always thinking!" he huffed.

    I guess I just was surprised at his lack of enthusiasm for my bike commuting and total shut-down of any suggestions. My city is fairly bike-friendly with new bike lanes and sharrows, and many shops have good places to lock up out front. My job is one town over, and is a more commercial town with less office and municipal type buildings but lots of shops and more restaurants per square mile than anywhere else in the US. To be fair my boss lives quite a ways away and his town is smaller, so maybe less bike-common so it may seem odd to him? But we are a 'green' company and I thought he'd be more open to accommodating people being more healthy and environmentally responsible.

    My last employers were not super employee-oriented, nor did they care about health or emissions, but they had no problem with me storing my bike. At the one location one other guy also biked to work and we stashed them together, but at the second I was the only one and they still didn't mind. My boss here had a fit when I asked where I could pump after I came back from maternity leave, so I guess I shouldn't be as surprised as I am. However, I get the feeling that if I were 'one of his boys' he would have no problem making sure there was a good place to lock up. Now I also have to pick out different panniers because I had planned to leave them on all the time, but now if it's going to be out by the side entrance next to the bar parking lot next door I will not want to leave them out.

    Thanks for letting me vent, everyone. How accommodating are your bosses as far as parking? Do they give you huff about locking up and cast you off to the bar alley as well? Am I being terribly unreasonable? I just got irritated that he implied that it was crazy to even think about bike commuting and would be so much better to drive, and that I couldn't 'bike all that way!' :ohmy:
     
    Last edited: 13 Feb 2018
  2. Milkfloat

    Milkfloat Veteran

    Location:
    Midlands
    We have a rack (provided by the landlord) outside the office, but as it is exposed to the elements I just bring it inside and it leans against the wall in the kitchen.
    Does your boss provide parking for cars?
     
    ADarkDraconis likes this.
  3. Drago

    Drago Guru

    Location:
    Poshamptonshire.
    Your boss is one of those fools who wants folk to burn fuel and squander resources to drive a tonne plus (or two tonne plus in the USA) of metal to move a few hundred pounds of flesh to work and back again. Him and his kind are bringing about the downfall of civilisation, perhaps even the end of our species.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    ADarkDraconis

    ADarkDraconis Cardinal Member

    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Oh certainly, we have a lovely large parking lot and it was just repaved last year! Our kitchen is upstairs past my office so I can't imagine he'd let me use that either, imagine all the chain lube contaminating the food and such :laugh: I also was not too keen on her being exposed to the elements (and the public) for 12 hours at a time, at home she has a lovely warm shed.
     
    Pat "5mph" likes this.
  5. Milkfloat

    Milkfloat Veteran

    Location:
    Midlands
    I assume that your boss converting one parking space to safe/covered cycle parking is not going to happen, even if you work on the green angle and try to get support from others?
     
    ADarkDraconis likes this.
  6. MontyVeda

    MontyVeda a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll

    Some people just don't 'get' cycling. They believe it's an arduous slog when it isn't. They believe bicycles drip oil all over the carpets when they don't. They believe cycling in the rain will cause pneumonia, resulting in time off work and all kinds of nonsense.

    I used to store my bike in the office (when i worked in an office) and my boss often trotted out the 'dripping oil' excuse when suggesting I lock it to a flimsy wooden fence on the edge of an industrial estate. Being a stubborn git, I refused... and the fact that after six months and no marks on the carpet where I stored my bike worked in my favour. I was the first redundancy mind, when things got tough.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    ADarkDraconis

    ADarkDraconis Cardinal Member

    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Oh, I'm certain. That would be one less parking spot for cars! Never mind that if my car is not there then there is one more vacant spot for cars. He would see it as me trying to get special treatment just because. When my brother visits me for lunch occasionally (he does not drive) he locks his bike to a handicapped parking sign out front in the parking lot. I would hate to make it harder for wheelchairs to maneuver the walkway by obstructing it all day, though, even if it's just a little inconvenience.
     
    RealLeeHimself likes this.
  8. derrick

    derrick The Glue that binds us together.

    Maybe ask for a rise as you can't afford the petrol to drive there.:okay:
     
    ADarkDraconis likes this.
  9. OP
    OP
    ADarkDraconis

    ADarkDraconis Cardinal Member

    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    ^_^ probably won't happen anytime soon, but one can always dream, eh?
     
  10. glasgowcyclist

    glasgowcyclist Charming but somewhat feckless

    Location:
    Scotland
    Could you (nicely) go over his head? Maybe write to someone within facilities management or whoever is responsible for car parking etc and say you and your boss are struggling to come up with a suitable arrangement to secure your bike at work and could they consider installing a stand in an appropriate place where you could store it?
     
  11. marzjennings

    marzjennings Veteran

    You need to inform your boss on the things he'll get for free if you start cycling to work. Bosses love free stuff like reduced costs and increased productivity.

    • Exercising before work raises an employee’s productivity by an average of 15 percent.
    • Cycling will reduce health care costs: Cyclists, on average, live two years longer than non-cyclists and take 15 percent fewer days offwork due to illness.
    • In England, Sustrans claims more facilities making it convenient for people to ride to work would save UK businesses £13bn through reduced sick days and boosted productivity.
    • Statistics show that non-cyclists take two more sick days per year.
    • Studies show a 4-15 percent increase in productivity, and 27 percent fewer task errors for physically fit employees.
    • Staff members who cycle are more punctual. Absenteeism can be reduced by up to 80 percent by encouraging cycling to work.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    ADarkDraconis

    ADarkDraconis Cardinal Member

    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    That would be good for him to know if more people would be interested in cycling to work. Unfortunately I am the odd ball out in my workplace, everyone else here is very material-oriented (and some a bit snobby) and among other things they all lease new vehicles every year or two rather than be seen in an older model. I personally think that leasing vehicles is ridiculous, you are basically renting a car for an outrageous amount, you can't customize anything about it and you will pay for a car forever. They think it is strange because my car is 'older' (8 years now, I'v had it for 6), paid off and I have no desire to get a new one because I keep mine running like a top.

    My coworkers wouldn't go anywhere on a bike for fear of chipping a nail or messing up their hair, perhaps scuffing their expensive shoes. There is one gentleman that probably would if he didn't live 45 miles away, he takes his kids out on a towpath near his house with his Specialized sometimes, but I don't think anyone else here even rides a bike. I never use all of our alloted 3 sick days each year and I am only late if there is some sort of disaster at home or on the road, so I don't know that telling him will make any difference.
     
    Mr. Cow and Pat "5mph" like this.
  13. OP
    OP
    ADarkDraconis

    ADarkDraconis Cardinal Member

    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    I had considered it. I am not sure my boss would be very pleased with that, but I have a good relationship with our district manager (and last month when he was here so was my brother for a visit, he saw my brother's helmet and started talking to him about bikes! Turns out his son is big into cycling!) So maybe next time he is in I will just casually ask where he recommends I keep my bike and if my boss gets mad I will just say, "Well Brian told me X... you're more than welcome to call him and ask." I would just hate to get him ticked off like I on purpose tried to override him or something.
     
  14. glasgowcyclist

    glasgowcyclist Charming but somewhat feckless

    Location:
    Scotland
    Yes, you'd need to be diplomatic so that's why I included the 'nicely' bit. Your boss sounds like the type to have a fragile ego so I'd say to him that you understand he doesn't currently have suitable accommodation for bikes but you'd like to work something out with, say, this district manager that would keep you both happy. Your choice of transport to work is no less worthy of consideration than everyone else's.

    I'd keep him included in the discussions, even if only in the pretence of caring what his opinion is. He can't then accuse you of going behind his back.
     
  15. Drago

    Drago Guru

    Location:
    Poshamptonshire.
    Buy a knackered old Jeep Wagoneer, and he'll soon get fed up looking at it and ask you to cycle instead.
     
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