Excuse me, are we in the dark ages? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 37 Old Jan 31st, 2006, 9:05 pm Thread Starter
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Excuse me, are we in the dark ages?

Spoke with my bro in NY state today. He is a District manager for a grocery store chain up there, has a lot of territory to cover. Always in a shirt and tie while visiting his stores even if he rides his LT. Get this, his boss tells him he doesn't want him riding his LT to work because it sends the wrong message, a bad image! What the ...? I could not believe my ears. He says he can't tell him what to drive but if he rides the bike he won't pay his mileage. Good god man! Yes, the man is an A$$ anyway but this just proves it all the more. Sorry Bro but I don't know why you stay there. Besides you only get to ride a dozen times a year anyway.
And a BMW, LT to boot, shined up nice, Ocean Blue and my brother says his relationship with the store personel has only gotten better because of it. Gives them something to chat about besides the store.
Some bosses just don't have a brain. And they wonder why they are in Chapter 11.
Just had to rant.
Thanks.
Perhaps this belongs in Chit Chat.
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post #2 of 37 Old Jan 31st, 2006, 9:16 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parishollow
Some bosses just don't have a brain.
Sounds like your brother hit the boss's old jealous bone

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post #3 of 37 Old Jan 31st, 2006, 9:19 pm
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That's okay, if you work for Ford in Dearborn, MI, you better drive a Ford, or you are parking across the street from the factory (and not in the employee lot).


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post #4 of 37 Old Jan 31st, 2006, 9:40 pm
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I invest and manage commercial properties for a living and some of my partners have lifted an eyebrow on occassion when I remind them that I ride my motorcycle nearly every day. Since I control at least one of their cash streams they often ask how folks respond to me. It ALWAYS surprises folks. National corporate folks almost always smile and often end up saying in some manner that they wish they could be doing something like that instead of riding around in a rented Taurus and rushing in and out of airports. I think with most tenants it gives a message that we are going to deal straight up, no BS. I think it is an excellent tool in my business arsenal but then I may have some bias. OTOH when I am caught away from home and it rains, it just doesn't work very well.

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post #5 of 37 Old Jan 31st, 2006, 10:21 pm
 
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I'm not sure your brother's boss has a legal right to say anything about what he drives/rides. Of course, we all have to decide what battles we'll actually fight when they're presented.

My customers get a real kick outta seeing me pull up on the Beemer. And once they've seen that one, I pull up on the Ninja...and they really don't know what to think. All I know is I haven't lost a customer yet, based on my mode of transportation.
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post #6 of 37 Old Jan 31st, 2006, 10:32 pm
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I can sympathize. Years ago I lived in a neighborhood where the locals requested I not park a motorcycle on the street, or park a motorcycle, (on my property) visible from the street, for fear it would have a bad influence on their children's developing minds. I grudgingly complied to keep the peace, and kept the bike in the garage all the time. I was totally outnumbered and wanted to keep the peace, so the law was useless in this scenario.
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post #7 of 37 Old Jan 31st, 2006, 11:00 pm Thread Starter
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I teach at

an elementary school and ride to work most days. The kids love it!, all 600 of them and being the art teacher I get to teach all of them. The parents that care to comment also think its cool, especially because I am showing the kids a good example because I always wear my helmet along with the jacket, pants, boots and gloves. I know I am in good company. The superintent rides his Harely to visit schools when the weather is nice. I think I have seen the drool marks on the parking lot when he parks next to mine.

You're right too Joe, we choose the battles and that one may not be worth the hassle. I too don't believe he has a legal right but he can be a real pain the ars if he wants to make life miserable. poor sap. We'll wish him well just the same. I think its because he probably feels he can't call while Jeff is on the bike. Oh well.
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post #8 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 6:09 am
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People with closed minds

Your manager has the problem. If you want to keep your job you must please your manager. He has made it clear by not paying your mileage if you ride the LT. You have three choices. Comply and don't ride, ride and piss him off, or wait until he or you move on. It is not uncommon for relatively high turn over in your business. Most turn over because of people like him. I am sure most of your customer's find your differentiation novel and some think it foolish just like the general population. You are going to miss the nice long rides during the week.

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post #9 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 7:18 am
 
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Red face

Dan,

FYI: parishollow (aka 'Andrew') is ranting about his brother's situation in this thread . . . not his own.
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post #10 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 7:32 am
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Unhappy This is not as uncommon as it sounds

For the past few years the AMA has been working for motorcylists nation wide in this area. I remember something started with an insurance company not only refusing to let employees ride/park their motorcycles on company property, but they also threatened to cancel the employees health benefits if they choose to ride motorcycles. I can not find a reference to the article I read some years ago, but I believe the company backed down a bit from their earlier position. http://www.ama-cycle.org/legisltn/rapidresponse.asp

The company I work for leaves these issues to the local management. So far there is not any problems in Oregon, however Colorado has put a "ban" on management riding "to/from or during the course of the work period." The issue that area management is trying to impact is liability. This is probably where your "Bro" is feeling the pinch. If his manager allows the expense account for mileage he is "condoning" the use of the motorcycle. Following that train of thought if his manager allows him to ride then the firm will be liable for any future property damage and injury your Bro could encounter. Is it statistically more dangerous to ride motorcycles than drive a car on any given day? I'm sure, in your Bro's case, the insurance company will say yes.

This whole thing sux, but it comes down to who holds the purse strings.

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post #11 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 7:34 am
 
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buy the biggest gas guzzler out there .... maybe a 1970 ford F-750 that gets about 2-3 mpg. he'll wise up on paying for gas with a cycle real quick.
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post #12 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 7:46 am
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Smile Wish it worked that way, but

Quote:
Originally Posted by KYchris02
buy the biggest gas guzzler out there .... maybe a 1970 ford F-750 that gets about 2-3 mpg. he'll wise up on paying for gas with a cycle real quick.
Most companies only reimburse to what the IRS allows, which is $0.445 per mile for 2006. Having something more economical is better for your expense account in any situation.

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post #13 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 8:02 am
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Talking Excellent

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveDragon
I informed my upper management that I will be riding this trip.
I received smiles at first them some very calm discussions about the real costs associated with the trip.

I just refuse to fly anymore, I hate the hassles. I love riding
Bless you my son, go forth and ride!

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post #14 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 8:41 am
 
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Tough shit for your brother's boss. Let him provide a company car
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post #15 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 10:21 am
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I worked for a grocery store (for you Texas guys, HEB) for 22 years. I parked my bike on the sidewalk out of the way of the customers. The last 7 years there, I did all the training for the new-hires for our division. This involved lots of miles going to the different stores. When I had classes, they would last for about a week. The first and last day of the classes were in the car. Overhead projector, flip charts, lots of supplies. The days in between, I would ride with my tie flapping in the breeze.
One thing I would do is when a new store manager would come into the picture, I would introduce myself and after a bit, I would tell him that I ride and the last boss did not mind if I parked on the sidewalk. Then I would ask him if he had a problem with it. Guess I caught him off guard because I never got turned down.
The one thing you have to remember is that the customers who really do not know much about bikes will touch it, push button, pull levers and even lift up their kids and place them on the seat. Gotta deal with that and you cannot do much about it. After all, you ARE parked on a sidewalk.

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post #16 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 10:56 am
 
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I did not see anything in your cost savings figures to take into account your time on the bike, i.e It took X days to make the trip vs 1 day on the plane. Was that a factor?
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post #17 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 10:58 am
 
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Hijack time.

The art teacher at a nearby high school also ride his LT to work. How odd ( or perhaps just coincidental) that you are both art teachers and both ride an LT
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post #18 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 11:16 am
 
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I also was told not to use my LT for business purposes. By my own family none the less. Legally, if you are not supplied with a company car, you cannot be mandated what to drive, however, you have no legal grounds if you get let go for not complying with company rules. It all boils down to insurance reasons in most cases. Motorcycles are still perceived as being highly risky and with the rising cost of health care, unemployment and disability insurance.... I guess I can see it from both sides.
Also, there may be percieved practicality issues where the employer may think they're not getting the most bang for the buck or simply that you may be having a little fun at the companies expense.
I too have found that there are many "tough nuts to crack" that just happen to be riders...and when you show up on a bike, well....
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post #19 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 11:28 am
 
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Thumbs up We don't need no stinkin' airports!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveDragon
I just refuse to fly anymore, I hate the hassles. I love riding
The day before last year's BMW MOA National Rally in Lima, Ohio...I had to "fly" to Washington D.C. to do some emergency work for a client there. I told my client not to book my flight, nor a hotel room, but I would be riding there instead. I charged my client a meager $300 trip charge and they were delighted to pay that. I got to ride my LT instead of hassling with airports, buses, the Marc to Union Station, the list goes on. I got to park right at my customer's doorstep and walk right in. It took me only 20 minutes more to ride to their door on my LT then to fly. Upon leaving that day, I headed to my niece's home (which happens to be right enroute to Lima), and I stayed there for the night. Better than a 4-star hotel in D.C. anyday.

LT Airlines . . . the only way to fly.
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post #20 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 11:48 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErnieA
For the past few years the AMA has been working for motorcylists nation wide in this area. I remember something started with an insurance company not only refusing to let employees ride/park their motorcycles on company property, but they also threatened to cancel the employees health benefits if they choose to ride motorcycles. I can not find a reference to the article I read some years ago, but I believe the company backed down a bit from their earlier position.
I read about this on gl1800riders.com recently; some local company (few hundred employees, size-wise) issued an edict that health and life insurance benefits would be cut off if employees rode a bike... period. On their own personal time! The rule was questioned and lawyers said the employer was within their rights to make such a rule.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ErnieA
... If his manager allows the expense account for mileage he is "condoning" the use of the motorcycle. Following that train of thought if his manager allows him to ride then the firm will be liable for any future property damage and injury your Bro could encounter.
Not arguing with you on this topic, ErnieA, but it's this kind of thinking that drives me crazy. Following this thinking, why don't they disallow "dangerous" (high-performance) cars? What about high-lift pickup trucks? Top-heavy SUVs? Bicycles? Unicycles? Walking to work is dangerous, too. Maybe we should all stay home and phone in our work. We need to bring this issue to George Carlin's attention so he can shine some light on it.

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post #21 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 12:13 pm
 
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I admit that what some companies are forbidding their employees from doing on their personnal time is getting ridiculous but you have to understand that the high cost of insurance is squeezing small and big business alike to the point that it is driving companies OUT of business. I don't have the answers. I have read some very good ideas on how to compensate for some of these higher costs but it's getting out of hand.
These companies are getting desperate and ultimately they want to stay in business and keep those employees that don't partake in high-risk behaviors in their jobs. The others...well...they can leave and find work elsewhere and hope they have either a company to show up to, or health benefits at all.
You really have to see both sides.
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post #22 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 12:48 pm
 
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I'm only a little jealous
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post #23 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 12:57 pm
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Just a plausible reason...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hschisler
I read about this on gl1800riders.com recently; some local company (few hundred employees, size-wise) issued an edict that health and life insurance benefits would be cut off if employees rode a bike... period. On their own personal time! The rule was questioned and lawyers said the employer was within their rights to make such a rule.
I hope I do not see this happen where I work. I would hope there would be grounds for class action action against such a policy, but who wants to walk into work with the (suing your company) hangin' over your head every day?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hschisler
Not arguing with you on this topic, ErnieA, but it's this kind of thinking that drives me crazy. Following this thinking, why don't they disallow "dangerous" (high-performance) cars? What about high-lift pickup trucks? Top-heavy SUVs? Bicycles? Unicycles? Walking to work is dangerous, too. Maybe we should all stay home and phone in our work. We need to bring this issue to George Carlin's attention so he can shine some light on it.
Nothing to argue anyway, for I'm just posing a plausible reason for such a policy. My information is based on my own experiences and nothing else. I do not doubt for a minute that insurance companies will look into managing risks of any kind, and make restrictions/bans on activities when they can get away with it.

BTW, Carlin is a funny guy who takes some very serious situations and brings a unique perspective to them in his act. I would like to see him in person some day.

Ernie A
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post #24 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 1:06 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macker
I admit that what some companies are forbidding their employees from doing on their personnal time is getting ridiculous but you have to understand that the high cost of insurance is squeezing small and big business alike to the point that it is driving companies OUT of business. I don't have the answers. I have read some very good ideas on how to compensate for some of these higher costs but it's getting out of hand.
These companies are getting desperate and ultimately they want to stay in business and keep those employees that don't partake in high-risk behaviors in their jobs. The others...well...they can leave and find work elsewhere and hope they have either a company to show up to, or health benefits at all.
You really have to see both sides.
I agree that there is competition out there and when market share is not to be had then there is always attacking costs. No question. There are no guarantees out there that things will stay the same throughout ones employment. Next thing that we'll see is supplemental policies for "high risk" activities that will cover you when your work policy will not. I wonder if that will be something offered when closing a sale on a motorcycle; "would you like to add an extended warranty and medical insurance today? That will be an extra $5k thank you." I'm sorry, but that bums me out!

Ernie A
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post #25 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 1:19 pm
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When I worked for a high-tech company, I would occasionally get comments about my long hair and motorcycle from upper management and especially the senior sales guys. My direct boss knew my capabilities, and backed me up. The customers didn't care if I was purple and had three eyes, as long as I could solve their problems quickly and get them back online. Once the nay-sayers actually looked at my job performance and results, the comments died away. That went for customer management as well as our own.

In the meantime, poor performance and general mismanagement has made that company disappear and put all of it's employees out of work. Now I consult directly with these same customers, ride to work as often as possible, and they pay my expenses as long as it's cheaper than flying.

We can't always change the world to please ourselves, but sometimes it does work out OK. The only downside is dealing with private health insurance, which is a whole different rant.

I also put 7 years into a grocery chain to pay my way through college. The general employees were OK, if a bit flaky, but I found the management and supervisors to be some of the most closed-minded, incompetent people you ever met. It's a good thing people have to eat, or that whole industry would perish. But I suppose even the lower fringes of the bell curve need a place to work.

I hope it works out for your brother. It's unfair and unfounded, but only he can weigh the various options and consequences and decide how best to deal with it all.

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Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
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post #26 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 1:51 pm
 
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Ken

Sorry Ken, Have you read any of the thread?
How can you say it's unfounded? Unfair in General terms, Maybe but not unfounded. Sounds like you are in business for yourself and don't particularly like dealing with insurance companies? Imagine if you had to manage those costs for several dozen or several thousand employees!
No, not everyone in the "lower fringes of the Bell Curve" (kinda offensive) has the knowledge, opportunity or luck to be self employed but if they wanted for more than just themselves...like say a business that supported many, many families, they might have to be responsible. Almost like a parent.
My company provides a living for eight families AND offers excellent coverage. Those families know they can count on us to be here for them to provide for them to raise their children. I suppose setting some simple rules, asking our top money makers to drive their cars instead of their bikes to conduct company business so as not to jeapardize this balance is just asking too much??
To be honest, you were one of the last persons I would expect to put so little thinking into an issue. Sorry. It seems your post is kid of contradictory.
I guess you said it all when you said " I guess we can't change the world to please OURSELVES"

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post #27 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 6:36 pm
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But wasn't the excuse given that it sends the wrong image? If his reasons were as you say, he should have just said so.

I think the boss figured out how much of a killing he was making on the mileage, and wants to cut off his 'extra' income.

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post #28 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 7:00 pm
 
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I hope all y'all who like to "stratify" bikers by noting that

WE are the quiet ...

or WE ride with full face helmets...

ow WE ride with 3/4 helmets...

ow WE ride big touring bikes, not loud choppers...

or WE ride touring bikes and not those "crotch rockets"...

or WE wear riding gear, etc.

are catching the common theme in this thread...

As I've said over and over, the "Great Unwashed" out there make NONE of the distinctions that I did above. Remember that the next time you are tempted to say "raise their rates" on those "________" bikers!!!! (fill in the blank with whatever "group" you care to).
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post #29 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 9:12 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoog62
But wasn't the excuse given that it sends the wrong image? If his reasons were as you say, he should have just said so.

I think the boss figured out how much of a killing he was making on the mileage, and wants to cut off his 'extra' income.
There's a limit to how much anyone can make on mileage. Usually it's nowhere near enough.

You're right about the lame excuse to some extent. However, old school managers may have an argument in regard to old school clients.

My last post was in referrence to where the thread had gone.

Regards Dave,
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post #30 of 37 Old Feb 1st, 2006, 9:57 pm
 
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Originally Posted by Macker
.
These companies are getting desperate and ultimately they want to stay in business and keep those employees that don't partake in high-risk behaviors in their jobs. The others...well...they can leave and find work elsewhere and hope they have either a company to show up to, or health benefits at all.
You really have to see both sides.
They should just keep and hire people who don't have children. Have in your contract no children. Talk about cutting insurance cost.

All the years of hang gliding, sky diving. racing cars and motorcycles, rock climbing and bicycling, never cost my insurance company as much as "one" of my coworkers kids.
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post #31 of 37 Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 1:15 am
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I'm afraid that being self-employed does put a rather negative spin on insurance and health care companies. They cut and squeeze to make the most profits, and the ones who suffer are the small businesses and workers who actually try to use their insurance now and again. Now I don't think that health care should be totally free, but when one major health catastrophe can bankrupt a person even if they have "insurance," and when premiums have risen so much as to be unaffordable for a large percentage of small businesses and the self-employed, then there is a major problem that needs to be fixed.

But again, the original post was about sending the wrong message. Sure the bad-ass biker stereotype is perpetuated by Hollywood and thousands of weekend warriors, but in reality these weekend warriors are just middle class folks with a little extra cash trying to recapture the freedom of youth. And aren't these same folks the ones who the boss is worried will be offended?

I can count the number of times I've been negatively stereotyped purely because I ride on one hand. Over a 25-year career of daily riding that's pretty good. And in most cases, a simple conversation clears up any misunderstandings.

I can sympathize with the managers' concerns, but I still say they're unfounded, and that he's only perpetuating the very stereotype he professes to be so concerned about.

From the original post "my brother says his relationship with the store personel has only gotten better because of it. Gives them something to chat about besides the store." So in this case, the manager is completely wrong. Just as my upper managers and sales guys were wrong. But some people put way more stock in image than in substance. Too bad for all of us.

I dunno, maybe we should all sell our bikes and buy huge, safe SUVs instead. And don't drive at night, because it's more dangerous. Or heck, just don't drive at all. Better to stay home, all safe an insulated from the dangerous world. Never mind falling down the stairs, or slipping in the bathtub, or getting caught in a fire. And hope to god you don't get drafted, and sent off to die in some foreign land. Sure you may live longer, but then what's the point of living?

The fact is, the world is a dangerous place. And it's up to each of us to understand those dangers and prepare as best as we can. That has to be a personal choice, based on the individual's tolerance for risk balanced against their own responsibility for their family. But there's no way some middle-manager is going to decide that for me. I may sympathize with his impossible position, but I'm sure not gonna take it on unless I choose to.

And yeah, I guess you could say I feel pretty strongly about this.

Ken
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Last edited by meese; Feb 2nd, 2006 at 1:28 am.
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post #32 of 37 Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 1:26 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meese

But again, the original post was about sending the wrong message. Sure the bad-ass biker stereotype is perpetuated by Hollywood and thousands of weekend warriors, but in reality these weekend warriors are just middle class folks with a little extra cash trying to recapture the freedom of youth. And aren't these same folks the ones who the boss is worried will be offended?

I can sympathize with the managers concerns, but I still say they're unfounded, and that he's only perpetuating the very stereotype he professes to be so concerned about.

From the original post "my brother says his relationship with the store personel has only gotten better because of it. Gives them something to chat about besides the store." So in this case, the manager is completely wrong. Just as my upper managers and sales guys were wrong. But some people put way more stock in image than in substance. Too bad for all of us.
Funny, I did not read the "stereotype" issue in his rant. I think it came down to liability because the manager, knowing he can't "leagally" stop him from riding, was pulling the plug on the expense account for mileage, therefore the manager can document that the employee was acting on his own when travelling to-and-from any work location. It would be a weak leg to stand on in a suit. Just my .02. FWIW (maybe .005)

Ernie A
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post #33 of 37 Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 1:31 am
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Liability may have been the managers' primary concern, but as originally posted "his boss tells him he doesn't want him riding his LT to work because it sends the wrong message, a bad image!" Sorry, wrong message and bad image scream stereotype to me, especially since the rider's own positive experiences with the store personnel prove differently. But then again, I may just be tilting at windmills.

Ken
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post #34 of 37 Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 2:58 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
Liability may have been the managers' primary concern, but as originally posted "his boss tells him he doesn't want him riding his LT to work because it sends the wrong message, a bad image!" Sorry, wrong message and bad image scream stereotype to me, especially since the rider's own positive experiences with the store personnel prove differently. But then again, I may just be tilting at windmills.
Tilt away... I've been at it a couple weeks now and I'm no worse for wear. Enough of this thread... I'm movin' on to the next depressing thought someone can come up with.

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post #35 of 37 Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 8:04 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljeffe
That's okay, if you work for Ford in Dearborn, MI, you better drive a Ford, or you are parking across the street from the factory (and not in the employee lot).
It should be okay to ride or drive what you want to, but it seems to me that people would support your company or business by using their products. It always puzzled me how folks would work for a certain car dealer or business that was trying to sell you on their product but didn't use it themselves. Oh well, the union approved this plan, I guess they figured they should support their business/jobs in some way. I guess this is an incentive to drive a ford, at least they didn't require it.

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post #36 of 37 Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 7:11 pm
 
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Talking Mileage

I took a trip last year to Franklin Tenn from the station. When I checked to see if I could take my bike instead of my unmarked car. They were pleased that I was taking the 50 mpg bike instead of the 23mpg car. I was also informed that I would be covered under workers comp if I had a wreck just as if I were in the car. I was pretty happy about that.
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post #37 of 37 Old Feb 5th, 2006, 1:21 am
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Back to the threads orginal context

At my company all employees are encouraged to ride and if they do they can park as close to the door as possible.

Off the thread now.

At my company there are no titles just jobs to do and we do them.
We accept all of lifes little problems and deal with it.

Insurance for health care is the scam of the century as is actual medical costs. Why should a doctor pay $700.00 in liability insurance per baby delivered???

I do not swear but the system is blanked up to the max! This is free enterprise run amuck. May the criminals of corporate America rot! You figure out where.

Perhaps we should out source our medical coverage to some south east Asian company along with our accounting and legal issues just like they do with manufacturing. OH boy then it might hit the fan.

Better yet the pin head purchasers that think they get a better deal in South east asia lets source their jobs there. Way off topic so sorry just venting here.

Mike G
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