I saved all of these stories for after I’d finished switching jobs…
Bike interviewing story #1
My last employer’s San Jose office is about 8 miles from where I live, with a very convenient bike trail that covers about 4 of those miles. The bike trail uses a bunch of underpasses that get flooded when it gets too rainy and it’s been REALLY RAINY this winter and those particular underpasses have been flooded multiple times so there’s tons of mud and debris to be splashed up onto my bike, although it was never actually at the point where I couldn’t make it to work without a huge detour. But the mud and gunk splashes up at my bike and it ends up a bit grimy when it dries and my bike was looking pretty nasty.
I’m on the second-to-last interview of the cycle, with an offer in-hand from my present employer, but this other option sounds interesting in a different sort of way, so I still made time for it. I decide that my bike is filthy and I should really clean it. So I wash it, lube the fork, clean the chain, et al.
I’d already made sure that it was OK for me to bring my bike in. They tell me they’ll keep an eye on it during the interview.
It turns out, them keeping an eye on it meant that my bike sat there, right next to the front desk. So, everybody who interviewed me would walk by and potentially judge me by my bike. At the end of it, one of the front-desk people complimented me on my bike.
Good thing I’d washed it!
Bike interviewing story #2
My last on-site interview for this interviewing cycle was down on Shoreline.
The first day I procured my Trek 7100… the day I celebrate as the Bikeaversary every year… I went down the Stevens Creek Trail to reach Shoreline. I’ve interviewed at that particular employer before, so I knew exactly what it would be like to interview there.
Well, I’d already mentioned the above-average rain this winter. It was raining the morning of the interview. I figured I’d take the CalTrain to Mountain View and bike from there, so I’d not be too wet by the time I got there. I’d saved myself plenty of time, but not too much time. I didn’t want to have to find shelter, but I knew that something might go wrong.
So I bike down the trail. And then I see a closed gate in front of me. An especially inconvenient closed gate, I might add. See, a lot of the more recent underpasses just require a brief section of street driving, but this was a nasty complicated one that required a very intricate detail that had me make a wrong turn twice and had me eating up my buffer time.
I show up, on-time, dry-enough, and with my bike shackled up in front of the building next to a bunch of other bikes, and all is well.
I manage to make a really bad pun at lunch.
Bike interviewing story #3
I’m talking to the final, over-the-phone, round with the place I’m now working.
The person asks, “So, are there any show-stoppers, things we should know?”
Cognizant of people I know who had families in the auto industry who had to buy a nice American car regardless of what they personally wanted, I say, “Well, y’all are doing 3D printed cars. I don’t really drive and am going to be showing up to work every day on a bike, is that going to be OK?”
They then inform me that the CEO of the company disappears into the mountains on his bike every weekend, so I should be fine.