Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Update: Second Jobs Can Be Hazardous to Your Health!

I just a got a second job last week. Out of the blue, I found a job asking for proofreading/checking help, so I responded, and that day I was called in for an interview. It was at a legal office ten minutes from my current work, 6-8 hours a week, so I thought, what the heck. The interview went very well, and they seemed to be impressed by my Japanese. More than that, I felt a certain amount of trust from them, for no reason I can explain.

There was one dark cloud, though. I mentioned, for some reason, that I rode my bicycle to work at the other job, and we talked about that for a bit. But at the end of the interview, the main lawyer asked me "If we ask you to do so, will you not ride your bike when you come to this office?" At that moment I regretted telling them so blithely about my bicycle riding. I hesitated, but said I wouldn't ride to work.

At first, I was a bit down because I thought maybe that would make me a less viable candidate. But when I got home, I found an email from them offering me the job. So now I'm making enough money to live on, though I'll probably find some other work to help me save money or "enjoy the finer things".

And it's a great job. It pays even better than the other job, and experience in legal work will definitely lead to things in the future. Plus, I like the guys. But the requirement that I not ride my bike to work really chafes. After a month of riding 30 km, four days a week, it's something I've grown used to. I feel freer, I get to watch life as I pass by, and, best of all, I am getting some exercise. I've lost a few pounds and my legs are really getting muscular. And I'm just getting started.

I usually take off one day a week, though, to let my body recover, and so I've been on the train a few times. I used to enjoy the train, just from some weird fixation on the things. But I feel so drained after a train ride, where I usually feel calm and relaxed after a bike ride.

But I understand his position: apparently, companies can be held liable for their employees' accidents. So it's a difficult situation for both of us.

That's one reason for the (unwarranted) alarming title. Another reason is that there are some lawyers who smoke in the office. Bleah. But it's only for three hours, a couple of times a week.

5 comments:

Brooke Blackhurst said...

Congrats on taking the big plunge, Jesse! P.S. The next time you come home, please bring plastic sushi trays.

aaron said...

Also, bring back those awesome mentholated eye drops for hung-over secretaries....
....After our college years, I had to get a good chuckle out of the lawyers smoking thing. I remember piles of ashtrays ontop of piles of ashtrays....

keisetsu said...

Umm, yeah, I guess it's a bit of a turn around for me to be complaining about other people smoking... I try not to do it, knowing it's retroactively hypocritical (or something like that)

Evan said...

Interesting. At first, I thought they didn't want you to ride because of possible body odor issues. But, odor in the office is obviously not the issue. Companies can be liable for an accident that happens "on the way" to duty? It's funny that in the US, one might be reprimanded or fired for being late if they get in a car (or bike) accident on the way to work. Obviously, a car accident takes much more time unless you're in KCMO where the cops don't show up. A bike accident in KC might just kill you, in which case it wouldn't matter if you're fired.

Since you've been there, have you learned more about their fears of you riding? Are there specific cases they've referred to? Did they litigate on any of these cases?

keisetsu said...

No, it was clearly stated to me that it was because of the danger to my safety, not odor. I understand, I think it's largely so they can claim they have no liability. But I don't ride on those days, instead I read the other three weekdays and Saturday and Sunday. Works out pretty well, gives me a chance to rest. Funny thing is, though, I usually have more energy when I get home after a bike ride than when I take the train.