Stay or Go
April 15, 2017 5:30 AM   Subscribe

Got a job offer. It is perfect except for one detail and I need help figuring out if it's a deal breaker for my situation.

Current Job:
-Respected by those I work immediately with but pretty much invisible by higher-ups
-Don't have essentials available to do my job and have had to pay out-of-pocket for things usually provided in this line of work
-Want to distance myself as some of the ways things get done here aren't proper

New Job:
-Much more integrated into the culture
-Would have all essentials provided
-They really value some specific experience I have and I'm not just a body to fill a position like in current job

Things that are essentially the same:
-Salary
-Benefits
-Job duties

The Issue:
I don't drive due to low vision and this position would have me at 2 locations, 4 miles apart (non-negotiable). That is not itself the issue as I would be at different locations on different days. The real issue is I will have meetings (at least 1x/week) at one location on my day at another (due to the nature of my job I can't just switch my days around that time). Bus ride is 30-40 minutes between locations and I will have advanced notice on meetings but they probably won't be at a consistent time. I don't qualify for paratransit services because I can ride the regular bus route and all additional informationtransportation services are for 55+.

The reason I'm so stuck is the current job is in a rough area and since I depend on the bus, I live in a low-safety area where I have 1.5 hour bus rides one-way to any shopping besides Wal-Mart while new job would be walking distance or short bus rides to shopping, various grocery stores, movies, gyms and is heavily side-walked and safer to just explore on foot. I desperately want new job but I guess I know I'm being stupid and need others to say I need to stick with current job (due to nature of job, will end up in this situation regardless if I apply elsewhere).
posted by Aranquis to Travel & Transportation (17 answers total)
 
How much would an Uber be? Would your new employer not pay for this as you can't drive. I mean it is also additional time out of the working time for them where you could either be productive or be sat on the bus! Have you raised this and asked them?
posted by koahiatamadl at 5:37 AM on April 15 [7 favorites]


Definitely take the new job. If it doesn't explicitly require a driver's license, your employer should accommodate your disability. They may choose to have someone drive you, or they may reschedule things so the meetings are in your location more often.
posted by metasarah at 5:54 AM on April 15 [27 favorites]


Is there any reason they can't set up video conferencing between the two locations if this is such a regular thing? My job has 2 main locations and they have set up video conferencing in the 2 main conference rooms (they use Vidyo).

It is set up in conference rooms, but there is also a desktop version, and people also use stuff like skype of course, and sometimes meetings are just conducted by having the off site person call in and they get put on speakerphone in the meeting room.
posted by gudrun at 6:08 AM on April 15 [6 favorites]


I would say take the new job and give them documentation from your doctor of your disability. By law they need to make reasonable accommodation.
posted by floweredfish at 6:16 AM on April 15 [5 favorites]


If it's only four miles maybe a coworker who is also attending could drive you? Uber also seems like an option. But the new job sounds like a good choice.
posted by raccoon409 at 6:25 AM on April 15 [3 favorites]


Is this an issue that they're aware of (they know you're low vision and don't drive) and they've explicitly said they won't make any accommodations (like skyping, carpooling with a co-worker, or paying for a car service) beyond allowing you time to take the bus? My main concern is that unless they had a very good reason (I can't think of one, but won't rule out the possibility) it could be a red flag that they won't work to be accommodating to minimize wasting your time/their money. Depending on what your job is that could be a very bad thing (e.g. this is the kind of place that will give you ambitious sales targets but won't spend a dime on marketing) or it could be more neutral.

If it's more neutral and you like everything else about this job/company, take the job. It sounds like you'll have more potential room for growth. Even just not having to feel icky about how your employer does things can be a huge relief, so that alone could be worth the time on the bus.

If you haven't explicitly discussed the issue with them, now would be a great time to have that talk rather than assuming they won't make accommodations. How they handle the discussion should also give you an idea if they are actually a company you'd want to work with rather than just talking a good game.
posted by ghost phoneme at 6:32 AM on April 15


The new job should make reasonable accomidations for your low vision
If you're really concerned about it, you could contact them now to start the process of making this accommodation. It may also give you more insight into the workplace.
posted by Kalmya at 6:34 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


Take the new job. Discuss cab fare between locations.
posted by gideonfrog at 6:44 AM on April 15


I've read this several times and I still don't see the problem. The only downside is that you'll have to travel 4 miles (8 round trip) once a week? And you could take the bus, or maybe another alternative you maybe haven't explored yet, like having them pay for a cab. And you're an experienced bus user. Seems fine either way!

Congratulations on the job offer. The job sounds great; take it!
posted by MangoNews at 6:44 AM on April 15 [8 favorites]


If you can't get a ride from someone else going to the meeting, an uber or lyft or taxi would probably be $7 or so? You can find tools to estimate based on exact locations. Perhaps you could ask for a stipend to cover it. New job sounds like such a huge quality of life increase. You should take it!
posted by pazazygeek at 6:57 AM on April 15 [2 favorites]


due to nature of job, will end up in this situation regardless if I apply elsewhere

If you don't like your current job, and this will be in an issue with any other job, then it's worth trying to work it out now. I agree with other that there are likely various options that seem like reasonable accommodations your new employer can provide.
posted by lazuli at 7:09 AM on April 15


Take the new job, and after everything is worked out, ask about accommodations for the meetings. There are any number of reasonable ways to get from Site 1 to Site 2 that don't require you to drive.

At my last job, I didn't own a car because it would have been insanely inconvenient and I took the subway to work. I had off-site meetings fairly regularly. I either hitched a ride with co-workers or took a cab, which the (notoriously bare-bones) company had no issues reimbursing me for. No one ever even blinked.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 7:51 AM on April 15


I might ask them if they would be willing to pay for a cab or Uber to transport you between the locations on days when it's needed. This does fall under an essential you need to do your job. From their perspective, I bet it probably works out better for them to reimburse you for a short cab/Uber ride once a week, rather than lose an hour of your time by requiring you to commute by bus.

You are not being stupid to want to take this job, and I think you should do it! I might ask for the cab reimbursement as part of settling on salary/benefits.
posted by snowmentality at 7:58 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


How big is the potential new employer? They may even have a policy about reimbursement for required travel during the workday. I would recommend taking the job and then working out the details about how best to accommodate the travel situation in terms of cost vs. effective use of your time. What snowmentality said about the smart choice from their perspective. They don't want to lose an extra hour+ of employee time while you're dicking around back and forth on the bus.
posted by drlith at 8:25 AM on April 15


Take the new job and ask for accommodation. While they may anticipate that the average person will drive, your request is easy and not particularly expensive. Four miles is a cheap taxi ride, and if they can't have you carpool, there may be an assistant who gets assigned to drive you, or they can pay for rides of some kind. Get the documentation from your provider and act like this isn't a big deal, because it isn't a big deal at all.

Congratulations on the new job!
posted by bile and syntax at 8:27 AM on April 15 [2 favorites]


Take the job - based on your description of current vs. prospective job it sounds great on all fronts!

You don't give your location but assuming it's the US, so subject to reasonable accommodation under the ADA.

Other ways to frame the conversation with them:

- Do they pay mileage for people who need to drive between locations as part of their duties? If so, cab/Uber fare based on your disability would be not unreasonable.

- There's also the cost (to them) of your downtime while you're in transit between locations. So a $10 cab ride a couple of times a week is likely cheaper for the employer.

Source: my husband is blind and has this (and a bunch of other) accommodations in place with his employer (in Canada here), and the employer has very stringent expense policies.

This sounds like a great opportunity for you and IANAL - you may want to have a brief chat with a labour lawyer in your jurisdiction who could look at the job offer and advise on discussing an accommodation plan with them from the get-go (i.e., should you wait until your in the door or as part of your affer package?). If this is the only accommodation you're concerned about requesting, it's pretty straightforward.

But based on up-close experience, would echo people advising taking the job and having the accommodation discussion once you're in the door.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:17 PM on April 15


The trade off of taking a 30 min bus ride to a weekly meeting seems well worth not having to take an 1.5 hour bus ride to shop, plus all the other benefits.

I work somewhere that has pool cars we can use, but still often choose to take the el or bus to sites and meetings because it can be quicker or more convenient. I won't say no one ever thought it was weird, but no one has cared in any meaningful way. Previous jobs would pay for a taxi with no hesitation.
posted by sepviva at 7:54 AM on April 17


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