Bicycle Commuting and Work Emergencies

I borked the server at work.  Right before leaving.  I didn’t realize it.

My boss got a call about the problem, and tried to call me.  I didn’t hear my phone in my trunk bag over the traffic noise.

Luckily, I only rode a partial commute today, so 20 minutes later, I was at my car, and noticed the missed call and voicemail.  A quick call back to work determined that the best course of action was to continue home, then fix the issue remotely.

If I had ridden the entire distance (which I considered this morning), it would have been an additonal hour of downtime, at least.

How do other bicycle commuters handle this?  Especially if you have a longer commute like mine?

8 thoughts on “Bicycle Commuting and Work Emergencies”

  1. Could you set your phone to vibrate, and then put it in your shirt pocket? Maybe get a t-shirt with a pocket and wear that under your outer shirt. If it’s close to your skin you might feel it vibrate as you’re riding.

  2. The bigger issue is getting access to a computer quickly. In a car, it doesn’t take long to either go home, or back to work. I lucked out yesterday, as I had only ridden part of the way, and was back to my car quickly.

    As far as hearing the phone on my bike, I’d rather not. Sometimes I shut the ringer off.

  3. The only other thing I could think of is to have your company buy and pay for a wireless air card for your laptop. A couple of network/server guys here have them and they actually work pretty good. That way you could pull over at a fast-food restaurant of something.

  4. I’ve been fortunate, in that I haven’t had to deal with work emergencies during my commute time. I have a work cell phone and a personal cell phone. My desk phone rolls to the work cell during business hours, in case I’m on the property instead of at my desk when someone calls. Sadly, the cell then gives the main switchboard number as the origin of the call, so I don’t know who is calling until I answer (which may frame my “hello” a bit)–welcome to the days before caller ID was popular.

    Those who have my work cell number usually are aware that I ride to work often, and that I may not hear or be able to answer the phone right away. If I hear it ringing, I’ll find a place to stop and call back if I can. If I don’t get the proper origin number, though, that is sometimes difficult, as culling from the office voice mail is troublesome when “on the road.”

    In short, my position is, “If you need me, here is where to call me. Don’t need me after hours.”

  5. I had to look up the expression, “borked,” having not heard it before. I figured from the context it related closely to “fubar” or snafu, but still. I found:

    The term “Borked” or “Borking” originated with conservative talk show hosts (primarily Rush Limbaugh) to describe someone who is denied something earned simply because they either aren’t politically correct enough or aren’t trusted – usually without cause. The usage is derived from Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork who though eminently qualified was deemed too “conservative” to serve as a Supreme Court judge.

    I also found one that is primarily tech-speak, but it seems to have originated with this one. Having never been a fan of talk radio, especially some of its louder “hosts,” I don’t know that I would have chosen the term.

    But then, I’m one of those disgusting progressives that thinks intelligence should matter for something.

  6. I first saw the term “borken” used as a typo of “broken”, and I liked it, and have been using it ever since. “Borked” is a modification of “broke”. No political slant on this one. 🙂

  7. First, I don’t see this as a bike commute problem. Anyone can miss a call, might not get the message until they get home. And lots of people have long commutes, whether by bike or car.

    So, first, don’t blame your bike commute for this. My wife misses almost every call on her cell phone because she keeps it in her purse.

    On a more practical note, get a Bluetooth earpiece with auto-answer. They’re cheap, with many under $30, and won’t interfere with your riding.

  8. Dan,

    I suppose your right. I’m not technically on-call at any time, however due to the small size of our IT department, I may be the only one who has the skill set to fix a particular issue.

    If I were on vacation and unavailable, that would be even more of a problem. I have pretty much decided to not worry too much about it. I’ll do what I can, when I can.

Comments are closed.