June 19, 2011
A guide to vanpool etiquette
I recently wrote about the pros and cons of vanpooling for NWjobs. While researching the story, I learned that each van has its own code of conduct, no matter how informal.
As my article mentions, "Don't keep your vanmates waiting!" ranks high on the list of group commuting etiquette. Following are several other rules of vanpool decorum gleaned from the group commuters I interviewed:
The driver chooses the radio station. Only fair, considering he or she is the one doing the heavy lifting.
Those who volunteer to drive had best be good at it. Otherwise, you may not be in the driver's seat for long.
Sleeping is okay. Snoring is not. Hearty snorers might want to save their sleeping for when they get home.
You don't have to talk to your vanmates. You do, however, have to be polite. Zoning out first thing in the morning or after a hard day is entirely understandable. Being too rude to say hello is not.
There's chatting, and then there's driving everyone else in the van crazy with your incessant yammering. Knowing the difference is important.
What happens in the van stays in the van. Much like passengers on an airplane, vanpoolers have been known to share the intimate details of their office and personal lives. Good vanpoolers stay mum on the secrets of their fellow commuters.
Vanpoolers, what's the code of conduct for your group commute? Any rules of etiquette I missed or got wrong? Do tell.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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