Reviews

#commuterproblems

That’s right, my title is a hashtag.

My commute into the city isn’t too much of a nightmare, but it does almost justify why Christians believe in a pending rapture. Because people. That’s why. All of the kinds of people I’ll be describing will all fall under “inconsiderate,” so I’ll try not to use that word to an overkill.

I was actually fooled by my summer commute—everyone was at the shore, on vacation, etc. So of course, it was less congested. I was sold a dream.

I start off my commute with an 8-10 minute bus ride to the main transportation hub of the city. Before I hop on this said bus, I’m greeted by a white mini van filled with boys ranging in age from their twenties to forties. They pop the doors open. Some sit inside, some stand outside of the bus, but one thing is for sure, they’re all not-so-discreetly toking away at some greens. The air smells of skunk. Whatever to get your day started, right? I’m not judging.

Once I get to the station, people rush passed me, racing to catch the train before it leaves. There aren’t any exchange of words—no “excuse me,” “pardon me,” “can I get by?” And then, quiet. I’m on the platform with at least two other people. Others start trickling onto the platform, peering onto the tracks, in anticipation, hoping to be standing where the train doors will stop, giving them a seat of their preference—or a seat at all.

Watching the people peering over the platform is like watching children play a game of musical chairs, waiting for the music to stop. Once, this old man with a cane ended up with the coveted standing spot—right in front of the doors, as the train stopped—as I leaned in closer to secure my chances of grabbing a seat, he holds his had up, as to block other (including me), from getting ahead of him once the doors open. I mean, come on, you’re old and you have a cane! Of course someone will give up their seat for you! Once the doors open, this man runs for his life and grabs a seat. He huffs and puffs from the excitement.

With good reason, this old man had to participate in the Hunger Games just to claim a seat on the train. Once those doors open, people push and shove just to get a seat. Old, young, sick, disabled, pregnant—you name it, nobody looks at you twice. I often find that I have to give up my seat, because men aren’t meeting the expectations held for them to be chivalrous. Once, a pregnant woman stood for two whole stops until I noticed she was even pregnant (I was being a phone zombie and didn’t bother looking up) and gave her my seat. She was thankful, though she was also young and healthy, and seemingly able to just stand. I didn’t mind, because kindness and consideration doesn’t have a gender role, just as other good qualities in people shouldn’t either.

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Ah, nothing like the smell of an empty train car.

A few of my other grievances include really inconsiderate people—the pole huggers, nose pickers, and the ones that basically sit or sleep on you. To being with…the nose pickers. I can’t help but think they have this magical curtain that prevents other people from seeing them dig for gold. I’ve seen this so much, I cannot deal. Its gross, and inconsiderate. Sometimes, I go as far as offering them some hand sanitizer, really. It’s the considerate thing to do, ya know.

The freakin’ pole huggers. These are the people that are sooooooo tired, that they lean their whole bodies on the poles, which are really meant for others to hold on to while the train is moving, so they can keep their balance. Yesterday, I was had to stand so close to this one man, with a small slice of air in between us. I had to slip passed this man with my short little arms to hold on to a pole that was behind him. Why? The pole I should have been holding onto was occupied by this girl who was soooooo tired, she could not stand up straight. Once she decided her love affair with this railing was getting iffy, I slipped my hand onto it and essentially became a barrier between said girl and this pole. Once she leaned back onto it—and my hand—created a firmness with my wrist that was basically too obvious to ignore. This was during my commute home, so I was a little over the day already. I barked back, “Excuse your body. Its touching me.” Dazed, because she was soooo tired, she looked at me and said “I’m just tired.” No apology, no nothing.

That said—when dealing with the public, on public transportation, its really helpful and considerate to actually be considerate. Be considerate of others—don’t pick your nose or groom yourself in a moving and contained space. Cough and sneeze into your elbows instead of other people. Give up your seat to the elderly, pregnant, disabled, etc. Ladies, don’t leave this role to (some, not all) men, because if you do, you’ll be waiting a long time. Seriously, there are some serious jackholes out there. Take up as little space as possible—mass transportation is meant to be able to handle loads and loads of people, and when you’ve got your feet up and have given your belonging their own seat, the meaning of mass transportation gets lost. All presumed gender roles and expectations aside, being a successful commuter requires citizenship. Be a good citizen.

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