relax

Author Topic: Subway Etiquette  (Read 88121 times)

Offline mcdirk

  • Global Moderator
  • President
  • **************
  • Posts: 6492
  • Gender: Male
Subway Etiquette
« on: June 13, 2006, 11:21:04 AM »
Am I the only one noticing this, or is lack of common courtesy on the subway trains increasing?  I keep seeing folks taking up two seats with their legs spread so far apart it looks painful, even using their knees to prod the people trying to sit next to them.  I saw an elderly lady standing as no one with a seat would get up despite the fact that it was the after-work rush last week.  I thought I'd seen it all until I saw a guy spit on the seat next to him to guarantee that it would stay empty.  That was just vile.
Maybe it's my Southern upbringing, but shouldn't folks be standing if they see someone elderly, with a disability, a baby stroller, packages or a woman who is pregnant?  I've been noticing people stopping at the top of the stairs as well - making everyone behind them come to a complete stop.  I've seen folks stop at the bottom of stairs when they realize it's not their train making everyone behind them, whose train it was, miss the train.  Is is just the Summer or are the subways becoming less civilized?

Offline merm

  • Administrator
  • Governor
  • ***********
  • Posts: 2643
  • Gender: Female
Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2006, 11:23:22 AM »
I don't think common decency is exclusive to Southern upbringing. I was raised in the North, and I'm bothered by that kind of thing too.

Offline Harlan

  • Governor
  • ***********
  • Posts: 2102
  • Gender: Male
  • Lemon Pistachios
    • Photos...
Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2006, 11:28:49 AM »
Is is just the Summer or are the subways becoming less civilized?

Well, with all the tourists, in their bright pastel colors, shorts, and camera bags, some summer confusion is only natural... And your Southern upbringing may lead you to be more courteous than the average New Yorker, indeed!

Compared to 20 years ago, when (as I understand) there were regular muggings, shootings, etc. on the subway, I should say they're still relatively civilized... What you've seen seems to me to be exceptions, not the general rule... The guy spitting on the seat should be made to ride on the outside of the train, however, as punishment!

Offline enigmacat

  • Governor
  • ***********
  • Posts: 3817
  • Gender: Female
  • I am not a minion of evil. I am upper management.
Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2006, 11:29:51 AM »
I saw 2 men sitting on the subway with an empty seat between them. One of them had his legs spread out and the other one had his bag in the seat. A girl was looking for a seat - they ignored her. Jerks. I wish i had a camera so I could take pictures of people littering, spitting, and being rude and post it on a "subwayrudeness.com" website. ARGH!

Offline wasabisam

  • Senator
  • ********
  • Posts: 1097
  • Gender: Female
  • Missing Astoria
Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2006, 11:30:20 AM »
I see it both ways. Sometimes are overly nice on the subway, and sometimes they are overly rude. A city with millions of people is bound to have a good dose of both and everything in between and beyond.
Chief Wiggum: Uh, no, you got the wrong number. This is 9-1... 2.
My vegan recipes blog

Offline enigmacat

  • Governor
  • ***********
  • Posts: 3817
  • Gender: Female
  • I am not a minion of evil. I am upper management.
Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2006, 11:33:46 AM »
Oh, one time I saw a young professionally dressed man push past a handicapped older man to get the remaining seat.

Nothing makes a man look less attractive.

Offline lanseaux

  • Governor
  • ***********
  • Posts: 3375
  • Mexico
Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2006, 11:34:17 AM »
Quote
I saw 2 men sitting on the subway with an empty seat between them. One of them had his legs spread out and the other one had his bag in the seat. A girl was looking for a seat - they ignored her.

In this situation, I have been known to say "Excuse me," relatively loudly, and sit down.  If someone has a bag on a seat, I say, "Excuse me," and sit down when they pick it up.  On the older trains where the seats aren't defined, on average, six people can fit on a bench (I've seen 7, but that's very squished).  During rush hour, if there are five people on the bench, I make my way to the biggest gap in the seat and say relatively loudly, "Excuse me," and sit down once people move over.  If they look uncertain I add, "so I can sit down."

It works.

Offline mcdirk

  • Global Moderator
  • President
  • **************
  • Posts: 6492
  • Gender: Male
Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2006, 11:44:04 AM »
Merm -  You are definitely right about good manners being found in all parts of the country - lots of very polite as well!  Sorry if my posting implied that Southerners were more polite, it's not always the case, though I think the emphasis on proper deportment in public may be more emphasized down South.  I just see parents lately who don't discipline their kids when they're acting out, who encourage asocial behavior and all this rudeness on the subway, and I just wonder why people act this way.  I've seen it back down in GA as well, so I know it's nothing endemic to NYC.
Someone grabbing a seat from an older handicapped man, that's just wrong.
I'm seeing people pushing into the trains before letting people get off them more often these days as well.  It makes for a less pleasant subway experience.

Offline Jonathan

  • Senator
  • ********
  • Posts: 1811
  • Gender: Male
Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2006, 11:46:58 AM »
So one time on the subway, Im sitting there in a full car, a woman comes onto the train.  Is she pregnant, is she a little overweight?  Cant tell.  Im guessing she is overweight and just know that if I offer her my seat and she is not pregnant Im going to seriously offend her in front of the whole car.  So I do nothing.  Few minutes later the woman next to me gives me a big "HRMPH!" gets up and gives the woman her seat. They start saying loudly how rude men are these days, wont even give up a seat to a pregnant woman.  

I knew I could never fully explain myself, they would never believe me.  Just sat there in shame.

Offline photomill

  • Citizen
  • ***
  • Posts: 79
  • Gender: Male
    • The Photomill
Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2006, 11:58:58 AM »
Don't even get me started with the overall topic of etiquette and NYC.  I have a list of ideas for an etiquette guide to living in NYC which deal with subways to umbrellas.

The spitting, the open legs (sorry but, as I guy, I'm guessing that their package is not THAT big to necessitate spreading ones legs that far!), bags on seats...One time, though I didn't even need a seat I told a woman that it was rude to leave her bag on the seat (no one wanted to ask but people were eyeing the space).  Her response: "You're obviously not from around here."  Actually, I am.  Before the end of the dialog she was calling me some very nasty names. 

That is New York.

Offline enigmacat

  • Governor
  • ***********
  • Posts: 3817
  • Gender: Female
  • I am not a minion of evil. I am upper management.
Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2006, 12:37:12 PM »
Poor Jonathan :) that one is dicey. I've been confused a few times myself.

Offline schmennifer

  • Campaigning for Council
  • ****
  • Posts: 241
Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2006, 12:38:44 PM »
Her response: "You're obviously not from around here."

Gah! I hate that. Is that some sort of excuse for being rude? The fact that she's local? I'm not from around here, and I still say "please" and "thank you" and "excuse me" without a trace of aggression. But I feel that makes people want to pick on me and get in my way and say crap like, "You're obviously not from around here." Yeah. Right. And if that's the way you're going to be, I'm proud not to be from around here.

And, sorry Harlan, I hate when people take the easy route and blame the tourists. There are a lot of dumb, easily confused New Yorkers stumbling around and blocking foot traffic as well.

Offline megc

  • President
  • **************
  • Posts: 6167
  • Sea turtles need our help.
    • Harmonious Belly
Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2006, 12:44:22 PM »
Well, with all the tourists, in their bright pastel colors

Now, now, don't dis the pastels!  I wear them, and other colors, too!  NY black doesn't work for me most of the time, although I do know some people that look fabulous in it (hi DC!)

Recently, I've seen some really great subway manners in the form of a male friend of mine giving up his seat for a woman with kids or a pregnant lady or an older person, and I've seen some really bad manners, especially on the dreaded 1 train, where people seem to care nothing for those around them (I was almost shoved into a pregnant women on that train by overzealous riders).

Offline enigmacat

  • Governor
  • ***********
  • Posts: 3817
  • Gender: Female
  • I am not a minion of evil. I am upper management.
Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2006, 12:47:35 PM »
(sorry but, as I guy, I'm guessing that their package is not THAT big to necessitate spreading ones legs that far!),

If I were braver and meaner, I would openly stare at them and make loud statements about how if they have to spread their legs that wide they must be overcompensating for *something*

of course, the danger is that they might decide to exhibit their evidence.

and, that would be mean of me.

Offline ThePinkSuperhero

  • Activist
  • ****
  • Posts: 217
  • Gender: Female
Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2006, 12:48:51 PM »
If two people are smushing over into that middle seat, I just give them The Look before I sit down.  They always move it in.


 

Visit our sister site Jackson Heights Life