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Author Topic: Subway Etiquette  (Read 88228 times)

Offline goldfish boy

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Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2006, 01:10:17 PM »
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.

So I guess they think it's less rude to make an uninformed snap judgment about someone they don't know and then talk loudly about it?
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” - Dr. Seuss

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2006, 01:13:30 PM »
So I guess they think it's less rude to make an uninformed snap judgment about someone they don't know and then talk loudly about it?

It was just a bad situation gone worse. 

I did have one occasion where a guy spit at my feet when I unknowingly took a seat he intended for his girlfriend.  Boy did that one end badly, for him (he he he).

Offline firelight79

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Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2006, 01:23:49 PM »
here's a great one. i'm sitting on the R on one of the 2 seaters, i'm not sitting straight ahead in it but rather to the side. When the train goes the opposite way i am facing it makes my head a little woozy. the seat next to me is empty. at the next stop this elderly man shoves is way across the train and over to the seat. i move to give him room, and when he sits, his rear takes up more than his seat. i've got enough junk in my trunk to cover one seat (i'm not at 2 yet!) so there is only so much room i can give him. I then sit up straight, b/c my back hurt from slouching, and then the old man starts to fidgit, like trying to move me over. I say politely, excuse me your kind of pushing me. He then lectures me on sitting in the seat properly and how i am not facing the right way.
eh?
so i tell him, it doesn't matter, but i would appreciate it greatly if he didn't keep pushing me. he obviously doesn't care. mind you, he chose to sit there, knowing full well i was facing the "wrong way." Then he starts to dig his elbow into my back! i mean he was almost at deep tissue massage level when i had to say (not very politely this time) that he was doing that on purpose and it hurt. he didn't care and proceeded to lecture me again about properly in the seat. As if i was asking for this torture. I was trying to be nice, you know calling him sir, but damn i kind of lost it. i didn't yell but i was quite testy. and then i have these people around me looking at me like i am being this meany to an old person.
couldn't win.
still don't sit the "right" way in those seats either.
Jenn

Offline enigmacat

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Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2006, 01:36:16 PM »
Oh - once I had a woman come up and lean on the pole while I was holding it!!! And give me dirty looks!

I still get mad when I think about that one. I hope that if it happened again I would bitch her out.

Offline lanseaux

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Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2006, 01:51:55 PM »
Oh - once I had a woman come up and lean on the pole while I was holding it!!! And give me dirty looks!

Some kid did that to me once.  I started yelling at him after I asked him first to move and he refused.  His girlfriend got really embarrassed and made him move.   8-)

Offline merm

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Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2006, 01:55:12 PM »
A lot of times I see this kind of thing happen and I just sit down. I figure "hey, if this guy/girl wants to take up two seats then I guess s/he doesn't mind me sitting on their lap" and I just sit right down. It's no problem, I've never gotten any trouble for doing it. I don't think people are as rude as they are being made out to be here.

This reminds me of when I lived next to Trade Fair on Steinway Street. The space between the aisles are so tight there that two people can only barely fit through. You can't help but bump into people as you weave down the row. Every once and a while somebody get's all fired up with all the "bumping" and waiting in the traffic jam and you see them standing there brooding in anger that people are so "rude" to bump into them etc. One lady in particular I remember went down every aisle of the store yelling "EXCUSE ME, EXCUSE ME" and then I heard her say "NEW YORKERS ARE SO RUDE, DOESN'T ANYONE SAY EXCUSE ME ANY MORE?!". "No," I said back, "in New York you are automatically excused". In other words, if we all went around saying "excuse me" in the grocery store and on the subway for every little bump or mistake in etiquette we'd be saying it incessantly all day long. I only say "excuse me" if I accidently run into someone or something, but not for little bumps or traffic jams along the way.

My point here is that I think the rule is the same on the subway; when some people sit down (and don't tell me that this is a male-dominated problem) they may just by habbit put their bags on the seat beside them, or spread their legs, or lean over into the next seat, or sit with their legs up on the next chair - but that doesn't automatically mean they are being rude. If you want to sit down, just sit down - chances are the people will scoot over (they do for me, and I'm not exactly small).

My motto is that in New York you're automatically excused (unless you really ram into someone or something). So I just make room for people without them saying "excuse me", but also expect others to make room for me without my having to say anything either. I just sit down and it's never been a problem. Honestly though sometimes I forget and I sit there with my legs crossed or something (which blocks the next seat) and just forget. But when someone sits down it's no problem, I just make room.

I'm not making an excuse for people who spit on the seat or whatever, but some of these stories are just the result of some of you not realizing that it's okay to just sit down I think.

I do find it mildly distrubing that it's expected that the males in the car will give up their seat if an elderly person, or if a woman comes into the car. That's both sexist against men and patronizing to women and elderly. I'm against discrimination. If someone wants to give up their seat that's an individual thing and I personally do it on a case by case basis, but any "rules" that say that people "should" act that way are just plain unfair to all involved. I had an old guy yell at me one time for singling him out and offering him my seat. He was right, what exactly am I saying by doing that? He told me if he needs my seat he'd ask for it, but didn't appreciate my making assumptions about him.

Offline mcdirk

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Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2006, 01:57:04 PM »
People have strange ideas about poles - I've seen people come right up and stand in your space.  I hate it when people lean on your hand though, or touch your hand while you're trying to hold on.  I guess I have a larger personal space than others, but I try to give people room when I can, unless it's like a sardine on the train in which case I try to stand still and not bump folks.  
I've seen people come and put their butts up against your face if you're seated in the end seat on both the N and the R next to the door.  I do wonder if people are thinking when they do that, or just leaning up against the seat without thought.
I'd love to hear the spitting on the floor story - that sounds interesting!

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2006, 02:20:19 PM »
The pole thing is weird. I love it when your hand has to jockey for position on the pole.  And yes touching is always a no no.  You can be smooshed right up against other people but no hand touching!

Or how about people leaning papers up or down so you cant read the opposite page when you sit across from them. Hell I do that too.  Its like they are invading your space which is silly.

As for the spitting story, I will say it was my only physical confrontation ever.  Guy spit between my feet after I sat down.  Next thing I know, and it all happened so fast, he was across the car on the floor looking up at me.  His girlfriend mumbled something but I was so hyped up I want listening.  They stayed by the doors until the next stop and got off.  No one on the car said a word but no one seemed upset by me or my response to his behavior. It seems that spitting is one of those things that I find beyond uncivilized and disgusting.  I didnt even know what happened till it was over.

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Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2006, 02:36:52 PM »
enigmacat said
Quote
Poor Jonathan  that one is dicey. I've been confused a few times myself.

Sometimes in dicey situations I will just get up, without offering the seat, and they can take it if they want.  Of course you have to go have perfect proximity or someone  will dive for the seat you intended for the other person.

Once I gave up my seat to a very tired looking old man, who gratefully took it.

Another time on the bus, I was sitting in the front reserved for handicapped/elderly.
I saw a very old man getting on with huge suitcase.  So I quickly vacated the seat and went to the back.
He ends up walking right past the empty seats up front and sits next to me with his refridgerator -sized suitcase to boot.  I dreaded my stop coming where I'd have to cause a commotion to get up and out.  Good intentions don't always work.

Offline enigmacat

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Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2006, 02:47:30 PM »
I do find it mildly distrubing that it's expected that the males in the car will give up their seat if an elderly person, or if a woman comes into the car. me if he needs my seat he'd ask for it, but didn't appreciate my making assumptions about him.

I don't expect men to give up their seats for me or other healthy able-bodied women, and i think both men and women are held to the same standard of ettiquette. I mean if a young professional woman had shoved an elderly man out of her way so she could get the seat, I would have been just as disgusted.

Just so you know I'm not sexist ... much :)

Offline anzubird

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Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2006, 02:48:59 PM »
The thing that always drives me crazy is the way in which people tend to crowd next to the doors rather than just moving into the car and making room for everyone.

On the other hand, it means there is more room for me when I do finally make it to the middle of the car... ok, I take it back... keep crowding near the doors people!

But the people who stand right in front of the door and refuse to move for people getting in or out fully deserve to be shoved out of the way.

Offline MandaT

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Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2006, 02:51:08 PM »
Oooh, Jonathan, THAT sounds exciting. I think I'd buy tickets to see you rough up some kid on the subway.  :-D

As for me, I never stick up for myself -- wish I did but I'm SO non-confrontational. I did once yell at someone who stole a cab from me. It had been a long day...

My biggest issue with subway politeness (aside from the guys who need to sit whilst doing the splits, though this was a much more common problem in Brooklyn than I've found in Queens) is the feet on the seat thing. AND it's illegal to do that now! I glare at people when they put their feet on the seats. No one wants to sit where your dirty shoes have been. When I first moved here, an older woman started lecturing a guy who had put his feet on the seat. It was awesome.

Although, all in all, when you consider how many people are taking mass transit everyday, and how often we're all invading each other's personal space, it's a miracle that we don't witness more train fights/confrontations. And a miracle I don't get pissed off more often.

OH, and Anzubird, I LOVE shoving people when they don't clear the doors. If people start getting on before everyone's gotten off, I go into bull-dozer mode.  :evil:

Offline enigmacat

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Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2006, 02:52:44 PM »
note to self: ride the subway with Jonathan whenever possible.

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2006, 02:58:57 PM »
Hey, I am not proud of what I did. And this was about 12 yrs ago.  But it sure felt good at the time.

Offline merm

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Re: Subway Etiquette
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2006, 03:08:09 PM »
My number one pet peeve on the subway has got to be the people that rush the doors to get on the train before everyone has gotten off. I too go into bulldozer mode, sad to say.


 

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