March 12, 2015 § Leave a comment
A percentage of people who travel on trains seem to have undergone some sort of personality bypass. A perfectly decent person who wouldn’t think twice about apologising if they bumped into you in the street suddenly becomes warrior-like when they commute. But, I think we all know many commuters are in a category of their own – I’m really talking about the rest of the train passenger population. The non-peak traffic lot.
I was travelling overground to Paddington the other day and a fair few people were standing for a fair few stops. Did they have to? No. But to get a seat they’d have had to have asked seated passengers to move their bags/hats/books/lunch from the adjacent seat.
Unbelievably, rather than risk ‘upsetting’ said seated passengers they remained standing but – much worse, in my books – not one of the seated passengers made any effort to remove their bag/hat/book/lunch to free up a seat.
Then you’ve got the ‘feet-on-the-seat’ people. This annoys me so much I choose to sit in the two-seater arrangements because passengers can’t stretch their feet on it from an opposite seat. I know it sounds grumpy but if you’re wearing anything half-decent you don’t want your bum to look dirty and dusty thanks to the grime that’s been wiped off from the bottom of somebody’s shoe.
I just came home on a busy train from Ealing Broadway where an immaculately-dressed man stank out the carriage chomping though a smelly pasty and then not-so-secretly crumpled up the paper bag it had come in and crushed it underfoot on the floor – not far from the litter bin. Bet they expect more of him in the board room….
Of course, there are even helpful notices to guide you in the direction of being polite: suggesting you offer a seat to someone who’s less able to stand. They don’t work either. Quite a few years ago I was standing and carrying my baby daughter while a carriage-full of seated passengers did what passengers do best – look everywhere but at each other. After a shaky few minutes, tottering, I asked if anyone minded giving us their seat. I’ve never seen everyone in a carriage stand up so quickly!