Ms. Manners would be appalled


Its sad really. I no longer expect people to hold doors or say thank you, or excuse me or offer any of the other social manners of by-gone days.  It just isn’t done any more, and why I don’t know beyond the fact that 80% of anyone I see over the age of 10 has their head in a smart phone or tablet.

 Heck I’ve got  people working in my building who will purposely shut the elevator door if they see you coming across the lobby instead of holding the elevator for you.

Although I have wondered if guys aren’t afraid that if by opening a door for someone or letting a female go through first they aren’t going to get bashed for being sexist.

For that matter I paid a bus fare for the woman ahead of me one night because she couldn’t understand that her fare card had no more money on it and she was holding up the line – she got mad and spent the next ten minutes (until I got off) fussing me for having paid for her – Did I think she had no money? Did I think she needed assistance? W Why did I think I had the right to pay for her? You know she could have just said thank you. So as I got off the bus I very calmly, but loudly pronounced “You were holding up the bus!”   To which she responded with a quiet “Oh, you wanted to leave?”

Being a public transportation commuter I find myself once continuously discouraged by the state of or rather the lack of common sense and good manners of my fellow riders.

My greatest pet-peeve right now is the out and-and-out refusal for people to give up their seat for someone who truly cannot stand on the bus or train while it’s moving.

On the bus and train there are seats clearly marked as priority seating for those who need it: Seniors and handicapped/disabled – although I think it should also state pregnant women and persons with small children.

So here is my rant:

On the bus there are 5 to 6 priority seats in the front of the bus, anyone can sit there but you are to move if someone elderly or disabled gets on the bus. The behaviors I’ve observed are the following:

  1. If the priority seating is full (usually teens) they will ignore the senior and or disabled person completely, becoming suddenly and totally engrossed in their iPhones
  2. If there is a seat available anywhere else on the bus and the priority seating is full (usually teens) they will either ignore the senior and or disabled person all together or direct them to the available seat, usually in the back of the bus
  3. Arrogance – stating that they do not have to move because they have a right to sit wherever they want. (this is usually from adults who don’t want to give up their seat)
  4. Out and Out rude comments when someone in a wheelchair boards – to some this is the equivalent of the bus breaking down – not only are 4 to 6 seats taken away to make room for the wheelchair but it can take 5 to 10 minutes to safely get the person aboard and locked in.  I have seen people argue with the bus driver about having to move because the bus was already late and blah, blah, blah…. You get the idea.
  5. Then of course you have the persons who think all three seats on the priority bench are for them and them alone and won’t move their bags or whatnot so anyone can sit

And no, usually the bus drivers say NOTHING

Now in the morning we have an elderly gentleman,  everyday he’s there. Normally there hasn’t been a problem as those of us who ride this bus everyday know he’s going to be getting on – and he really can’t stand while the bus is moving. In the past month since school has started the bus has become overcrowded and this is what I have observed regarding this gentleman alone:

  1. All of the priority seats where full – two had people in need of those seats, three had teens in them. When the elderly gentleman got on not one of them moved. After a beat to see if any of the teens would get up one of the women, who I know cannot stand (she has bad knees), got up and offered him her seat. I was two rows back and got up and offered her my seat. A man three rows back from me got up and gave me his seat.
  2. A week later same situation, only this time another teen who was already standing smacked on of the teens in the priority seating and yelled at him t o get his ass up for the gentleman. The kid did so very reluctantly.
  3. Two days later one of the women who usually sits in the priority seats tried to save the man a seat with her backpack and got yelled at by a woman in who no way needed to be sitting in the priority seats and was  just too lazy to walk further back – she stated that she had a right to sit there and she didn’t care why they were trying to save the seat. When the gentleman got on we ended up playing musical seats again because she flat out refused to give up her seat.
  4. The next day two women took up the three –seater-bench and refused to let any teen sit with them so as to reserve the “empty” seat for the elderly gentleman – it almost caused a fight – but they prevailed
  5. A week later, today, it’s raining; a woman got on with three small children (I would say 4, 2 and 8 months) plus a stroller and a bag. There was one seat open in priority seating, nothing anywhere else (I know because I got on two stops before her and ended up in the back). She squeezed into the empty seat with the 2 year old and the baby after wrestling the stroller into an area where it would be out of the way. The 4 year old little boy stood in front of her trying to hold onto the pole. Eventually a person across the aisle in another priority seat got up to let the little boy sit. The person next to him was, yes, a teenager – I bring this up because when we reached the stop where the elderly gentleman gets on it was the 4 year old who got up to offer his seat NOT the teen! At that point the person sitting next to the mother got up and offered the little boy her seat which allowed the two year old a little more room.

It’s almost as bad on the train, less so in the morning because we have so many military personnel and they will get up and offer seats or just not sit down at all.  I had a young navy guy offer me his seat once and before I could take a step this woman  came out of nowhere and plopped herself down. The young man looked at me and I could read the “what the fuck” in his expression  – I responded with “well I guess she is just so much more important.”  He laughed.  I only had 5 stomps to go so it was no big deal, but still “how rude”

In the evening it’s horrible – no one wants to give up a seat, heck most times they don’t want to move so you can get around them.  Most evenings I stand anyway, not that I really have a choice.

And while you can blame the rude teenagers on their parents  not teaching them good manners – who do you blame for the adults lack of manners?

Thank you for listening ……


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