Thursday, May 17, 2012

Guest Post: Finding a Seat on the Commuter Rail

Today I bring to you the first ever guest post! Several others of you have offered, but Tim is the first person to actually follow through. I posted a few months ago about something similar and am happy to know it's not just me. I'm overly excited about the first guest post, so without further ado....

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Everyday my wife and I take the train from our home in the South Shore to South Station. The ~40 min trip on the commuter rail is a breeze compared to driving (trust me we've done it a number of times and the Train is always faster and cheaper!). The train is full of working professionals, heading into the city to start their day. Ages and educational backgrounds vary, but pretty much everybody on the train is an adult. Few people act like one.

The train cars are set up with a two seater, aisle, and a three seater. So that means 5 people should be able to sit in each row. Wrong. For some reason people don't like to be the one stuck in the middle (I get it). But when the train is packed, I really don't care about you not wanting to cozy up to your train mate. Move over three seaters are made for three. What bugs me is the attitude people give you when you ask them to move over. They look at you like, "really you want to sit three people in a seat that was designed only for three?" Well yes, as a matter of fact I do. I'd rather sit with you, than stand needlessly while you cross your legs and have a nice place to put your coffee. Move the F over.

Now, once the initial rude request has been made, 'Excuse me would you mind if I take a seat", and the rolling of the eyes, "Awwwww I can't believe he wants to sit here" is complete, then comes the most strange behavior. Instead of sliding in, the person on the outside gets up, stops the flow of people into the train, grabs their bag and motions for me to sit in the middle. Well ok fine! I get it, I do. Nobody likes to be monkey in the middle, but when you slow down the boarding of the train just so you can have 3 extra inches of elbow room.... grow up, move over, and let the efficiency of public transportation shine.

So that's a normal day on the train. Sometimes, I share a seat with somebody who is SO important, that they need to work on their laptop on the train. But sometimes I sit next to even more important folks than these people. These ultra elites have a 3G card plugged into their USB port, and a folder of materials they need to review as the update their spreadsheets and ppts. And they do not like having a buddy to sit next to on the train. The thing I hate about these people is that they think, because of their fancy job title, and demanding schedule that they deserve the extra seat for their $400 briefcase, and their SBUX coffee to sit while they type away. When I ask to sit next to them, I get this look that says, "Can't you see I'm working here, and I have a tie on! I'm important and I need 2 seats. You should stand." Well I have news for you. Public transportation is the great equalizer, and everyone is the same on a PUBLIC train. Move over and give me a seat. Please.

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