Now that I’ve been commuting via the DC Metro to work for over a year, I’ve noticed a number of things that my fellow commuters do that make the ride a bit more unbearable for, well, me. With rising gas prices, all forms of public transportation are seeing increased ridership, so that means less seats for me, less legroom to stretch, and more body odors to smell.
So since the trains and buses are becoming more packed every day with no end in sight, I’d like to put forth a number of tips to my fellow commuters so they don’t make me angry. As a note, at my last contract, my officemate often referred to me as “Angry Dude” because I came in so distressed about my ride on most days. So without further ado, here is my self-centered set of tips for…
Ways to Avoid the “Angry Dude” Commuter
Sure, this might just become a list of petty complaints about my fellow riders, but I’m hoping that I open up at least one person’s eyes about how they could make my life easier:
- Turn down the iPod: Ok, seriously, are you deaf? Do you know I can hear you listening to speed metal 5 rows back? Why do you have to listen to techno/rave music at 7am? Here’s a tip: Take out the earbuds while the iPod is still on. Hold them down at your waist (i.e. a few feet from your ears). Wait about 30 seconds for your ears to readjust. Then, if you can still hear the music (from the earbuds, not from inside your head), then you need to turn it down. Alot!
- Don’t smoke within 10 minutes of getting onto the train/bus: I know you’re addicted and also that standing around waiting for a ride is boring, but I don’t want to sit next to a stank who makes me want to puke for the next 50 minute ride. I know, I know, I can just move to another seat, but honestly this is all about me, not you. Quit the habit or at least consider other rider’s olfactory senses even if yours are shot from years of smoking.
- If people keep running into you, it means you need to move. I don’t know how many times I see some fool standing right off to the side at the bottom of an escalator where people need to turn to get to the train. Then s/he wonders why people keep pushing past. Same goes for numbnuts (usually a tourist, but not always) standing right in the middle of any walkway or in the path of a fare turnstile. Get out of the way!
- You should walk like you drive. By this I mean you should walk on the right, pass on the left. This goes for any type of walking in life (well, except for places like that crazy England), that people walking (or driving) slower should be on the right while I should be on the left. In DC, even the station announcements say “Stand to the right, pass to the left”.
- Take off the sunglasses. Unless you’re blind or have no eyes, there’s no reason you should be wearing shades. It’s just creepy because I know all you’re doing the whole ride is looking at my crotch. I know I’m sexy, but I’d rather see your glare than imagine where you’re looking.
- Shut up. There’s absolutely no reason to shout to the person whose ear is 8 inches from your mouth. It’s loud in the tunnels, but you don’t need to talk 5x as loud as normal. I don’t know how many conversations about top secret projects or wild drunken nights I’ve heard on the train.
- You don’t need to scream into the phone. Similar to #6, just because the tunnels are loud and you can’t hear the other caller, you don’t need to scream into the phone. I can talk at normal volume into the phone and Stacie hears me fine even if I can’t hear myself.
- Get to your seat. This isn’t the school bus where you had to scope out the best seat so you’re sitting with the popular kids. It’s the dang metro. Just get in, sit down or move out of the way so the 10 other people behind you don’t get shut out of the train.
- Don’t block the exits. This is to those people on the platform that crowd in so tightly to get onto the train when I have to get off that I feel like I’m running the gauntlet back in football training camp. I make it a point now to shoot out of the train like I lighted a jet-fueled fart and I’m traveling at supersonic speeds to the escalator. Get out of my way or you’ll get run over.
- Put muzzles on your kids. I don’t disagree with everyone being able to ride the train, but if you have an “energetic” child, please give them some type of activity to keep them busy (and kicking the back of my seat does NOT count!). And if you read to them, see #6 because I already know “Everyone Poops” by heart now. If all else fails, get off the train and administer some firm discipline before boarding the next train. I also don’t need to hear you ignoring your child or them crying for attention.
I won’t even ask if I’m out of line on any of these because I don’t think I am. Sure, I may be a little harsh, but if you have to ride the train 260 days per year, you’d understand too. What other things annoy you about riding public transportation?
Photo by Rion