Monday, April 20, 2015

Peeve 1 - Commuter Disrespect, Part 1 or "Feet down, shithead"

I am not a patient man when it comes to social graces.

When in the company of other people, I do my best to be as respectful of their space as much as possible and actively try to leave any public spot I am in just as clean (if not cleaner) than when I arrived.

Restaurants, coffee shops, etc. I take it as a challenge to not leave a trace of my presence, primarily for the benefit of those who will come in after me.

That's just basic common consideration for your fellow man, right? One should expect this behaviour to be the norm, right?

Apparently not.

There is one particular trend which I find distressing. Commuters who think nothing putting their feet up on seats in subway cars or buses.

Quick background:
Montreal has a fairly efficient subway system we call "the metro". It is supplemented by an extensive network of buses and trains both on the island itself and on both the north and south shores of it. Each geographical area is managed by its own administrative system but they all cooperate together to create an almost seamless experience. 

My commute takes me from the south shore of Montreal directly into town where I work, and then back again in the opposite direction. On the south shore of Montreal, I use a single bus line during this transit: Line 73.

On the bus I take daily, regardless of season or precipitation, I find that some passengers just cannot understand the concept of NOT putting their feet up on seats facing them.

Never mind that there are multiple ways that passengers are informed about this being a "no-no", they still do it with impressive regularity. I am not exaggerating here when I say that out of a typical work week (5 days), I will see about 3 situations where people have put their feet up on the seats.

Mud, slush, rain, dog shit are conveniently ignored by these individuals.

Now, I get it that some are tired and have sore legs and feet at the end of a workday. I'm a heavy guy so definitely in tune with those particular sufferings. But the idiocy lies in that the only seats where one could potentially put their feet up on a facing seat also have a convenient foot rest underneath them, about 3 inches below.

So, here's my take on this whole deal:

  • It takes MORE effort to put feet up on a seat than to use the incline under it.
  • One prevents another commuter from sitting there, and if lucky also prevents anyone else from sitting there until the seat is cleaned. 1
  • There appears to be Bonus Asshole Points if the passenger, occupying 2 seats with his body, can also occupy a third one by placing his bag(s) in it.
  • Super Asshole Points granted if one does this on the seats next to the alley, preventing access to the window seats.
  • When asked to remove their feet, these passengers can be expected to react with surprise, annoyance, or anger - in any combination ratio.
  • Most do not like it when you wipe down the seat where their feet were and show them the result, either by displaying a tissue / handkerchief or by wiping your hand on their clothes.
  • Almost all of them dislike having their pictures taken
  • All of them dislike, upon asking, being told that it is for a collection of Commuting Assholes picture set. 2
  • Ladies are more likely to do this than men. I don't know why that is.
  • I've only had one case where a passenger vehemently denied having put his feet up on the seat, even when being told he had been seen by myself and my daughter doing so.
  • 100% of the people who state that placing feet up on a seat is no big deal have not had the pleasure of having dog shit stain their pants. 3

1. Using earphones and staring out the window ignoring those around you are mandatory for this.
2. I have yet to collate and publish these. I stopped for a while and have not resumed the activity yet.
3. I have had that pleasure. It will be the inspiration for an upcoming Peeve entry in the future.

Domain Renewed

Because seriously, why not?

Readers can expect the same dedication from me to irregularly and haphazardly post in the coming year.

I need to change that picture of me for a more recent one.