Monday, June 27, 2011

What Kind of Train Rider Are You?

Back in January I profile some of the bus riders who give me pause --and amusement-- in a post "What Kind of Bus Rider Are You?." I mean, I love you guys, everyone who takes public transit. You're doing what you can for the environment, keeping cars off the roads and such. But... there are times which baffle me... make me wonder if the manners we learned as kids were slowly forgotten over the years or all in one fell swoop right before you decided to move to DC.

There are official rules to follow when one rides the Metro rail. These happen to be the folks that don't follow the unofficial ones:

Pole Dancer: Or, more like poll hugger. In some cars there are poles spread throughout, mostly near the doors. They are for the hands of multiple people, who use the poles to steady themselves during the ride. But, this one was built especially for you, and you only.

Joe "Angry Birds" Schmoe: Smartphones, Kindles, Nooks, I get it. I use 'em too. Fun stuff. But if you can't look around and see that there is a truly needy person who would love your accessible seat --a seat marked as such no less-- you need to work on your awareness skills. Just give up your seat if you even think they might need or really want it.

Creep: You and I are two of the 5 freaking people in this entire car. But you parked your sweaty self right next to me, why? There are like 60 empty seats! Let's be honest: all things considered, we'd like to ride alone if possible. Respect my personal space. Spread out! Almost always a dude. Creep at the other end of train buddy.

Escalefter: WMATA coined this term a few years ago. You stand on the left of a moving escalator. The rule is: stand right, walk left. Was and will always be an issue. Mostly because it is an unwritten rule. And yes, escalators are meant to be ridden, not walked on.

United Front: You are almost always a group of tourists, but sometimes coworkers, too. You like to walk 5 abreast. Everywhere. Sidewalks, narrow Metro mezzanines, stairs. Side by side is the only way to go, but it's really hard to get around you, you know.

Decibelle: OK, the Metro doesn't have quiet cars. And it isn't a library. But we're travelling around in this relatively small metal canister. There's nowhere for your loud voice to go. It just bounces around the canister. Inside voice, pls. Anyway, the "listener" is standing right. next. to. you.

Door Blocker: If we have to exit the train single file around you, that's a cue. Step away from the door, or at least just out of it. Common sense was not just a revolutionary pamphlet...

The Crammer: Everyone wants to get home, now. I totally understand. But even though not one more soul can fit on this particular car, you are getting on at any cost, cramming your body in against the others. Even tough there are two trains 2 and 4 minutes behind this one. I watch as the train pulls away, your face flat against the glass of the doors.

Smelly: I never really know which one you are. And there might be more than one of you, but now the car smells like b.o. Thanks. Also, not me.

Breakfast Betty: Coffee and water aside (cos they're essential for life) there really shouldn't be eating or drinking on the Metro. You eat breakfast on the train, usually McDonald's or some variation there of. I've seen pizza, too. Is the no eating rule unnecessary? No, no it isn't eat home people.