Have a Nice Day . . . On Transit?


by Mel Dawn

Almost every morning is an exciting one on public transit. There’s no way to catch up on much needed rest when you’re surrounded by screaming children, people chatting loudly on cell phones, and the local drunk who still hasn’t made it home yet.

Here’s one of my experiences on the train with rude people. I’m not sure which passenger was in the wrong, or if both of them were.

One early morning I was trying to keep my eyes closed, but there was too much noise surrounding me. I was seated in the back, so I had a good view of the rest of the train. One teenaged guy entered the train and proceeded to sit in the handicapped seat. Etiquette rules generally say to give up a handicapped seat to a person who needs it, but obviously no one did for the moment.

The train carried on for a few stops until a young lady in her early 20s entered. She was dressed quite well and had a designer hand bag in her hand. She proceeded to walk up to the teenaged guy seated in the handicapped zone and glare at him.

“You’re in my seat!” she yelled at him.

He looked a bit surprised.

“What the fuck!? Why is this YOUR seat? Did you personally buy it?” he yelled back at her.

She stood a safe two feet away from him. “Yes, it’s my seat! And don’t say the F-word, it’s rude. Swearing is really bad!" She looked like she was going to be a bother.

“I’m sorry miss. But I don’t understand. Do you sit in this same seat every morning?”

She stomped her foot. “Yes, I do, because it’s MY seat. I sit there every morning, at the same time.

”By now the entire train car was wide awake and watching this play out.

The guy decided he didn’t want to talk to her anymore, so he stood up.

“Fine, here’s is YOUR seat.” He held onto the pole as there were no other seats where he could sit.

“Thank you!” she said, sitting down.

“No problem,” he said.

“Hey, did you know that I am disabled?” she said to him.

“No, I didn’t,” he replied sarcastically. The entire train started laughing.

“Well, it’s true. I have Aspergers.”

“Never heard of it,” he said. “Are you going to work?”

“No, who would hire me? I have Aspergers.” Everyone on the train laughed again.

“I don’t know what that is,” he muttered.

“It’s a form of autism. Basically I have trouble socializing with people.” She kept on staring at him.

“Really? You seem very chatty to me,” he replied. Everyone on the train laughed again.

The guy looked a bit unsettled by this point. There wasn’t a whole lot of room to move around in. He looked like he wanted to get away from her and end the conversation, but there was nowhere to go.

“I’m going to a crafting course,” the lady said. “We get to be creative and make things.”

“That sounds nice,” the guy said.

“You can come and join us, if you’d like. They welcome everyone. It’s at the community centre in Burnaby.”

“No thanks,” he muttered.

“Oh my fucking god!” she screamed. “I’ve missed my stop! It’s all your fault for talking to me!” She stood up and rushed towards the doors.

The guy yelled back at her. “Hey miss, don’t swear, it’s rude!” The passengers laughed again.

As she exited the train she said, “Sorry everyone, I didn’t mean to be rude. Have a nice day!”

Reach out to Mel Dawn

###

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