Friday, December 02, 2005

People To Hate: Metro Riders

This installment of People I Hate is brought to you by the HOV lane - the only time three is never a crowd - and inspired by Michael Stipe who reminds us that "...the train conducter says take a break. Driver 8 take a break..."

Today I am pointing my Hate Stick at.....Metro Riders. For the love of God, you Crazy People!

It is true. Just by virtue of being on the same over-crowded rush hour train, I am not going to like you for that short ride on the rails. It's nothing personal (I might like you again when we get off). But we are in competition for prime real estate. I mean, you can be the difference if I have a seat, if I have a pole to hold on to, or if I will be swinging from the overhead bar like a monkey. And we all want to be the first one off, the first one up the escalater, the first one at the turnstile. I will think you are the devil if you run off before me and stand on the escalater. Everybody knows the escalaters are for People Moving. Fast people moving.

Some of you are probably nice people. In fact, we may enjoy a beer together. Or a walk in the park. We could even exchange friendship bracelets. But just by being there - breathing my same air, riding the metro at the same time as me - well, you kind of suck at the moment. Unless you follow the rules and do not become any of the following Hated Riders.

There are the obvious Hated Riders who do not step off the train to let people off or the ones on the platform who barge the train before people can get off. There are the tourists who mostly have no clue - which I usually cut them some slack. But they should be banned from riding the hours of Rush Hour.

Then there are these characters:

You have your Mad Hatters. They only come out of the Rude Coccoon during the Rush Hour and when the trains are running on an abbreviated schedule, hence less trains equal more people. And I hate All Those People in All One Place. And apparently everyone else does too because it brings out the Mean. The Mad Hatters are the people who must be late for a very important date. They cram onto an already jammed train. And then choose to order the people that are already crammed in on where to stand. When they do this, this is what I hear, "There is room under the seats, people. Kindly crouch yourself down into a fetal position and stuff yourselves. Look you can fit two people under that one seat. That is how it works, people!" They are not happy unless you are pressed together - "skin on skin! hut, hut!" Like they read "Metro Rules of Order" - they know how to organize The People. Hey, I understand the hurry. I'm probably in one too. Nobody likes waiting more than 5 minutes for a train. But sometimes you need to. Deep breathing techniques help me.

Now I realize that there are the people that these Mad Hatters are yelling at that probably do deserve it. No, they DO deserve it. They are the other annoyance in an already Too Crammed train. They are the Spacesavers. These are the people who do not utilize the space efficiently and do leave empty space. Can't they see that it is a packed platform? Let the people on. Move in. Move around. Share. These people either have no clue or the world revolves around them. It can go either way with the Spacesavers. Oh, but if you are saving space for your "imaginary friend" well, then, me and the fellow travelers will give you that space. In that case.

Both of these breeds annoy each other the most and frankly, they both annoy me. Spacesaver wants to be by the door and Mad Hatter just wants to be on the train. But one time I got accused of being a Spacesaver. Me! A Mad Hatter got on board. Wait, no, he didn't "get on board." He pushed, squeezed, and shimmied his way onto that train and then chose to lecture me on where to stand because what he saw was a bunch of empty air between me and the million other people surrounding me. You know, we did not have skin-on-skin contact. But what Mad Hatter didn't see....was the seeing eye dog laying on the floor below my feet. It's like I was playing a game of Twister, contorting my body to fit the available space which was not in direct relation to the foot space - my right arm was on the silver pole behind me, left foot at dog's behind in front of me, right foot three feet to the left, left arm - well, I wasn't sure where my left arm was at that moment. It may have been on the that blue circle in the very corner under Joe's knee. I don't know. Needless to say, everybody in the vicinity put Mad Hatter in his place. "Atleast the girl is Twister-proficient!" and "Dogs are people too!"

But my least favorite Metro Commuters are the Sack Of Potatoes. There's one on every car. The train stops at a station. People get off. People get on. Sack of Potatoes sit contently in their seats and watch all the poor commuter peasants cramming into the train fighting for valuable pole space or that one seat that is vacant. That is their right. First come, first serve. Except! They wait until the train takes off and just as it does, they get up. First, don't they know that once the train moves - the people standing have to maintain their plant? When the train is in motion - it is crucial. Oh, I have tested this. AND, if you knew you were getting off at the next stop and you NEED to get in your Ready Set position, then get up when the train is in a station turning over more Hated Riders. It's win-win for everybody that way, Sack of Potatoes. I will not move for these people. Not even to get the seat which is second - at this point - to winning The Annoying Award.

Then, it is no wonder that Sack of Potatoes are also sometimes part of another group of Hated Rider. The Pushpins. These are the people who make their way to the doors while the train is moving all the while saying "excuse me, excuse me" all the way. Gunning for the doors. People, where are we going to move? I am already hanging from this pole like a chimpanzee, if I jump down now then I will lose my balance and fall. Besides I may be getting off too. In which case, you will get off behind me. It is the logical flow of the train - the people in front get off first to make it easier for the people in the back to follow suit. When they come near with their "excuse mes" I just put my fingers in my ear and "la-la-la-I-can't-hear-you!"

Finally, there is a group of people I like to call the Pole Dancers. Sounds....entertaining? Hardly. Pole Dancers are the people who lean against the pole with all their body like it is their business. Five people could hold onto that pole and not each other unless a Pole Dancer hugs it. Why don't you rub up and down it? Because I didn't get The Show. Or Pole Dancers can be the people who share the pole but whose hand keeps slipping....onto yours. Is it not obvious? Grab the pole and keep your grip people. It doesn't take much concentration. But usually these people are holding a newspaper with their other hand and ambidexterity does not come easy. So either way they are doing the "pole dance."

So Metro Commuters annoy me. I am sure you have encountered one of these or even a new breed before? If so, alert me so I can properly hate them too.


ChrisWoznitza said...

Hi I´m Chris. Greatings from Germany Bottrop !!

Morgan said...

Don't forget the folks who sit on the outside seat so they 'can exit' quickly and make anyone else squeeze inside. I don't know what these people would be called other than assholes, but I guess that is just me. I'm lucky, though, the train I have to take is rarely as busy as the one you take.

Greg said...

Here are a few, and you can change the titles I give, but you know the general category:

- Standing in a Walking Zone: the assclowns who insist on standing in the walking lane of an escalator. These people do the most damage when the trains are running every 20 minutes and you have to change lines. They are clueless to people walking up or down the escalators and cause big traffick jams only for several people to just miss their trains by a couple of seconds because these jackasses refused to realize the obvious...STANDING IS FOR THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE ESCALATOR!!!

- the Must Reads. People who absolutely must read on the metro. These toolbags believe that they have a god-given right to read on the metro; even while the space in front of them occupied by their newspapers or books could easily be occupied by an actual rider. also, the ones with the books end up jabbing you in the back with the book. Reading should be reserved for the Sack of Potatoes as they have the space for such frivolous matters during the rush hours rat race. PUT THE READING MATERIAL DOWN!!!

- I think you've touched on the metro rider whom I like to call Black Friday Shoppers (a subset of the Hated Riders I suppose). Yes, they are the riders who have to get on at all costs, even when people are still getting off the train. Much like insane shoppers waiting in line beginning at 4 AM on the day after Thanksgiving at Walmarts across the country and then causing a stampede when the store opens, these people don't care if they have to mow children and the elderly down, as long as they get on the train. These folks deserve to be verbally assaulted as you fight for your right to get off at your stop.

- Finally we have the people who just plain old need to take a shower or use deodorant. I am just stumped on what to call them. Perhaps the Vomit Inducers. One time I got on a packed metro car and someones body odor was just so repugnant, that I had to give up my valuable real estate (an actual place to stand) and switch cars. People! If you are going to use metro during rush hours, do the world a favor and use some deodorant...oh and this breed of commuter also needs a breath mint, or 10.

I know there are more species. Metro brings out the worst kind of people, or brings out the worst in people. The Washington Post should do a study of all these people. Perhaps the Must Reads can read about their kind while they are reading on the metro...and their paper is taking up valuable space and smacking someone in the face.

Original Me said...

Yes! More people to hate! I don't know how I could forget the people who have to sit on the outside and make you climb over them to get in; and the people with their reading material as an extension of their personal space; and the Smellies (always one of those). So the Hated Rider is to be continued....

James said...

Have you seen the singing asian guy? he gets on around foggy bottom sings hymns. not that i hate him it's just weird.

i also read that the female voice for metro is going away to be replaced by a more stern male voice to try to get people moving faster. They are also going to mark the platforms on where to stand and where to keep clear for people exiting. Those are the people i hate most. the ones that try to push on before everyone is out or just stand in front of the door like i'm going to walk through them to exit the train.

On the platform side the other people i hate is those that don't pay attention and only realize they are at their stop after about 25 seconds after the doors open. By this time everyone else has exited and the mad rush to enter the train is on and they are trying to swim upstream like the deserve unfettered exit even though they weren't paying attention.

Be Generous.

Morgan said...

Ughhh. I don't want them to start labeling anything. That will just cause a mad rush of people who will only stand right where the doors are going to open. I find that you should have to be smart enough to figure that out for yourself. I would imagine that something like this would make it harder b/c those people who would normally arbitrarily stand whereever on the platform will now migrate to where the doors are going to open. NOOOOOOOOO.