Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Commuter Rage: Why it's never a good idea

Like most Londoners I catch the Tube to most destinations. This includes the commute to work. Of a morning I have worked out that there are always one or two seats on the 07.57 train. This is the train that comes from another branch. I have also worked out which carriage is the emptiest and where the doors open. Therefore, I ensure I’m on a train that has at least one seat AND I’m the first on. It’s not rocket science.

This morning was no exception, as always I let everyone cram onto the 07.55 and then waved them off as I moved into my waiting spot and waited for the emptier train behind it. It seems that another lady has clocked me and my seat finding skills. That’s fine, who am I tell her “No you can’t copy me!” However as much as she’s realised I know where the seats are, she hasn’t quite worked out how to be polite on a platform.

This woman was standing so close to me she may as well of climbed on top of me. Yes I’m standing where the doors are going to open. Standing that close to me isn’t going to make me move. I was here first so if you could back off a little please that would be super-duper! There is no one else here so there is no need to make my personal space some sort of woman on woman communal area. I don’t even know your name love so any sort of hip on hip action is best left well alone. The train pulled up and right on que the doors opened smack bang in front of me and half of her, the half that was touching me. The stupid cow then had the audacity to push me with her elbow to get on first. Let’s keep in mind it’s 8am. I’m really not the friendliest of people at the best of times. Jabbing me with your elbow this early in the morning is just going to piss me off and in turn I’m going to make the rest of your commute a living hell.

So she runs onto the train and does this spread-leg-shuffle thing in the door way, looking for a seat. I step in behind her. Clearly this is some sort of seat finding race. Again let’s point out its 8am. Seat or not, I just want to read my book and be left alone. We can race another day at a more sensible hour. She suddenly made a dash left. I myself spied a seat on the far right and made my way over. Settling in with my book and Ipod, I looked up and she was standing over me with the face of a woman scorned. Wondering what happened to her seat I look down the carriage to find that the seat she broke the land speed record to get too was in fact not empty but it rather contained a small child with his head down reading a picture book. God bless small people and picture literature!!

We travelled along and every second stop I made the effort of putting my book down, putting my Ipod back in my bag and just generally going through the motions of someone just about to disembark. Every time I did it, she did the spread-leg-shuffle, ready to pounce on my seat. The folk around me smiled at the morning entertainment I was proving and other commuters began to join in. We had her doing the spread-leg-shuffle all the way to the Euston at which point she realised she was the butt of a public joke and moved on down the carriage.

And the motto to the story? There is no motto really, just that if you stand so close to me that we could be mistaken for conjoined twins and then jab me with your elbow in an unproved act of Commuter Rage; I’ll make 20 odd commuters laugh at you for my own commuting pleasure.