Please ignore me, but don’t treat me as if I am not there.
I use the pseudo name of Curmudgeon Commuter. Why? I don’t want to be stoned, or confused with the patron saint of commuting. Just leave me alone and let me commute in peace.
Whether you ride the Harlem, Hudson or New Haven lines, this blog’s for you. A couple of kudos, first to Kirstin Fawcett, my editor, for giving me this chance to vent, and to Jack Miller, the Stay-At-Home Dad. Jack, my fellow wordsmith and soulmate, petitions for civility in Scarsdale. I take the fight to the rails.
It’s annoying enough that I have to work. My commute adds insult to injury. It seems that everything about my commute irritates me. If you ride along with me, you probably have irritated me too. I can’t blame you though. Sometimes commuting is survival of the fittest.
No one is immune. It starts first thing in the morning, the minute we line up on the platform precisely where the train door will open. No one wants to get stuck in the middle seat. I’m envious of those elite of you who have given up, and I laugh at the rest of us because you are willing to stand.
Metro North is not all that bad, especially if you compare the train to a bus from Jersey or having to commute through Port Authority versus GCT. Our trains are mostly on time. The schedules accommodate me. There is still, however, plenty that does annoy me about Metro North. For example, witness the conduct of the majority of the conductors. The PA is like texting to them. It removes all actual social interaction. They may make an announcement to keep your feet and bags off the seats and to speak in civil tones on the phone, but I have never seen them enforce the rules.
While I remain anonymous here, some of you know me because I’m not afraid to ask people to behave when the conductors don’t. I’ll tell the teens to take their feet of the seats; the ladies that lunch, to stop yelling into the phone, the seat hogs to remove their bags from the seat so we can sit. I’ll even tell the guy with offensive flatulence to give us a break. I hold nothing back, even though I count on others to.
There is good in all of us. Sometimes we need a bit of encouragement. Hopefully, as it relates to commuting etiquette, these blogs will give the good stuff in all of us a little push.