You stand on the platform waiting for the earliest train. You’ve been up since 4:30 a.m. The icy morning air bites at your bare legs, and the bump on your knee (from running into your bedside table while still half asleep) is beginning to throb. Just as your caffeine headache kicks in, the train arrives, blaring. Battling your fellow passengers (who wouldn’t surrender a seat to a pregnant woman on crutches?), you manage to snag a flip-down seat, big enough to accommodate only one side of your butt. For a moment the train is quiet-peaceful even. But soon the doors open and you hear a voice, an annoying voice. As it gets louder, other commuters exchange looks of dread, and suddenly, The Cell Phone Talker (CPT) bursts in, bellowing into her phone with a thick New York accent.
For the CPT (and others like her) we’ve created the Commuter Etiquette Guide, a collection of tips designed to protect innocent work-goers – and to help you avoid committing offenses of your own.
Use Your Cell Phone Sparingly
During their commute, most people are sleeping, working, or decompressing. The last thing they need is to hear the receiving end of your conversation about a friend’s lunch date. Just wait till you get home. If it absolutely can’t be put off, keep it short and sweet and speak in a low voice. Your friends will understand.
Spare Us the Obnoxious Ringtones
Think this sounds petty? Imagine resting your eyes on the way home from a rough day, when a single line of Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back” begins playing (on repeat) loud as a foghorn. Please put it on vibrate!
Lose the Baggage
Most of us juggle a combination of bags – portfolios, laptop cases, and purses (all oversized, of course). But those overhead shelves are there for a reason. Though you might think the seat next you is a great home for your belongings, another person needs it more.
Number of Asses = Number of Seats
It’s hard enough to find a place to sit during rush hour, without a single person claiming a four-seater as his or her personal lounge. Nothing is more annoying than having to separate from a group of friends because someone’s taking up half a car by himself. The rule of thumb is one seat for one ass, not one for your ass and another to elevate your feet.
Generally speaking, commuter etiquette reflects the Golden Rule. Treat others as you want to be treated: with respect. So be kind, be courteous, and let there be commuter peace on earth.