Now that you know how to board the Metro correctly it is time to learn how to conduct yourself whilst on the train itself. This is where the majority of Metro crimes are committed. I’ve tried to break this guide down into a number of crucial areas, please take the time to study them and understand where you are going wrong.
Today I’m going to concentrate on one subject that deserves a blog all of its own.
Nothing brings out the ugly side of Metro passengers like the battle for seats. We all like to have a seat, we are lazy beings by nature but that doesn’t mean you should throw away years of good manners to gain twenty minutes of time off your feet. Chances are that you’ll be sat on your arse for the next eight hours, would it really hurt your precious tootsies to stand for a little bit?
There are many seat criminals out there and, if not the worst, certainly the oddest are the wannabe train drivers. There appears to be an unseemly battle to get the very front seats on the train. The winner will inevitably sit there, tooting on an imaginary whistle, whilst pretending to drive the train. There’s a reason why they couldn’t get a job as a proper train driver, they are a danger to themselves and the public.
If you see someone rushing to the front, probably best to leave them to it. If you are the person making the dash to be Billy Twofeathers, please keep your hands where we can see them.
The virtual queue for seating is far more complex than the one for boarding the Metro or for buying a beer, it isn’t necessarily a case of first come, first served.
If you are boarding the train and there are available seats, they generally go to the first people boarding assuming there are no standing passengers. This becomes a little trickier when the available seat is equidistant between two doors. Two people could conceivably board at the same time and be equal in terms of priority. The first person to spot it gains the seat even if they aren’t the quickest getting there. You’ll win as many as you lose so take it on the chin if someone spots it first.
When somebody leaves their seat it traditionally goes to to the person closest to it rather than the person who has been there longest. This may seem unfair but it is purely for practical reasons. If you are closest but know someone has been there longer, you can offer up your place. This will gain you extra Metro points with your fellow passengers. Remember, most of them see you every day so it’s nice to be nice.
If you are an experienced commuter and have put the hours in, it is perfectly acceptable to do some tactical standing. Knowing which passengers are likely to alight and when is a skill mastered by only the best Metro travellers and they deserve to take advantage.
Some things shouldn’t need explaining, like giving up your seat to the elderly or pregnant women. I often hear it argued that you can’t always tell if someone is pregnant or if they are a bit of a chubster. Does it matter? Even if they aren’t pregnant the poor bugger is probably knackered after carrying all those Greggs bags.
Controversially I am going to make an exception to the always give your seat up to pensioners rule. It should be the default but when a group of ramblers get on at rush hour, then complain about it being busy despite them turning up at the same time every month, they can stand. You are fit enough to ramble, you’ve had all day to get on the Metro yet you choose to get on at the busiest time of day with your backpacks. Invading somebody’s personal space and tutting will not encourage them to give up their seat.
There are also responsibilities if you are offered a seat. Always say thank you or politely refuse and remember the offer of a seat is to you and you alone. Don’t offer it to a random stranger or worse still, as has happened to me when offering it to a pensioner, give it to your grandchild. If you do this I will give the child a Chinese Burn.
If you are lucky enough to get a seat, your responsibilities don’t stop there. They are only just starting.
If two seats are available together, always take the window seat. Don’t ever sit on the aisle seat leaving the window one empty (see old woman below). This is on a par with having sexual relations with your neighbour’s Yorkshire Terrier. You will be hated and publicly shamed for a few minutes of selfishness.
Similarly seats aren’t for placing your many bags on as if they are an imaginary friend. If you need to be asked to move your bags, you are a deviant and if you have a small child, would it really hurt to put them on your lap to free up your seat?
Manspreading is still an issue with some men seemingly not able to operate their legs whilst sitting down due to the brains in their arse being rendered inoperable. If someone is manspreading it is perfectly acceptable to sit on their knee until they move.
Finally, and once again this should need no explanation, if you put your feet up on a seat I will remove your smelly Nike Airs and pelt them out of the window.