Friday, February 10, 2006

Subway Etiquette

Since you all loved last week's post on Umbrella Etiquette, and since the people of New York still need so much help in the "be courteous of others" department, it's time for another part in the etiquette series, this time, about riding the subway. Any New Yorker who rides the subway probably does it every day, so the plain fact is that we all know how it works. Still, there are about a million people who don't bother to follow a few very simple rules that would make subway riding more pleasant for everybody. So all you jerks out there, this one's for you:

1. When you are standing on the platform, and the train pulls up, do not immediately stand right in front of the doors waiting for them to open. This is the simplest rule, and still, so many people don't understand it. I know you're in a rush, but you have to wait for the people to get off the train before you can get on. So standing right in front of the doors only makes this process take longer, because they have to wait for you to move, or glare at you and then push past you. See those yellow blocks on the platform that say "Stand Aside?" They are there for a reason. The conductor stops the train specially so that the doors open at those yellow blocks. So do what they say!

2. If you don't have your Metrocard ready, get the fuck out of the way. I see it every day. It's rush hour. People are zipping in and out of the turnstiles. And inevitably, I will be behind some woman who will race down the subway steps, and then come to a dead stop in front of the turnstile. Then she will start looking around for her metrocard. Here's a though - how about having it ready when you get down there? Remember when you had thirty seconds to kill waiting to cross the street? That might have been a good time to look for the metrocard. If you don't have your metrocard ready, move to the side.

3. If the train is crowded, do not lean your entire body against the pole. People really do this! They lean up against the whole thing so that you can't possibly hold on to it - because you'd literally have to slide your hand between the pole and their stomach. Ew. People, the next time you see five people falling all over the place on a train car, please remove your stupid body from the pole so that they can have a place to hang on.

4. Don't get on the train and stand right in the doorway. And if you're already on the train and standing in the doorway, please move the fuck out of the way when the doors open to let others on. I know that's the good spot, and I like it too, believe me. But everybody bottlenecks near the doors and no one stands in the middle of the train and it's idiotic. When trains are crowded, I'm afraid that I'm going to miss my stop too - but you know what? That's one of the risks you take living in New York. Get over it.

5. Don't stick your hand in the doors when they are almost closed to try and get on. Seriously, it scares the crap out of me. I saw these two old ladies do it once, and the doors kept closing on them while they tried to get on, and then one got on and the other fell, and she got her leg wedged in between the train and the platform. And I thought that the train was going to take off and it was scary. So just don't do it. There's another train coming in five minutes, believe me. You should see how the trains are in Italy. They close in one shot, slam shut - and God help you if you're hand or anything else is in there. You'd be helplessly dragged to Milan and no one would even notice.

6. Last but not least, try and be mindful of personal space. I know it's sometimes difficult, especially during rush hour, but some of you perverts (you know who you are) take it too far. Get off me.

Happy Friday!


Post a Comment

<< Home