Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Imma let you rant

I got this email from someone who wrote it on an iPad. Considering the touchscreen keyboard on my new Smartphone results in me spending one hour to type one sentence (it was "I like apple pie", in case you were wondering) this email from Anonymous with a beef about the Barrie Quiet Zone is impressive.

It would have taken me 6 days to bang out this masterpiece.

However, I don't feel technically retarded anymore since I was shown the Samsung Swype feature. It's voo-doo! It's electronic sorcery at its finest and it's all kinds of hawtsome.


THE QUIET ZONE . . . Say goodbye to balance . . .

Ah yes . . . 

I see the brain trust at GO is hard at it again . . . the "quiet zone".


GO tells us this has been implemented because they've been "listening" to their customers. No doubt a ploy to attempt to look good without spending money.

Hmmm . . . maybe through all the perceived din before this new "service", GO couldn't hear the other folks complaining that they have to stand or sit on the dirty stairs for most of their $7 (one way) trip. I bet those same customers don't give a rat's ass whether someone beside them is talking on the phone or chatting with colleagues. Maybe GO will hear them now - now that it's so much quieter.

CJ. One of your readers posted about this becoming a "Lord of the flies" situation between passengers. I concur. This is poking a hornet's nest with a stick. Even simple hypothetical discussions about this matter nowhere near a train get heated.

I was recently "shushed" by someone while having a quiet conversation with my girlfriend. That didn't go very well. I've heard about conflicts that have already existed.

Just imagine the potential brouhaha that might arise now that you've slapped a Deputy's badge on the passengers that just can't exercise "balance".  "A rule's a rule!" they cry. The CSAs must love this!

Let's be honest - how big of a problem was noise really in the past? Not much in my experience. I've been a GO rider for 20 years and I can probably only count on one hand (two, tops) when I was really distracted by someone talking on the phone or to other GO buddies too loudly. Furthermore, most of the time when this was an issue, it was politely policed by the other passengers and resolved - Deputy Dawg not required.

So because of a few people that can't find their own balance, can't pick their battles, or sweat the small stuff:

50% of the Barrie line ridership is now forced to sit in the lower level of a train that already has seating problems if their work involves a phone call. In case GO didn't notice, ALL of their passengers are business people in a mobile world. A world where employment extends past the conventional 9 to 5. Many  people get a lot of work done on the train.

GO culture is very much about friendship - often life long friendships made on these very trains. We are now being told we are not even allowed to quietly talk.

If someone needs to take or place a call, they are now expected to give up their seat, go downstairs with all their belongings and finish the call there. Yuk yuk yuk.

Perhaps the people who are so very troubled by the offensive noise on the GO and are in such need of the tranquility they seek - should take their cars. Or maybe they should take the subway . . . try "shushing" someone there . . . . . . . . yah, I didn't think so.

This is PUBLIC TRANSIT people!

Or, maybe GO should add a few cars and designate them as "quiet cars" - and hey - why not CHARGE for these cars!? Another item for GOs a la carte service offerings (like reserved parking).

There is a lady sitting directly across from me as I write this . . . snoring up a storm. Now, does that fall into the rules of the quiet zone? Should I wake her? Hmmmmm . . . 


Anonymous said...


deepfish said...

The Quiet Zone will, if past history with "no smoking zones" is any guide, soon be a haven for loud talking cell phone-on speakers death-metal thrashing zombies...

deepfish said...

...and their whiny titty-ass babies...

RC said...

I take the Lakeshore East and on the upper level most people either sleep, read or watch a mobile device. It would be quiet except for a handful of people. So if it takes a Quiet Zone to shut them up, I say bring it on!! Yes, it sucks for the few people that manages to talk and not disturb everyone, but majority rules, sorry!

Squiggles said...

What a baby. How does it feel to be so entitled? On a side note, you probably have one of those booming voices that makes it impossible to talk "quietly". It was probably this that was bothering the lady and not the conversation.

I agree with RC. Lakeshore is pretty quiet on the top level, which is where I head every morning. It only takes one yahoo to ruin the trip for everyone. And they have no idea that they are annoying or too self-absorbed to care.

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I understand this situation, please.

GO is designating one car (or maybe the upper floor of each car? in any case, it's not the entire train) to be a "quiet zone" where Joe keeps his g-d'ned mouth shut, and good on him?

So this writer can't deal with the thought of there being quiet zones on the train, or, like a moth and a flame, stay out of them?

George said...

Hmm, the author of that letter is such an entitlement hungry person.

"Let's be honest - how big of a problem was noise really in the past? Not much in my experience."
Actually, it was almost every day pain. Every week, 4 out of 5 day, on Barrie line we had 1 or 2 yahoo persons, who would disturb the silence on the whole floor. Every time, they claimed that they were entitled to express their free speaech at any public place. Nowadays, it's quiet on 2nd floor, and it's like a bliss.

From my observation many people do like Quiet Zone, because it's the 2nd floor gets filled faster then 1st. By the time we pass Aurora Station, the 2nd floor is filled more than 75%.

Also, since you like to talk on the phone then why do you go to the 2nd floor at all and now you are grumbling that you are required to leave when some calls you? Just find a sit one 1st floor, sometimes it may be found not in the train-car where you got on but definitely it can be found in another train-car.

"50% of the Barrie line ridership is now forced to sit in the lower level of a train that already has seating problems if their work involves a phone call. In case GO didn't notice, ALL of their passengers are business people in a mobile world. A world where employment extends past the conventional 9 to 5. Many people get a lot of work done on the train."
Did GO transit promise you work-like environment on GO trains? No. I don't think so. A public place is the public place but not your work place. Based on you logic you, it's ok to take a call if you are in a concert, or in a library or in an evening lecture-course at your university after your work since "your" work call is more important than other people around you.

What also probably torments you is that other phone callers on 1st floor are on the same floor as you. Basically, you and the other callers disturb each other and cause phone conversation interference by talking loudly non-related things to each other conversion.

Nowadays, people more and more are required to travel and to do more stuff in everyday life. Many become deprived from needed 8 hours a day sleep. At least on a train ride in Quiet Zone, people can tune out for a moment from their hectic life and from their reality.

mumzthewurd said...

Who is sweating the small stuff? You can still do all of those things, chat, work, make phone calls etc. just do it on the lower level. You can still text on the upper level, use your laptop, iphone or blackberry. Why are YOU having a problem with this? I would just like to read a book without having to simultaneously listen to ACDC at full volume just to drown out your voice.

Anonymous said...

This is why we can't have nice things. There's always going to be some people that can't play by the rules, or think the rules or stupid, so they should be ignored. Considering the distance involved on Barrie GO Trains, why can't you just sit on the lower, or even the 2nd level? People coming from the start of the line have some of the longest train commutes in the province. It's pretty funny that you suggest people who are tired and want to get some shut-eye during the morning commute drive their cars. Yep that's a safe idea! Obviously people do like the idea of quiet zones, or else you wouldn't have gotten shushed. Instead of taking the hint you've gotta be the one who says "RAHH THESE QUIET ZONES SHOULDN'T EXIST ANYWAY AM I RIGHT FOLKS?" These zones aren't a new invention, they exist in many other cities. If you don't like them, sit on another level. It's really not that hard.

It's funny that you mention the Subway because, during the morning commute, most of the time they are quiet zones. You'll have a train packed to the gills but everybody is silent. Mainly because everybody is miserable and they know their fellow passengers don't want to hear their opinions on last night's episode of The Voice.

The quiet zones rely on people having courtesy and empathy for fellow passengers. As well as the hope that most people don't want to be the jackass that every single other passenger loathes by not keeping his/her mouth shut.

Anonymous said...

I take the Barrie train and agree the quiet zone is useless. considering the limited amount of seating people are really not gonna care if vacant seat they find is in the quiet zone or not. if i see a seat i sit in it.
GO should consider adding more trains to the line so the trains aren't so packed and we're not all in each others' faces.

calvinhc said...

George mentioned, "they claimed that they were entitled to express their free speaech at any public place."

It burns me up every time people like those George mentions incorrectly cites "freedom of speech". Nobody has the right to say anything anywhere at anytime.

The right is to not be persecuted for speaking one's mind. There is no guarantee of a stage and a microphone to do that, you have to supply that yourself or find a place and work within the restrictions of that place.

Keep quiet when in a quiet zone! If you don't like the existence of a quiet zone, set up a protest at GO's head office and exercise your free speech there.

Kelly said...

Riding the train for 20 years and only been distracted twice? Have you been riding on the roof? I've been riding the train for 20 years too, and I can't go 2 hours without it happening.

Anonymous said...

You think I would care about annoying other passengers? Who are the ones talking about "entitlement"? The "quiet zone" passengers are ALSO feeling entitled. When you aren't! Look if I need to or want to sit on the upper level, and I want to make a phone call i WILL do it from the seat I am in! DEAL WITH IT! And if you try to tell me to be quiet i will just laugh in your face!

Anonymous said...

Alas - my point about balance has been proven.

Thank you Deputies.

Anonymous said...

I don't ride the GO, just the subway. I am astonished at this Quiet Zone idea. I can't see how it will be enforced, short of having it policed by riders themselves. Which will lead to argument and disagreement – hardly the outcome sought by the Quiet Zone idea. I frequently talk with friends on the subway and would not comply with someone who told me I could not speak. That would be over-reaching on their part, I believe. If I were on GO, I don't think that having a conversation by cell should occasion me having to move to another car. It's still a conversation, even though the other is physically absent.
The idea of talk / no-talk zones has uncomfortable echoes of free speech / no free speech zones. A balanced response would involve posted reminders about keeping talk to polite levels. Ruling it out entirely turns the public space of a train into the sacramental space of a church. I suggest that if you want that quiet, perhaps you should go to a church or its equivalent. Earplugs are also an option. If, as a rider, you may have been uncomfortable asking someone to keep it down, you will be no less uncomfortable telling them to not speak at all. You may feel yourself empowered by the new policy, but the new policy is, in my view, more over-regulation of public space. I wouldn't be surprised if this new regulation leads to more social anxiety – as if there isn't enough of that already.

Anonymous said...

I take the Barrie line and the cars are packed, especially from Maple onward. We STAND where there's a spot available or where the momentum of the herd pushes us. We barely have enough room to open our papers to read them - personal space is non-existent. Like so many others, if there's a seat available on the upper levels, we're going to take it..cellphone in hand or not. #jusayin

Bicky said...

Has it ever occurred to people that if we all were just a little kinder, aware of our surroundings, and more respectful to others when out in public, that we wouldn't need to implement a Quiet Zone?

Just because you're out in public, doesn't mean you can behave like a jackass and annoy everyone around you.

That said, the next time I hear some fool on the train giving out his credit card information on a very loud cell phone call, Imma writin' it down and going online shopping.

Anonymous said...

@Bicky: Could you post the CC # here, please, so we can go shopping with you? ;-)

kaneshiro said...

Side note:
You guys notice that non quiet zone has gone louder...
10year go rider