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Friday, November 1, 2013

Quiet Zone madness!

Last night on the train ride to Oshawa, this man came up the stairs while we were still at Union chatting on his phone. He sat down in the quad behind me, continuing to loudly conduct his phone call.

I put my headphones in, turned up the sound for my Angry Birds game, and forgot about him.

I don't know about you, but this is how I roll in the Quiet Zone. I have no expectation of quiet. I ride like it's 2012/11/10/09 -- pick a year.

I got an inkling the man hadn't ended his call when the train started rolling because I could see folks around me sitting higher in their seats, and straining their necks to catch a glimpse of him. The lady beside me was extra annoyed. I took my headphones out.

With each page turn of her TOnight newspaper, she would audibly sigh and then turn to look at (let's call him George) who was repeatedly telling the person on the line that, "that's why I wanted to discuss this with you".

"... I know. And that's why I figured we should talk."

Page turn. Sigh.

"... uh-huh. Good that we can discuss it ... "

Page turn, Sigh. Shift in seat. Strain neck. Shoot death stare.

Why can't some of you just speak up and voice your annoyance? You know what's not so quiet? All of these moans and groans, exaggerated gestures and dramatic page turning. That's more annoying than George who is really happy he's discussing whatever he's discussing with the person he needed to discuss it with.

A few minutes later, I could hear the faint beeping of a Presto inspection on the first level. Up come two enforcement officers and I swear to God, it was like being in grade school. Several people tapping their cards leaned forward in whispered confidence to ask the Transit Officers if they could ask George to end his phone call -- a la AND RESPECT ALL THE QUIET ZONES!

I. Was. Amazed.

George didn't look like the kind of guy, if confronted, who would make a scene or stick someone with a straw. And damned if I was going to be the Quiet Zone Spokesperson. No one ever thanks me, so fuck it.

The Transit Officers listened with exaggerated empathy (good on you guys) and reminded these passengers that they are entitled to say something. One woman was incredulous at this suggestion, telling the officer, "The guy should know better". Snort. Yeah, lots of adults should know better, but they don't. This whole site is built on adults who should know better.

Finally one officer relented and asked George to can it. I think George was oblivious to where he was sitting on the train. He ended his phone call immediately and stared hard out the window.

Around me, people smiled in smug satisfaction.

Ugh. You guys had nothing to be proud of.

I'm gonna use a phrase I used to use on my sisters every time I beat them at a game of Pole Position.

REE-DONKEY-YOU-LOSE!

11 comments:

Squiggles said...

OMG! It takes no time at all to politely remind people that they are in the quiet zone! But the T.O.'s should be reminding people of correct behaviour when they are fare checking as well.

Besides, I choose not to ride the Quiet Zone in the evenings. Solely because it has never been enforced and the loud conversation so self-important people have is not worth it. Will continue to sit on the crowded 1st level in relative peace.

LC said...

An example of why some people might keep quiet on the train...
About a week ago on the LSW there was a quad of business men in the Quiet Zone of the accessibility coach loudly chatting away about their work day. The woman behind them went down to the CSA to ask for an announcement about the quiet zone being in effect (I assume she did because the announcement was made about 1 minute after she huffed off). They heard this and commented out loud for everyone to hear "We never take the train and didn't know about this rule". Okay.. so they were quiet for about 5 minutes and then started up again. As another man was exiting the train, he paused in front of the chatty men and said something to the effect of "Your behavior is disrespectful towards everyone else on the train, you heard the announcement and ignored it...". As he walked away one man from the quad shouted at him "I hope you don't trip down the stairs"... seriously.. this guy was like 50, not 15. Grow up. Then another passenger called him "just another Quiet Zone Nazi" and stated that no one cares about the Quiet Zone. A bunch of people laughed. It was a ride home that still evokes a feeling of disgust in my stomach today.

Skin Man said...

I had an unfortunately encounter earlier this week with some a loud threesome earlier this week. One fellow reminded them they were in the quiet zone, and was greeted with derision. About 5 more minutes past and he spoke to them again and they started to tell him they weren't bothering anyone, so I spoke up and said you are bothering many of us, please use your library voice if you want to have a conversation. That was welcomed with your immature banter. However they did quiet down for balance of the trip.

I swear its like grade school how these people were behaving.

C.J. Smith said...

Spelling errors corrected!

Here's my take. I have asked people to quiet the hell down but I find it's best not to make a scene. This means exiting your seat, leaning in real close to the person's ear and telling them where they are and what people expect of them.

I haven't had anyone engage in a juvenile response, yet, but I have seen how loudly asking people to be quiet has gone downhill real fast with the offenders turning the tables on the shushers (as LC pointed out).

dOxxxicle said...

I figure the immature responses are a knee-jerk reaction to being embarassed in public. It takes a certain amount of character to gracefully admit you're wrong in public.

C.J. Smith said...

I was shushed in the Quiet Zone. I didn't like it (I was opening up a Protein Bar) but I said sorry.
I did, however, chew loud in protest.

OVER A WRAPPER! A WRAPPER!

Nope, not over it.

Bicky said...

People seem to think the Quiet Zone is a Silent Zone. It's not.

I sat next to a guy upstairs who was on his phone but he was so quiet, you wouldn't know it. Makes me wonder if the person on the other end heard him.

Quiet Zone not Frat Party Zone.

Peter said...

The bus trip from Niagara Falls to Burlington this afternoon was a DD catching significant wind out of the SW. Add to that road and engine noise, and we have 75 dB ambient sound level. A young lady, let’s call her Blondie, received a call from a friend shortly after we left St. Catharines. It was nothing but blah, blah, blah, blah, blah to Grimsby, where Blondie disembarked. I commented to a friend on the LSE train trip from Union that the lower level of the car we were on was like a morgue in comparison to the bus trip. Train folk have no idea what noise is.

Amanda Standidge said...

I have done just that before, rise, approach and quietly let people know that they are in fact sitting in the quiet zone, sorry to bother you, bit these are the rules. it mostly goes well, but one time, some obviously not commuters, looked at me like I had 3 heads and the man proceeded to yell "that's insane! That's so stupid! So insane" for several minutes before resuming his conversation. Oh well I tried. But most of the time this tactic is well received.

Anonymous said...

The instances I've witnessed, when commuters ask noisemakers in The Quiet Zone to keep it down, usually results in the mouth full of bad language and causing scenes. The Customer Service reps and GO Cops, if asked, should tell noisemakers to quiet down. They seem to have more authority and enforcement than commuters.

deepfish said...

Its part of enforcement on the cheap. which seems to be the GO style. Post inadequate signage, don't *really* enforce the rules, and hope that passenger suasion can take the place of real action, or a real public awareness campaign.