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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

"But my feet are only on the edge..." and other cries of protests from foot and bag riders

from:L, A
to:"Cindy (Cj) Smith"
date:Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 6:47 PM

OK, here's the scene. A packed rush-hour train. She is among the last to board upstairs, has a large roller briefcase (because of course). 

The only seat in our quad is right across from me (next to the window) but she can't sit there with the enormous bag so the woman in the aisle seat generously offers to switch. That woman is a saint. Pleasantries all around. 

Bag lady decides to leave her bag in the aisle anyway, even though there's room under the seat. 

When we hit Oakville, the rider across from her departs. Bag lady hauls her bag from the aisle onto the seat and then perches her shoes on the seat.

I wait a minute or so and ask politely, "Could you please take your feet off the seat?" She stares at me like I just asked her to remove a prosthetic leg. I continue: "Your shoes are dirty and we all have to sit on these seats."

She says, "My feet are only on the edge. What does it matter?"

I say, "Well, it does matter. Also, there's a bylaw and you could get fined."

"Uh-huh, sure," she says, flashing me a side-eye that was simply outrageous. 

She moves her feet off the seat with a sigh. I say, "Do you really not understand why that's inappropriate?"

"I just don't see what the problem is, or why you care."

I went back to ponder the meaning of human existence. 

12 comments:

Bob Loblaw said...

Not wishing to discourage your good intentions... but the exchange does sound a bit uppity school teacher - naughty student ish. Sometimes I do the wrong thing but I hate to feel like a 5 year old when someone points out my mistake...

Ashwin said...

Good for you to have the courage to tell her. Whether she felt childish or not, doesn't matter; it's just disrespectful to the rest of us.

C.J. Smith said...

Not my story.

But I'm never backing down on getting people to just stop this nonsense.

G said...

The exchange sounds fine to me; how else should it be phrased? "Get your stanky-ass feet off the f'n seat!?" LA asked the woman to "please take your feet off the seat," and if that hurts her feelings then I don't know how she makes it through life without needing a fainting couch and smelling salts every ten minutes.

C.J. Smith said...

It sure beats my approach where I just bark at people.
I don't have it in me to be nice anymore.

Bob Loblaw said...

Yes! Barking is good because it's honest.

I'm trying to guess the tone of the verbal exchange because I wasn't there but based on the text it sounds terse and patronizing.

You don't get folks to bend to your will - however right it is - by being terse and patronizing. I too applaud L,A for speaking up - braver than me - but I'm not surprised by the outcome. Better to speak your mind and tell it like it is than send people spiralling back to Kindergarten (yes I've got issues ;) ).

Landru said...

I'm the LA in question and I know I wasn't terse and I tried not to be patronizing. In fact I was trying to be helpful by throwing in the "you could be fined" line.

It was clear after the first exchange she was the one with attitude: entitled, selfish. And side-eye? That normally gets me to Defcon 1 faster than you can say "footrider."

I hear you about tone. But I'm at the point now where I no longer give a shit about my tone. Adopt the most basic principles of civil conduct or else my tone just might reflect my disdain for their very existence.

Phynesse A said...

Why do adults need to be told feet on seats is not acceptable? The lack of common sense and courtesy these days is sad.

Anonymous said...

Well...this morning a lady in flip flops stetched her bare feet across the seat in front of her. No one wanted to say anything to her even though there were many side eyes. And I was wishing the ambassador would have cautioned about not putting feet on seats today. So I applaud you for speaking to that lady!

Anonymous said...

Why do these seats have to face each other anyway? It's just asking for this behavior.

Anonymous said...

Today, a young girl was in tears because a fellow passenger dared to tell her not to put her foot on the seat. She replied that she has a medical condition and that she wasn't hurting anyone. I just don't think common courtesy is being passed on anymore.

C.J. Smith said...

I have bursitis of the upper patella in my right leg.
Pens anserine bursities in my left leg.

Sitting with my knees bent causes me great discomfort. Ideally, putting my left leg up is ideal BUT GUESS WHAT? I don't.

Cry me a river.