Friday, August 6, 2010

It takes a lot of courage to speak up

The ride home last night on the 4:53 was 'reedonkeylous' <- This is a new word of mine. Feel free to throw it around.

On the first coach, at the most eastern end near the doors stood a group of 7 people who spent the entire trip to Pickering forcing their laughter and conversation onto the rest of us. The rest of us being those who were trying to relax, read, work a crossword puzzle and doze off.

I'm not a prude. I don't expect silence and that's not realistic nor fair. What I do expect is some simple manners and common courtesy. Shouting, screaming, hysterical laughter and swearing are best suited for a bar patio, not the confines of a train.

Once at Pickering, the obnoxiousness displayed by this group rose to such a stupid level of rudeness that I forced myself to say something. I spoke up and kindly asked if they could keep it down as some people are trying to unwind, sleep and read.

Judging by the reactions of those around me, I could tell no one was surprised I spoke up and seemed almost relieved someone had said something but I put myself out there and got my ass handed to me on a platter by one of the taller men in the group - a man I see almost everyday in the mornings. He yelled at me and said "it ain't gonna happen." Then he and the rest of his train buddies proceeded to talk loudly and of course, I became the topic of their conversation. There were a lot of cheap shots directed at me but I chose to remain quiet and focused on looking out the window.

Sensing my discomfort, a few riders around me quietly thanked me for speaking up and told me this particular group of people behave like that every night.

I'm happy people are glad I spoke up but it would have been nice if I had more support verbally. Perhaps if these same people would have also expressed their annoyance alongside mine, I wouldn't have felt so vulnerable and uncomfortable. I realize most of us stay quiet to avoid confrontation but there's nothing wrong with a united front.

I can dish it and take it but when you ride a train with people you see daily, you really have to pick your battles carefully and this was a battle I felt was warranted.

I don't regret saying something, it had to be said.

What I don't like is I've now put myself out there and am now a target for further harassment.

I remember a time when people respected each other and if I was being loud and asked to quiet it down, I would apologize and correct my behaviour.

There's no more kindness left in the world for some. For many, it really does seem it's all about them and everyone else can just screw off.


Donna said...

I was on that train!
I was sitting the next aisle over but I was behind you. I heard when you spoke to them but couldn't really see you. I read your site almost everyday and I've always wondered who it is who writes it and if it's someone I recognize.

The people I was sitting with were just talking about how annoying these people are right before we heard you address them. And you're right, many of us choose not to say anything because we do see these people everyday and don't want drama.

It is sad that speaking up resulted in you being shouted at and the big guy who yelled at you has a big mouth in general. He talks loud on purpose because I think he thinks others are interested in what he has to say. I've moved coaches because of him. I'm certain if you were to post his photo many people on the LE would recognize this man. He thinks he's a nice guy but he's arrogant and rude.

If I had been closer to you, I would have come to your defence.

Anonymous said...

i think people are afraid saying something will result in them being stabbed or run over in a parking lot. no one knows how anyone will react these days but violence seems to be the 1st reaction.

Sarah Madson said...

Great! I'm glad these people reacted the way they did. What right do you have to ask them to be quiet. If you don't like it take another train or move. What you did was *rude*. Mind your own business and you won't have trouble. I'm sick of people asking me and my friends to be quiet or give us dirty looks when we ride home to Milton. People need to lighten up. If someone asked me to be quiet I'd be pissed. Do you work for GO? I don't think so so you have no authority to expect anyone to listen to you and they don't have to. Like I said, move.
To the people she's mad about, I'm on your side if you read this. Riding the train home with friends is thebest part. Maybe this crazy train blogger is too ugly and mean to have friends so she's jealous!!!

Anonymous said...

sarah, you sound like a self-centred ignorant ME ME ME princess.
glad you don't ride my train. i'd boot your ass off at Danforth.

Anonymous said...

Sarah writes of minding her own business, then proceeds to support the people who yell and disrupt everyone else on the train. How is that rational thought? If you want us to mind our own business, then you mind yours. That includes keeping quiet. If I am that interested in what you have to say I'll ask. I don't need to hear it everyday on my daily commute because you and your friends love to chat.

Sarah Madson said...

I see I must be too smart for you to understand. Do I go around and tell people what to do when they are on the train? No. Like I said, if people talking bother you, maybe you should drive or take another train. You can't police society.

And I am a princess. Bow down to me LOL.

Saje said...

Really Sarah? Really? If I have this right, we should all mind our business-as long as that is your business? I'm confused. It shouldn't be too much to ask for to have a respectful ride home.

If that is confusing, here is what many riders are looking for: people to speak at a conversational volume about topics that my kid would be safe to repeat the next day in class without me getting a call from his teacher.

I don't think that is hard, or even a strange request. Respect goes two ways. No one should have had to approach this group to ask them to keep it down. As a part of a larger group i.e. a passenger on the train, they have an obligation to be respectful. They shouldn't need to be told by GO and only GO. That is like saying that it is okay to drink and drive as long as I don't get caught. Or to beat my kid in public, as long as the police are not there.

Anonymous said...

i think just like SARAH MADISON everyone pays to ride the go train. i do not pay to hear about your oral escapades. if you provide those servies HOLLLAAAA

Anonymous said...

I'd like to take advantage of Sarah's oral escapades. if it will shut her up.
If ya know what I mean ...
Then i'd be okay knowing her mouth is being put to better use than yapping with her friends.

hmm her friends can join!!! theres alot of me to go around. Oh i have standards. so not sure if the fab 7 could do me

kary said...

There have been numerous complaints about that immature group of people in the shout-outs, but they're just like high-school bullies. They know that a group will not stand up to them, so they are just louder and louder. One day they were laughing hysterically because an ambulance was called, they kept aking jokes about it. It was sickening. They're just an ugly group. Especially the two guys with the '80s hair.

Jen said...

We have nick-names for them. "80's guy" is the short guy with bad skin and an 80's shag haircut. He wasn't popular in highschool but now he has friends. "90's guy" is the guy with a huge nose and a 90's haircut. He thinks he's a jock because he ran a half-marathon. Woo-hoo! All that, and a bag of chips. Fat-ass is the dark haired girl in yoga pants with, you guessed it, a fat ass. She likes to rub her ass up against the doors. Wrong choice of pants, girlie. Then there's "pensive guy". He's the overweight guy that won a trip to vegas. He looks off in the distance after he speaks. Probably wondering why he cant get laid. The rest are non-descript and don't get nick-names. I hope they don't stop because ridiculing them passes makes the trip home more entertaining.

Kelly said...

I wish I had been riding that train with you, because I wouldn't have hesitated to back you up.

Also, here is a section of By-Law No. 2, posted on the GO Transit website. Sarah should pay particular attention to part E.

3.28 No person shall commit an act contrary to public order on Authority
property, including but not limited to:
a) urinating or defecating, except in facilities specifically
intended for such actions; or
b) using profane, insulting or obscene language; or
c) behaving in an indecent or offensive manner; or
d) fighting; or
e) behaving in a manner which would interfere with the ordinary
enjoyment of persons using the transit system.

S.J Hillson said...

I see the big-nosed guy with the dark hair & bad haircut (90's guy...I like that Jen!) most mornings and he sits and quietly reads on the train. How does he have the nerve to disrupt everybody else when it suits him? He's such an ass I'd love to smack him in his arrogant face every time I see him sitting alone reading. Loser.

I hate that group. They've ruined my trip home, I can't have a quiet chat with my friend, it's too loud! I had to switch to another coach, and I'm very resentful about it.

TomW said...

I'm sorry you had such a bad experience as a result of asking people to behave in a consierate manner. I wonder if it's because they're in a group, and none of them once to loose face in front of their peers.

There have been a few occasions where I've asked someone to turn their music, and I've never had anything like what you did. (They generally look rather surprised, supporting my theory that all people with music cranked up are partly deaf).

I hope this doesn't put you off asking people to be nice.

C.J. Smith said...

It has put me off addressing anyone part of a group verbally.

However, I have printed off Kelly's reference and highlighted the section that Sarah feels does not apply to her.

I don't mind tapping the person on the shoulder and have them quietly read it.

Then I would just go sit back down.

Anonymous said...

Sorry wish i was there. Al i can think of is "Where, where the fuck, where the fuck do you have the balls to act the way you do - You BJ" (Russel Peters). Hmmm maybe next time when they are all together and in the same compartment someone could hit the yellow stripe and acuse them... HOLLAAA

Julie King, Moderator/Advisor, Education for the Driving Masses said...

Just a suggestion. Swearing should be denoted with an *. F*ck. Cool?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think we should go back to the days when everyone carried guns.

People would relearn polite behaviour in no time if we did, per force.

C.J. Smith said...

Sometimes I think we should go back to the days when everyone carried guns.


I strongly disagree. However, if you prefer that kind of society there are several countries you can move to that accommodate your way of thinking.