Friday, November 14, 2014

How to be civil in the Quiet Zone - 12 things to know

This morning's situation STILL irks me, so on my lunch hour, I wrote out some rules for GO Train etiquette.

The Quiet Zone is not the Dead Zone, but there are things that people do that can be an annoyance on the train or on any form of public transit - quiet zone or no quiet zone:
  1. If you want to eat - go ahead. If you want to eat anything that requires you to dig deep down into anything plastic, paper or cellophane - consider fasting for the rest of your journey home. No one wants to listen to your incessant crinkling. No one.

  2. Care to read the newspaper - fantastic! Do you need to snap the page after every turn?! Consider buying a tablet and read the paper electronically. No one wants to listen to your furious paper abuse.

  3. Listening to Metallica? Pantera? Maybe you're into Death Metal? Guess what? I'm not. So I don't want to hear it. Turn it down.

  4. Listening to anything, or playing a game, without headphones? GET OFF THE TRAIN.

  5. Working on a crossword? Holy hell, #19 down is hard, huh? Clicking your pen at 80 km/hr probably helps you concentrate better, but it makes me want to take your pen and stab you in the ear with it. Just don't.

  6. "WATCHA GONNA DO WITH DAT BIG FAT BUTT?!" Oh, is that your ring tone? How about you put your phone on vibrate?

  7. Your phone is ringing. ANSWER IT. Don't sit there and pretend it's not your's because you forgot to turn it off, or put it on vibrate, and you're stuck in the Quiet Zone and don't want to be "THAT PERSON". ANSWER. YOUR. PHONE. Especially if your ring tone has anything to do with fat butts.

  8. If your phone rings - go ahead and answer it. Listen to who the person is on the other end and respond accordingly. If it's your child calling, crying, because they vomited all over the kitchen floor, tell your kid to hang on and tell your quad mates, apologetically, that you have to take this call and that your kid is sick. People are surprisingly sympathetic when other people are GRACIOUS. Did you get that? GRACIOUS. This also works if you get a surprise call from your Chicago office about an AWOL cable installer. Rather than launch into a loud, hysterical conversation asking how much vomit there is, giving directions for where the mop can be found, what towels should not be used, etc., give your fellow commuters a heads-up. Vomit happens. We get it. If it's the roofer wanting to ask some questions about your house because you submitted a request online for a quote, well shit, that conversation can wait until you get off the train. There used to be a time when people would phone your number, get an answering machine, because you weren't home yet, because you were on a train, and they would leave a message. I know, right? WHAT VOODOO IS THIS? Voicemail is a wonderful thing. People need to embrace it.

  9. Need to make an urgent conference call? GO. DOWN. STAIRS. Better yet, go to the toilet. And stay there.

  10. Typing a text message? Wait ... how is this annoying, let alone a disturbance? (Chuckle) It is if you've left your phone's keypad tone enabled. SHUT IT OFF. I had an iPhone user next to me on the train this past summer who was painstakingly typing out her grocery list one letter at a time. I couldn't take it. It was torture. So I asked her to turn off her keypad sound. She didn't know how to do it so I did it for her. Then she asked why it makes a sound in the first place. That's a good question. Anyone care to answer that?

  11. Chatting by text? In rapid succession? TURN OFF THE VOLUME ON YOUR PHONE. We all don't need to know you're enjoying a rowdy text conversation. We don't need to hear your pings, your bells, your chimes, your whistles, or your "uh-oh"s circa 1998 in an ICQ chat window.

  12. Is your friend on the train with you? Are you both pumped about the latest issue of Canadian Living and need to discuss - at length - the recipe featured on the cover? Sounds delicious but please, SIT DOWNSTAIRS.
Did I miss anything?  Let me know in the comments.


Squiggles said...

Preach it!

Yes, agreed with everything you said. Maybe add in a line about headphones needing to be used with tablets/phones while playing games and movies? No one, and I mean, NO one wants to hear those annoying pings and gunshots, let alone at Oh God It's Early o'Clock.

And the worse was the crinkling. At 6:30am, someone thought it was a good idea to eat chips. Without paying attention to if and where another one might be.

A new one is: someone's phone has a weird space-like ring to it. It is quite quiet, so quiet you actually start wondering if you heard it. And they let messages pile up and not deal with them either.

SusanSpeaks said...

God, yes, PLEASE take a minute to get yourselves some tissues and carry them with you. Constant sniffling, snorking and other gross nasal noises drive me BATTY! How do people not know how to blow their nose anymore!?

Nora1968 said...

Actually, I disagree with the item re: conference calls. I never sit in the Quiet Zone myself, but as someone who is still paying just shy of $9/trip, I don't feel that electing to sit downstairs means that I have to put up with some idiot who feels it's appropriate (and courteous) to conduct a 10-minute long business/conference call about matters that other passengers (a) don't care about but also (B) SHOULDN'T BE HEARING ABOUT because they're probably CONFIDENTIAL.

Conference calls are for the office, or your home. Not the train - regardless of where you sit.

Anonymous said...

Yes, absolutely post all these guidelines for commuters to ignore.

Or get a CSA to enforce them

Jules said...

I agree with Nora. The quiet zone or not I think people need to be aware of their noise level, NO conference calls anywhere, NO speaker phone in public and keep regular calls breif unless an emergency.

Anonymous said...

In all seriousness these guidelines SHOULD be posted in the cars! Maybe a friendly humorous type poster, but posted none-the-less. I think we've long since given up on the idea that people should know how to behave, right?

paperpusher1 said...

Holy hell, #19 down is hard, huh? Clicking your pen at 80 km/hr probably helps you concentrate better, but it makes me want to take your pen and stab you in the ear with it. Just don't.

Thank you for the laugh - i actually spit out my soup when i read that - it drives me nuts - same as tapping your pen against something.

April said...

I totally agree with Nora. Conference calls on the Go Train are NEVER ok no matter where you are sitting. Get into the office on time, or stay home (or in your car) until the call is over. I don't care what is happening at your office and if I hear you say "server manifest" one more time I am going to shove the phone down your throat!

@SusanSpeaks - offer a tissue. Sometimes we just forget, or we ran out, or sometimes it just happens out of the blue. When I have those moments, I would be so grateful for the offer of a tissue!

Bicky said...

I love to take notes when someone is having a loud conversation on the train. Particularly credit card numbers. ;)

Tal Hartsfeld said...

Why DO these electronic gadgets have audible "blips" "beeps" and "pings"?
I find that nerve-wracking myself, especially the overtones that come with those electronic sounds that wreck havoc on one's autonomic nervous system and on one's mental health stamina.

Anonymous said...

I take Vancouver's version of the Go Train and WISH that any of these things were the biggest disturbance during a commute. We have no quiet zone at all. There is no where to go on these trains to escape the phone talkers. They are everywhere. People who will yack loudly the ENTIRE trip. The other thing is just loud-talking in general without phones. Also the obnoxious loud-laughers drive me insane.

Unknown said...

Also, typing (punching?!) on a laptop should be on the list. People don't understand what "Quite" means even it's their first language.