Friday, May 20, 2016

Did you know that the bi-level part of GO train coaches is the "semi-Quiet Zone"? -- Me neither

I despise sitting on the lower level of the GO train because it's a goddamn free for all of chatty Cathys, obnoxious ring tones and chat message pings, people who project their personal phone calls and others who think of all us find their grandstanding and guffawing enjoyable to watch.

No. We don't.

I feel great sympathy for those, who, because of being unable to manage stairs, are stuck on the lower level at rush hour with these assholes. There's no escape.

I can make my way up to the Quiet Zone but I have to be very cautious on stairs while my hamstring heals. This morning I decided to only go up to the middle level.

There was a couple sitting behind me, near the door to the next coach, who were laughing and carrying on with no fucks given that it's 7 am. The long weekend had clearly started for them.

I had my music cranked to drown them out.

At some point during the train ride, this woman came charging down the stairs, angry as all hell and told them both to shut up and asked if they knew that part of the train was the semi-Quiet Zone.

Words were exchanged, and when she stormed back upstairs (to no applause -- I know, shocking) this couple decided to move closer to the stairs (now standing) and continue their conversation, louder than before and with more shrill laughter.

I seriously thought an all-out brawl was going to happen.

One guy did tell them they were behaving like grade schoolers.

These were grown-ass adults. Nice work.

I admit, I kept my mouth shut for this one. I felt the woman did a great job. She spoke up. ALL THE APPLAUSE!


Ed said...


While my knee objects to stairs I also have to stay down below. At 6:25 this morning a supposedly adult female was yakking on her phone and said "OH MY GOD!!!!!" at least 25 times between Oakville and Union. Lucky it was an express train or she may have added a dozen or so more "OH MY GODS!!!!" to the mix.

This lady was talking on the phone on the platform when I got there, all through the trip and then was still talking until I lost sight of her in the York Teamway. Didn't pay any attention to the conversation though except for the "OH MY GODS!!!!!".

Last month I used 12 of my 500 minutes but about 500 texts. How can people possibly have that much to talk about? Especially at that time of the morning.

Plus I keep my phone on vibrate in public. No ring tones (it's the original Superman theme from 1952) and no text tone.

Unknown said...

I get why she said it. I have been on the 6:24 and the noise! from that middle level is insane some days. I sit halfway and can hear.every.word. I don't need to hear those conversations at any time of day. I don't know you. I don't want to know you. And I am 99% certain the whole freaking train doesn't want to know about your business.

Bicky said...

The middle level is in no-way, no-how a "semi Quiet Zone". While I don't agree with the couple acting childish and becoming more obnoxious, the woman barging downstairs needs to get over herself. FFS.

Anonymous said...

quiet zone or no quiet zone
no passenger is entitled, regardless of where they sit, to behave in a such a manner that causes a disturbance to fellow passengers
she probably used the tactic to put some weight behind her complaint

Tal Hartsfeld said...

GO Transit: An ideal barometer of "the conditions and social climate of all western society".

Nora1968 said...

I agree 100% with @Bicky. I also agree that the people who were going out of their way to be noisy were idiots, but the notion of a "semi-Quiet Zone' had me spitting out my tea with laughter. Um, no.

And BTW, that's one of the OTHER reasons why the Quiet Zone - in my opinion (I know lots of people who don't share it, which is their prerogative) is ridiculous: because the structure of the train means that, as long as there is space for passengers on a middle level on both sides, there is absolutely NO way to guarantee quiet upstairs, even if the passengers sitting on the top level are absolutely silent. The middle level has no such restrictions and frankly, if people are conducting NORMAL volume conversations there (obviously not the case for the people you encountered, Cindy) then that's their right.

Anonymous said...

Hear Hear bicky and Nora1968. First - I do not talk, I do not phone. I am a timid little mouse who reads her paper, watches a movie or reads a book - at normal volume with headphones on.

Second absolutely no applause at lying about or sharing inaccurate information-check your facts before you react. Any conversation is technically (although rudely) allowable. Normal conversation level is "dealable". Quiet zone is top floor. "Semi-quiet zone" is wishful thinking and ridiculous. Quiet Zone fans have gotten almost 1/2 the carriage (I think they should have set aside two full carriages middle of the train!). The rest is not in any way the Quiet zone and they need to deal with noise from any other area. As to the immature people who got up to stand closer to the stairs - I agree, childish and, in perfect world, they would know it and not do it. I am privy to all types of personal information on the GO - that's their business if they wish to share as I cannot affect others actions, only my reactions. I can choose to let it wash over me, or listen in, or participate, or bring headphones & drown 'em out.

What we do need is to be respectful to, and of, others - especially with an awareness that many have experienced a different upbringing and may diverse cultural beliefs (whether raised in Canada or not.) Righteous behavior such as this is not respectful. Being kind to someone is so much easier. Perhaps we can try to think of their childhood and how they must have been raised to act so? Or perhaps we can try to understand that they are dealing with a stressor that we cannot see or hear? Perhaps trying to quietly and kindly address someone who is annoying you has better results than barging down the stairs and sprouting inaccurate information? Perhaps the barger/sprouter is under a stressor of her own and just truly needed, really needed the 40 mins to just sit and be?

Just...wake up with the mindset that throughout the day at worst, you will do no harm, and, at best, you will act with kindness in all you do.

C.J. Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C.J. Smith said...

The fact that the person made up a rule to get what she wanted is very telling of the kind of person she is...

I realize there are people who will tell anyone off without hesitation and then there are those who just don't - either out of fear of retaliation or not wanting the attention.

There are diplomatic ways to ask people to behave. I'll admit I was glad someone came down and told them to can it, but at the same time, she wasn't in a position to make up stories.