Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Back to Basics

Okay Campers, I am officially back. Though it was an unscheduled and unfortunately long hiatus, I am now back for your reading pleasure. It's been hectic with work and inaugurations and whatnot, but I'll do my best to be more diligent about posting.

While this was not the post I originally intended to write this morning, I'm going to go ahead and rant about something near/dear to my heart and give you all a little background.

Some of you may or may not know that the original theme and inspiration for the name of this very blog was related to the fact that SHEAm, GWSkank, and I (like many of you) commute daily down Connecticut Avenue and have to deal with the complete lack of etiquette of most DC residents. Thus: Connetiquette.

Well today was a tour de force. Yes, I realize that it's wet and snowy out and the roads are precarious. I recognize that will inevitably lead to some delays on the bus route. That's fine. But even in times like these there are rules about how one should conduct oneself.

1. Queues- I realize that most Americans at most bus stops don't recognize the queue but rather stand in a glob and then play 'every man for himself' when the bus finally arrives. I can somewhat understand how a line would be unclear, especially if people are coming to the bus stop from different directions, but in general think something must be done to fix this. We stand in line for everything else, why not this? What happened to that great American ideal of first come, first serve? Makes sense, right? Well in any case, today I met a whole new kind of queue-related arrogance.

I was the second person at the stop this morning. One very nice elderly lady was there already and I lined up behind her, trying to lead by example for any other riders that may come along. Sure enough, one-by-one others trickled in and we formed a line. Victory! I was proud of myself and my fellow riders. I hardly expected a chilly/icy day like this to be the day I instilled a queue-culture on Metrobus, but hoorah!

But my celebration was premature. As the bus pulled up a guy in a black "The Wire" cap strolled along side the bus and walked right in front of the entire line of people waiting! Are you kidding?! How arrogant/insane/presumptuous/shocking. It wasn't like he somehow didn't see the 8 people waiting there. Worse yet, when people called out to him about his transgression, he ignored them. This was to be only the first offense The Wire would make today.

2. Seats- Though not all are clear-cut, there are definitely some rules when it comes to the seats, especially during rush hour. As before, I generally think first-come, first-serve is applicable here. The obvious exceptions are individuals with disabilities and senior citizens, they get to sit no matter what. Period. Who does NOT get priority? Women. Women with disabilities? Okay. Female senior citizens? Sure. Able-bodied women? Get in line. Fair is fair, ladies. Sorry.

Today, after scrambling onto the bus after The Wire, I took a seat on the bench-like row of seats. It was rush hour, the bus was crowded, and after only a few stops we had reached capacity (the ratio of people to busses today was out of control, I'm sure SHEAm will complain about that in his own post). Then this ugg-clad, prada-bearing harpy climbed aboard and decided she needed a seat. This audacious 20-something had the gall to basically demand my seat! "Um, do you think I could sit there?" I was thunderstruck. I looked over my shoulder to ensure she was speaking to me and then just stared at her. She eventually got the message and moved on.

Another seat rule- You cannot put a bag on the seat next to you to 'save it' or to prevent strangers from sitting next to you. It's mass transit, they point is for all the seats to be taken up and for you to sit next to strangers. Worst of all are the people who sit in the window seat of one of the 2-seaters on the bus/metro during rush hour and put their bag on the aisle seat. This is just begging for trouble. There is a special place in hell for people like this.

I need to go do some actual work now, but feel free to share your own Metro/Bus commute stories (funny ones, ones that ticked you off, etc)


Emily said...

how about pregnant women? can they request a seat? I think that's fair.

[sorry for busting you chops]

Morgan said...

Pregnant women are totally legit. I basically consider that a disability... they can't walk at a normal pace or stand for long periods of time. :-)

Marc said...

Amen, Amen, Amen,

Good to have you back MoCo.