Friday, December 16, 2005

seat fight

No, I didn't personally get into a seat fight, but I observed one yesterday. I was too tired to get in the middle of the argument, but I should have. Let me describe the situation to you first.

Lining up for the train back to East Bay from SF were (in this order): a woman in her 40s, a man in his 40s, and me. Before the train even stopped, I noticed from the line that there is only one more seat left. I think the man in front of me saw it too. However, the woman slowly walks into the train, and turns the opposite direction from the empty seat. The man sets his backpack on the empty seat, and positions himself to sit down.

Suddenly, the woman yells, "That is my seat!! I was in front of you in line, I am going to sit there, not you!"
The man says, "You can have the seat, but how is it your seat?"
Woman screams, "I was standing in front of you in line."
Man yells back, "But you walked the opposite direction, and I took the seat after."
Woman says, "it doesn't matter, I was in front of you in line outside, so that is supposed to be my seat."
Man concludes, "Hey, you can have the seat, but it doens't have your name on it."

I was listening to the entire altercation. I should have jumped in to tell the woman, no, it's NOT your seat, you walked the other way as you entered the train, and he saw the seat first! But alas, the work day completely drained me so I wasn't in an argumentative mood. That woman made NO sense whatsoever. She walked away from the seat! She never made eye contact with the empty chair until the man sat down! How could she have been so self-righteous? On BART, you lose your place in line once you enter the train and start wondering around for a seat or standing space.

See what happens to people when they depend on public transportation? Grouchy, self-righteous, name it! If that woman had told ME to get out of a seat that I was entitled to, I probably would have caused a little more of a scene than the man did.

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