Friday, September 15, 2006

When did speaking up for yourself become a bad thing?

I witnessed something on BART today that reinforced my belief that there are more BART passengers without manners than those who have manners.

This altercation took place between 2 passengers both seated within the quad-seats (the four seats that face each other) area. An older woman was reading the newspaper on one side. Right across from her was a college-age woman placing her feet and stretching legs on the seat directly across from her. Her feet ended up being right next to the older woman.

The older woman said: Can you not put your feet on these seats?

Younger woman took her feet off and gave her a dirty look.
10 seconds later, her feet were back on.

The older woman said: Don't you realize people sit on these seats? Not to mention they are right next to me.

Younger woman said: I am aware of that. (But did nothing).

Older woman got up for her exit and said to her: At least put your feet on these newspaper for the next person's sake. (She shook her head and left).

After the older woman got up, all the surrounding passengers were making dirty looks at her, snickering, saying that she's a bitch and is having a bad day..and taking the young woman's side!

I was appalled. I got up and said to the older woman, "I'm glad you said something. Someone needed to tell her!" and got off with her at the Civic Center Station.

I'm sure people were saying things about me too afterwards but geez, when did it become a bad thing to ask someone else to be considerate and not put their feet up!?!?


Anonymous said...

Yep, manners are dead in America.

One morning on Muni, a young school girl had music screeching out of her cell phone or something. The opertor left his cab and asked her to turn it down. She said no, rudely, and more. He stood there and told her the train wouldn't move until the music was off. She gave him more stuff. So the operator just stood there. She starting talking smack and the operator just stood there. More smack, the operator didn't move. She finally turned it off and silently, he stepped back into the cab. I wanted to hug him.

Anonymous said...

Based on the description of events, these people appear to be incapable of seeing beyond themselves. It seems they were more negatively affected by the vociferous complainant than by the low-life behavior, thus the comments about the complainer. It looks like the person who complained was perceived as more annoying than the person who put her feet on the seat. ("Hey, it didn't bother me, so what do I care?")

The only answer for these self-centered and short-sighted people is that they be afflicted with the very behavior they unwittingly encourage by their silence and misdirected complaints --- for example, they need to have someone’s foot in their faces or to sit on a seat in what may have been on someone’s shoe. This seems to be about the only way they will understand.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that people are more offended by somebody "rocking the boat" and speaking up in the name of manners and decency than the indecency itself.