Friday, April 20, 2007

Is it up to me to enforce the No Food rule? What would you do?

Saw a girl (who purposely chose to wear a sweater and dress full of holes and rips but she's not homeless) who busted out a big burrito from a brown bag, with a salsa dip, in the middle of a crowded train already lacking fresh oxygen.

Everyone smelled the burrito instantly. She took big bites after big bites and even poured salsa into the burrito after each bite. It was stinking up our entire area! Most of us looked at each other and made an annoyed face. Some even stared her down. But...no one, including myself, actually interrupted her forbidden afternoon feast to say, "Hey miss, you know that food is not allowed on BART??" or something like that.

I thought about telling her from a few feet away but didn't. I then thought about why I didn't...and it's mainly because judging (yes, being very superficial here) by her attire, I would expect her to tell me to **ck off and mind my own business, which in response would trigger me to want to argue back with her, and I just didn't have the energy at that time to engage in a verbal battle. So, I'd rather not deal with it and put up with the smell. I'm wrong, I know, I should probably have said something but why didn't anyone else say anything? We were all suffering from the burrito scensory overload.....we all wanted her to put it away, but why didn't any of us speak out?

I had fought back a few times inside BART or at the station, but as sharp tongued as I am when provoked, I typically prefer to not cause a scene and judging by the way this girl appeared, I think she would provoke me to leave the boundaries of professionalism and courtesy.

What would you do? Now, think a little bit before you immediately say that you'd actually tell her in a crowded train to not eat! I welcome your feedback!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is all to commonplace on BART. In fact, I ran into this same issue on Thursday departing N. Concord/Martinez. Sitting near the rear of the car, with seats facing each other is a male eating lord knows what out of a styrofoam container.

From the moment I boarded the smell was overwhelming. Yes, I could have moved for a fresher smelling car, but I didn't. HE had his feet up on the opposing seats and his 10-speed bike was leaning up against the ADA seats next to the door.

Like you, I debated if I should confront the person about eating, seeing has he missed the sign posted no more than 3' above his head that says NO EATING. He might have been blind too, I don't know. LOL.

After he was done his meal he throw his garbage on the floor. That was the final straw, yet I still sat there. Why? I don't know. Maybe I did not want a confrontation as well. It is frustrating to see others abuse the system and have no one say anything to them.

Anonymous said...

It must be burrito season; I too had a big inconsiderate goon eating a burrito across from me on the train the other day. The way I figure it, the person eating already knows it's not allowed, they're choosing to be rude. My reminding them will not change their rudeness, but it may direct their attention to me and put me into a situation of either a verbal or physical argument. That I really don't need while trying to get home after a long day. The no eating signs work for the considerate majority, but it's not our place to police the trains. Somebody should be, but not the passengers.

Anonymous said...

How about letting the train operator know and having BART police meet the train at the next stop?

benson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

eating in tight spaces is never good for the people not eating. you get a similar type of environment on airplanes - except with airplanes, the food is usually consistent (it doesn't smell that bad or different). with airlines now selling food and thereby encouraging people to bring their own food onboard, you'll run into the BART situation more and more. people eat all kinds of funky stuff. put those smells together and it makes for a bad combination.

as for bart, it is really up to them to enforce the rules. maybe it can be something as simple as the operator reminding people that there is no eating or drinking. by saying it explicitly, people who are eating or drinking may be a little more aware that they are openly violating the rules.

Anonymous said...

Call BART Police on your cell phone - 877-679-7000, and tell them what train you're on, the car # and a description of the person. They might actually meet the train and take the inconsiderate schmuck off.

Hard to believe, but patron complaints are taken seriously.

bartmusings said...

For some reason, I just think calling the BART police is a bit much for something like this? Maybe it's just me. It's my loss I guess for thinking that and not calling the police. I just feel like this is too small of a thing. I need to just confront these rule breakers myself without getting into too much trouble.

Anonymous said...

BART Police are paid to enforce such rules. You pay for a tolerable commute experience. In addition, the person eating the food could be mentally unstable or armed, so the reaction could be unpredictable. It is also possible the person could have a criminal record, and maybe the contact with BART Police is just what was needed to send them back to jail.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what Anonymous said. Call the T/O or BPD, but personally confront only if you are prepared to deal with the consequences. A fellow BART employee, wearing a vest and on Best patrol no less, confronted a patron for drinking a coffee on board. The woman drinking the coffee cursed out the BART employee and spit on him! I understand spitting on someone is legally considered assault, but the BART employee was so shocked by the encounter that he took no further action. My mother used to tell me, "Don't wrestle with pigs, because you both get muddy and the pig likes it."

Anonymous said...

Here's something you can do: Take pictures of the eaters and post them on this flickr group created just for them!

Anonymous said...

My brain cell thinks that determined, consistent reports by patrons to bart police FROM THE TRAINs will get around quicly enough -- the cretins'll figure out "The riders don't tolerate BS -- not worth the bother of bothering the patrons"

Suppose Mr. Burrito hears "Pls send office to car 1234 arriving at Coleseum for abusive, belligerent assualtive 20 year old, 5'10" caucasion 180 pounds wearing red jacket, blue jeans, black canvas sneakers."

A. said...

Please do call us for this situation. As a previous poster said, you have no idea if they are armed, unstable, or any combination of the two. BART Police are here to assist you... so let us know. 877.679.7000