Monday, September 10, 2007

what makes me take one seat over another?

This split-second decision making process is quite interesting. Let's just say there are 3 seats open around the same area. None are designated disabled seats. All are aisle seats. What makes you pick one over the other? Something as simple as this actually takes a bit of quick thinking.

Here's what goes through my head in those 2 seconds before I must commit to a seat:

1) Does the seat have transferable stains? Does the floor have transferable stains?
2) Who is sitting next to the empty seat? Does he/she look pleasant to sit next to (or unpleasant)? Basically, if the person looks either disheveled, extremely overweight, heavy scented, rude/obnoxious, ill, unkept..etc., I try to stay away. The weight factor is usually not a huge deal unless coupled with another one of the listed characteristics.

For example, this morning, 2 aisle seats were open. I was quite happy since I felt pretty darn tired this morning and really wished to sit. One had a professionally dressed man sitting next to it, the other had an older woman who not only looked uncomfortably overweight but had just let out a scary, deep cough. Immediately, I chose to sit next to the man.

It's not prejudice for those of you who will immediately point to that. It's just a matter of personal comfort. I'm not saying people who fit those descriptions are not good people- they probably are- but I would just rather stand or not sit next to them on BART because of my own personal reasons such as allergies, being a clean freak, and having a bad day and need my personal space.

8 comments:

ConcordCommuter said...

I think that your method is pretty similar to my own. My elimination process is as follows:

- Non-reserved seat closest to the door
- Facing forward (I don't like to ride backward)
- Next to somebody who will not make the ride unpleasant (clean, average-sized, quiet)

If there is a seat in the row nearest the door with a tiny person sitting next to it, engrossed in a book, that is the seat for me.

The backward seat, in the middle of the car, next to the heavyset person who is testing out ringtones on their cellphone: I'd rather stand 45 minutes to Concord.

Anonymous said...

i'm the say way. i try to imagine who will allow me the most peace during my ride and i grab the seat next to that person. although more often than not, i end up standing since there just aren't any seats left.

Anonymous said...

Suit yourself. That gives more open seats to people like me who aren't as weird about who to sit with.

murphstahoe said...

I take the disabled seat and angle my bike so that I take up 4 seats.

Just kidding. Though I know it's a sore point with many. I'm courteous. Though BARTMusings would never see me on her rush hour train.

Anonymous said...

I have a question to the Blogger of this website.... If you are the only one on a row seat, do you leave room for someone to share the seat with? or do you sit closer to the aile, opposed to the window seat, i like to sit on the isle but i move over when there is alot of people... what do you think?

Anonymous said...

as a general rule, i'd rather stand for 20 minutes than sit next to an asian person for 5. this is not because i'm racist in any way, its because they are usually sick in some way, either coughing or sneezing and of course, genetically, they for some reason aren't capable of covering their mouths, and since i dont want to catch tuberculosis, i just stay away from them.

the proof is that when i used to take the 1 California, i used to get sick at least once a month, but now that i take the Presidio shuttle instead, i havent been sick in months.

Anonymous said...

Please don't generalize. Your comment, contrary to your belief, is quite narrowminded and somewhat racist.

I can name a few Asians who don't do the things that you described.

Anonymous said...

its narrowminded for me to notice the correlation between not riding a bus with asian people, and yes, 99% of the people who ride the 1 California are asians, and not getting sick every few weeks?

trust me, i wish i was still getting sick, but i'm not, and the only thing thats changed is the route i take to and from work on a daily basis.