An interesting situation happened today. All the seats were taken in the train and in comes an elderly lady at West Oakland. She was standing precariously and carried with her 3 different bags as she tried to grasp on to the safety pole. You can tell she wanted to sit down. I was standing near her. The 4 handicapped seats around her were all occupied: 3 by gray-haired riders (noticed how I didn't quite say senior citizens) and 1 young man.
I felt bad for the elderly woman as the train started moving at a faster pace. She was struggling to keep her balance, especially with her multiple bags. I typically always give up my seat, if I have one, to someone who looks like they need it more, but only about 75% of the time would I actually ask someone else to give up their seats to someone more entitled. Today, I felt like I should say something....so I asked the young man if he wouldn't mind letting the elderly woman sit down.
I said: "Hi, would it be alright if you let this lady here sit in your seat?"
He said: "You talking to me?"
I said: "Yes, I think she could use a seat. Thank you."
Elderly woman said: "Oh thank you."
He said: "Uh, I have a fractured toe, my doctor told me to stay seated as often as possible."
I said: "Oh, OK, I see."
Elderly woman looked at me and said, "It's OK," and shrugged.
It was awkward. I didn't know if I should believe him or not....there's no reason not to I guess. Meanwhile, the 3 gray-haired non senior citizens in the handicapped seats pretended they didn't hear the conversation. I couldn't quite ask them to get up since with their gray hair, they *could* be entitled to the seats although they really should have known better because it was obvious the elderly woman was older than them by at least a decade!
Should I have just minded my own business? I don't think so. Who knew the young man was going to come back with a fractured toe reason? Sure....West Oakland is only about 5-6 minutes from Embarcadero where she would get a seat for sure, but seeing the way she was struggling to balance herself, I didn't think she could last even 2 minutes. Well, she heavily swayed her way through the Transbay Tube and made it to Embarcadero where she finally sat down.