Thursday, March 06, 2008

Ask and you shall receive

Many of us experienced some reluctance about reporting a complaint on the train to the train operator while the perpetrator is right next to you. For me, if someone needs to move their luggage out of people's way, eating their breakfast burrito, or vacate their seat for someone truly in need, I don't mind speaking up to them. But, when the perpetrator is someone who doesn't look like they're in the right state of mind, or they are drunk or homeless, I tend to keep my mouth shut seeing how if they follow me out of the train to have a "word" with me, I definitely have the size disadvantage!

Well, today, it was interesting and freshing to see an elderly man (with a cane, might I add) who was left standing, while two high school or college-aged kids were sitting in the handicapped designated seats without a care in the world. I was standing about 5 feet away. One more minute, I probably would have asked them to stand up for him, but this elderly man marches directly to the intercom and asks the T.O. to request the kids to give the seats to senior citizens and disabled passengers. He said it loud enough for all of us on this side of the train to hear....and instantly, our eyes shifted to the kids.

The kids heard too, slowly grabbed their backpacks, and eventually reluctantly got up. The man got his seat. Interesting. That's definitely another way to do it! I hope the kids learned a lesson.


Anonymous said...

Interesting how the kids are singled out, yet no one else offered their seats either. Seems a little extreme to me. I would have asked the kids directly. Then, if that didn't work, talk to the TO.

Seems like "kids" are looked down upon by the same middle-aged people who won't give up their seats.

bartmusings said...

OK, OK. Let's not get too technical here. I was standing just to be clear, with about 12 people around me, also standing. But, yes you are right, lots of others could have given their seat up for this man. I wasn't trying to single out the kids by any means-- it was just clear that the elderly man had eyed their seats the second he walked in. And to be blunt, if I were a "kid", I would have immediately got up for any senior citizen because that's the way I was taught. I do so now.

One last thing, do I sound middle-aged??? I guess I am! Haha.

Anonymous said...

It's not my federal responsibility to give up my seat in other areas of the train.

I'd have a different consideration had there been people who properly belonged in those other seats to start with.

When there's no seat on my way home from work, or the gym after work, I stand. It sucks, I'd love to sit, especially after a work out, but you'll never catch me in the wrong seat.

Anonymous said...

i say that if you can't stand up for 15 minutes, don't use public transportation.

being old shouldnt give you a right to anything in this life except impending death.

Anonymous said...

i bet 10 bucks that these kids were African Americans or Hispanic.

just like 99% of the people who rush to the doors of the train while its still moving are Asian.

bartmusings said...

It's funny how things are. I stand probably 95% of the time on BART in the mornings but on the way home, I'm nearly always sitting (because I get on at Civic Center). In the mornings, I definitely am dying to sit down and always wish that I'd get lucky as I walk in. But, more often I remain standing. In the rare times I do get a seat in the handicapped area, I do take it, but when and if I see someone who actually needs it more than I do, I get up, although sometimes it's hard to force myself to on a tired day.

The man I'm describing had a cane so I would think he deserved to sit down. There are no specific categorization (age, appearance, condition...etc.) on how BART describes those in need of the seats. It's just what you think is right I guess.

Anonymous said...

If kids can take any lesson from old people its that they'll take credit for everything great in the world, blame you for everything thats fucked up in the world, and THEN take your seat on the bus.

bartmusings said...

I am not and won't take sides, I definitely don't believe all senior citizens are right nor do I believe all "kids" are wrong! I'm neither someone "old" or a kid, but somewhere in between although still gripping on to what's left of my "youth". I just like sharing my observations and hear others' point of views. I've seen teens who voluntarily get up to politely ask someone else (not even a senior!) to take their seat! There are all sorts of people out there-- I'm always intrigued by the varying degrees of behavior on BART and I share it here.