Saturday, December 03, 2005

I'm a good BART "citizen"...I think?

Since I spend so many entries writing about others and how they irk me, I figured it is only fair that I evaluate myself as a BART passenger.

1) Cleanliness

I definitely give myself a 10 out of 10 here. I shower 3 times a day, including mornings. I always wear clean clothes, and I never smell or sweat BART.

2) Size

Another 10 here I suppose. I weigh a little over 100 pounds. I take about 2/3 of a seat, so people always like to sit next to me when there are only 2 seats left because I make it a roomy and comfy ride for them.

3) Consideration

This is a tricky one. I am usually very considerate on BART, but I don't ever let others take advantage of me. I warrant a 7 out of 10 here. I get out of the way for people to enter/exit, I never let my belongings take more room than necessary, I don't take off my shoes, I don't eat on the train, I don't swing my umbrella in people's faces, and I ALWAYS cover my nose or mouth when I cough or sneeze...those are the good things.

On the other hand, if I get a good seat that is in the general seating area (non-handicapped), I stay in it. I don't want to give my seat up to any older person, unless they have a cane or look like they are limping. If it's just a gray-haired person who looks perfectly able to stand for 15 minutes, I am going to let my tired feet rest. I mentioned in one of the first blog entries that an older (not senior citizen) person can't just feel entitled to take anyone's seat- some have the guts to ask, but I don't think that makes it right.

Another slightly inconsiderate thing that I do is not give up my standing room next to a vertical pole because I need something to grab on without tiptoeing. There are bars on the top of the train that I cannot comfortably reach, so I am pretty stubborn about standing next to the vertical poles in the front. Hey, it's a matter of survival at this point. I don't want to fall on the ground when the train jerks!

4) Behavior

Again, I am 7 out of 10 here. I am a very normal person- I don't blabber to strangers, I don't read over people's reading materials, and I don't over-blast my iPod. However, I am guilty of looking at the "weirdos" a little too long and sometimes I even flash a look of disgust or annoyance when things get pretty bad (meaning when they specifically encroach on my comfort zone). But I am just a silent observer...I'm harmless.

Others who observe me, however, may think I'm a little anal. I have Purell to clean my hands as I exit the train. I also don't ever encircle the safety poles with my hands/palms. In fact, this is probably the weirdest thing about me, I hold the pole with 2 fingers: my index finger and my thumb, while the other 3 fingers flare out erectly to stay away from the germ-filled pole. Sometimes, when the pole is really sweaty and dirty (that you can see sweat left on there), my thumb takes the burden of balancing my entire weight during the ride. I press my thumb against the pole and swing my body back and forth to the motion of the train in a delicate's a tough balancing act that I've mastered. So yeah, I am a freak too....but I don't like the thought of transplanting someone's elses germs right into my palm.

Overall, I do think I'm a good BART "citizen"...10, 10, 7, 7 makes a nice 8.5 average.


Anonymous said...

You're just the person I always wish will sit next to me!

The Duckling said...

I really hope you ride my train. Who cares about your anal retentive-ness? Some believe cleanliness is a virtue. If you promise not to get mad at me for texting excessively on the train (phone volume turned to silent of course), I won't judge you for using hand sanitizer =)

Anonymous said...

Let me make some guesses here.

Slacks and heels, Lamorinda, NY Times bestseller, design firm in the city, spit'n image of Lisa Lobe, IProduct, Whole Foods, self righteous indignation, yadda yadda yadd...

There's a million of you.

I hope that someday we share the same train so you can watch as I eat my lunch off the bart floor and use the seat as a napkin and rub my face on the safety pole after using the bathroom at mcarthur and not washing (nor sanitizing!) my hands.

Anonymous said...