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Inconsiderate Things People Do On New York Subway

Updated on January 13, 2015

Subway the new Starbucks?

Some people can't function properly without a certain dose of caffeine, which could be understandable. As much as any addiction could. It keeps people awake, up and running, gives them energy and lifts their spirits high (sounds like some other things in life, I can't remember what). Whether it's black, cafe con leche, cafe con leche with sugar, black with sugar, or coffee on the rocks, it gives people joy and makes them super productive. I am not going to talk about the negative sides of it that affect the person using it, such as prolonged sleep deprivation, or caffeine dependency. Instead, I'm going to address the negative side of it that affects others around the coffee drinker.

After you bought your cup of Latte Machiatto Mocha Frappuccino blend usually watered down with a ton of ice, you hop on a 9 am train barely finding any space to breathe, let alone stand. You're pressed against bodies of all kinds not being able to hold on to the poll. Not because it's far out of reach, but because both of your hands are most likely occupied, with one carrying a bag, purse or briefcase, and with the other holding onto your perfect blend. You decide to lean against the poll or the next person, or you try train surfing by relying entirely on your two legs. The train is moving at its regular speed, but it suddenly decides to stop or change its speed. Now you're out of balance with everyone around you getting a taste of your Mocha FrappuLatte. Talk about sharing with strangers.

So, I've seen coffee being spilled on the polls never occurring to the person to wipe it off (and at this time of year the chances are the person is under the weather which means: invasion of the germs), and in one case a person sat next to me and as they landed, so did the huge drops of their 'bucks (as Michael Scott from the Office calls it) and right on my book! The person did not even realize they spilled their brown nectar on the white pages of the book I borrowed from the library. I was not in a mood to say anything as I figured they didn't do it on purpose, but I do have a question for all the train coffee drinkers: what's with the coffee on a crowded train?

Every time I see someone holding a cup of coffee on the train now, I'm on the alert. Because it's very likely that that coffee, or drops of it, will end up outside that cup and outside the drinker's mouth. Your cup of coffee is not my cup of tea, mate.

Tonight we dine on the train!

There's a reason why people don't like to see you eat on the train. And it's not about seeing as much as it's about smelling. The train is a very inconvenient place to take out your cooked meal or even salad and just dive into it. Not because it's a public space. It doesn't have anything to do with the culture or nice manners either. It's simply a closed space that tends to keep any kind of smell inside of it for some time. Grabbing some snacks, chocolate or something that does not produce a high scent is okay. But once you start nibbling on that burger and fries, it does not look or smell good. Another reason would be the same effect you eating on the train can make like you drinking on it can. At some point that food can end up on someone's clothes or on the seat, and you just know the person will not bother cleaning it up, or taking your shirt to the laundry. Bon appetite to you, but not on a moving train.

Menspreading and making yourself too comfortable

You might have seen it on TV. The MTA is planning to post new ads about menspreading, which is an act of spreading your legs like a macho man while sitting on a crowded subway. Before I've heard of it on the TV show called Chasing I didn't know how to call it, but I knew it bothered me. Men getting too comfortable on the subway as if they're the only ones in the world, let alone the train. With a record of 6 million commuters in a day last month, NYC is hardly a ghost town and being aware of other people around you and their need for space will help you avoid conflicts and will make you a better person and a considerate citizen. Besides menspreading there's also legstretching (a word I just made up). Legstretching would be when a person stretches their legs so nobody can pass by without bumping into it. Now, I might not be much of a word definition guy, but that spells problem. Stretch your legs at 9 am and your legs are going to get kicked (that's not a threat but a reality). So for the safety of everybody, including yourself, keep your legs closed and to yourself.

Stomp over to catch the train

Seems like there's not much tolerance between people during the rush hour when everyone's rushing to get to work. People are determined to make it on time wherever they're going even if it meant stomping over you without any remorse. Because time is money and you don't matter. Hit and run is not just a highway thing. It's a subway thing. Only it's not the subway train who's going to hit you and leave you on the ground like a bag of potato chips. It's the commuters. Merciless and emotionless, some of them will not care that they pushed you or ran right into you, as long as they make it to the subway car. And if you dare ask them why they couldn't just go around you or at least say they're sorry, don't be surprised if you find yourself being cursed at and blamed for everything that's "wrong with this country". Nice try but I woke up on time. At the same time, these people will always have a devil's advocate of their own, defending them by either joining in on the rant against you or simply trying to "calm" the situation by telling you: "Gosh, it's not a big deal!". And it really isn't. Just like it wouldn't be a big deal if I took that Android out of your manicured hands and play throw and catch with the approaching train. No big deal, you'll buy a new one.


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