Thursday, October 16, 2008

Floored by the MBTA's "courtesy campaign"

I'm still floored that the MBTA launched a "courtesy campaign" of really lame, amateurish posters chiding people to be polite on the T. I know the headlines were written in-house at the T, presumably to save money, but listen, the T should stick to public transportation and not mass communication. It has enough trouble doing what it's supposed to know how to do.

I mean, for some people, is it really that hard to be polite? To know when they're being boorish? You know, I think there are some people who are completely clueless, so self-centered that they have no perception of the outside world, or at least how they're being perceived.

It's not that hard. There are simple rules:

Get the fuck out of the way. I mean, you, the guy on the Red Line inbound this morning in the snappy running suit standing by the door and reading your book. Lots of people stand in the door and seem a bit unsettled when the doors open and people try to get past them. Haven't you heard the announcements time and time again to get away from the door, step in the car, let people through? Oh, I get it. Those announcements don't apply to you. The big space by the door made by the rest of us was so you had some place to stand.

And in the same vein, on the platform, stop wandering around like a cow that got loose from the pasture. This is a public transportation system. Do you see all of these people walking fast around you?--they're trying to get somewhere. Jobs. Doctor appointments. Some place important. You just sort of walking aimlessly like you're in your apartment on a rainy Saturday only annoys people and makes their lives just a little harder.

And you, one of the gazillion students or the guy who's dressed to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in your trekking pants, hiking boots, and snappy North Face jacket, take off the backpack when you get on the train and put it by your side or on the floor. That hump on your back takes up the same space an upright person would take up, and every time you turn or make a move that thing swings around and hits people. Yeah, it's comfortable for you. It's about't it?

Mommy and daddy with your little, precious bundle of joy, leave your SUV baby carriage at home. There are small, lightweight, collapsible strollers with handles shaped like umbrella handles for commuting. The other day there was a woman with a child on the Red Line sitting in a seat with the child in a huge stroller in front of her, taking up the space in front of two seats. She and her caravan, in essence, were taking up the space meant for six people. At rush hour!

Do we really have to talk about cell phones? Sigh. I guess we do. Like the guy today sitting right in front of me, leaning forward in his seat like he was sitting on the hopper taking a dump, talking, talking, talking...not only were you encroaching in my space--do you know what it's like to have to stand further back and reach over you for that overhead handrail?--but your loud, long-winded conversation in Chinese no less was so loud I heard it through my iPod.

Don't push for the door. You're not the only one getting out at Downtown Crossing or South Station. Half the effing train is. Let someone go ahead of you. Take turns. I know that's hard for a lot of people raised in the Northeast to do, but for those of us who were raised in the rest of the country, we understand there's no prize for getting out first.

No comments:

Web Analytics