Monday, September 28, 2009

Bus riding etiquette

So there should be a book on bus etiquette. And I'm going to make it happen. To me it's all common sense, stuff you learned in kindergarten. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

The Top 10 Bus Riding Etiquette Items (in almost no particular order)
1. Shower. There is nothing worse than sitting next to someone, let alone someone you don't know and having to smell their stank. When it's a friend you have the right to say "Dude, go wash yourself. You're ripe." But with someone you don't know there is no right or not uncomfortable way to tell them so. And if the bus is full, you can't switch seats.
2. When you sit in an empty two-seater, move to the inside. That way you can look out the window and the next person can sit down in the available seat on the aisle. If not you are going to have the awkward question/moment of them saying "Can I sit there?" And then you can't ignore them so you either move over or you stand up to let them on the inside. This isn't junior high, there are no "cool" seats.
3. Turn down your god damn music. We all have our favorite artists but most likely my fav isn't yours and I have no desire to hear your bass. Plus you're going to make yourself go deaf. I SAID, "YOU'RE GOING TO MAKE YOURSELF GO DEAF." Sheesh.
4. If you do talk on the phone, use your really really indoor voice. It's bad enough to have to listen to the "So I was like... and he was all... and then I was like" and the "You know what I'm sayin'. Shit." We don't need to hear your one-sided conversation either. Just put your head into your chest and talk quietly.
5. Please use words and phrases like "Excuse me" "Thank you" "Please." You do it every day at work, what is a few more times on the way home?
6. Don't put your bag in the seat next to you and pretend that it is OK. Because it's just not. I travel by bus more than any other mode of transportation and I carry a lot of crap. Yet I can put it on the floor, under my seat, on my lap and leave the seat next to me available.
7. If you see someone struggling offer your seat, offer to help. 9 times out of 10 they may deny it but it really is the thought that counts.
8. Greet and thank the bus driver. They are driving you around like Miss Daisy and most are very nice people. The will say hello back, and say things like "Have a nice day." when you get off.
9. Know and understand that this is a community and while many like to be left alone, many also like to meet new people. Humor the sweet, be it semi-nutty, old lady and listen to her story. After a while she'll stop. And if not it was just a small part out of your day.
10. And also understand that for some this is their only way of getting around. They understand more than anyone what is proper on a bus and what is not. Treat others like you would want to be treated.

It really is that simple.

This stemmed from my ride home today. I had my bag with my daily stuff in it, water-bottle, wallet, phone, keys, book, yada yada yada. But then I also had a big Target bag with a few things I picked up. I was able to sit down and put BOTH bags in my lap. And still pull out my book and read. But the man across the aisle from me had his legs spread like he was Ron Jeremy and a lap top on one leg, and his bag in the seat next to him. OK. One, you work too much if you are working on the ride home. Let it go for those however many minutes, sit and relax. But what really got my goat is that he refused to move his bag. Granted none of us passive-aggressive Minnesotans said anything, but still. You are one person, you should only take up one seat.

I wrote out an anonymous note saying "As a fellow bus rider I'd like please to remind you that it isn't just you and to put your bag in your lap so that others can sit. Thank you." And I was just going to hand it to him as I got off at my stop. But I chickened out. And I'm slightly pissed at myself for not having the guts to do this, but at the same time, he's a grown man. I shouldn't have to remind him that the bus is a public space and to please share. There were at least 5 people standing because his leather shoulder bag was occupying the seat. Looking back I could have stood up too, but I wanted his stupid bag to move first.

I really should have given him the note. I think the few people sitting around me might have seen me write it too. Perhaps I should print out this list, carry copies with me, and whenever someone is being an uncaring, disrespecting jackass I can hand them a copy as I get off.



  1. Seriously... do people NOT know this should be common sense? That's just ridic.

    And re: your comment, yes, lots of people swear by not weighing. I just can't do it... I'm obsessed with the scale. And I've tried Yoga (not in a class, but in front of the TV) and ... meh, I just didn't get into it.

    And yeah, Atkins... lol. ;)

  2. Yeah, I totally know what you mean. Some people can be so dumb sometimes. I mean I have to admit sometimes I put my bag on the next seat. But if someone needs to seat there, I move it and say "you can sit here if you like." Oh, and the muisic,I wonder how people can have it so loud! Sometimes, I can hear it all the way from the back of the bus and they are in the front.

    All well, it goes to show how stupid people can be.... but they make for some great stories!

  3. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting on my "Sad Panda" blog entry. I really appreciate your kind words and I really like your suggestions. I'm gonna take them to heart. Thanks again, it means a lot! :)

    ~Jenn (Ex Hot Girl)

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  5. Number 11 on this list should be, "Keep your hands to yourself"