Iâve mentioned this on a previous post but Iâll take some time to elaborate a bit here.
Every train commuter wants to sit with a vacant seat next to him. Sometimes, thatâs not possible. So the next best thing is to sit next to someone who is sleeping.
Frequently, I get on a train and see loads of seats, but all of them next to someone. If there is one seat available only, itâs a no-brainerâtake it. But when there are loads of seats, you got to choose. Everyone watches you to see where you are going to sit. No one wants you to take their prized vacant seat. They try to use tricks like sitting in the aisle seat because you probably wouldnât bother asking them to move so you can squeeze in there. Other people put their bags on the vacant seat.
Here are some things to look for:
1. Never sit next to the guy reading the paper. He will be elbowing you every few minutes as he turns pages. Heâs probably snooty anyway. When they announce a delay because of a signal failure, heâs the guy who will huff and puff the most.
2. Avoid sitting next to someone in their early twenties. They may not be on the phone now, but itâs coming out within the next 5-10 minutes. I know very few people I can call at 7am on a weekday. People in their twenties know loads.
3. Avoid sitting next to a non-commuter. They may try to strike a conversation with you. You just want to listen to your iPod and get to work.
4. Find a sleeping guy (thereâs always at least one). Sit next to him.
The sleeping guy is great. He doesnât care whatâs going on. He will occasional jolt up and look around to see what station we are stopping at, but then he will calm down and drift back off.
The sleeping guy doesnât care what you are doing on your laptop. As I type this, the guy next to me can care less. Thereâs nothing worse than see the person sitting next to you watch what you are typing as you type it.
The sleeping guys doesnât care that you sat next to him. He doesnât roll his eyes or huff as he moves his bag off your seat. If you are careful, he may not even know you sat next to him at all.
Occasionally, you get a guy who snores. This isnât so bad. People will look over at you and you try to sit up straight and alert so everyone knows itâs not you. You can sometimes look back at them and sort nod your head sideways at the sleeping guy as if to say âitâs himâ and they raise your shoulders as if to say âwhat can you do?â No one expects you to wake the guy (unless thatâs why they are looking at me). I respect the sleeping guy too much to wake him.
So, thatâs it. My one and only commuter tip. May it make your commutes as enjoyable as it makes mine.