Annoying? Who’s annoying on public transit? Well, if you’re asking that question then it’s probably you. Yes, if you’re not even slightly annoyed by people on public transit then there’s a really good chance that you’re the person that’s annoying me… pretty much every day. It doesn’t matter what city you’re in either. I’m pretty sure people do the same things everywhere. I’ve lived in New York and Chicago and it’s all the same. I actually can’t wait for it to get warmer so that I can ride my bike into work and not have to deal with people on CTA buses and trains.
Bike the Drive, which takes place Memorial Day weekend is usually the starter for me. I get to ride my bike on Lake Shore Drive and if it’s a nice day it gets me excited for bike season. Until that special day has arrived, here is my list of the top ten annoying things people do on public transit:
- Wearing a large backpack – I get it, people have a lot of stuff, but there is no need to continue wearing a backpack on a crowded train or bus. Mainly because they probably don’t realize how big it is and they’re hitting people with it when they move or they’re making someone stand awkwardly because their bag is in their space (or face). They should take it off and either hold it in front of them or sit it between their feet.
- Eating messy food – I don’t think you’re supposed to eat at all on public transit, but the worst is when people eat foods that should only be eaten at a table or locked in a room by themselves. I don’t want to see them eating fried chicken and throwing the bones on the floor. I’m not kidding, this has been done before.
- Talking loud on a phone – Some people just don’t understand that phone technology is a lot better than it used to be 20 years ago. Seriously, just because the person they’re talking to is hundreds of miles away it doesn’t mean they need to scream.
- Talking loud to the person next to them – It’s called an inside voice and some people should figure out how to use it. Sometimes I feel like people just want to be heard… but I don’t want to hear them, or their stories of drunken weekend hookups.
- Taking up too much space – I’m not talking about overweight people, I’m talking about the guy that has to spread his legs really wide and take up two seats because he thinks that he won’t look quite as manly or cool if he closes his legs, sits like a normal person and stops being selfish.
- Not being aware of their surroundings – Some of the other things on this list fit into this, but there are some other specific examples. Reading a newspaper is fine, just not on a super crowded train or bus, especially when it’s hitting someone in the face. People also like to cross their legs, which can be fine, but there’s not always enough room on a packed bus or train.
- Leaning on a pole – It’s a crowded train and there is no need to lean on a pole that everyone else needs to hold on to. Nothing like getting you’re fingers crushed and no one wants to touch someone’s sweaty back in the summer.
- Not being prepared – I truly love when people do this… They stand at a bus stop for 5 to 10 minutes waiting for a bus and then when the bus comes, they get on and have to search through their bag or purse looking for their bus pass. While they’re doing this there is a line of people waiting to get on the bus behind them. Next time they should get their bus pass ready while they’re standing there twiddling their thumbs.
- Rushing to get a seat – I understand that it’s nice to sit down, but some people are overly anxious to get a seat. My friend has a great story of a woman who pushed her way through a crowd of people that were trying to exit a train… she squirmed and fought her way on to the train and got that seat. Victory! Then she got off at the next stop. Idiot.
- Not moving to accommodate other passengers – This is probably the most frustrating thing I have to deal with on a daily basis. Seriously. Every. Day. Move to the back of the bus or to the middle of the train! I don’t know what it is… are people afraid they won’t be able to get off at their stop if they’re not close to the door? I ride the bus most of the time and people will stand there watching the bus get crowded as people get on, and even though there is plenty of room behind them they will not move. I’m pretty sure that if they were the person trying to get on a crowded bus and someone else wouldn’t move back to make room, they would be pretty pissed. Next time I hope they’re the one that’s not able to get on the bus or train.
The problem is that some people are only annoyed or aware of what’s going on when it’s an inconvenience for them… it’s what I call being selfish. If you haven’t already guessed, “annoyed” is one of my favorite words. I’m annoyed quite often, which is probably a good thing for some people. I’m the one that’s going to get annoyed and say something… and then everyone will get what they want. Well, everyone except for the selfish person.
Do people annoy you? Do you have your own story of people doing stupid things or being selfish? Let me know in the comments!