Wednesday, December 11, 2013

10 Things I've Learned on My Daily Commute


I've been taking the train every day to and from work for over five years. Here are some things I've learned.

1. Everything is filthy. Ev-er-y-thing. And I'm not even a germophobe. You need Wet Wipes or hand sanitizer. Open doors at the station by pushing with your arm and avoid touching anything on the train or in the station if you don't have to.

2. Some people have no ability to distinguish things that should be done in their living room or bathroom from things that should be done on the train. Examples I have personally seen: clipping nails AND TOENAILS, filing nails, nose picking, applying a full face of makeup (including liquid makeup after they have touched hand rails and seats), scab picking, brushing hair, plucking eyebrows. On and on and freaking gross. A good rule is that if whatever you want to do on the train will cause anything from your body to shed itself into the atmosphere, DO NOT DO IT.

3. Always go to the bathroom before you get on the train, even if you think you don't have to. If you don't, it will be the day you're stuck on there with no bathroom for three hours because of a downed live wire. Unfortunately I know this one from personal experience as well. I was sitting next to an 8 month pregnant woman that day and offered her my lunch tupperware to pee in.

4. Wear comfortable shoes. You never know when the train will be late or you'll have to stand, and if the train is late AND packed, it always takes at least 15 additional minutes to get to your destination.
5. Some people are pushy assholes and think nothing of pushing women and elderly people out of the way to get on the train. Get your elbows out.

6. People will get up and stand near the door so they can be the first off the train at their stop even when the stop is five minutes away. If you are sitting at the front of the train that means you have ass in your face for that time. Even though it means more ass time for you, the best is when the train pauses between stops and those people start to shift on their feet and complain. You should've stayed seated, fools!

7. Grown adults will throw a fucking hissy fit when people are talking in the Quiet Ride Car. They will also nearly come to blows and it will be funny even though it shouldn't be. Literally this very morning the lady next to me freaked on two innocent ladies taking the train to the airport. They didn't know, bitch! You could point it out nicely instead of losing your shit.
8. If it smells like pee, it's pee. If you're walking in the station, avoid puddles and be on the lookout for human dookey, especially on the stairs but I've also had to dodge it in the actual station.

9. SEPTA's favorite season is Slippery Rail Season - finally an excuse for the delays that happen all year.

10. If you sit in the one seat at the front that faces the rest of the train, you will see and hear some hilarious and ridiculous things: girls wearing bump-its, mean old ladies being crabby apples to everyone, people sleeping, people blowing up sleep pillows and wearing sleep masks for a ride that lasts 15 minutes, crafts and projects coming to life as the days go by, what people are reading, crazy people having full on conversations with themselves, people having extremely loud personal cell phone conversations, amazing toupees, all sorts of fashion, grown adults fighting, on and on and on. It can be frustrating, stressful, rageful...but it's also interesting and entertaining if you're observant.
Happy big birthday to my wonderful friend Mimi, who has the biggest, most generous heart. Love you Meem!
Congratulations to the fabulous Helene for winning the Holiday Charity Giveaway and to all of you that entered. $25 will be given to the charity of Helene's choice (see below).
I hope we can all do something small to improve someone's life today, whether it's giving a smile to someone who needs it, holding the door, buying the person behind us in line coffee, or saying hello to someone we don't know. Go out there and do good today. 

 photo redsig_zps5103b6e2.jpg

Linking up with
Dateless in Dallas

33 comments:

  1. OMG these are EXACTLY the things that happened when i used to take the train into work. my friend tweets like mad about the ladies who talk in the quiet section and it really makes her angry haha!

    i've also seen young stupid teens full-on MAKE OUT as in she was straddling the guy that an old lady legit shouted HAVE SOME DECENCY, YOU TWO! haha it was hilarious.

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  2. Ew ew ew! But I do love people-watching so there would be some redeeming value to riding a train every day. I live in too small of a town to have a train, but it would be nice not to have to drive all the time. Although now that I have kids, it's nice not to have to expose them to all the germs, weirdos, etc.

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  3. OMG those are some crazy things. I almost never take the train because it grosses me out and totally annoys me feeling like a stuffed sardine, but it can be funny the things you see and hear.

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  4. Goodness, do I miss taking SEPTA and PATCO every freaking day. Never a dull moment. My particular favorite thing is when a guy will "Ask for everyone's attention, so I can make an announcement!" and it's always just begging for money, or for you to buy his record bc he's an up and coming hip hop artist. Calm down Yeezy, no need to bother a train full of commuters.

    Confession- I have Bump It's. Don't judge me.

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  5. If it smells like pee... it's pee. Who just decides to pee in the middle of the train station? *sigh*

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  6. whoo hoo!! I am so pumped! thanks so much!

    And i can't even imagine, well i can, because of this post. But im sure you see your fair share of crazy on the regular!

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  7. haha I love this. I wish I could take the train to work I think I would fit right in with all the crazies :)

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  8. I wouldn't last a day if I had to take a train to get anywhere. I can't do people pushing, or overly crowded places.

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  9. I swear, the MBTA in Boston changed me forever. I carry Purell with me where ever I go. I have it in my car. I have it in my purse. I have it on my keychain. The places I saw people put their hands immediately prior to putting them on those vertical grab bars...

    This may be the best collection of photos ever posted in Bloglandia. Just sayin'.

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  10. I thank God everyday that I live and work in the suburbs. Plus, St. Louis doesn't have the best public transit system. Because I can't even stand myself most mornings, let alone other people!

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  11. As soon as I saw the title, I knew this would be a good post... sure enough!

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  12. Great post (as usual). I'm an everyday commuter like yourself. I take the bus, tram or subway (usually a combination of at least 2) and I know what you mean. I think the only thing I can add to the list is homeless people. Especially in winter, they get on the trams and ride from one end to the other, unless they're pulled off by a transit cop or angry commuter, and they can be the worst, I mean WORST assault on your senses imaginable. I've got off of a tram and run to the car behind just to get away from the funk. I'll have to start taking some mullet pics for you though, it's pretty much still a standard haircut here. That and ladies over 50 with pink, purple and blueish hair.

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    Replies
    1. PJ - I.LOVE.MULLETS. Please please please show me some awesome mullets you come across in your travels.

      Passing the homeless people just in the station makes me want to vomit, being in a confined car with them! I'd run too.

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  13. Um. Gross. Perhaps I should be happy that my city is small enough and I live far out that public transportation is not an option. I remember riding MARTA in Atlanta sometimes and....just no. People are gross. Weird. Creepy. Assholes.

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  14. This simultaneously grosses me out and makes me wish I had such a great people-watching venue I could use for blog fodder...haha.

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  15. I'm pretty impressed by the guy knitting. I have to be honest. I don't think I could do public transportation every day. I am a spoiled brat and need the freedom of being able to come and go whenever.

    The absolute worst to me is the el in Chicago. I don't know what it is about it, but it seems 100 times worse than any other public transportation I have ever been on.

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  16. YAY for Helene! That's awesome that she won. I love this post. In Minnesota, their public transportation is lacking, plus my husband & I carpool together, but now we're taking ferries, subways, trains and buses way more and there are just certain things you have to learn from experience - this may save me in the future (I had no idea about quiet cars.)

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  17. I love this so much! HAhaha! All the adventures. You could write a book. I would totally buy it! I used to work next to a guy that would clip his nails all the time at work. And not even over the trashcan. I would just bring the vacuum cleaner over to him and leave it at his desk until he cleaned up. GROSS. I'm with you. If you do it in the bathroom at home. Then do it in the bathroom at home...

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  18. You are so right! Commuting is so disgusting but seriously the BEST people watching.

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  19. I so feel like I am missing out since Houston doesn't have many public transport options! The Quiet car is a pretty genius idea. All the people watching sounds great! The bottom right hair... just no...

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  20. I was laughing so hard as I was reading this list! I don't take a train anymore, but I used to train in and out for college (5 years). The things I saw were astonishing, confusing, revolting, and hysterical all at once.

    PS - The photo of the crabapple old lady? Priceless.

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  21. That guy knitting is hilarious! I take my car to work and it is a 15 minute commute and I would never change it. How long is your commute?

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  22. Haha, this is so true! Even though I don't ride the train that often a few of these things happened when I went to Paris. Including teens making out and I felt so uncomfortable.

    Thanks for joining us for the link up!

    Bella @ Dateless in Dallas

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  23. I HATE trains, for all the reasons you said... but my husband loves them. He's a freaking lunatic.

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  24. omg I'm dying. Exactly like the train here. Horrid. People suck. and "if it smells like pee, it's pee." Truer words have never been spoken.

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  25. As a fellow commuter (NJT!) I agree with you on all these points. Especially the nail clipping people! So gross! Why??? Dropping by from the Random Wednesday Linkup!

    <3 Vicki
    wildeinthecity.blogspot.com

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  26. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MIMI!! :) I'm horrified by this but also slightly envious. There's nothing I love more than some good people watching and it sounds like this is the place to be for that. Also, aren't you the nicest person ever for offering up your Tupperware?!?! Seriously! :)

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  27. Cripes. I just read this at 6:52 in the morning & I cringe realizing you will be entering this world of hideousness soon. Good Luck and may the Force be with you.

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  28. I was very sad that I didn't get to witness people freaking out on the quiet car.

    And if you're 8 months pregnant, you're probably fucked even if you DO go to the restroom before getting on the train.

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  29. My mind is blown. I had no idea Quiet Cars were a thing. And, that hair do at the bottom right? Dayum!

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  30. Wow I had no idea you took a train to work; I think I've secretly always wanted to do that. Now, I'm not so sure lol I bet you have seen some hilarious things on the train. Do you get to blog while you ride?

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  31. I used to take SEPTA daily and can attest to these + more. Of course, all this is on the EL. The Regional Rails are a class above, only in cleanliness. Not in rude people. They're every where. Not one person offered a seat when I was 6 months pregnant!!

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  32. This is hilarious! I've only ridden a train a few times, but I definitely got a kick out of it. Word up to the Bump-it wearer!

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