Pet Peeves of a Extreme Commuter

2.09.2012


Omomo I have not updated for 7 days! Already my New Year resolutions are faltering :( Anyway, this is kind of a random post, but I felt like taking a break from reviews/OUAT recaps ^_^ This is dedicated to all you beauty loving commuters out there!

I am what they call an 'extreme commuter,' as quoted from Penelope's blog:
...the average commute in the US is 25 minutes each way. Newsweek describes the population of people who travel at least 90 minutes each way as "extreme commuters".
While Penelope is an extreme commuter two days a week *pause while I scoff* I am an extreme commuter five days a week. I wake up at 7, am out the door at 7:15am to drive by car to the bus stop. This parking lot is the bane of my existence because unless you are there by 7:30am on the nose, you have to park in the adjacent neighborhood, which is a five minute walk to the bus stop. The bus comes at 7:35am and drops us off at the metro station. From there it's another 35-40 minute bus ride into the heart of Washington DC. The last leg of my journey is a 10 minute walk to from the metro to the office building. I usually arrive around 9:15-9:20am. In total, my commute from my front door to my desk is 120 minutes one way. In a nutshell, I'm commuting at least 3 hours a day/15 hours a week/60 hours a month...basically I spend 30 days a year commuting.

Believe it or not, I don't hate commuting, I actually like it. You know that person sleeping with their head down, drooling slightly, all the while maintaining an iron grip on their bag and standing upright? That's me. I get a good 2 hours of sleep in on the bus and metro everyday ;) I also read a lot of books and since I've essentially memorized the metro schedule/commuter habits, I'm usually able to find a comfortable place to sit by the time I hit Rosslyn station (psst...the first car is always the most empty when traveling out of DC to VA). Overall, commuting suits me just fine - except for a couple things...


My Commuter Pet Peeves

1.) People who intentionally sit in the aisle seat.


This is the interior of an actual metro car. The polite thing that most decent people do is sit in the window seat, so that the aisle seat is open to other riders. As the car slowly fills up, this Seat Hog will pretend to be oblivious to the fact that someone may want to sit in that empty window seat until someone is forced to personally ask him/her to scoot over *sigh*

2.) People who refuse to put their bags in their lap/on the floor.

A variation of the Seat Hog are the people who put their bags/coats in the seat next to them so that nobody can sit down. Sadly, these offenders are usually women with ginormous Coach/LV tote bags. I understand doing this if the car is mostly empty, but this is an unpardonable offense when it's rush hour. Put it in your lap, woman!!!

3.) People who listen to music via ear buds but the music is SO LOUD, you can hear everything anyway.

I really wonder if these people are blasting music through their earbuds that loudly on purpose or if they are actually deaf. I'm guessing deaf because if I can follow every word of Maroon 5's This Love when the idiot is sitting 5 rows away OVER THE SOUND OF THE TRAIN RUMBLING, you know the music is being played by someone who can't hear a damn thing. Most people are too passive (me included) to tell the obnoxious brat to turn down their music, but I tell you, one day I will rip their headphones off and stuff where it really belongs.

4.) People who listen to music with their headphones around their neck.


This is even worse than #3 because it's so blatantly clear the music listener knows their music is loud enough to be heard by other people but don't give a flying f*ck about it. Ugh. You are literally forcing people to listen to your favorite kind of music, which usually sucks, under the assumption that if you like it, everybody should like it. Or worse, you just don't care. I may like Wonder Girl's Me, In, but it will be a cold day in hell when I blast it loud enough to be heard by others on the metro.

To people who do this: you look like an idiot who doesn't know that headphones are made to go over your ears when you are listening to music.

5.) (loud) cell talkers + (loud) conversationalists

You know what I find especially interesting about these people? Every sentence is prefaced with "I can't hear you very well but..." Oi...I understand picking up a call to quickly say you'll call them back, but there is no reason you should be holding a 15 minute+ call when you can't even hear each other. To clarify, I don't care if you talk on your cell or to each other, but keep your voices down. If I can hear you on the other side of the car...you are being way too loud. This especially grates my nerves in the morning when all I want to do is sleep.

....and that's it ^_^   Slightly off topic, I don't think I'm as uptight as some commuters....especially this one (Role Mommy). If you couldn't guess from the title, it's written by a mom and it is heavily biased towards that fact.  I get that she's probably trying to be humorous, but some of the things on her list are just...strange:

1. Do not under any circumstances take your shoes off on the train and stretch out your odor eaters on the seat in front of you. <-- I've never seen this happen but I guess it's sort of gross. But not really (to me). I'm not as foot phobic I guess.

2. If you choose to sit in a six seater and five talkative women nudge their way in so they can launch into their early morning coffee klatch, make sure your bags are off the seat and do not roll your eyes when they cover 10 topics in 33 minutes. Besides, you may learn a thing or two if you decide to eavesdrop on the conversation. <-- What?! Are you SERIOUS?! I agree with the bag-clearing bit but having to endure 5 "talkative" women is just something else. So basically, you're saying it's "okay" to be disruptive because you're a women. If this ever happened to me, I'd be recording that sh*t on my phone and it would go straight to YT under the title, "Grown women who think being loud is a virtue"

3. If someone is talking loudly on their cell phone, you are allowed to tell them to keep it down. If a working mom is talking on her cell phone - back off Buster - she's either on a conference call or trying to take care of all the loose ends in her day and make it home in time to relieve her nanny. If you attempt to rattle her cage, trust me, she'll bite your head off. <-- This is ridiculous. How are you supposed to tell who is a "working mom?" Not every woman is a mom for one thing. I'm not sure if she's implying you should not interfere with working moms or that she just doesn't recommend doing so....

6. Don't interrupt the poker players. If you see them congregating in their favorite four seater with their oak tag spread out on their laps, a serious game of five card stud is taking place - either observe and be amazed or move to another row - those poker games can get rowdy. <-- ....wtf? This makes no sense to me. The fact that poker players can get rowdy is even more of a reason to report them to a conductor. I can't stand people who treat public transportation like their home. You're there sharing a car with 100+ people, nobody should have to accommodate you and your little poker game. Poker is fine, so long you keep it civil and quiet.

7. Deodorant may be bad for the ozone layer, but it's required for rush hour train rides. The commuter code of ethics isn't tough to follow - so think before you do something offensive aboard your train, subway or cross town bus - you never know when the undercover mom is watching. <-- I don't care about this at all actually. It'd be nice if everyone smelled like roses, but nobody can smell very good after a day of slogging through DC pollution.

Are you an extreme commuter?  
What are your pet peeves and what do you do during your commute?

8 comments :

  1. I commute weekly, by train back and forth between my hometown and Antwerp, where I go to college. After all these years I've learned to just shut down my brain and not listen or pay attention to other commuters (unless someone starts talking to me, which almost always happens). Travelling is actually quite relaxing that way.

    The only real pet peeve I have is how some people (mostly middle aged or up) whine about how bad today's youth behaves. They don't even have to know eachother, still two or more strangers can find themselves in this one topic, going on and on about how today's younger generation doesn't have a clue how to be responsible for themselves and for others. It makes me so angry, because most young people I know behave way more responsibly than a lot of my older acquintances back when they were around my age.

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    1. I need to be more like you :P It doesn't help that I am not a morning person and my temper is even shorter (if possible) until I'm fully awake by 10am xD

      I haven't overheard too many people complaining about youth - however, when the 99% protesters at McPherson Square where handing out pamphlets and on Capitol hockey game days...I definitely heard a lot of whispers about how rude kids are nowadays. I couldn't disagree in those cases though since most of the teens (and middle aged guys as well honestly) were reeking of sour beer.

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  2. Omg 2 hours one way?? That's crazy Elle! I couldn't imagine commuting 4 hours a day...especially during rush hour times when the trains are probably packed. This was a great read though - I agree with a lot of the things you said. Many people are just plain inconsiderate or completely oblivious when it comes to commuting etiquette.

    I never knew you worked in the DC area though - I was actually thinking of looking for work in DC when I first graduated from college because I wanted to work for a government setting. But I knew that commuting from NJ to DC everyday would be impossible and moving to DC isn't feasible at the moment on just my salary alone. Maybe one day though... :)

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    1. REALLLLLLLLYYY?! Yes I am in the DC area but I live in VA. DC is pricey since space is such a hot commodity and unfortunately, any place along metro stations cost a pretty penny as well even in VA and MD :( It's a little cheaper tho ^_^ If you're ever in the DC area, let me know!! What area of NJ are you in? Do you work in NYC?

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  3. OMG ELLE!!!!! I loved this post!!!!!!! I used to be an extreme commuter for 6 months before I switched to another job!!!! I live in San Jose and I used to commute to San Francisco via bus AND subway....i had to leave the house at 7am just to get to work at 9am!!!!! And the SF subways are not as nice looking as the DC metros! LOL SJ to SF is an hour away by driving so you can imagine how slow it is taking transit!!

    Before that, I went to school that was an hr away and I was a commuter..so you can imagine I had to take the bus to school and it's in another county of course...and there's only 1 bus that takes me there. Once I get to the city, I have to take the university buses to get around different colleges for my classes LOL Just google highway 17 and you'll know what i mean!

    I do feel your pain! But at the same time, I know how pleasurable it can be to take transit. Highway 17 luckily had free wifi on board so I was able to surf away on my ipod :D And I also read lots of books, talked softly, and listened to music at the same time hahah =)

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    1. argh omg...that's crazy! Yours was probably worse than mine since on federal holidays, I can crunch the commute down to 1.5 hours. Oh man, if I was a commuter in college I would've failed because...I would've never gone to class xD But yes, I must agree, I have read so many books and honed my scrabble skills thanks to the commute :)

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  4. I ride every day to work and I feel happier than when I used to go by train!

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